Date: March 26, 2020
Location: Coventry Skydome, Coventry, England
Commentators: Andy Williams, Nigel McGuinness
Things are starting to pick up a bit around here as they seem to be building towards Takeover: Dublin, but now that show is not going to be taking place which leaves them in a weird place. They have a few weeks left taped and that could help them out a lot in the near future. Let’s get to it.
The opening video hypes up tonight’s Cruiserweight Title match between champion Jordan Devlin and challenger Travis Banks.
Imperium vs. Ashton Smith/Oliver Carter
That would be Fabian Aichner/Marcel Barthel. Barthel grabs Carter by the neck to get out of an armbar and takes him down to crank on the leg. Aichner comes in to snap off an armdrag into an armbar on Smith but a flying mare gets him out of trouble. Carter comes in to clean house, including something like Private Party’s Silly String into a splash. A kick to Aichner’s face gets two with Barthel making the save.
The stereo kicks in the corner rock Carter and we get the Imperium pose. The chinlock keeps keeps Carter in trouble until he flips over Aichner and brings Smith in to clean house. A quick sitout AA gets two and the European Bomb is countered into a hurricanrana for two. Aichner plants Smith with a spinebuster though and now the European Bomb can finish Carter at 8:32.
Rating: C+. Some of those near falls were better than I would have bet on as Carter and Smith had some good energy to carry the match that much further. Imperium should be on their way towards the Tag Team Titles again soon as there isn’t much for them to do with matches like this for the time being. Nice enough match though.
Gallus plays cards and talk about winning the battle royal to crown a new #1 contender next week.
Moustache Mountain and Alexander Wolfe want to win the battle royal too.
Pretty Deadly annoy Carter and Smith after their loss. Carter and Smith say they’ll win the battle royal too.
Aoife Valkyrie vs. Nina Samuels
Valkyrie grabs a headlock to start so Samuels reverses with a headscissors. Samuels survives a backslide attempt by grabbing the rope, followed by sending Valkyrie into the ropes as well. A surfboard has Valkyrie in trouble but she runs Samuels over with ease. Valkyrie hits a running dropkick to put Samuels on the floor but Samuels comes back in with a fireman’s carry. That’s broken up as well with Valkyrie flipping over her and hitting a spin kick to the head. The top rope ax kick to the back of the head gives Valkyrie the pin at 4:46.
Rating: C-. That might have been the best Valkyrie match I’ve seen so far as she seemed a bit more crisp than usual. What mattered was having her look like someone above most of the rest of the division as she could be a player, but she needs to get a little more interesting first. Samuels is fine for a jobber to the stars.
We recap Piper Niven running off Kay Lee Ray last week.
Piper knows Dani Luna didn’t need help last week, so it can be a tag match next week.
We look at Mark Andrews being attacked last week.
Flash Morgan Webster will find out who did this.
A-Kid vs. Noam Dar
They fight over arm control to start until Kid nips up into a headscissors for a nifty counter. Back up and Dar hits a dropkick to stagger Kid so they can hit the mat again. Dar avoids the Octopus and they take turns sweeping the leg. A rapid fire pinfall reversal sequence gets a bunch of ones so Dar gets cocky and kicks him in the chest. The armbar goes on again, with Dar switching into a cross armbreaker. That’s countered into a triangle choke, which is released as well so Kid can kick him in the head. What looked to be a low blow rocks Kid though and the Nova Roller finishes Kid at 6:39.
Rating: C. Not bad again here with Dar being a lot better as the cocky heel. He can go well enough in the ring and has proven that several times, but I still can’t bring myself to be convinced of his star power. A-Kid seems like a solid prospect and could be a nice addition to the roster in time.
Post match Dar brags even more.
Video on Walter.
More people are ready to win the battle royal.
Cruiserweight Title: Jordan Devlin vs. Travis Banks
Devlin is defending and we get Big Match Intros. As tends to be the case around here fairly often, they fight over arm control to start, with the fans not being sure who they like best. Banks wristlocks him into the corner and gets two off a quick cradle, which is enough to send Devlin bailing to the floor. Back in and Devlin’s Rock Bottom is countered but a suicide dive misses, sending Banks shoulder first into the barricade.
That’s almost good for a countout but Banks makes it back in. That earns him a chinlock, followed by the Spanish Fly for two. There’s a jawbreaker to cut off Banks’ next comeback attempt but Banks Hulks Up off some kicks to the face. A kick to the leg sends Devlin into the corner and a Cannonball makes it even worse. Some YES Kicks keep Banks in trouble and there’s a Shining Wizard to put Devlin outside.
Now the suicide dive can connect but the Slice of Heaven misses so Devlin can kick away. A pinfall reversal sequence gets a few near falls but an exchange of headbutts put both of them down again. Banks heads up but has to knock Devlin down, setting up the Alberto double stomp. Devlin is right back up with the slingshot cutter for his own near fall as frustration is setting in. The Slice of Heaven connects for two but Devlin grabs a rollup and the rope to retain at 14:57.
Rating: B. That was a hotter main event as these two work well together. Devlin is starting to come into his own as a star and he was doing that again here. It was a good match with Devlin looking like he was in trouble before retaining. There isn’t much of a division over here but Devlin bouncing around to face challengers could work out well for him in the end.
Overall Rating: C+. This worked well enough, even though the fans weren’t exactly thrilled. That’s been the case with almost every show on this taping cycle and there is no reason to believe that won’t be the case for however many episodes they have left. Hopefully things pick up a bit, with the battle royal sounding like it could be a big deal if they give it time. Pretty good show this week with the main event being a highlight.
Imperium b. Ashton Smith/Oliver Carter – European Bomb to Carter
Aoife Valkyrie b. Nina Samuels – Top rope ax kick
Noam Dar b. A-Kid – Nova Roller
Jordan Devlin b. Travis Banks – Rollup while grabbing the rope
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