Date: August 4, 2022
Location: BT Sports Studios, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andy Shepherd
Things should be getting a bit more energized around here as we had the big showdown for the United Kingdom Title last week. Ilja Dragunov is going to need a fresh opponent after dispatching Wolfgang and a bigger one would be nice. This week is a title week also, as we have Meiko Satomura defending the Women’s Title against Sarray. Let’s get to it.
Here is United Kingdom Champion Ilja Dragunov for a chat….and he’s on crutches. Dragunov says he suffered a severe ankle injury during his title defense last week (insert clip here) and that means he cannot defend his title. Therefore it has to be vacated, but he isn’t going to talk about how hard this is for him.
Everyone back there is fighting hard every day and there is nothing special about him. He doesn’t regret anything he did in the ring and when he looks around the ring, there are bits of his soul all around the canvas. All he wanted to do was show that he could do this and the only person who defeats him is himself. Dragunov promises to come back for his title before laying the belt in the ring and walking away. Gah that’s frustrating, as I was curious to see how they were going to get the title off of him otherwise.
Chase University has come to London and see the sights, with Bodie Hayward wanting to stay at the Tower Of London. Then they go to the important place: the NXT UK Performance Center, where they find Sha Samuels basically destitute outside. Hayward has this one and thinks Shaw could make it into Chase U. This sends Shaw into a rant and we might have a match, partially due to Hayward being called a “stupid mark”. Hayward to Chase: “That guy works here?”
Johnny Saint and Sid Scala announce an eight man tournament for the vacant United Kingdom Title, with participants being announced later tonight.
Oliver Carter vs. Rohan Raja
The rest of Die Familie is here with Raja. Carter doesn’t waste time and starts striking away, including a running dropkick to put Raja outside. A quick Charlie Dempsey distraction breaks that up though and Carter gets stomped down on the floor. Back in and a hard whip into the corner keeps Carter in trouble and we hit the abdominal stretch.
That’s switched into the same thing from Carter, which is broken up without much trouble. What looks to be a fall away slam is countered with a knee to Raja’s head and a springboard moonsault scores for Carter. There’s a dive to take out the rest of Die Familie, followed by the running spinwheel kick in the corner to finish Raja at 5:23.
Rating: C. Carter getting to shine while his partner is on the shelf is a good sign for his future and I’m curious to see what he gets to do until Ashton Smith gets back. Die Familie continues its up and down success, but they were never presented as some top team so the losses don’t have quite the same sting. This one didn’t change much, but Carter fighting against Die Familie is something for him to do.
Post match Die Familie comes in to beat Carter down.
Thea Hail is happy to be here but Eliza Alexander doesn’t like her. A match seems imminent.
Teoman is happy with what happened to Oliver Carter, because that was a win. Sam Gradwell comes in and implies he doesn’t like bullies.
Sha Samuels vs. Bodie Hayward
The rest of Chase U is here too. Samuels is so broke that he has all of his possessions in a bindle. He also apparently smells bad as Hayward shoves him into the corner. The fans want Samuels to take a shower as he gets hiptossed and clotheslined. A neck snap across the top gets Samuels out of trouble and he elbows Hayward in the face. There’s a kick to Hayward’s back but he’s back up with the running shoulders to Samuels’ legs. The splash gives Hayward two but he misses a charge into the corner, setting up a spinebuster to give Samuels the pin at 4:45.
Rating: C. Another just kind of there match, though I’m not sure I get why Samuels would win here. He is so down on his luck that losing to a student would make sense, though at least he might be able to get somewhere with a win. The down on his luck story is a fun way to go, even if Samuels isn’t that interesting in the first place.
Samuels is REALLY happy with his win.
Oliver Carter is banged up, but Sid Scala comes in to say he’s in the title tournament, with his first round match coming up next week. Carter is banged up but he can go with that.
We recap Ilja Dragunov vacating the title (in a full video package, which is all the more impressive/unnecessary when it was both on this show and earlier in the same show). Here are the tournament brackets:
Women’s Title: Meiko Satomura vs. Sarray
Satomura is defending, but hold on because here is Blair Davenport to interrupt. Apparently Satomura and Sarray aren’t here for some non-apparent reason. Davenport says Satomura keeps ducking her and the title reign is due to Davenport breaking her ankle months ago. Cue Amale to say hold on, with Eliza Alexander cutting them both off to complain about not getting the title shot. Davenport doesn’t want to hear this but Isla Dawn pops up behind her and says it’s her shot. Sid Scala says we still need a main event tonight so it’s Davenport vs. Dawn for the #1 contendership.
Blair Davenport vs. Isla Dawn
Dawn kicks her down to start and cranks on the ankle early on. Back up and Davenport manages some kicks into the corner, setting up the required leg choke. Davenport sends her to the corner where Dawn gets in a knee to the face for two, allowing her to flap her arms a bit.
A running knee to the face gives Dawn two more and we hit the chinlock. That’s broken up and they slug it out with Davenport getting the better of things. A basement dropkick gives Davenport two of her own but Dawn is back with a hard belly to back suplex for two more. Dawn hits a top rope Meteora for two, but Eliza Alexander pulls her out for the DQ at 7:12.
Rating: C+. This was one of Dawn’s better matches but they telegraphed that finish way too hard. It didn’t make sense for Alexander and Amale to just be ok with this being for the future title shot so having Alexander interfered at least makes sense. Then again Dawn won via DQ so she should get the title shot, but you know that isn’t where this is going. Anyway, best thing on the show so far, false advertising aside.
Post match Amale beats up Davenport and the huge melee has to be broken up to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. I’m going to assume that everything was turned upside down by Dragunov’s injury and a lot of this was the fallout. The main event was a bait and switch but maybe they’re waiting for a show later in the taping cycle. This wasn’t a good show, but at least they had an excuse thanks to the Dragunov injury.
Oliver Carter b. Rohan Raja – Running spinwheel kick in the corner
Sha Samuels b. Bodie Hayward – Spinebuster
Isla Dawn b. Blair Davenport via DQ when Eliza Alexander interfered
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