Royal Rumble 2019 Review

royal-rumble-2019-poster

Results + Star Ratings:

  • Asuka defeats Becky Lynch to retain the Smackdown Women’s Title @17:08 ****1/4
  • Shane Mcmahon and The Miz defeat The Bar to win the Smackdown Tag Titles @13:17 ***1/4
  • Ronda Rousey defeats Sasha Banks to retain the Raw Women’s Title @13:47 ***1/2
  • Becky Lynch wins the Women’s Royal Rumble @71:05 ****
  • Daniel Bryan defeats AJ Styles to retain the WWE Title @24:31 **3/4
  • Brock Lesnar defeats Finn Balor to retain the Universal Title @8:39 ****3/4
  • Seth Rollins wins the Men’s Royal Rumble @57:39 **1/2

Becky Lynch vs. Asuka(c) for the Smackdown Women’s Title:

  • Big fight feels.
  • Asuka asserts dominance early on and taunts but Lynch fights back and strings together some offense starting the momentum. 
  • Hip attack by Asuka sends Lynch off the apron to the floor, Asuka misses a kick off the apron and Lynch fires back with a running big boot on the apron. 
  • Asuka sends Lynch shoulder-first into the ring LED board but Lynch recovers and hits an exploder suplex into the barricade. In-ring near fall for Becky. 
  • Becky begins to dominate the match a bit and starts working the arm setting up the Disarm-Her.
  • Lynch dodges a Hip Attack sending Asuka into the ropes, Lynch capitalizes by attacking but Asuka grabs Lynch in a sleeper around the ropes. 
  • Disarm-Her by Lynch in-between the Turnbuckles in the corner but has to release it. Asuka catches Lynch in mid-air with a buzzsaw kick.
  • German Suplex followed by a Hip Attack by Asuka for a near fall.
  • Asuka misses a missile dropkick, Uranage by Lynch gets a close near fall. 
  • Asuka locks in a Cross Armbreaker, Lynch tries to pin out of it but Asuka transitions into an Asuke Lock but Lynch rolls to the ropes. 
  • Asuka attempts to German Suplex Lynch off the apron to the floor but Becky breaks free, Lynch goes for an exploder suplex but fails, Asuka hits a great Swinging Neckbreaker off the apron to the floor. Lynch gets back in at 9. Asuka capitalizes with a shining wizard kick for a great near fall. 
  • Strikefest, Asuka catches Lynch with a roundhouse for a near fall. 
  • Super Exploder suplex by Lynch for a great near fall. 
  • Diving Leg Drop by Lynch misses, Asuka locks in an Asuka Lock but Asuka transitions into a Disarmher but Lynch transitions into an Asuka lock, amazing sequence. 
  • Disarm-Her locked in by Lynch, Asuka rolls up Becky to escape. 
  • Takedown into the Asuka Lock, Asuka locks in an inverted version of it to tap out Becky. 

Winner: Asuka Retains @17:08!

Rating: ****1/4, A match that impressed the hell out of me. These women pulled out some amazing spots and great in-ring work and delivered another revelation in Women’s Wrestling. WWE has got one thing consistently right in the last year and that’s Women’s Wrestling and in my opinion, this is one of the top examples of why they’ve done it right. Asuka kicked ass and hit hard with intensity and Lynch is one of the best wrestlers going right now so they clicked really well and made something that will be hard to forget. A prime example of how far Women’s Wrestling has come. 

The Miz and Shane Mcmahon vs. The Bar(c) for the Smackdown Tag Titles:

  • Shane and Sheamus start the match, Shane starts fired up. 
  • The Bar clear off an announce table and try to bomb Miz through it but Shane comes to the save. Mcmahon puts Cesaro on the announce table Sheamus saves Cesaro from the bump but Shane dives with an elbow taking out Sheamus ringside. Cesaro takes out Shane.
  • The Bar isolates The Miz in-ring with Shane outside. 
  • Hot tag by Shane, float over DDT to Sheamus gets a near fall. 
  • Coast to Coast by Shane attempted but Cesaro catches him mid-air and gets the Cesaro Swing in for a while but Mcmahon locks in a Triangle once it’s over. Flying knee drop by Sheamus to escape the hold. 
  • Double Team White Noise by The Bar for a near fall on Shane. 
  • Brogue Kick by Sheamus, Miz shoves Shane out of the way. Shane hits a Great Shooting Star Press to close the match. 

Winner: Shane Mcmahon and The Miz New Champions @13:17!

Rating: ***1/4, The Shane spots were in full effect here with an insane shooting star press and he took a lot of offense and well too. The Miz wasn’t a huge part of the match and neither was Sheamus but the match was a very solid spot fest with distinct characters and some surprisingly solid in-ring work. 

Sasha Banks vs. Ronda Rousey(c) for the Raw Women’s Title:

  • Rousey says “you say I can’t wrestle, I’ll show you how to wrestle” and hits the Tres Amigos suplexes taunting Banks and her idol Eddie Guerrero. 
  • Rousey punches Banks against the post but Banks dodges and Rousey collides with the LED post. Suicide Dive by Banks. 
  • A little bit of a halt in pace as Banks shows a little bit of dominance. 
  • Rousey rolls Banks into a Piper’s Pit attempt but Banks rolls through and torques the arm of Rousey in a Rings of Saturn hold targeting the arm that hit the LED post, Banks transitions into the Banks Statement, Banks rolls away from the ropes but Rousey escapes. 
  • Piper’s Pit hits by Rousey allowing her to heal the arm. 
  • Bodyscissors Hold over the top rope by Rousey but she has to release. 
  • Superplex by Banks for a good near fall, after the kickout Banks goes back to working the arm. Rousey powers into a judo throw for another near fall. 
  • Series of arm-oriented judo throws by Rousey but Banks gets Ronda ringside to allow Sasha time to heal, another suicide dive by Banks is caught. Rousey locks in a Cross Armbreaker ringside Banks taps but it doesn’t count. 
  • Strikefest but Rousey takes control, Rousey hits a flying knee for a near fall. 
  • Piper’s Pit by Rousey reversed mid-air by Banks as she comes down on Ronda for a near fall. Banks locks in the Banks Statement and uses her gear to torque the hold but doesn’t quite get it in. Near fall roll up by Banks into a Fujiwara Armbar Rousey rolls through and hits a Gutwrench Powerslam and follows it up with Piper’s Pit to close the match.

Winner: Ronda Rousey Retains @13:47!

Rating: ***1/2, A really solid hard-hitting women’s match with some great working of the arm and two wrestlers at the top of their game. The match was worked at a good pace and was a smart match wrestling logic-wise. The match didn’t kick into top gear but delivered another great example of how good Women’s Wrestling has become.

Women’s Royal Rumble Match:

  • Lacey Evans at #1.
  • Evans cuts a promo, Natalya at #2. 
  • Mandy Rose at #3. 
  • Double Sharpshooter by Natalya on Evans and Rose. 
  • Liv Morgan at #4.
  • Liv Morgan is eliminated immediately after 8 seconds by Natalya.
  • Mickie James at #5.
  • Ember Moon at #6.
  • Billie Kay at #7. She doesn’t enter because she wants to wait for Peyton Royce. 
  • Nikki Cross at #8. Cross takes out Kay. And dives out taking everyone out in the ring with a crossbody.
  • Peyton Royce at #9.
  • Tamina Snuka at #10.
  • Mickie James eliminated by Tamina Snuka.
  • Xia Li at #11 from the Mae Young Classic. 
  • Sarah Logan at #12.
  • Logan strikes Ember Moon almost out of the ring but Moon hangs on by her boots. 
  • Nikki Cross eliminated by Peyton Royce. 
  • Charlotte at #13.
  • Xia Li eliminated by Charlotte. 
  • Kairi Sane at #14.
  • Tamina Snuka eliminated by Charlotte (2)
  • Kairi and Charlotte face-off which is surreal because both are amazing. 
  • Sarah Logan in eliminated by Natalya (2) and Kairi Sane. 
  • Maria Kanellis at #15. 
  • Naomi at #16.
  • Naomi and Mandy Rose go after each other igniting the feud from SD Live over Jimmy Uso, Mandy Rose is eliminated by Naomi. Rose gets Naomi out but Naomi handstands onto the barricade and walks on it and jumps to the steel steps to get back in but Rose eliminates her anyway. 
  • Lacey Evans eliminated by Charlotte (3). 
  • Candice LeRae at #17.
  • Alicia Fox at #18.
  • Maria Kanellis and Alicia Fox have a horrible feud moment that kills the match’s momentum. 
  • Maria Kanellis eliminated by Alicia Fox. 
  • Kacy Catanzaro #19. 
  • Zelina Vega at #20.
  • Vega and LeRae face-off calling back the Gargano Almas feud in January last year. 
  • Ruby Riott at #21.The rest of Riott Squad comes back down with her. 
  • Riott squad pulls Charlotte under the bottom rope and triple team attacks her. The Squad also pull a couple others out but Vega goes under the ring.
  • Alicia Fox is eliminated by Ruby Riott. 
  • Candice LeRae is eliminated by Ruby Riott (2).
  • Dana Brooke at #22.
  • Kairi Sane eliminated by Ruby Riott (3).
  • Io Shirai at #23. 
  • Shirai takes out the Riott Squad saving Sane and hits a great diving moonsault off the top to outside. 
  • Rhea Ripley at #24.
  • Kacy Catanzaro eliminated by Dana Brooke, nevermind Kacy gets a handstand in and clings to the ring post to climb back in, impressive. Kacy gets eliminated by Rhea Ripley instead. 
  • Sonya Deville at #15.
  • Dana Brooke eliminated by Rhea Ripley(2).
  • Hornswoggle comes back and gets Zelina Vega out from under the ring, Zelina Vega is eliminated by Rhea Ripley (3).
  • Alexa Bliss at #26, return from injury.
  • Sonya Deville eliminated by Alexa Bliss. 
  • Bayley at #27.
  • Ruby Riott eliminated by Bayley, Rhea Ripley eliminated by Bayley (2).
  • Lana at #28. She looks injured after the bump she took on the Pre-Show for the Rusev Nakamura match. 
  • Nia Jax at #29. Jax attacks Lana on her way down.
  • Io Shirai eliminated by Nia Jax.
  • Natalya eliminated by Nia Jax(2) after being in the match for 55 minutes.
  • Carmella at #30.
  • Becky Lynch comes down and enters the match for the injured Lana. 
  • Becky Lynch and Nia Jax stare-down for the first time since the facebreak incident. 
  • Bliss and Moon fight on the apron, Ember Moon eliminated by Alexa Bliss(2)
  • Alexa Bliss is eliminated by Carmella and Bayley(3)
  • Carmella is eliminated by Charlotte(4). 
  • Bayley is eliminated by Jax(3) and Charlotte(5).
  • Final 3 are Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Nia Jax. 
  • Nia Jax is eliminated by Becky Lynch. Lynch and Charlotte are the only ones left. Nia Jax shoves Lynch off the steps to a hard landing on her knee. Lynch fights back and gets in the ring.
  • Great ending sequence between Charlotte and Lynch with Becky being an amazing underdog and winning the match. 

Winner: Becky Lynch @71:05!

Most Eliminations: Charlotte with 5. 

Iron Man: Natalya staying in for 55 minutes

Rating: ****, It is really hard to rate Royal Rumble matches but this one was top-tier. For starters, it focused on NXT workers like Candice, Kairi, and Io instead of washed up legends like last year’s women’s rumble. It had some great drama and an amazing ending sequence with Becky Lynch winning is one of the best moments in Rumble history with a crazy pop for Lynch and her overcoming the knee injury. The match started slow but kept it interesting and is one of my favorite rumbles I’ve watched. 

Daniel Bryan(c) vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Title:

  • Great feud heading up to this match. 
  • Slow paced start. 
  • Bryan sends Styles over the corner into the post and crashing to ringside. Bryan sends Styles shoulder-first into the post from ringside. 
  • Bryan begins to dominate as he works the arm of Styles. 
  • Butterfly Suplex into an armbar by Bryan but Styles keeps his grip locked and rolls to the ropes. 
  • Strikes by Bryan bust open the nose of Styles. 
  • Roll up battle of near falls for both men, Styles gets Bryan downed with a Dragon Screw as Styles begins to work the leg. 
  • Dragon Suplex by Bryan for a near fall. 
  • Great Moonsault DDT off the barricade by Styles ringside. 
  • Springboard 450 by Styles but Bryan gets up the knees and goes for the LaBell Lock and locks it in, Styles rolls it up for a near fall. AJ locks in the Calf Crusher but Daniel grabs the ropes. 
  • Calf Crusher attempt by Styles but Bryan rolls through and hits him with a snap kick for a near fall.
  • The pace has been incredibly slow for 15 minutes. 
  • Head Stomps by Bryan but the leg is tweaked from it, Bryan goes to the top rope but Styles meets him up there, Bryan maintains control and hits a super Saito Suplex but Styles rolls through. They get back up and Styles hits a Calf Crusher Driver for a near fall but then locks in the Calf Crusher, near fall rollup by Styles but Bryan escapes off the kickout. 
  • Good Snap Brainbuster by Styles for a near fall.
  • Bryan kicks out the arm of Styles off the springboard, Styles uses one arm to springboard but Bryan kicks Styles out of mid-air. AJ fights back and hits a Pele kick knocking both out. 
  • Erik Rowan comes down and stands at ringside, okay??
  • Bryan hits the referee accidentally with an enzugiri, Styles hits a Styles Clash and Rowan comes in and hits Styles with a chokeslam Bryan covers Styles for the win.

Winner: Daniel Bryan Retains @24:31!

Rating: **3/4 This was a good technical match that didn’t really fit the parameters of a WWE stadium show. The match was getting really good even though it was most definitely a slow-paced match that took the casual fan out of it. The technical work form both men was good and the logic was solid but it missed any kind of gear and the Rowan ending was a bit cheap. Wasn’t horrible just wasn’t anything all that good either.

Finn Balor vs. Brock Lesnar(c) for the Universal Title:

  • Immediate shotgun dropkick by Balor as he starts offense fast. 
  • Slingblade by Balor caught into a Belly to Belly by Lesnar.
  • Belly to Belly suplex ringside by Lesnar. 
  • Powerslam attempt by Lesnar through the announce table, Balor sends Lesnar into the corner of the announce table twice and smashes his face against it but Lesnar levels Balor and sends him back in-ring, 
  • Another Belly to Belly suplex by Lesnar sends Balor across the ring. The 4th Belly to Belly by Lesnar does the same thing. 
  • Slingblade by Balor hits, shotgun dropkick attempt runs into a stiff lariat by Lesnar. 
  • Lesnar still is selling the announce table spot. 
  • F5 by Lesnar countered into a DDT by Balor for a great near fall. 
  • Tope Con Hiro by Balor takes out Balor ringside, Balor hits a second Tope Con Hiro and a third one to follow. 
  • Coup De Grace hits by Balor amazing near fall. Kimura Lock by Lesnar is locked in and taps out Balor. 

Winner: Brock Lesnar Retains @8:39!

Rating: ****3/4, The pure investment in this match was crazy. Lesnar sells his matches like nobody else on the wrestling planet right now and Balor was the perfect opponent. I like this match better than Lesnar vs. Styles and Lesnar vs Bryan. Finn Balor wrestled with intensity and the pace was incredible. What an incredible sprint with so much emotional investment making it seem like Balor was going to win but having the hope crushed out of you with the Kimura Lock. Both men sold the match like a million bucks and I have no idea how they could’ve done what they did any better. My Match of the Weekend for sure sorry Gargano vs. Ricochet. 

Men’s Royal Rumble:

  • Elias at #1.
  • Jeff Jarret at #2 interrupting fellow fake musician Elias. Elias and Jarrett promo with each other until Elias attacks Jarrett. 
  • Elias breaks his guitar over the back of Jarrett and eliminates him. 
  • Shinsuke Nakamura at #3.
  • Kurt Angle at #4.
  • Suplex Series by Angle takes out Elias and Nakamura. 
  • Big E at #5.
  • Kurt Angle eliminated by Shinsuke Nakamura. 
  • Johnny Gargano at #6.
  • Jinder Mahal at #7.
  • Jinder Mahal eliminated by Johnny Gargano. 
  • Samoa Joe at #8.
  • Big E eliminated by Samoa Joe.
  • Curt Hawkins at #9.
  • Curt Hawkins goes under the ring, Vega and Hornswoggle style.
  • Seth Rollins at #10.
  • Elias is eliminated by Seth Rollins. 
  • Titus O’Neil at #11.
  • Titus calls back the slide to get Hawkins from under the ring.
  • Titus O’Neil eliminated by Curt Hawkins, Curt Hawkins by Samoa Joe(2).
  • Kofi Kingston at #12.
  • Mustafa Ali at #13.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura eliminated by Mustafa Ali. 
  • Dean Ambrose at #14. Rollins and Ambrose go at it.
  • Ambrose kicks Kofi to ringside but Kofi twists his body around the apron to get back in the match and on the steps. 
  • Johnny Gargano eliminated by Dean Ambrose. 
  • No Way Jose at #15.
  • No Way Jose eliminated by Samoa Joe(3) immediately.
  • Drew Mcintyre at #16.
  • Xavier Woods at #17.
  • Woods inverted piggybacks Kofi back to the ring steps to avoid elimination. 
  • New Day eliminated by Drew Mcintyre(2).
  • Pete Dunne at #18. He comes in with intensity. 
  • Andrade Almas at #19.
  • Apollo Crews at #20.
  • Aleister Black at #21.
  • Dean Ambrose is eliminated by Aleister Black. 
  • Shelton Benjamin at #22. 
  • Samoa Joe eliminated by Mustafa Ali(2) calling back their feud. 
  • Baron Corbin at #23.
  • Apollo Crews eliminated by Baron Corbin.
  • Jeff Hardy at #24.
  • Aleister Black eliminated by Baron Corbin(2), big boos 
  • Pete Dunne eliminated by Drew Mcintyre (3).
  • Rey Mysterio at #25.
  • Bobby Lashley at #26.
  • Bobby Lashley eliminated by Seth Rollins, Lashley attacks Rollins and chokeslams him through the announce table.
  • Braun Strowman at #27.
  • Baron Corbin eliminated by Braun Strowman.
  • Shelton Benjamin eliminated by Braun Strowman(2).
  • Dolph Ziggler at #28. 
  • Jeff Hardy eliminated by Drew Mcintyre (4).
  • Drew Mcintyre eliminated by Dolph Ziggler. 
  • Randy Orton at #29.
  • Amazing Super Chain Bomb led by Braun with Mustafa, Almas, and Mysterio on top. 
  • R-Truth at #30. Nia Jax attacks R-Truth and joins the Rumble. 
  • Mustafa Ali eliminated by Nia Jax. 
  • Nia Jax eliminated by Mysterio, Mysterio eliminated by Orton, Orton eliminated by Almas. 
  • Ziggler, Almas, and Rollins work together to take out Strowman.
  • Andrade Almas eliminated by Braun Strowman. 
  • Dolph Ziggler eliminated by Braun Strowman. 
  • Curb Stomp on the apron by Rollins eliminates Strowman and wins the Rumble. 

Winner: Seth Rollins @57:34!

Rating: **1/2, This Rumble was less inventive than the women’s one, had less great moments than last years and included Nia Jax who may be the worst wrestler in WWE. It lacked any interesting spots and high-intensity drama and the closing sequence was one of the worst in recent Rumbles but Rollins won and I guess that’s what matters and Gargano, Dunne, and Black had amazing showings. 

Grade: A

Last Word: This is one of WWE’s best PPV’s in a very long time. It included a career-making night for the greatest women’s wrestler in history Becky Lynch, an amazing women’s royal rumble, an amazing match between Balor and Lesnar, a Rollins Royal Rumble win, and the quality was very consistent. Even sleeper matches like the Men’s Royal Rumble and Bryan vs. Styles had interesting things happen that made it worthwhile. One of the first weekends ever that a WWE PPV was better than a Takeover and I stand by that opinion. All-around amazing show from the WWE starting their year off right. 

 

 

 

 

NXT Takeover Pheonix 2019 Review

tophoe

Star Ratings + Results:

  • War Raiders defeat Undisputed Era to win the NXT Tag Team Championships @16:54 ****1/2
  • Matt Riddle defeats Kassius Ohno @9:18 ***
  • Johnny Gargano defeats Ricochet to win the NXT North American Title @24:38 ****3/4
  • Shayna Baszler defeats Bianca Belair to retain the NXT Women’s Title @15:14 ***1/2
  • Tomasso Ciampa defeats Aleister Black to retain the NXT Championship @26:30 ****

War Raiders vs. Undisputed Era(c) for the NXT Tag Titles:

  • A fast start to the match, Rowe bodyslams Hanson onto Undisputed Era at ringside which is a solid spot. 
  • UE throws Rowe into Hanson on the apron sending both crashing to ringside. 
  • UE isolates Hanson in their corner, with a guillotine locked on by O’Reilly, Rowe makes the tag to Hanson who comes in with a hot tag. Rowe gutwrenches O’Reilly into Roddy. 
  • Suicide Tope Con Hiro by big boi Hanson misses and he hits the floor hard. 
  • Double Team Draping Suplex by UE begins isolating on Rowe, Rowe deadlifts O’Reilly out of the Triangle but Strong hits a powerbomb before O’Reilly gets powerbombed. Great heel tag work by UE, Hanson gets back on the apron and in the ring but with the referee distracted Strong pulls Rowe back into UE’s corner. Rowe exploder suplexes O’Reilly into Roddy on the apron wiping both out and opening tags but O’Reilly pulls Hanson off the apron. 
  • Great FlipOver Knee by Rowe opens tags as Mauro references Sicko Mode with a like a light ayy like a light. Hot tag by Hanson is finally made, insane cartwheel lariat by Hanson wipes out O’Reilly. Bronco Buster in the corner by Hanson to Strong gets a near fall. 
  • Great 4-man sequence into a pop-up powerslam by War Raiders followed by a Suicide Dive by Hanson to Strong ringside. Amazing near fall on O’Reilly after the powerslam.
  • Jackknife Powerbomb/Diving Crossbody combo by War Raiders near fall save by Strong.
  • Great superplex by Strong to Hanson followed by a diving knee by O’Reilly for another great near fall. 
  • Great show of strength by Strong (literally) to Olympic Slam Hanson for a near fall. 
  • HighLow Tandem Strike Finisher by UE for a great near fall on Hanson.
  • Hanson cartwheels to miss a running knee by Strong and hits an insane backspring double elbow, insane powerslam/powerbomb combo by Rowe into a Diving Slam combo for the win for War Raiders. 

Winners: War Raiders New Champions @16:54!

Rating: ****1/2, An insanely hot opening tag match with an insane performance by War Raiders with crazy strength from Rowe and surprising agility from Hanson. The match moved at 100 MPH and the crowd was hot as hell. Undisputed Era always plays the technically dominant heel to a tee and does that again here but the Raiders were too much to handle for the Era as they will most likely go up to the MR. This will be a big-time contender for Tag Match of the Year and almost Match of The Year but most importantly the match did what it set out to do and that was to put over War Raiders and start the show off with another Takeover Classic. 

Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno:

  • Matt Riddle was one of the best independent wrestlers last year and now he’s got his first big Takeover match. I’m really excited about the future of Riddle mostly because WWE haves a love affair with UFC guys. 
  • Running Forearm off the steps ringside by Riddle. 
  • Insane deadlift by Riddle of Ohno to send him over in a gutwrench.
  • Riddle goes for a Sunset Bomb off the apron, Ohno traps Riddle’s face under the apron and kicks it to escape which is a smart spot. 
  • Spinning Back Elbow by Ohno knocks Riddle down for the first near fall.
  • Slow pace instigated by Ohno acting like a heel.
  • Ohno sends Riddle face-first into the post yelling “Remember This” because he did the same thing on NXT TV. Then Ohno sends him into the steel steps. 
  • Ohno strikes at Riddle on the apron who fires up and gets Ohno in a rear-naked choke, Ohno gets the ropes but Riddle tries to German Suplex Ohno. Kassius stomps on the barefoot of Riddle to escape but Matt comes back to hit the German Suplex for a near fall. 
  • After some Bro Kicks, Ohno bites at the feet of Riddle weird but he escapes further attacks. Sit-out powerbomb by Ohno for a near fall. 
  • Great Diving Moonsault by Ohno for a near fall.
  • Senton by Ohno caught into a Rear Naked Choke by Riddle but Ohno gets to the ropes. 
  • Ohno on his knees looks for a fist bump but Riddle hits him with a knee and a Dragon Suplex. Riddle taps out Ohno after repeated elbows. 

Winner: Matt Riddle @9:18!

Rating: ***, This was okay but ranks on the lower end of Takeover matches in the past few years. Ohno played an okay heel but he really needs a character revival that’s more drastic than what he’s currently trying to do and Riddle hasn’t had his calling card match in NXT and that’s what I expected this to be but I was disappointed. The story kept very solid and the strikes hit hard but the match was missing something and never really kicked into any gear. 

Johnny Gargano vs. Ricochet(c) for the NXT North American Title:

  • Genuine MOTY potential on this one. 
  • Solid feeling out period at the start. Momentum gains and a great sequence ensues as both get the better of each other. Staredown and “NXT” chants end the sequence. 
  • Rico asks which Johnny he’s gonna get tonight and Gargano gets up and punches him in the face. Heel Johnny then. 
  • Springboard Stepping Moonsault off the turnbuckle to Gargano ringside. 
  • Off the top rope, Gargano Alley-Oop bombs Ricochet into the top rope face-first. 
  • Stiff dropkick to the back of the head of Ricochet by Gargano for a near fall.
  • Standing Moonsault by Rico is caught mid-air by Johnny as he pushes him with his legs across the ring. 
  • Slower start than would be expected.
  • Grounded Octopus Lock by Gargano in, Ricochet gets a pin attempt to escape the hold. 
  • Slingshot Spear by Gargano halted, Ricochet hits a Standing Moonsault to Gargano on his knees.
  • Strikefest, Ricochet begins to bring momentum back in and hits a huricanrana and a Tiger Faint Kick in the corner followed by a Springboard uppercut to Gargano to knock him down. 
  • Rolling Brainbuster by Ricochet for a near fall. 
  • Rolling Huricanrana by Ricochet stopped with a mid-air powerbomb by Gargano, Johnny gets in the Gargano Escape but can’t get all of it. Ricochet rolls Gargano up for a near fall. 
  • Slingshot DDT by Gargano stopped in mid-air, Ricochet throws Gargano to ringside and he hits his face on the apron. Twisting Tope Con Hiro by Ricochet hits. 
  • Diving Moonsault by Rico gets a near fall. 
  • Avalanche Huricanrana by Gargano, Rico flips out of it. Insane. The two strike off as Rico hits a rolling Pele kick, Backspring back elbow by Rico caught into a Gargano Escape. Rico deadlifts out and throws him into the corner. 
  • Rico goes to the top rope but Gargano rolls to the other side of the ring. Rico aims at Gargano on the apron but Johnny drops off the apron. Rico Tope con Hiros over the corner to hit Gargano ringside and hits a Springboard 450 back in-ring for a great near fall. 
  • Shooting Star Press by Rico caught with Gargano’s knees as Johnny rolls him up for a near fall. 
  • Running Stiff Superkick by Gargano sends Ricochet ringside, Suicide Dive by Gargano caught into a Fireman’s Carry by Rico. Gargano hits an insane reverserana ringside. Slingshot DDT by Gargano back in-ring for an amazing near fall.
  • Gargano goes ringside to remove padding Tomasso Ciampa style, Johnny decides against it which is amazing storytelling. Roll up by Ricochet back in-ring for a great near fall. 
  • Stiff Lariat by Rico knocks out Johnny, Pheonix Splash misses for Ricochet. Johnny catches him with a superkick. Gargano Escape by Ricochet locks in but Gargano gets the ropes. 
  • Gargano shoves Rico into the post calling back the Andrade match, Gargano grabs Rico and looks at the floor and hits a Vertical Suplex onto the exposed floor. Johnny rolls Ricochet back in the ring. Slingshot DDT again for the win. 

Winner: Johnny Gargano New Champion @24:38!

Rating: ****3/4, One of the best stories told in recent memory in my opinion. Gargano deciding who he wanted to be and ending up choosing the villainous side was amazing. The in-ring material was insane too but not as up to par as I expected it to be and not on the level as a Gargano vs. Black or Almas. The match started slow which was just to boost storytelling but it took them a little too long to get it back up and running. The match got incredible though but it missed that huge spot. The layout of the match aside, the storytelling and talent mixed together to really make something special. Serious MOTY contender. 

Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Bianca Belair for the NXT Women’s Title:

  • Bianca Belair is undefeated going into this match. 
  • Baszler used the hair to send Bianca into the ring post, smart spot. Belair looks to have injured or is selling the shoulder.
  • Shayna stomps on the arm of Bianca brutally. 
  • Baszler continues to work on the arm with efficiency keeping herself dominant. 
  • Stiff knee by Baszler gets the first near fall. 
  • Belair comes back and gains momentum. Belair hits a spear for a near fall. 
  • Jumping Knee by Baszler for a near fall.
  • Good strikefest ensues and Belair ends it with a hair whip that takes down Shayna.
  • Baszler gets out of the Chicken Wing and throws Belair into the referee. Belair hits the KOD but there’s no referee to count the pin and Bianca releases some blood-curdling screams. Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke come in but Belair fights them off. Coquina Clutch by Baszler in locked in and the referee comes back but Belair deadlifts Baszler up and breaks the hold and hits a Vertical Suplex for a great recovery. 
  • Jessamyn Duke distracts Belair on the top rope, Belair misses the Diving 450 and Baszler locks in the Coquina Clutch again and she sells it amazingly and gets back up again but then falls back down but Belair deadlifts Baszler up again but Baszler gets her back down and she passes out. One of the best submission sequences I’ve seen in a while.

Winner: Shayna Baszler Retains @15:14!

Rating: ***1/2, This was a great women’s match with so much emotional investment put into the amazing Bianca Belair. The strikes hit hard and the submission sequences were amazing but the referee bump with the Four Horsewomen interfering was annoying. It would’ve made perfect sense for Belair to come back and win but Baszler ended up getting the victory. Amazing showing from Belair and Baszler continues to show that she has taken to wrestling amazingly. Rousey gets the majority of the credit because she is on the big stage but Shayna is so much better. 

Tomasso Ciampa(c) vs. Aleister Black for the NXT Championship:

  • The match starts very solidly with a feeling out period that isn’t slow paced. 
  • Buzzsaw kick by Black sends Ciampa ringside, flip over taunt by Black. 
  • Black taunts Ciampa with the sit-down but Ciampa strikes at him while he’s down. 
  • Tope Con Hiro by Black wipes out Ciampa ringside. Black lands a bit hard on his knee. 
  • Springboard Standing Moonsault by Black for the first near fall. 
  • Ciampa rolls ringside but Black catches him with a buzzsaw kick leveling him. Ciampa whips the leg of Black into the steps and chucks him into some stairs for good measure. 
  • Vertical Suplex ringside by Ciampa sends the legs of Black into the steps. Ciampa aims to work the leg of Black that he tweaked from the dive earlier.
  • In-ring Ciampa works the leg innovatively. Ciampa wraps the leg of Black around the ring post and sends him leg-first with a suplex into the announce table. Ciampa sits on the table Black-style. 
  • Stiff buzzsaw kick by Black sends the water in the hand of Ciampa flying. Back in-ring Ciampa hits a low dropkick to the leg of Black getting him down again. 
  • Ciampa wraps the leg around the top turnbuckle while he’s in the Tree of Woe, Black fights out and hits a flying knee to Ciampa on the top that sends both out to ringside.
  • Black begins to string strikes together and gain momentum, Aleister hits a big kick for a near fall on Ciampa.
  • Small Package by Ciampa for a near fall.
  • Black misses a Black Masses and Ciampa goes for the Fairytale Ending but fails. Lariat by Ciampa and he attempts Fairytale Ending again but again fails. Black hits a one-legged German Suplex Bridge for a near fall. 
  • Dragon Screw Leg Whip by Ciampa into a Single Leg Crab but Black fights out. 
  • Black locks in a Single Leg Boston Crab of his own but has to put too much weight on his injured knee and he falls.
  • Draping Cutter from the top rope onto the apron by Ciampa for a great near fall. Running Knee Strike by Ciampa against the ropes for another near fall. 
  • Ciampa does Black’s signature foot raise taunt but Black catches him with a knee strike, Ciampa knocks him down with a knee strike of his own. 
  • Strikefest ensues and speeds up Ciampa catches Black with a near fall roll up. More roll-ups from both men and strikes continue Ciampa levels Black with a lariat. Black removes the knee pad but Ciampa escapes but Black catches him with a double stomp. Black catches Ciampa in the back with a knee and hits a brainbuster for a near fall. 
  • Moonsault off the corner to outside by Black, Aleister slips on the water from earlier and Ciampa hits Fairytale Ending in-ring for a great near fall. 
  • Ciampa removes the ringside padding similar to Gargano earlier tonight. The referee argues with Ciampa and Black hits a Meteora onto the exposed concrete. Black Mass hits but he can’t capitalize because Ciampa turns over. 
  • Ciampa grabs the referee to escape Black Mass, Ciampa rolls Black over and hits the draping DDT. Fairytale Ending by Ciampa for a great near fall. 
  • Another Fairytale Ending hits and Ciampa goes for the 3rd one but Black levels him with a buzzsaw again but Black misses the Black Mass because of the knee and Ciampa hits the final Fairytale Ending for the win. 

Winner: Tomasso Ciampa Retains @26:30!

Rating: ****, When a 4-star match underwhelms you know you’ve had it good. The working of the leg was really smart but it took the heat out of the match. Ciampa turned in a solid performance and the match kicked into a top gear momentarily but it wasn’t on the caliber of a Takeover main event. It was still really good though but it just felt like something was missing and Gargano vs. Ricochet goes home with Match of the Night. 

  • Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa hold up their belts to end the night. 

Show Grade: B+

Last Word: A great show but a lacking Takeover. Mostly for one reason, there are going to be a lot of call-ups soon and NXT is in a transition point right now. With Aleister Black and Undisputed Era mostly getting the raise the faces of NXT are leaving. However, it is also a possibility that WWE realized Takeover was a threat to their product and wanted Royal Rumble to be the highlight of the weekend especially with it being the first PPV after the whole Mcmahon revamp thing and WWE in one of it’s lowest points right now. However, this show still wasn’t bad it had two very legitimate MOTY contenders in Ricochet vs Gargano and War Raiders vs Undisputed Era but the main event while it was good it was underwhelming and the Riddle vs Ohno match just wasn’t any good. The big news for NXT though is that after this show DIY runs the place again but as heels this time which I can totally look forward to. It will be interesting to see how NXT changes by the Next Takeover Event. This was the worst Takeover show of the 2018-2019 season but by now you should now that the worst Takeover is still freaking awesome. 

 

NXT Takeover UK Blackpool 2019 Review

dsydqtsw0auzzjc-696x494-e1546892521155

Results + Star Ratings:

  • Grizzled Young Veterans defeat Mustache Mountain to become the First NXT UK Tag Team Champions @23:47 ****3/4
  • Finn Balor defeats Jordan Devlin @11:24 ***3/4
  • Dave Mastiff defeats Eddie Dennis in a No DQ Match @10:49 ****1/4
  • Toni Storm defeats Rhea Ripley to win the NXT UK Women’s Title @14:49 ***1/4

 

20190109_nxttakeoveruk_blackpool_moustachemtn_zachjames-d49ff78df5b843efc538cd15cbe6f70a-e1547076591879
Moustache Mountian vs. Grizzled Young Vets to Crown the First NXT UK Tag Team Champions:

  • Moustache Mountian waring tribute attire to the British Bulldogs. 
  • Really beautiful belts are unveiled. 
  • Tyler Bate and Zack Gibson start the match. 
  • “Shoes off if you hate Gibson” chants happens and delivers another reason why the UK crowd is the best regardless of in Progress or here. 
  • Great chain wrestling from Tyler Bate and Zack Gibson, Gibson tags in Drake but Bate escapes isolation. 
  • Trent Seven tags in and him and James Drake standoff.
  • Tyler Bate flips over Seven to senton onto Drake, Bate gains some momentum but Gibson pulls Drake to ringside to half the momentum. 
  • High Cross Body by Seven gets a pop because of the history of that move in Progress retiring Doug Williams, hits on Gibson for the first near fall.
  • Great low suicide dive by Seven takes out Drake ringside. Trent seems to have tweaked his elbow, Seven chases Drake but Gibson catches him with a lariat knocking Seven down.
  • Grizzled Young Vets isolate Seven and hit him with a diving sidewalk elbow ringside, Gibson rolls Seven back in and continues to isolate Seven with Drake. Drake caught Seven with a stiff discus elbow that busts him open hard way. Tyler Bate begins to look worried on the apron. Draka and Seven strikefest ringside and Seven tries to go for the tag to Bate again but Drake pulls him in with a heel hook. Seven flies over Gibson to tag in Bate. 
  • Amazing hot tag by Tyler Bate with the crowd excited as hell. 
  • Airplane Spin by Bate to Drake into an insane double airplane spin with Drake and Gibson on his shoulders. The crowd keeps the amazing intensity. 
  • Exploder Suplex by Bate off the apron to Drake sending him into Gibson ringside, Bate hits a Standing Shooting Star off the apron to the Vets and pulls in Gibson to attempt the Tyler Driver 97 but fails. 
  • Running Powerslam/Flying Headbutt combo by MM pays homage to the British Bulldogs for a great near fall. 
  • Bate dives out to Drake ringside, Seven hits a Buring Hammer to Gibson for a great near fall save by Drake. 
  • RollUp Batte between Bate and Drake gets a really near fall on Tyler. 
  • Gibson catches Tyler Bate off the rebound lariat with a Ticket to Ride codebreaker, Helter Skelter/450 Splash combo for the Vets hits and they get a great near fall with an insane crowd pop. 
  • Shankly Gates by Gibson locked in on Seven and the tweaked elbow, Drake stops Bate from getting to the save by locking in a Shankly Gates of his own on Tyler. Bate deadlifts up Drake and Death Valley Drivers him into Gibson to end the great double submission sequence. 
  • Rebound Lariat/German Suplex combo by MM on Drake for a crazy good near fall.
  • “Fight Forever” Chants. 
  • Doomsday Suicide Dive by GYV is one of the best dive spots I’ve ever seen. Trent Seven goes for a suicide dive but Drake catches him with a dropkick. 
  • Ticket to Mayhem in-ring by GYV to Seven closes the match. 

Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans First Champions @23:47!

Rating: ****3/4, Peak Tag Team work from some of the best in the game right now. The match built around a great layout on the isolation of Seven building the match up until the insane hot tag by Bate which unglued the match as it diverged into chaos. Mustache Mountain did some of their normal spots but Bate included an insane double airplane spin and the heel work of GYV was amazing. Nothing was better than the Doomsday Suicide Dive from GYV in this match either as that’s probably my favorite spot of the year so far. 

20190109_nxttakeoveruk_blackpool_travisjordon-4e2573744a15ac27a6dbaa2821635e3f-e1547076514126

Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin:

  • A video was shown of a brawl earlier today in which Banks injured his knee. Devlin and Banks brawl before their match and Devlin brutally works Travis’ knee.
  • Jordan Devlin grabs a microphone and cuts a heel promo and calls himself the Greatest Irish Wrestler Alive. You know who is coming out right now. 

Jordan Devlin vs. Finn Balor:

  • Insane pop for Finn Balor like the pop of the year material type. 
  • The tension is in the air big time between the mentor and mentee showdown.
  • Devlin tries to leave but Balor brings him back and hits a running forearm ringside. 
  • Devlin kicks the ropes to low blow Balor to knock him off the apron.
  • Double Stomp by Devlin gets boos as he makes fun of Balor and does his signature taunt.
  • Dropkick by Devlin catches Balor on the top rope and Finn takes a rough tumble hitting the apron going to the outside, Balor gets back in at 9. 
  •  Stiff chops by Balor but Devlin fires back with some of his own, Devlin catches Balor with an uranage/standing moonsault combo for the first near fall. 
  • Strike sequence begins and a Pele Kick from Balor puts both down. 
  • Bloody Sunday Driver by Finn Balor for a near fall. 
  • Devlin catches Balor running with a superkick and follows it up with tight Saito Suplex for a near fall. 
  • Devlin keeps Balor down with kicks as he talks trash to Finn and the audience, great heel work. Balor gets him down and turns up the aggression with stomps in the corner. 
  • Running Penalty Kick off the apron by Balor follows by a Coup D’Grace attempt, Devlin runs into the top rope to take him down and rolls him up with his feet on the ropes for a great near fall. 
  • Diving Moonsault by Devlin but Balor gets his knees up. 
  • Balor hits a shotgun dropkick and follows it up with a successful Coup D’Grace for the win. 

Winner: Finn Balor @11:42!

Rating: ***3/4, A really good hard-hitting and high-flying encounter from two wrestlers with very similar looks and styles but the main thing separating them was Devlin’s great heel work selling the dynamic of being the disgraced mentee and Finn Balor being a great bold babyface who got insane crowd support. The match ran at a solid pace and momentarily kicked into top gear with some solid near falls and big moves but the star of the show was how big the match felt. Jordan Devlin really deserves to be the flagship of NXT UK however I feel like he will always be in the shadow of Balor which made me disappointed that he caught the loss in clean fashion in this match. 

20181231_nxttakeoveruk_blackpool_mastiffdennis-0a4aa3c18ce6ddb119627544b75559d0-e1547076531779Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis No DQ:

  • Strikefest out of the gates between the two big guys, Mastiff catches Dennis with a high crossbody. 
  • Mastiff grabs steel steps and brings them in-ring, Dennis rolls ringside and grabs a kendo stick and hits Mastiff twice. 
  • Dennis removes the ringside padding but goes back in-ring to continue clobbering Mastiff with the kendo. 
  • Mastiff catches the kendo stick and turns the tables and hits Dennis with some hard strikes with the kendo, powerbomb by Mastiff takes down Dennis.
  • Dennis catches Mastiff running and shows incredible strength lifting up Dennis and swinging him uranage-style into the steel steps, great spot. 
  • Dennis grabs a steel chair but misses the shot, Mastiff hits him with a rolling slam. Mastiff climbs to the middle rope but Dennis deadlifts him into the Crucifix Bomb and hits it for another great show of strength for a good near fall.
  • Eddie brings in a table while the crowd comes unglued for the table but Dennis can’t do anything with it.
  • Rolling Slam/Running Senton by Mastiff to Dennis on the exposed floor from earlier 
  • Insane split legged moonsault attempt for Mastiff misses. Neck Stop Driver by Dennis hits and gets an incredibly close near fall. 
  • Dennis gets Mastiff on the middle rope and goes for the Crucifix Bomb through the table in the corner but Mastiff rolls off. They club each other with lariats but Dave catches Eddie with a German Suplex.
  • Insane running cannonball by Mastiff sends Dennis through the table and closes the match. 

Winner: Dave Mastiff @10:49!

Rating: ****1/4, These two big dudes just hit each other really hard for 10 minutes. Dennis showed some incredible strength and Mastiff worked the hardcore style really well. This was a smartly worked match with some great spots like the combo onto the exposed floor by Mastiff and the Swinging Uranage by Dennis onto the steps. Big dudes clobbering the hell out of each other on a good pace is always good but throw in two guys who match their size with athleticism and some weapons for some good measure it makes a more than worthwhile 10 minutes.

20181221_nxttakeoveruk_blackpool_rilpeystorm-1fd73827cda6292deac9d66406871ccd-e1547076548241

Rhea Ripley(c) vs. Toni Storm for the NXT UK Women’s Title:

  • Toni Storm’s first big match back since her photo scandal. It is great to see her shrug it off and step back into the spotlight unphased. 
  • Storm chases Ripley around the ring but eventually catches her with a suicide dive.
  • Ripley begins to dominate and keeps Storm down with stomps in the corner. Ripley gets Storm back in the middle of the ring and keeps her down with a body scissors hold, Storm hits Ripley with forearms to escape but Ripley slams Storm with a stalling Vertical Suplex for the first near fall. 2 Bodyslams by Ripley for another near fall. Ripley has been dominate for 3 minutes now but Ripley goes for the Cloverleaf and Storm kicks her off into the post. 
  • Ripley takes Storm down with a dropkick for a near fall and gets back to dominating. 2 Leg Drops consecutively by Ripley for another near fall. Headbutt by Storm catches Ripley running and both are laid out. 
  • Strikefest gets fast as both send strikes at 100 MPH but it slows down then speeds up again, German Suplex by Storm but she holds on and hits the 2nd one then holds on again but Ripley fights out of a 3rd. Storm goes for Storm Zero but fails, Ripley goes for RipTide but Storm shifts her weight to come down on Rhea for a near fall. 
  • Inverted Cloverleaf by Ripley applied on the weakened lower back on Storm, Toni fights out and applies an Ankle Lock but Ripley gets to the ropes.
  • Cannonball in the corner followed by a 3rd German Suplex into a Bridge by Storm for a near fall. 
  • Storm looks desperate as she starts to strike at Ripley but Rhea slams her down and follows it up with a RipTide for a very close near fall. 
  • Arm Control Lariats by Ripley 2 hit but Storm counters it with a headbutt and hits Storm Zero successfully for a great near fall.
  • RipTide fails as Storm flies over and hits Storm Zero to close the match. 

Winner: Toni Storm New Champion @14:49!

Rating: ***1/4, While much of the match was slow and Ripley was dominating there was a very good story in Storm beating the odds and becoming champion. Storm looked amazing for her first match back from her troubles and Ripley played a great dominant heel but Storm kept fighting with some great near falls and the speed gradually increasing over time. The match was played out really well but lacked some of the drama it could’ve had and the crowd seemed the least invested for this match of any tonight but that still means the crowd played a big role because this crowd is amazing. 

20181231_nxttakeoveruk_blackpool_dunnejoecoffey-d8905660e4915f6374f9f28656df272a-e1547076611615

Pete Dunne (c) vs. Joe Coffey for the NXT UK Championship:

  • In my opinion, this is Dunne’s first formidable challenger in the 600 days he has held the title. He’s kind of been a flagship champion in a company that didn’t exist for a while so now that the company exists he actually has to act like a champion. 
  • Staredown as soon as the bell rings and they start the collar and elbow tie up with aggression. 
  • Coffey absorbs a forearm strike from Dunne and they go back to the stand-off, Dunne gets Coffey down and wrenches on the fingers. Very solid technical start to the match. Dunne gets in an inverted Figure 4, Coffey escapes by grabbing in a headlock and bringing Dunne to his feet. Coffey catches Dunne running and brings him back to the mat to trade submissions. Discus Lariat by Coffey sends a warning shot to Dunne but clearly misses.
  • Dunne lays out Coffey with a side lariat and gets in the Regal Stretch on Coffey but Joe grabs the ropes. 
  • Coffey pops up Dunne but Pete comes back down and tries to get in the Bodyscissors Kimura, Coffey gets Dunne into a stalling vertical suplex but Pete rolls back into the Bodyscissors Kimura, Float Over suplex by Coffey gets Dunne off finally.
  • Coffey throws Dunne to ringside and he clips his head on the apron on the way out. Dunne flips off the steps over Coffey and hits an enzugiri ringside. Pop-up Bodyslam by Coffey slams Dunne onto the ramp. Joe lets the ref count Dunne out but Pete fights to get back in. 
  • Backbreaker/Sidewalk slam combo by Coffey for the first near fall.
  • Coffey begins to dominate and locks in a bearhug but Dunne fights out and regains the match. 
  • Belly to Belly suplex by Coffey for a near fall. 
  • Great forearm by Dunne knocks Coffey into the corner, Dunne flips off the top rope over Coffey and hits an enzugiri. German Suplex by Coffey but Dunne flips off that too and hits a snap kick to a kneeling Coffey. Amazing moonsault off the corner to the outside by Dunne takes out Coffey with precision. 
  • Stiff elbow by Coffey catches Dunne back in-ring but Dunne reverses into an Explex for a near fall and both are laid out. 
  • Dunne flips over Coffey off the top rope again but Coffey fires back with a diving crossbody, Coffey hits a powerbomb for a near fall. Dunne is starting to sell a back injury. 
  • Piledriver Bend hold by Coffey which is really innovative but he transfers it into a Boston Crab wrenching the hurt back of Dunne, Joe steps on Pete’s head and he looks to be knocked out but Coffey still has the hold in Dunne wakes back up to grab the bottom rope.
  • Dunne wrenches the fingers of Coffey but he holds on as the two tradeoff headbutts until both get knocked down great strike sequence. 
  • German Suplex by Dunne but Coffey gets back up immediately, Pete catches him with a Koji Clutch, Coffey deadlifts Dunne up for a Tombstone attempt but Pete rolls through and locks in an Ankle Lock, Coffey gets back up and drops Dunne with a German Suplex. 
  • Coffey flies at Dunne for a spear but Pete knocks him with a knee strike. Diving Crossbody attempt by Coffey caught mid-air with a forearm strike. Bitter End by Pete Dunne hits for a great near fall.
  • Coffey sends Dunne into the post on the apron and hits a Powerbomb on the apron with Coffey driving himself into the apron too, crazy spot. Both get in at the ring count of like 9 3/4.
  • Coffey sends strikes to a downed Dunne but Pete grabs his arms and strikes on his head from the ground then gets him down and continues to stomp away as the crowd becomes unglued again. Pop-up uppercut by Coffey, enzugiri by Dunne, and Coffey finally hits the Discus Lariat for an amazing near fall and both stay down as the crowd gives a standing ovation. 
  • Another Discus Lariat from Coffey is caught by Dunne as he pulls him to the ground and tries to work the fingers but Dunne gets in a triangle, Coffey pulls Dunne up and to the top rope. Dunne keeps in the triangle on the top rope but Coffey lifts him up and super swinging powerbombs him. Amazing innovative spot. 
  • Both stare down from opposite corners as the crowd erupts and they strike off in the middle of the ring, they strike each other into the ropes until they’re exhausted. 
  • Pop-up German Suplex off the corner by Coffey for a great near fall. 
  • Coffey keeps striking at a downed Dunne, Coffey went for the Bitter End but Dunne reverses with a DDT. Dunne hits a Bitter End but can’t immediately capitalize as Coffey rolls away from the one-arm pin. 
  • Discus Lariat by Coffey from the apron to Dunne in-ring. They climb to the top rope but Dunne pushes Coffey to the outside. Coffey gets back up though and hits a Discus Lariat ringside. Bitter End uranage in-ring by Coffey for another great near fall. 
  • Coffey climbs to the top rope again and they pull each other both to the outside into the barricade.
  • Ducking Discus Lariat by Dunne hits and he follows it up with another Bitter End for an amazing near fall.
  • Dunne taps out Coffey with the finger wrench to end the incredible match.

Winner: Pete Dunne New Champion @34:12!

Rating: *****, Yeah okay this wasn’t a perfect match. The botch towards the end is not as close to as bad as people are saying it is. Coffey falling off the top rope is absolutely no big deal and it looked like Dunne pushed him and they shrugged it off and continued the incredible incredible match. There’s so much to talk about, this was an all-around amazing technical, striking, and high-flying match with too many amazing spots to talk about. The crowd was incredible here too adding so much intensity and urgency to the breakneck speed these guys were going. The near falls were absolutely bloody incredible and both sold the match as it was a life or death scenario. I like this better than Dunne vs. Bate from Takeover Chicago, and all Progress matches other than Walter vs. Tyler Bate that I’ve seen so far. Also, might be a bit of a stretch but I also like this better than Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi. This was a more entertaining and electrifying match than the Wrestle Kingdom main event even though that meant much more to the wrestling landscape in 2019. Incredible work and sets the tone for NXT UK to run wrestling in 2019. Progress, the ball is in your court. 

Show Grade: A-

Last Word: As an idea, I don’t love NXT UK as a promotion. WWE doesn’t need to create more content as they are right now with the Main Roster and 205 Live and NXT US they are stretching themselves too thin. Also, NXT UK kills a promotion I love in Progress, WWE takes their main wrestlers like Walter and British Strong Style and forces Progress to almost die in silence unless they can find a new wave of talent that can have banger matches and not want WWE money just yet. However, the wrestling fan in me is willing to forgive sin if it is to be for a good wrestling future. This show made me forgive NXT UK for what they have done to the UK scene and WWE itself. Starting off, the show had one of the tightest cards I’ve seen in a while with every match delivering quality which is what we’ve come to expect from a Triple H produced show. Coffey vs. Dunne is my MOTY so far, GYV vs. Mustache Mountain is one of the peak tag matches I’ve ever seen, and the rest of the card delivered fun moments like Balor’s appearance, Dennis vs. Mastiff, and Storm winning the title coming back from adversity. Truly, an incredible show for the risks it took, however, it doesn’t rank in the top Takeovers from 2018 which is just a testament to how good NXT US is. Hopefully, NXT UK doesn’t stretch NXT US too thin and suicide both companies.