Date: February 18, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Andy Shepherd, Nigel McGuinness
It’s hoss fight night as Rampage Brown faces Joe Coffey. Actually it isn’t so much of a hoss fight night as much as it is a hoss fight main event, as we also have the Heritage Cup on the line between two decidedly non-hosses. Things have been good around here so far so hopefully they can keep it up this week. Let’s get to it.
Heritage Cup: A-Kid vs. Sha Samuels
Kid is defending and they start round one with a feeling out process. They take turns taking each other to the mat with neither being able to get anywhere. Kid is sent face first into the buckle to put Samuels in the first control but he can’t grab a choke in the corner. He can however put on a cobra clutch on the mat with the shoulder pulled back (the Butcher’s Hook) and Kid taps in a hurry at 2:35 of the first round (seemingly playing strategy to avoid extra pain).
Round two begins with Kid charging at him but getting taken down to the mat to work on the shoulder some more. Samuels tries to go for the arm but Kid takes it to the mat, only to get his arm cranked on again. Kid is back up with a choke but Samuels goes straight to the rope. They tumble out to the floor and the round ends.
Round three begins with an exchange of rollups for two each but Kid starts going after the knee. A kick to the chest gets two and a dropkick finishes Samuels at 1:23 of the round to tie it up. Round four begins with Kid rolling him up for a fast two. Samuels runs him over for the same but walks into an enziguri for two more.
Kid goes up for a high crossbody, only to get caught in a Michinoku Driver instead. The Hook goes on again but the bell rings just in time to end the round. Round five begins with Kid pulling him straight into a cross armbreaker. That’s broken up so Kid kicks him in the face, only to charge into a spinebuster for two. Kid escapes the Hook again and grabs the Rings of Saturn to make Samuels tap for the 2-1 win at 2:25 of the fifth round (13:49 total).
Rating: B. These things grew on me quite a bit during the tournament and they are still holding up today. They are rather similar to Ring of Honor’s Pure Rules matches but these are kept sporadic enough that they feel like a treat rather than something that overstays its welcome. A-Kid has something too and I could go with seeing him step up after he’s done with this division.
Video on Rampage Brown vs. Joe Coffey, including a look at their time against each other in Progress. Various UK names like William Regal, Drew McIntyre and Sheamus talk about how awesome this should be to really make it feel important.
Walter has tied Pete Dunne’s record as longest United Kingdom Champion and breaks the record tomorrow.
Ben Carter vs. Josh Morrell
Carter is taken to the mat to start but uses Johnny Saint’s distraction to escape, which pops the heck out of Nigel. An armdrag into an armbar and sets up a headlock on the mat to keep Morrell down. That’s broken up and Morrell grabs a hurricanrana for two, only to get suplexed for the same. The front facelock has Morrell in more trouble but he reverses into a surfboard but Carter reverses into one of his own. Back up and Morrell gets two off a hiptoss but Carter grabs the suplex neckbreaker. The frog splash finishes for Carter at 6:28.
Rating: C. Carter continues to look polished but above all else, I want to see him win. He’s small enough that he plays a rather good underdog who needs to come from behind to win. Throw in some good technical abilities and a high flying finisher that looks good without being too flashy and it works well. Morrell looks good too, though he isn’t the one who is going to get pushed at the moment.
We get a press conference for the Women’s Title match between Meiko Satomura and champion Kay Lee Ray. Ray loves the challenge, Meiko loves the challenge and has a mission, Ray wants the best in the world, they stare each other down to wrap it up.
Video on Nina Samuels vs. Xia Brookside.
Tyler Bate gets some air outside of the Performance Center and is ready for whatever comes at him.
Aleah James vs. Dani Luna
The rather strong Luna powers her into the corner to start and easily blocks a crucifix attempt. James gets tossed down again and there’s a suplex to send her back into the corner. Luna’s powerbomb is countered into a hurricanrana for two so she is right back with a hard clothesline. A forearm puts James on the apron and Luna catches her springboard without much effort. Luna fireman’s carries her into a sitout powerbomb for the pin at 3:33.
Rating: D+. Just a squash here as they seem interested in Luna as a bit of a thing here. That’s not the worst idea in the world as having someone with that kind of power can be a fine choice for a quick push. I’m not sure how far she can go but even a short term deal would work out well enough.
Jinny and Joseph Conners call out Piper Niven. I’m not sure what it is but Jinny just isn’t clicking with me.
Video on next week’s Tag Team Title match with Gallus defending against Pretty Deadly.
Rampage Brown vs. Joe Coffey
They power each other around to start with Coffey grabbing the required rough headlock. That’s broken up and they run the ropes until Coffey’s leapfrog is countered into a powerslam. Brown hammers him into the corner but it’s too early for the Doctor Bomb. Instead Coffey takes him to the mat and hammers away, setting up a backbreaker to set up his liver shot later. The straitjacket choke goes on, followed by the jumping elbow for two on Brown.
A running basement clothesline gets two and Coffey blasts him with crossface shots to the face. What looked like All The Best For The Bells is cut off by a hard clothesline from Brown before he wins another slugout. A big boot gives Brown two and a hard suplex is good for the same. Coffey fights out of a fireman’s carry though and snaps off a belly to belly.
The running splash in the corner sets up a shotgun dropkick to put Brown on the floor. Coffey follows him out but misses a charge into the steps. The arm is sent into the steps and they’re already back inside. Coffey manages a spinning high crossbody for two but All The Best For The Bells is blocked with a kick to the arm. Brown grabs the Doctor Bomb for the pin at 11:16.
Rating: B. Take two big power brawlers and let them beat on each other for a pretty good while. Brown is the one they are pushing at the moment and that’s a good idea. He does his thing well and beating Coffey feels like an important deal. Good slugout here and I liked it as much as I expected to, meaning it worked well.
We get the big, delayed, respectful handshake to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. Two good matches make up for the weaker stuff in the middle and that was a fine way to use a little over an hour. This show continues to be rather solid more often than not and that was the case again this week with a nice mixture of a few styles to make it all work out. We could be seeing some nice stuff from these people going forward and that’s a rare thing to say in WWE these days.
A-Kid b. Sha Samuels 2-1
Ben Carter b. Josh Morrell – Frog splash
Dani Luna b. Aleah James – Fireman’s carry powerbomb
Rampage Brown b. Joe Coffey – Doctor Bomb
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