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This week's card has the finale of the Heritage Cup Classic #1 Contender's Tournament pitting Noam Dar versus Wolfgang, the yogurt who can't skateboard Mark Andrews versus NXT UK founding father Sam Gradwell, and an important match for Emilia McKenzie versus the Fashionista Jinny.
Jinny versus Emilia McKenzie
This is a pretty big match for McKenzie as it'll be a good measure as to whether she's capable of moving up to the main event scene. She's been getting a really big push the last few months and all respect to Meiko Satomura but Jinny is the Final Boss for the baby faces. Aoife Valkyrie passed the test while busting up her knee so the brand is McKenzie's if she can grab that brass ring.
McKenzie had a really nice spinning neckbreaker about 5 minutes into this one. They had a crazy spot a little later where Jinny had McKenzie in a standing arm lock on the prone McKenzie and then just stood on top of McKenzie. This led to an iron octopus into a roll up cover for Jinny. After Conners got physical with McKenzie, Satomura ran out to ringside and dropped him with a nasty kick. In the end it was Jinny with the clean pin fall victory after a whip-cord Liger kick to McKenzie's skull.
This match went for about 10 minutes and McKenzie continued to show pretty good work in the ring. There's still work to be done there and still not a huge amount of character work but putting her on a path similar to what they did with Valkyrie would probably do the trick.
On the other hand Jinny took this victory as an opportunity to get on the microphone and challenge Satomura to a title match. I'm looking forward to this one.
This Week's Promos
Davenport in Scala's office: During the week Davenport storms into Scala's office at the PC and demands to know when she'll be reinstated. Sid informs her that that'll happen next week at Stevie Turner's request and only at her request. If Davenport steps out of line again there'll be repurcussions. Davenport doesn't care and says she "always gets what she wants."
A-Kid on his match: A-Kid had a short package about his match with Dragunov.
Sha Samuels and Flash Morgan Webster: carrying on a gag that started with Gallus and Tyler Bate, Flash approaches a happy looking Samuels and slaps him in the face before running away. Challenge given -- will it be accepted?
Ilja Dragunov on his match: he talks about how he became the Tsar.
Mark Andrews versus Sam Gradwell
Gradwell's been antagonizing Subculture for a couple of weeks now and it culminated in Andrews breaking his skateboard over Gradwell's back last week. Hence this match.
This was a really fun mid card match given that both these guys are main event material. I'm a big fan of Gradwell and Andrews always has fun high flying spots. I really liked his reversal on the top turnbuckle into a flying ddt. Gradwell had a nasty two footed stomp on Andrews for a near fall. Andrews got one of his trademark moonsaults from the turnbuckle to Gradwell on the floor but in the end it was Gradwell with a fireman's carry slam for the pin fall victory.
Gradwell spent some time yelling his usual insults to the camera while Andrews recovered on the mat. Is this going to be the fire Andrews needs to step up? My money's on yes and I think a rematch is probably in the works.
Noam Dar versus Wolfgang -- Heritage Cup #1 Contender's Tournament Finale
Dar has Samuels in his corner but naturally whinges about Joe and Mark Coffey being in Wolfgang's corner.
Round 1: No decision in this one. The storyline is that Dar is working over the damage that Teoman inflicted on Wolfgang in the previous bout. Wolfgang did a good job not rising to Dar's bait but Dar howling like a wolf at him was pretty funny. Round 2: Jordan Devlin charges to ringside and jumps Joe which gives Dar the distraction he needs for a surprise roll up. Dar leads 1-0. Round 3: Wolfgang charges straight out of his corner with a decleating spear and an near instant pinfall! Tied 1-1.
Round 4: This time when Wolfgang goes for the spear a minute in Dar is ready for it and rolls out to ringside. After some shenanigans outside the ring Dar misses a kick and connects with the ringpost but is able to dodge another spear sending Wolfgang head first into the barricade. Round 5: Dar presses his advantage on the dazed Wolfgang but the big man is able to get out of his corner. Dar puts Wolfgang into a knee bar with 45 seconds left but after about 15 seconds of being in the submission Wolfgang fights through and powers out of it. Wolfgang destroys Dar with a spear but time runs out during the cover. Still tied 1-1.
Round 6: Wolfgang comes out no-selling all of Dar's strikes. Dar lands a flying leg drop but eats a massive clothesline as he comes off the ropes. These two men are just destroying one another. Dar scores the winning pin fall after a series of supernova kicks. Dar wins 2-1.
So we're heading for a Noam Dar/Tyler Bate Heritage Cup match. I'm really looking foward to this one as I have yet to see a bad match from either man since I started watching in January/February. This was a really good match and kind of broke the mold of how these Heritage Cup matches usually go. The Big Strong Boy himself showed up afterwards with the Cup and that's how we fade to black on this one.
Reminder/introduction: A+ is a near perfect show, B+ is an above average one, C+ is average, and anything below that is not good.
McKenzie and Jinny put on a good match and I was thoroughly sports entertained by Gradwell and Andrews. The Heritage Cup match between Dar and Wolfgang was one of the better ones I've seen in a while.
Let the rest of us know how you felt about this one fellow Cagesiders!