Nicole Matthews vs. Isla Dawn

Next, we have Isla Dawn who comes with a lot of hype and, apparently, she’s a witch – very Penny Dreadful vibe I get from this video package. She’s against Nicole Matthews, who, as I now understand it, isn’t allowed in the US for five years? She’s pretty confident and cocky in her intro video, let’s see where that gets her! Out first is indeed Miss Nicole Matthews! Isla does her mutual entrance, and I’m living for her jacket, commentary is putting this witch gimmick over HARD.

We start with a handshake and a tie-up. Nicole overpowers Dawn into the corner and pats her head, a la Dana Brooke. Another tie-up with Isla this time backing Matthews into the corner. Clean break and a tap on the chest and Dawn says something to Nicole. Another tie-up, into an armbar by Dawn, Nicole grabs a handful Dawn’s and snatches her to the floor. Nicole off the ropes, and she’s taken down, rolled onto her stomach and is stomped right in her mid-section. Then a bicycle stomp, a kick to the face, chin, meteora, a two count. Nicole cowers to the corner and in comes Dawn, only to be launched into the turnbuckles face first. Nicole lays Isla across the middle rope and hits a neckbreaker.

Nicole, I feel bad for wanting to call her Nicole Paige Brooks, old habits die hard, drags Isla into the center of the ring and after some confusion pins her for two. She’s not done, she gives Isla Dawn a spinal tap, and twice at that. Whipped off the ropes, she catches Dawn in a delayed backbreaker, then that backbreaker rack with a hard open hand to Dawn’s chest. She’s enjoying herself. Dawn with a glancing blow on the abdomen, but an overhand forearm to her back from Nicole puts her back in the catbird’s seat. However, Isla is fighting from underneath, throwing hands only to still have Nicole Matthews overpower her. Matthews backs her into a corner and chops Dawn across the chest and looks to deliver some straight fire, and misses, and in comes Dawn with some straight fire of her own.

Them Celts love that straight fire, she follows up with a Bayley roll into a Cesaro-esque running European Uppercut, and James Bond roll out of the corner, she turns around and is blasted with a hard clothesline from Nicole for two. She’s not done yet, she brings Dawn to the ropes, draws her arms back and proceeds to kick her repeatedly in her chest, and those thuds, painful. She shoves Dawn back and a cover for two. Elbows to the neck/jaw area and a submission I called the Eagle’s wings (look up Viking torture methods for that one), and Isla makes it to her feet to be met with knees to the ribs, and a kick to the side. Nicole is in her zone, now she’s talking trash, pie faces her and gets a shot to the mouth. Nicole then kicks Dawn in her chest and begins to talk more stuff to eat a forearm or three, Nicole pushes her back, Dawn with a front kick to Nicole’s arm, a kick to the leg, a series of them and then one to the inner thigh and she springs off the ropes with a running knee that looked legit painful to the side of Matthews’ face.

Isla is feeling it. She looks to whip Matthews, who puts the brakes on. So damn kicks her and flattens her with a belly to back suplex, a roundhouse to the back of Matthews’ head and a perfectplex for two. Irish whip, reversed by Matthews, Dawn hangs on and aims to kick Nicole away only to get her leg caught and get caught with a discus forearm. Nicole looks for a vertical suplex, blocked by Dawn who lands a torture rack into a suplex for two. Isla is looking for a German, Nicole blocks, they’re trading back elbows and clubbing forearms, Dawn turns her around and hits a standing CM Punk high knee, which puts Matthews on the ropes, Isla runs and charges from the opposite ropes to be met with a hard clothesline to the abdomen into the Lion Tamer and the win!

More with Nicole after her disucssing feeling overlooked at last year’s Mae Young Classic.

Thoughts: Personally I wasn’t a fan of the match, I tried to be invested and I just wasn’t. The match had cool moments, but I felt that these two lacked chemistry in the ring, and for the stature they have, they underwhelmed me, not to mention the low energy of the crowd. What’s also missing here unlike episodes prior are the stories and characters that get you invested. These matches in this episode harkened back to last year where a lot of them were just thrown together, with claims of being best and it’s like “I care why? What’s in this for me?”, and I find it egregious to mention Isla being a Scottish Charmed One, and Isla does nothing with it.  That being said, congratulations to Nicole Matthews!