Liam Slater thought he was going to be coming up against a face from his past this week – as NGW gave us some bait and switch!

Hey, why not get straight into it? Commentary noted that Joseph Conners was claiming Liam Slater’s title shot due to a “verbal agreement” that Slater had due to his spot in Conners’’ stable… but rather than us getting Slater vs. Conners, we’re getting a bait and switch, as Joseph’s swapped himself for…

Screwface vs. Liam Slater
Apparently Slater’s got to beat Joseph Conners to confirm his Destiny Rumble title shot… but that’s now up in the air as Slater’s looking to get his first singles victory here over Screwface.

Slater went for Screwface at the bell, taking Conners’ substitute into the corner only to get thrown down by the face into the middle of the ring. Screwface’s attempt to yank Slater into the ring via the ropes sees Liam roll onto his feet, but not for long as a Screwface keeps control, sidestepping a sunset flip attempt.

After a commercial break, we’re back with Slater having taken the upper hand, pounding Screwface into the corners, before ducking a clothesline attempt… and falling to a second effort from Screwy. Slater keeps getting stomped on in the corner, but it’s so slack that they manage to recap two things for “later tonight”… and return as Slater’s comeback is quickly snuffed out. A slam from Screwface dumped Slater to the outside as this looked like a veritable squash, but Screwface rolled Slater back inside… which gave Liam impetus for another brief fire-back, ending with a forearm as he looked to dive. More pounding in the corner gave way to another fightback, but Screwface yanks Slater off the top and into the turnbuckles before a pop-up powerbomb gets a near-fall.

Screwface’s suplex gets another two-count as commentary are flat-out calling this a squash, and that’s the cue for yet-another-comeback, by way of an enziguiri out of Slater. A springboard dropkick knocked Screwface onto the apron, but Liam can only get a one-count after rolling him back in. A side suplex sees Slater take Screwface into the corner, ahead of a series of clotheslines, before a full nelson facebuster almost got Liam the win.

Slater tries the move again, but instead he’s countered into a ripcord boot and a Cross Rhodes… but Slater kicks out! Another ripcord boot keeps Slater at bay, but Slater rises up and almost ekes out a win with a roll-up. More clotheslines follow, as Screwface teases another Cross Rhodes, before Liam rolled him up for the win. On paper, this was a heck of an underdog win, but the constant canned noise took away from whatever connection Slater was building. **½

There’s a promo from Zack Gibson, addressing what Nathan Cruz said last week. Gibson doesn’t want to call it a screwjob, as he just took advantage of the “every man for himself” creed. He reckons he’d not been training for battle royals as his aim is to retain the Davey Boy Smith cut. We end with news that in the season finale in two weeks, we’ve got a triple-threat as Matt Myers defends the NGW titles against Nathan Cruz and Rampage Brown, while next week Kip Sabian debuts in the Gen-X league against El Ligero.

This week’s show felt pretty weak – and that’s all down to the bait and switch at the start. I got the reason behind it, but it’s still odd that you’ve got a number one contender who’d not won a single match before today, so there’s a lot of work to do before Liam Slater can be seen as a viable contender in NGW.