We’re back with Superstar Picks, as NXT UK took a page from the 205 Live book of “how to create content”…
Once again, we’re in Andy Shepherd’s front room with his Ultimate Warrior figure, and we start with Eddie Dennis’ pick. Oh it’s a match I’ve not seen in years – and it’s from Germany as the WWF was bringing in their first new title in twenty years.
WWF European Championship Tournament Final: British Bulldog vs. Owen Hart
We open with a headlock takedown from this match in the Deutschlandhalle in Berlin. It’s the finals of the WWF European Championship tournament, and we’ve got the weird sound here.
Owen faked out a knee injury from a leapfrog, and it worked as he looked to go for the British Bulldog… but the Sharpshooter’s pushed away. A spinning heel kick cleans the Bulldog’s clock, as Owen keeps going with a pendulum backbreaker, before a slam and a standing legdrop got a two-count. Owen slows the pace with a chinlock, then took Bulldog into the ropes for a hiptoss as the Honky Tonk Man took the mickey out of Stu Hart on commentary. The Bulldog’s taken outside, but he returns with a sunset flip for a near-fall, before getting caught with a clothesline as Owen stayed in the match.
After a break, we’re back as Owen hit a belly-to-belly on the Bulldog for a two-count, before a camel clutch was used to wear down the Bulldog. He powers up though and dumps Owen unceremoniously with an Electric Chair drop, before Owen tried to sneak the win with a roll-up while having his feet on the ropes. A neckbreaker’s next from Owen, then an elbow drop… still for a two-count. It’s back to the chinlock next as the Bulldog tasted his own sweat, perhaps thinking he were bleeding. He was not. Elbows break the hold, but Owen’s quick with headbutts before his superplex attempt was pushed off as the Bulldog hit a crossbody.
From there, the Bulldog pushes on with a suplex, before Owen wriggled out of a Gorilla press slam to land on the apron. The Bulldog tries to suplex him in, but Owen counters with a very apt German suplex for another two-count. More fast pinning attempts led to Owen catching the Bulldog in a Sharpshooter, but the Bulldog got to the ropes, as Owen thought he’d won. Owen comes back as he teases a tombstone, but the Bulldog flips out and counters with a running powerslam… but it’s not enough! Owen looks to repeat the WrestleMania X finish with a Victory Roll, but the Bulldog reverses the roll-up and snatches the win! Oh my days, this was just as good as I remembered it. An instant classic. ****½
Candy Floss is next. I don’t think she’s appeared on TV since she got signed… anyway, her pick comes from a Raw-after-Mania, it’s the debut of Paige! Candy’s introduction speech was all about how Paige inspired her to chase her dreams.
WWE Divas Championship: Paige vs. AJ Lee (c)
Tamina accompanied AJ Lee here for the open challenge that has since been replicated on film. The more things change, the more things stay the same, eh? AJ was bragging about being the longest reigning Divas champion, and brags about winning a 14-woman match at ‘Mania the night before.
Cue the debuting Paige, who came up from NXT. America didn’t know how to say “Norwich” back in 2014. They had Tout then… maybe that’s why?
Anyway, Paige is here to sarcastically congratulate AJ, and gets mocked in return. Oh, and slapped as well. This turns into a match, and we get “this is awesome” chants before the bell. They dissipate as AJ attacks Paige from behind, then with a back elbow off the ropes before a tiltawhirl into the Black Widow armbar followed… but AJ had trouble locking it in. Paige counters out and hits… something. It’s meant to have been the Paige Turner, but they messed it up. Not to worry – it’s enough to win the match, as Paige wins the title on her first night in!
Next up: Primate has his pick…as he’s doing weights in his shed. He’s picked a match from NXT UK last October. Although for some reason the lower third lists November 2019 as the date…
Dave Mastiff vs. Jordan Devlin
Devlin jumps Mastiff before the bell as the Irishman was looking to force the issue… then baseball slid outside when Mastiff tried to whip him into the corner.
Mastiff tries to give chase, but he just catches Devlin back inside before he took a slap. Bad idea. Mastiff just flips Devlin to the mat, then dumps him with a back body drop and another slap. Stomps and an uppercut take Devlin into the corner, who’s then hurled out of it with a Beele throw. Devlin gets lifted up top, but he manages to counter by dropping Mastiff’s arm across the top rope… and that’s the body part Jordan’s going to work on. An arm whip and a standing moonsault is our Air Jordan approximation here, before he just stood on Mastiff’s face ahead of an arm snap.
A legdrop traps Mastiff’s arm, as Devlin continued to commandeer proceedings, using some short arm scissors to keep Mastiff on the mat. Mastiff rolls backwards and hoists up Devlin for a falling powerbomb to get himself free, but Devlin’s back to his feet, trading forearms… which played into Mastiff’s wheelhouse. Devlin goes for a floatover Destroyer, but gets caught and thrown with an overhead belly-to-belly instead as chants of “cosplay Balor” make me weep. Jordan weeps moments later after he got crushed with a back senton for a near-fall, before he fought back by kicking Mastiff’s leg out.
A Devlinside perhaps wasn’t the best idea, as Mastiff was just dead weight… and he’s countered with a headbut. Devlin responds in kind, only for an Irish whip to send him into the corner, then hurtling outside a la Shawn Michaels. Mastiff follows him out, and teases a Finlay roll on the floor, only for Devlin to slip out… then go for a PK, which got caught and turned into that Finlay roll instead. Devlin recovers to hand Mastiff’s arm on the top rope, following in with a slingshot cutter and a top rope moonsault… which isn’t enough for the win. A second moonsault sees Devlin crash and burn into Mastiff’s boots, as a cannonball awaited the Irishman in the corner, which had enough force into it to send Devlin sliding outside as Mastiff just didn’t follow up.
Dragging Devlin back towards the ring, Mastiff teased an avalanche Finlay roll, but Jordan elbows out and hits a gamengiri… before pulling Mastiff to the mat with a Devlinside off the top for the win. I enjoyed this a heck of a lot more than I expected to. Not wanting to sound like “that” fan, but shouldn’t Jordan be beyond dragging the best match out of everyone on the roster these days? ***½
Trent Seven has the last pick for the week – and it comes from the Royal Albert Hall almost two years ago. Yep, it’s Moustache Mountain’s NXT tag team title win. I mean, he’s the only guy on this week to pick his own match. Just saying…
NXT Tag Team Championship: Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) vs. Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) (c)
After winning in the six-man tag, British Strong Style get a tag title shot to kick us off here – which means one thing. Air-guitaring Kyle O’Reilly!
With a point to prove, Roderick Strong charges out at Tyler Bate to get us going, but it’s when Trent Seven tagged in that the champions thought they’d gotten the upper hand. It’s just a shame that Trent can throw chops… Tyler’s brought back in so he can flip off of Trent’s back in a senton onto Strong. The tide again turns when Seven’s taken outside, as Roderick Strong crashes into him with a dropkick through the ropes, which prompted the crowd to rail on Roddy’s boots again.
Unfortunately, that did little for Trent, who’s mercilessly beaten on from above by O’Reilly, and kept isolated in the wrong corner as the champions continued to wear down on the elder statesman of Moustache Mountain. Eventually Trent gets free… but by the time he gets to Tyler in the corner, Roderick Strong was back in to stop him… as Kyle had a plan B. Pull Tyler off the apron! Another dropkick dumps Seven for a near-fall, but Trent’s back with a DDT as Kyle tried to duck a chop… and now Tyler’s in! That hot tag clears the ring as Tyler’s all about the clotheslines and a back body drop that causes static! A standing shooting star press almost gets Bate the win. Tyler tries for the airplane spin, but O’Reilly slips out into a rear naked choke that forced Bate to break in the corner… but when the hold’s reapplied, all we get is Tyler pulling Roderick Strong as he hit a German suplex and a back bump to squash the champions for a near-fall. A repeat of last night’s finish almost gave us new champions as a rebound-lariat-assisted Dragon suplex was only saved by Roderick Strong at the last moment, bringing the Hall to its feet!
O’Reilly’s back with a flurry of kicks to Bate, who replied with a punch, before Kyle’s sheer-drop brainbuster barely eked out a two-count on Tyler. Bate recovers after Strong accidentally clotheslines O’Reilly… and once Bate lays out the champions with Koppo kicks, we’ve a blind tag from Trent that allowed him to come in and drop Kyle with the Seven Stars lariat, before a double-stomp assisted Burning Hammer led to the unthinkable… NEW CHAMPIONS! Royal Albert Hall exploded for that one, and with good cause – a hell of an opening match, and a real “I was there” moment. ***¾
The ever-changing format of NXT UK is par for the course for the time being, but these grab bags of matches are a welcome break from the empty arena wrestling that’s airing every week. Next week, it’s “NXT UK’s Most Brilliant” as they replay Toni Storm vs. Kay Lee Ray vs. Piper Niven from Takeover earlier this year.