We’re back with another Best of NXT UK, as this time we see matches from Jinny, Dave Mastiff and Fabian Aichner.
From NXT UK, December 2018 – Fabian Aichner pinned Mark Andrews in 9:10 (***¼)
From NXT UK, November 2019 – Piper Niven pinned Jinny in 7:30 (**)
From NXT UK, December 2018 – Dave Mastiff pinned Eddie Dennis in 11:45 (***)
Yes, we’ve got Andy Shepherd in his living room with his NXT UK logo-off-SuperLuchas laptop background. I’m convinced all of these were filmed in one go, either that or Andy’s gone to a lot of trouble to keep his look the same… First up, we’re going to Plymouth for a “hidden gem”. Mark Andrews introduces it while eating an ice cream.
Mark Andrews vs. Fabian Aichner
We start with a handshake from Aichner, whose pre-Imperium look was quite a choice, before going into the standard headlock/shoulder tackle stuff. A caught leapfrog from Aichner is escaped, as Andrews began to flip around the ring. A satellite headscissor takedown sends the Italian outside, where he’s met with a tope. Back inside, Aichner turns it around as he grounded Andrews in body scissors, only for the Welshman to roll back and claim a near-fall, before a chin breaker gets him free.
There’s a superkick from Andrews as he fought back, knee sliding past Aichner ahead of an enziguiri, following through with the Stomp 182 and a standing corkscrew press. Aichner powers back, shoving Andrews into the corner before watching as his suplex attempt is neatly countered into a ‘rana as Andrews showed he had plenty of juice left.
Another springboard back into the ring ends badly when Aichner dumps Andrews with a back suplex, but it’s still even as Andrews lit up Aichner with chops before another knee slide just led to a big lariat. From there, Aichner takes a Stundog Millionaire as this remained insanely even… right until Andrews headed up top and leapt into a brainbuster (?!) as Aichner took another near-fall. That counter looked awkward but when it completed it was a thing of beauty. Another flip from Andrews finds its mark as he moonsaults into a flip DDT for another two-count, before a shooting star press missed as Aichner rolled to the outside.
Aichner rebounds by pulling Andrews outside, as he threw him into the ring steps, before a running knee trapped Andrews against steel. The count-out’s barely beaten by Andrews, but a spinning powerbomb quickly puts him away for the win. A nice, competitive TV match, but given Andrews hasn’t exactly been dominant on NXT UK, this just slotted Aichner as a midcard guy for the time being. ***¼
Piper Niven is up next for a choice… but first, vlogger Xia Brookside’s been hacked. Oh wait, it’s just a filter. She’s here to reassure us that we’ll get through this together, and in the time away, we should learn new things. I mean it’s four months to the day since the UK started lockdown, so if we’re not learning anything new by now, you never will.
Piper Niven vs. Jinny
When this aired, this was Jinny’s first singles match on TV in FIVE MONTHS… but she’s still getting the Primark Princess chants as she drew Piper into the corner where Jazzy Gabert was. By the way, in the pre-match package, Piper Niven didn’t mention Jazzy by name…
The German tries to provide a distraction, but it’s no use as Jinny couldn’t capitalise, with her crossbody getting caught and turned into a slam. Gabert distracts again, and this time it works as Jinny catches Piper with forearms, before a trip left her on the mat for a near-fall. Nigel McGuinness screams something on commentary that actually came across on the crowd mics, such was the crowd’s silence here as Jinny tried to stay ahead. A leg sweep took Piper into Jinny’s knee, before Jazzy tried to interfere again… and this time got caught. She’s thrown out, which makes Jinny mad, but all that gave Piper time to recover as she came in with an elbow drop for a two-count. A Piper Driver’s escaped as Jinny grabbed the hair, but Niven fought back with a headbutt as both women fell to the mat.
More forearms from Piper knock Jinny down, before a backdrop driver ragdolled Jinny into the corner. Piper runs into the boot of Jinny in the corner, but manages to catch a flying ‘rana before hauling Jinny up into an electric chair facebuster for a near-fall, thanks to Jinny getting a foot on the rope. Another Piper Driver’s escaped as Jinny comes in with a knee strike for a near-fall… but Niven hits back with a shotgun dropkick and a cannonball, before finally landing the Piper Driver for the win. This was okay, but felt way too sluggish at times. **
Next week, more Greatest Hits from NXT UK… then a promo from Saxon Huxley of all people. He’s been locked up for far too long and he’s coming for everyone. Isolation was apparently the birth of him and the end of us. Maybe he should have taken Xia’s advice about learning something in lockdown?
Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis
It’s the battle of the monsters here, with the crowd solidly being behind Mastiff early. He charges Eddie into the corner from the opening tie-up, only for Eddie to reply with some body blows.
A side headlock leads to shoulder charges, but Mastiff scores with a dropkick that shocks Eddie, ahead of some Bryan Danielson-ish elbows. Eddie rolls away from a back senton, which allowed him to kick Mastiff to the outside, as we wait for Eddie to boot him off the apron repeatedly, with Eddie follow up by throwing him into the guard rails. Back inside, Eddie keeps up with a cravat on Mastiff, as he tried to keep Mastiff down on the mat, using some clubbing forearms and another cravat. Eddie mixes it up with some knees, as we got duelling “let’s go Eddie/Eddie sucks” chants (poor Dave). Mastiff gets free and throws some uppercuts, then a headbutt for a near-fall, before taking Eddie up top for a superplex.
Eddie gets back to his feet as he throws forearms at Mastiff, who replied in kind, before catching Dennis with a Finlay roll and a back senton for a near-fall. There’s a deadlift German suplex from Mastiff for another near-fall from the resulting bridge, before an attempt at a cannonball is cut-off when Eddie catches him with a swinging side slam instead. From there, Eddie picks him up for a Severn Bridge, but a back body drop got Mastiff free until a cheapshot in the ropes from Eddie backfired as Mastiff just pulled the Welshman into the top rope. Another superplex was threatened, but Eddie slips out and counters with a Severn Bridge attempt… but Mastiff got free and ended up eating a lariat instead for a near-fall.
Mastiff comes back with a headbutt and a release German suplex, sending Eddie into the corner as we finally got the cannonball, and that’s enough for the win. A very competitive “old style” big lad’s match, with the result perhaps being surprising from a subjective perspective. ***
If you’ve seen everything from NXT UK, there’s not much new here for you… it’s interesting who they continue to spotlight and put focus on during the downtime, especially when juxtaposed against the Speaking Out movement and the fallout (or lack thereof, depending on who you speak to). Still, these shows fill an hour – but if we’re no closer to getting a resumption date, regardless of the venue, it may be an idea to shake the format up again. Or at least pick from non-NXT UK matches…