We had a battle of undefeated streaks on the latest episode of NXT UK, as Eddie Dennis and Dave Mastiff collide!
We’re still in Plymouth from another day of tapings, starting up with Eddie and Dave warming up before we hit our first match…
Ashton Smith & Ligero vs. Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang)
How’s THAT for a thrown-together team?!
Ligero starts off by grabbing a headlock on Wolfgang, before an attempted crossbody was caught as Ligero opted to tag out. Smith has a bit more luck, scoring with a dropkick before Ligero came in and found a tornado DDT was blocked, as Gallus started to find their footing. Mark Coffey puts the boots to Ligero, then used a waistlock to drag the masked man down to the mat.
Wolfgang’s back with a bear hug, which he released to throw Ligero back into the corner so Mark could come in and do the same. It’s basic stuff, slow paced and very much designed to show the Scotsmen’s methodical offence. Ligero fought free and knocks Wolfgang off the apron with an elbow before tagging in Smith, who again scored with some dropkicks.
A leaping clothesline from Smith finds its mark, but eventually the numbers game caught up with him… but not before a double-jump back elbow took Coffey down for a two-count. A kick from Smith gets a near-fall as Wolfgang breaks up the cover… only to be wiped out with a tope con giro from Ligero. Smith gets distracted by that, but after scoring with an O’Connor roll, Mark hits Smith with a roundhouse kick for the win. Not exactly enthralling stuff, but a solid, competitive TV match. **¼
They replay Isla Dawn’s challenge to Rhea Ripley from last week… that segues into a backstage segment where Sid Scala and Johnny Saint made the match official for next week. If that’s not enough for you, Joseph Conners is next!
Backstage, we see Gallus celebrating their win. Joe Coffey’s nicked Wolfgang’s off-brand t-shirt, while Mark Coffey seemed annoyed at them not being confirmed for the tournament already. In among it all, Joe Coffey challenged Pete Dunne and Travis Banks.
Jack Starz vs. Joseph Conners
Oh boy. Starz is your warm body, I guess.
Commentary mentions how Conners turned on Saxon Huxley “over a month ago”. I know time’s flying, but sheesh! We start with a tie-up as Conners goes to Starz’s ear, then whips in into the rope for a snap backbreaker. Clubbing forearms to the back follow on the apron as Conners then pulls Starz across the ring post, following up with a baseball slide dropkick into the corner.
Starz gets free with some uppercuts, then a dropkick, but Conners’ push-down stomp cuts that off before a sunset bomb into the corner and the Don’t Look Down finished the game. SPLAT. Hey, they’re at least doing something with Conners, but these one-sided wins aren’t a substitute for, you know, character work. It might make the crowd care…
Radzi is out of focus backstage as he interviewed Xia Brookside. She’s not exactly experienced, but she’s looking to take her opportunity against Jinny. Who was right behind her and not impressed. I know the feeling.
There’s a Tyson T-Bone promo video as they try to reset him after his feud with Dave Mastiff ended with him taking the loss. Saxon Huxley’s in the same video too, and it looks like these two are going to try and make the tag title tournament. Thrown together, much?
Jinny vs. Xia Brookside
This was Jinny’s first appearance since the title tournament – and there’s a mention of her being PROGRESS’ Women’s champion too for those keeping score.
Jinny kicks away a handshake, so Brookside comes in with a side headlock, taking Jinny to the mat as commentary plugged next week’s women’s title match. The side headlock’s escaped as Jinny locks in some headscissors, before an armbar keeps Xia on the mat. Xia flips free and reverses the hold, only for Jinny to use a forearm to break that up.
Xia uses a ‘rana to get back in the game as dropkicks had Jinny on the back foot, before a crossbody almost overshot Jinny for a near-fall. A flatliner into the corner sees Jinny rack up a two-count of her own, as she followed up with some stomps. Brookside survives a double arm stretch before fighting back, charging Jinny into the corner with some knees for a near-fall, but she can’t follow up with a pendulum swing, allowing Jinny to get free with the Touch of Couture – the ripcord Koppo kick – for the win. Another “competitive squash”, with Xia having some hope… but she was largely outclassed here. **¾
There’s a Dave Mastiff promo video next, which just seems to pad things out… although his match isn’t next, as instead James Drake and Zack Gibson head to the ring. They’re in their gear, but it’s promo time instead as Gibson promised to become the first NXT UK tag team champions. Drake doesn’t get to speak as Zack tosses the microphone aside, presumably to stop the shoes from coming off.
Eddie Dennis promo time next, you know the drill. Profile video, with lots of match footage of his prior squashes.
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. Out of the two, I’d say Eddie’s got the most legs, but you’ve got to think there’s plans for Mastiff to keep him as the undefeated good guy? ***
This wasn’t a blowaway episode, but things were kept ticking here at least. Next week’s first show looks like it’s going to be another round of establishing things, having looked at what’s on tap, but at least we’re starting to head a little closer towards Takeover next month.