With Takeover: Blackpool edging nearer, we’ve another NXT UK double-header as the lads and lasses of the brand do another wrestle.
We’re still in Plymouth as they run down how Isla Dawn’s been built up to become Rhea Ripley’s first challenger. There’s shots of Isla around a church, because of the goth gimmick, and we’re into the opening titles…
Jordan Devlin vs. Wild Boar
Given both men’s trajectories here, this should be a pretty straightforward match for Devlin…
Boar starts by taking Devlin down by the arm, as he looked to catch the Irishman off guard, but Devlin slips out and throws some forearms to the back, then an elbow to the head before a chinlock kept the Welshman grounded. An Irish whip keeps Boar down, as does a standing uranage… but a standing moonsault misses as Boar found his way back into it.
Hitchman continued his comeback with a flying shoulder charge then a uranage of his own for a near-fall, but a roundhouse cuts him off as Devlin got back into it. Devlin whiffs on a moonsault, then eats a Boar powerbomb before he avoids a cannonball into the corner. There’s a snap Saito suplex as Devlin mounted one last comeback, before he polished off Boar with the Ireland’s Call. A solid TV match, but the bulk of this was match was shining a spotlight on Devlin – but Boar did well in his part. ***
Trent and Tyler are walking and talking outside the arena… they’ve got Saxon Huxley and Tyson T-Bone later tonight. Gee, I wonder who’ll win… Tyler’s aiming for the NXT UK tag titles, and then they wander out of shot.
Backstage, Radzi’s with Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster. Next week they’ve got Zack Gibson and James Drake as both teams look to impress their way into the tag title tournament.
Fabian Aichner vs. Eddie Ryan
After going 1-1 with Flash and Andrews, Aichner’s in there against a star of the now defunct 5* Wrestling, with the hometown hero Eddie Ryan out in his full English Lion garb.
Aichner offers a handshake at the bell, but withdraws it as Ryan threatened to lose his temper. The Italian starts on top, taking Ryan into the corner as he faked out a cheapshot, before he blocks an armdrag from Ryan… who instead caught him with a dropkick and a clothesline to take things to the outside. Ryan goes for a dive, but Aichner slides back in and lands a tiltawhirl backbreaker before he put the boots to the hometown star, following up with a grounded abdominal stretch… but Ryan fights back with an uppercut, then an enziguiri to take Aichner into the corner. I swear Vic Joseph painted this like Eddie Ryan had never wrestled before. Ever…
Ryan charges into the corner, but has to make do with a diving uppercut off the middle rope to get a near-fall, before he kept up the pressure with forearms. He’s quickly caught though as Aichner drops him onto the ropes with a suplex, before he charged him into the steel steps. That’s clearly his trademark, as was the running knee to the head, as Ryan was quickly rolled back in for a spinning powerbomb for the win. Not quite a SPLAT squash, but this was pretty much the same level as Boar/Devlin… which was surprising given Ryan isn’t contracted. ***
There’s a video package for Travis Banks, who vows that nobody will squash him. Well, not until he upsets the wrong person! It’s the introductory promo we’d probably had gotten had he not been injured when the show started… Travis has his sights set on Joe Coffey.
Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) vs. Saxon Huxley & Tyson T-Bone
Wait, they build up Huxley and T-Bone as a team… and this is their first match? Huh, I guess that’s a slight shuffle ahead of “thrown together jobber team” in some people’s eyes.
T-Bone starts out as the aggressor, but Tyler Bate’s got punches too as the newly-formed pair tried to impose themselves early on. Knees from Huxley are followed up with a powerbomb attempt, but Bate slips out and lands a knee lift ahead of a flying uppercut before Trent gets the tag in.
Trent scores straight away with the cricket chop on Huxley, before some mounted chops to the head keep Trent ahead. A Thesz press from Huxley scored as he makes a tag out to Tyson… but Trent’s got more chops as he proceeded to DDT his foe. T-Bone pushes out of a Figure Four, then catches Trent with a right hand after he’d distracted himself with Huxley… who then tags back in to put the boots as Trent found himself on the defensive.
Face-washing boots follow as Huxley traps Trent in the ropes for a crossbody, getting a near-fall in the process, before T-Bone tried to restrain Trent with a front facelock. It kinda worked, as he stopped Trent from tagging out, but a snap Dragon suplex turned the tide as both men end up tagging out. Bate’s comeback sees him leap into Huxley with a back elbow before he caught the Hartlepool native with an Exploder suplex. From the kip up, a standing shooting star press gets a near-fall, with T-Bone accidentally knocking his own partner before he’s sent outside for a tope. Huxley backdrops out of a Tyler Driver, prompting Trent to tag back in as he holds up Saxon for a rebound lariat, which sparked a Dragon suplex… and that’s all folks! Our third sorta-competitive squash of the day… and I don’t have high hopes for the Saxon/Tyson team! ***
Backstage, Dave Mastiff is with Radzi. I wonder who’s gonna challenge him next? Radzi calls him the dominant monster of NXT UK, prompting Mastiff to ponder a challenge for the NXT UK championship. Except he’s attacked by Eddie, who throws him into a fire escape as he promised that this wasn’t over. This wasn’t shot like how WWE TV usually is, which is a good thing…
There’s a Pete Dunne promo piece, before we’re told “next week” we’ll have Toni Storm… along with Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews vs. Zack Gibson and James Drake. Oh, and Travis Banks vs. Joe Coffey too!
NXT UK Women’s Championship: Isla Dawn vs. Rhea Ripley (c)
This was Ripley’s first televised defence, and she started by imposing herself, taking Dawn into the corner before the pair swapped around… then left the corner as Dawn managed to edge out with a side headlock.
Ripley eventually shoves Dawn into the ropes, but she’s tripped as the Scotswoman lands a double stomp for nary a one-count, before she went back to a side headlock on the mat. After getting into the corner, Ripley broke free and lands a dropkick as she clubbed her way back into the match, throwing some forearms to the back before she wore through Isla with stomps in the corner. A stalling suplex is next as Ripley was becoming comfortable, but she can’t quite get her cloverleaf in, as Dawn pushes out… then gets stood on once more. There’s a chinlock on the mat next from Ripley, who throws Isla back down as she threatened an escape… but even when she did, Ripley was right back in with a clothesline for a near-fall.
Dawn tried to surprise Rhea with a roll-through, but she just gets caught in an inverted Cloverleaf as she’s forced to hand-walk towards the ropes. The aggression continued as Ripley kicks the arm away, but Isla mounted another comeback, ducking a kick, then sidestepping a dropkick before she watched Ripley send herself charging into the ringpost. Some more kicks from Isla find their mark as Ripley’s sent down, ahead of a Saito suplex before a buzzsaw kick and a floatover suplex drew a near-fall. Undeterred, Isla tried to keep up the fight, but she swings and misses with a punch as Rhea took her opportunity with the Riptide for the win. ***¼
Overall, this was a solid, if not spectacular episode of NXT UK. A quartet of competitive matches that maintained the status quo… it’s a solid watch, but one that isn’t exactly drawing your eye in a crowded marketplace. The build for Takeover: Blackpool will increase – and hopefully these shows’ll become more must-see as a result!