This week on NXT UK, the in-ring debut of WALTER, and Moustache Mountain faces a rather European Union…

We’re still in Blackpool, opening with a recap of Takeover: Blackpool. Specifically, WALTER’s appearance, as we get a bunch of tweets and talking heads bigging up the Austrian. No, I’m not going to use that horrendous nickname. Even WALTER sneers at that nickname. Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph are still in the venue for commentary… and it’s straight to action!

Dave Mastiff vs. Jay Melrose
We’re reminded that Big Dave is still undefeated, and with this opponent… I’ll be shocked if that’s not the case afterwards. Primate/Jay Melrose has a pair of names, like Mike Hitchman for… reasons.

Melrose tries to lock up, but Mastiff shoves him away before we go to shoulder tackles, with Primate roaring up before he gets flattened with a crossbody. Danielson elbows follow for a near-fall for Mastiff, but Melrose is right back with a leaping forearm as he tried to blast through his fellow beardo. It kinda works as he floors Mastiff for a two-count, before he worked an armbar… but Mastiff overpowers him and starts throwing some uppercuts. More forearms follow as Primate’s down on a knee, before a blocked suplex led to Primate getting back on top, as he returned to that armbar. The hold’s again powered out of as Mastiff lifts up Primate, before a tit-for-tat receipt saw Melrose’s knees buckle as Mastiff got a near-fall. Big Dave followed that up with some back sentons to the back of Melrose, ahead of a deadlift German suplex that took Primate into the corner.

You know what’s next. Cannonball… and that’s all folks. A bit more competitive than I expected, but Dave Mastiff retains his record. If only this were heading somewhere… **

They replay Zack Gibson and James Drake’s title win from Takeover, including that sweet Doomsday Tope, and a fan who couldn’t believe it all. The tag champions are celebrating next…

Except we get a promo piece for Xia Brookside first, as she calls herself a bubbly firecracker. She’s wrestling next week…

Zack Gibson and James Drake head out next, showing off their shiny, newly-won NXT UK tag team titles. Some already have their shoes off, because memes, as it’s promo time for Zack. He reckons that they were focused on their goal while others were focused on nicknames or “shiny new pants”. They finally give themselves the name of the Grizzled Young Veterans, so now that tag on James Drake’s jacket actually means something in this world. It’s more words than he actually says… so he’s on about the same level as Johnny Saint here! Speaking of… Sid Scala interrupts to announce that “in the coming weeks” NXT UK will be travelling to Phoenix. Even on one episode a week, the timelines are screwy! Scala announces that they’ve got challengers for them in Phoenix: Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch… that match’ll take place “soon” on NXT UK. Even Sid couldn’t stop himself laughing at that.

Next week: Ligero vs. Mark Andrews. Just because!

Jack Starz vs. WALTER
Oh poor Jack. You were not long for this Universe… WALTER stares down Starz from the off, and unwisely, Jack throws the first blows. They barely faze WALTER, who replies with a goozle and a CHOP! It sent Starz rolling to the outside, where WALTER followed up with clubbing forearms and a back suplex onto the apron. Starz unwisely tries to fight back, throwing a dropkick before WALTER’s fires back with a shotgun dropkick and a powerbomb for the win. SPLAT.

They replay THAT CHOP, complete with Starz’s audible groan from it. After break, WALTER’s backstage and gets confronted by Mark Coffey. Oh dear. He’s also offered help by Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel… but he’s also not interested. Remember RINGKAMPF!

Jinny vs. Kasey Owens
Nigel throws in Kasey’s “couple of sandwiches short of a picnic” nickname here, as the pair start with a lock-up. Jinny’s instantly on top with an armbar, as she scratches at the forearm of Kasey for good measure.

Kasey escapes and lands a snapmare, but an attempt at a chinlock’s instantly stopped as Jinny instead takes her down with a headlock. Shoulder tackles from Jinny keep her ahead, along with some stomps to the back as an axe kick, before she rolled Kasey into a seated surfboard that turned into a double Achilles lock with kicks.

Kasey’s able to get to the ropes to force the break, annoying Jinny in the process, before she just about made contact with a springboard crossbody on Jinny. That’s enough for a near-fall, but Jinny’s right back in with a ‘rana, then a Flatliner to spike Owens in the turnbuckle. She spills to the outside, so Jinny instead takes her onto the apron and into the barriers. More scratching and clawing looked to be effective, before Kasey slipped out and into a Euro clutch, only for Jinny to roll through into a seated surfboard again, stretching Kasey en route to the heel hooks and another rope break. Jinny slapped Kasey straight away from there and took her into the corner for a superplex, but Kasey catches her with a hanging armbar in the ropes instead! Kasey can’t follow up though, as she’s kicked into the corner before the Makeover (middle-rope X-Factor) got the win. Pretty much what you’d expect, with Kasey’s offence being pretty “blink and you miss it” against someone who’s clearly being positioned as the next title challenger. **

They show backstage footage of Rhea Ripley barging into Johnny Saint’s office. Of course, Sid Scala is there too as Rhea demands her rematch in Phoenix. Johnny actually gets to say some words as he orders Rhea out, before we’re told that the rematch was granted for three weeks’ time.

Johnny Saint’s Twitter tells us that it’ll be WALTER vs. Mark Coffey in next week’s main event.

Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) vs. Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel
Of course, Moustache Mountain get a heroes welcome, while Fabian Aichner… forgets how to shake hands?! Tyler starts out by wringing the arm of Barthel, and clings onto the wristlock despite Barthel’s attempts to roll free. Barthel does manage to counter with a side headlock, but Tyler just hand-walks free as I burst out laughing at two words from Nigel McGuinness:


Barthel and Bate continue to go tit-for-tat on the mat, with the German keeping hold of a leg as I wished for the off-chance of a televised Barthel/Bate match. Tyler flips away and comes back with dropkicks and armdrags to turn the tables, before tags follow as Trent Seven easily armdrags Aichner. More armdrags and hiptosses keep the Italian at bay, as Tyler Bate returned for the assisted senton off of Trent’s back for a near-fall. Tyler’s back to the armbar on Aichner, who escaped into the corner as Barthel looked to hit back… but a blind tag took Aichner back in for a sweet pop-up powerslam that looked to turn into a head drop on the way down. Ouchie.

Bate’s kept in the European corner as they replay that pop-up whatsit, before Tyler’s caught up in the ropes for a dropkick. Tyler tries to fight back, and almost gets the tag to Trent, only to roll through into the path of a diving uppercut as Barthel nearly nicked the win. Aichner’s back with a backdrop suplex for a near-fall, as the Europeans try to isolate Tyler… but he slips through the grip of Barthel and brings in Trent Seven, who’s all about chops and DDTs. Aichner doesn’t help things as he accidentally boots Barthel in the corner as Trent followed in with a snap Dragon suplex and a side slam for a near-fall. Barthel escapes a Seven Stars lariat and tags in Aichner… but Barthel’s got enough about him to kick away a rebound lariat from Tyler as Moustache Mountain aimed for their finish. That kick looked nasty, even more so on the replay!

Aichner roughs up Tyler again for a suplex, but Tyler escapes and throws barthel outside… Aichner again gets thrown into Barthel, who then eats a plancha from Tyler as Trent tagged in for a backhanded chop and a Seven Stars lariat… for a near-fall! From there, Trent goes for a Burning Hammer, but Barthel tags in to stop it as Trent then took a spinebuster and a PK for another two-count, before Marcel looked for a Landungsbrücke… but Trent elbows out as more tags brought in Fabian and Tyler.

Bate flips out of a back body drop as he then gets caught up top… and thrown into a suplex to Aichner for another two-count as Trent dove into break up the pin. Another tag brings Barthel back into the match, as he looked to grab Bate’s ankle… Tyler kicks away and avoids an Aichner frog splash before Koppo kicks took out both men, as another tag’s made to Trent. This time Tyler lands the rebound lariat for Trent’s Dragon suplex, and that’s enough for the win! I feel if Barthel and Aichner had been established a bit more, the crowd would have been more into this match, but as it was it felt like a match that went a little too long based on how the crowd saw these two teams. Really solid, but it was just about to veer into Coffey/Dunne levels of “long for the sake of it”. ***½

This week’s NXT UK was more in line with what we’ve gotten used to from the brand. A couple of squashes and a TV-length main event, with everything making it clear what the long-term aim is, without beating you around the face with it. WALTER/Coffey next week should be interesting, as long as we don’t descend into Gallus interference, while I personally look forward to seeing how the TV shows from Phoenix come out in front of an audience that would be alien with the majority of the roster.