Rhea Ripley got her rematch as this week’s NXT UK stayed in Phoenix.
We open with a recap from Takeover: Blackpool, where Toni Storm unseated Ripley as NXT UK Women’s champion, and the following weeks where Ripley needled Storm ahead of her rematch. Extra points to whomever edited in a WALTER chop in time to the music to the NXT UK intro, by the way.
We’re still in the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona… Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph on commentary as usual.
Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews vs. Gallus (Joe Coffey & Mark Coffey)
Apparently the “Defend Indy Wrestling” turnbuckle hook symbol is now a “mark of brotherhood”, according to commentary.
Mark and Flash start us off, with the Coffey brother having no problem throwing Webster across the ring before he caught him with a double-handed chop. A tag brings in Joe, who slams Webster back into the ring from the apron, before Flash flipped back and into a dropkick as Andrews gets the next tag in.
Joe blocks a ‘rana as Andrews has to escape… but he’s able to land a ‘rana off the middle rope before a knee slide and an enziguiri led to Mark Coffey blind-tagging in, with the younger Coffey popping up Mark for an uppercut from Joe as the Scotsmen took over. The Coffeys keep Andrews cornered, with body blows from Joe and an Irish whip sending Mark back to the mat.
Nigel gives us a history lesson on Mod culture as the Coffeys continue to wear down Andrews, with Joe working into a full nelson that rubbed Andrews’ face in the mat before a butterfly lock keeps him restrained… with a Giant Swing added to it for extra effect.
Finally Andrews gets a tag out to Webster, whose early offence is largely avoiding the Coffeys before he uses misdirection to unbalance Mark Coffey ahead of a crossbody. A Quebrada’s next, before he keeps on flying with a ‘rana to the outside as Mark ends up eating an assisted 450 splash for a near-fall – a move they labelled “Toast at 3am”. Huh.
Andrews returns to chop through Joe, before a blocked tornado DDT allowed Flash to tag in to help finish the move. There’s a hand’s up headbutt for Mark Coffey as the Welshmen hit duelling topes con giro to the outside. Another tope from Andrews is caught and turned into a suplex on the apron by Mark Coffey, as the Coffeys then made the most of Webster missing a Shadows over Malice, with Joe landing Awra Best for the Bells for the win. This was pretty good, with the usual dead crowd, but I do worry about the number of Ls that Webster and Andrews are racking up here. ***
Trent Seven does a wrestle… next!
But first, a vignette for “the Nina Samuels Show”, featuring what I swear is a distorted Glen Joseph… then a promo from Jordan Devlin on a beach, as he’s still coming for Travis Banks.
Then… a promo for Kay Lee Ray, complete with footage from the first Mae Young Classic. Her addition will certainly liven up a women’s division that’s not exactly been portraying many as top drawer names.
Trent Seven vs. Shane Thorne
Singles action now from two folks who usually wrestle in tag teams… except Shane Thorne’s finding his feet now as a singles guys after Nick Mitchell left NXT.
From the opening tie-up, Trent’s almost backed up into the corner, before he takes Thorne into the ropes for a break. Trent goes for an arm, and takes Thorne down with a wristlock, only for the Aussie to fire back with a chop. Yeah, that’ll go well… Trent fights back in kind, before he flattened Thorne with a crossbody for a near-fall.
Thorne responds by dropping Trent’s arm across the top rope, which allowed him to work over an armbar as Trent was having a hard time avoiding the Aussie. Seven gets free with a jaw breaker before he uses his left hand to throw some chops ahead of a DDT, as a cricket chop and a half-and-half suplex led to Trent landing a sit-out side slam for a near-fall.
Trent followed that up with a Figure Four to Thorne, but the pair roll into the ropes… then onto the apron… before Thorne took a rather kamikaze move by rolling the hold to the floor. Ow. Commentary calls out both men’s history of knee injuries as they brawled on the outside, with Thorne dumping Trent on the ring apron with a side suplex before he went up top… only for Trent to stop him with chops.
A superplex followed from Trent for a near-fall, before more back-and-forth strikes led to Thorne ducking a Seven Stars lariat and replying with an elevated German suplex for a near-fall. Trent has to escape a chicken wing as Thorne looked for the win, but then lands a Seven Stars lariat out of nowhere for the win. You know what I’m gonna say: perfectly acceptable graps, but the usual dead crowd. Sigh. ***
Backstage, Glen Joseph interviews Gentleman Jack Gallagher, who has designs for appearing on NXT UK again. He’ll speak to Johnny Saint, off camera, it seems.
Glen’s suddenly at the WWE UK Performance Centre, this time quizzing Joseph Conners, who’s got a thing for Ligero. He reckons Ligero caught him on an off-day, and he vows to show that he’s the better man.
The Grizzled Young Veterans are out next for promo time. I wonder if James will get to say anything? Zack says that the NXT UK tag titles prove that they’re the best tag team in the world… but he’s rather be at home in Liverpool than wrestle in Phoenix to “educate a room full of ignorant Yanks”. Gibson reckons their challengers should be coming to Liverpool, rather than they head to them… this segued into Gibson putting down Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan… and of course, they appear. Burch gets a relatively decent pop for telling Zack to shut up. Of course, he didn’t need to tell James Drake to be quiet, since he’s virtually mute in NXT UK. Burch and Lorcan storm the ring, but of course Drake and Gibson bail as their match is next week.
The casual crowd killed this. No heat for Zack removes a lot from these promos, as the crowd barely made a murmur despite his attempts to provoke them.
Next week: Jack Gallagher faces Tyler Bate! WALTER faces Chris Hero next week also, in addition to the Grizzled Young Veterans defending against Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch.
NXT UK Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm (c)
Ripley jumps Storm during the introductions, using ground and pound to try and wear down the champion as she was caught unawares.
Rhea’s coming in with plenty of aggression, smashing Toni with forearms in the ropes before she’s thrown to the mat. Ripley throws Storm into the middle rope, then to the outside as Ripley goes to work on Toni’s lower back, teasing a repeat of the injury that Toni picked up during the tournament final.
Storm’s rolled back into the ring as Ripley picks up a near-fall, before she resumed the ground and pound on the champion. Some body scissors weaken her further, with Rhea rolling Toni into a pinning attempt as she picked up some two-counts, only for Toni to slip out and throw some desperation kicks.
Forearms follow as Ripley cuts off Toni with a dropkick for a near-fall, before she pulled Storm up in an inverted cloverleaf, only for Storm to roll her to the outside… where she eventually followed up with a lowpe. Back inside, a German suplex finds its mark, as does a hip attack and another German suplex as Toni started to get into gear.
A gear that Ripley quickly got her out of, as forearms and clotheslines had Toni crashing to the mat, only Toni to duck a ripcord lariat and counter back with a back cracker. Storm’s headbutt sends Ripley back to the mat for another two-count, but the momentum continued to swing as Ripley caught Toni on the top rope with a gamengiri, before a superplex almost led to a title change.
Ripley looks to get frustrated, so she just bounces Storm into the corner with a body slam before a shoulder charge is leapt over… Ripley sends herself into the ring post before Toni floats over her and lands a Storm Zero Tiger Driver for the win. Decent enough, complete with the formula “I hit my finish out of nowhere” win after Ripley slipped up… but you know the drill. Taping TV in dead crowds like this hurt the show. ***¼
In-ring, this was a really good episode of NXT UK, but I cannot buy into shows that take place in front of crowds that clearly don’t give a damn. I’d copy my paste my rant from last week, but let’s just leave the crowds as being the only thing that is the same from week to week right now!