With WALTER and Pete Dunne days away from clashing for the NXT UK title at Takeover: New York, the rest of the NXT UK brand continued to spin their wheels.
We’re still in Coventry, with Nigel and Vic on the headsets, and it’s straight to the action…
Kenny Williams & Amir Jordan vs. Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner
They’re still pushing that Kenny’s reluctant to dance…
Jordan and Barthel start us off, but it’s the German who’s the early aggressor, taking Amir down with a wristlock as he looked to work over the arm in the early stages. Amir comes back with some dropkicks… but Barthel just cross-chops him in the throat as Amir was dancing away. Aichner tags in, but so does Williams, who took the Italian outside with some headscissors, before Barthel “nein”’d away a dive attempt, as he served for a distraction as Aichner came in and attacked them from behind. Jordan remained the legal man as he was beaten down on in the corner. Barthel keeps the momentum going as Jordan was hung up in the corner as a pair of dropkicks sandwiched Amir… yet still the Euros don’t go for a cover.
A brief comeback from Jordan allowed him to get a tag to Williams, who took down Barthel with a springboard back elbow, before a bulldog took the German into the turnbuckle. Aichner tries to interfere, but Williams dealt with that before spiking Barthel with a snapmare driver for a near-fall. Williams keeps on flying, taking out Aichner with a springboard back elbow and a dropkick through the ropes… but another low dropkick from Barthel made him pay. Jordan tries to fly in, but his crossbody to the floor’s caught by Aichner, who eventually dumped him with a slam as Williams was once again isolated and double-teamed. Barthel tries the throw-off suplex to Aichner, but Kenny Williams manages to escape and nick the win with a roll-up – a banana-peel win, but a victory’s a victory as the underdogs escaped by the skin of their teeth. **¾
That’s three in a row for Amir and Kenny, the hottest tag team in NXT UK. Well, the most regularly featured as of late, that’s for sure!
Backstage, Radzi’s again with Rhea Ripley as she enters the building. That’s as annoying as that person who jumps on you as you get to the office. She’s not impressed with Piper Niven, and says she’s going to be her worst nightmare. The former Viper debuts next week!
Hey, WWE’s using Disturbed as PPV music in 2019!
Media Glen’s interviewing Johnny Saint and Sid Scala, who are beaming about NXT UK’s appearance at Takeover: New York. Jordan Devlin interrupts and asks why WALTER (“an oversized baby”) sauntered into a title match while he’s on the sidelines. Scala doesn’t really have an answer, instead giving a pre-set blurb as Devlin seemingly wants the winner… and I’m salivating over a Devlin/WALTER match.
Isla Dawn vs. Kay Lee Ray
Set up on a backstage vignette last week, we start with Kay Lee Ray working the arm, only for Dawn to reverse the wristlock as they went back and forth.
An O’Connor roll from Dawn’s blocked, but she manages a roll-up for a one-count as she was then forced to bridge out of a cover to keep her momentum going. Kay Lee Ray finds a way back in, going for the arm as she rolled Dawn down in an armbar, before a trip allowed Kay Lee Ray to spin Dawn on the apron… and into a forearm in a nice spot. Despite dragging Isla outside, Kay Lee’s thrown onto the apron as we had a brief fightback, ending with a short low-pe from Ray. Back inside, a Saito suplex and a bicycle knee from Dawn nearly gets the surprise, only for Kay Lee Ray to chop and superkick back in as the Gory Bomb quickly put Isla down. A nice competitive match, but these “establishing” matches for new arrivals tend to follow this pattern, which takes away some of the suspense. **¾
Backstage, Radzi’s with Toni Storm hyping up next week’s title defence. Toni doesn’t get to say much as Jinny ran in to start a brawl, which referees tried to break up, only for Jinny to blindside Toni with a forearm.
Travis Banks has a selfie promo as he tells us he used to idolise Kassius Ohno, and then challenges him to a match.
The Grizzled Young Veterans – in suits – head to the ring for promo time. Unlike in Phoenix, the crowd are on Gibson’s back from the off as Nigel McGuinness gags on foot odour. Gibson powers through the crowd as he addressed people “slagging us off”, and apparently he’s fed up of fans supporting the “wrong talent” – such as the kickpad wrestlers and “flippy skinny boys”. Talk turned to the challenge posed by Amir Jordan and Kenny Williams, which Gibson dismissed as this promo largely existed to take up airtime. Did James Drake get to speak? Apart from the few times the mic picked up him backing up Gibson… nah. He’s the Johnny Saint of this team.
Next week: Travis Banks vs. Kassius Ohno! Also, the debut of Piper Niven on the brand, and Jinny challenges Toni Storm for the NXT UK Women’s title.
Trent Seven vs. Joe Coffey
This is quite apt, as I’ll be having more than seven coffees on WrestleMania weekend!
A rematch from back at NXT UK #15, we started with Joe Coffey charging down Trent with a shoulder tackle, before he caught a crossbody… only for Trent to slip out and try to fight back with chops. Coffey stopped those, but couldn’t avoid a clothesline as Trent finally came back into it with an eventual DDT for a near-fall.
They head outside, where Trent went for a full nelson, only to get backed into the crowd barriers, then dumped on it like it were the ring apron as Coffey roughed up the elder statesman of Moustache Mountain. Using the ring post, Coffey stretched Trent rather brutally, before he continued the beating with a bear hug as he continued to focus on the lower back. Trent tries to fight free, but instead Coffey took him into the ropes and bounced out with an overhead belly-to-belly. Trent looks for a shoulder charge, but Coffey sidesteps and took him down as the beating continued with an elbow drop, leaving Trent in agony on the mat as the Scotsman teed up… and missed a shoulder charge of his own.
A back body drop from Trent puts Coffey on the back foot, as Trent threw a series of chops and a snap Dragon suplex… then followed up with a sit-out side slam for a near-fall. Trent quickly clotheslined Coffey to the outside as he ended up diving outside, but back inside he misses another dive as Coffey threatened to take advantage again. A lariat got Coffey a near-fall, before a German suplex and a diving shoulder charge took Trent into the corner… as a powerbomb almost put Trent away. Another powerbomb’s blocked by Seven, who counters back with a Figure Four, but Coffey gets to the ropes despite Trent’s attempt to beat his knee into submission.
On the apron, both men trade chops as Seven’s back looked to be in agony, but somehow he manages to back body drop Coffey awkwardly to the floor. They tease a double count-out, but both men eventually make it back into the ring, as Coffey looked to get the win with Awra Best for the Bells. That’s ducked, as he then went on to miss a springboard crossbody as Seven lands a lariat of his own, then the Seven Stars for a near-fall as the crowd thought Trent had done it… Trent tries to follow up with a Burning Hammer, but he crumbled as his back went out… and that wasn’t helped as Coffey powerbombed him for a near-fall, before rolling Trent into a Boston crab for the eventual submission. A weird fact – Trent Seven has never beaten Joe Coffey in singles action… and it stayed like that too! This was a decent TV match, as once again Trent Seven picked up a loss in singles action.***¼
It wasn’t a comprehensive or indeed a performance that’d win over any of Coffey’s doubters, but this was decent enough for the spot.
We close with a video package following Pete Dunne winning the WWE/NXT UK title almost two years ago… all the way through his title defences as he racked up the days as champion… until he got to #685, and the arrival of WALTER in Blackpool. There’s footage from 16 Carat Gold this year as they use some of the clips from the promo last week, then highlights from last week’s contract signing… and that’s all our build for the NXT UK match at Takeover: New York. It’ll be a heck of a match, and hopefully something that adds some spark to the brand.
So, save for the main event video package, this was just another week of NXT UK, with the brand once again spinning its wheels without any big shows to aim for. There’s speculation that another Takeover UK is due to be announced, but until then… this is what it is.