We’re back on familiar ground as NXT UK heads to Glasgow – and we’ve a tag title match on the cards this week for a fantastic episode.
The show opens with Sid Scala announcing a four-way match to crown a new number one contender to the NXT UK title – the qualifiers for that start tonight. We then throw to the Intu Braehead Arena in Glasgow, Scotland… and it’s straight to action.
Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) vs. The Hunt (Primate & Wild Boar)
Well this is an odd match to make, considering how much hype the Hunt had when they debuted.
Unless of course, there’s an upset, this is dangerously close to a match that’ll “put them in their place” among fans. Bate and Boar start us off, with a crossbody getting caught… only for Tyler to wiggle his way to the mat before bringing in Trent Seven. Primate’s quickly brought in before Trent could do anything, but he’s quickly chopping Primate after sidestepping some wild charges. A chop to the leg allows Trent to DDT Primate for a two-count, before he flew in with a low-pe as Primate bailed to the outside for some reason.
Trent looked to head up top, but Boar distracts as Primate hits a belly-to-belly superplex for a near-fall. Boar’s in to squash Trent with a back senton, but a spinning backfist from Trent catches Boar, before a Seven Stars lariat gets ducked. The Hunt recover as some double teaming has Trent down and out. Trent dodges a shoulder charge in the corner before a despairing dive over Boar brings in Tyler Bate to clear house. A ‘rana to Boar and a knee lift out of the corner set up for a diving European uppercut… as a capture Exploder and a standing shooting star press nearly ended the match. An airplane spin follows, with Primate getting caught in the face… then getting his partner thrown onto him as Trent returned for a side suplex/powerbomb combo.
It’s all one-way traffic here, with Primate breaking up a pin before he got tossed outside again… but Boar avoids a kneedrop-assisted Burning hammer as the Hunt finds a second wind, with Tyler getting popped up into a German suplex by Primate for a near-fall. Duelling bop/bangs get Trent and Tyler back in it though, before a rebound lariat-assisted Dragon suplex got Moustache Mountain the win. I’m a little sad they put the Hunt in their place so soon, but this was a fun little tag match to get us going – it certainly didn’t put the Hunt too far down the pecking order, but it also underscored who the real title contenders are. ***½
Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph are actually live in the arena doing the to-camera pieces… and they pitch to backstage where Amir Jordan is helping Kenny Williams into the trainer’s room.
Joe Coffey vs. Flash Morgan Webster
This was a qualifier for the number one contender’s four-way – and Joe Coffey had a fair number of the crowd behind him in his native Glasgow.
Coffey used his power early to shove Flash away, as the crowd proceeded to boo whenever Flash grabbed a headlock. A hairpull keeps Flash at close quarters as Coffey shoved him into the ropes for a shoulder tackle, before a low Japanese armdrag sends Joe outside. Coffey’s attempt to return is thwarted with a springboard dropkick, as Flash played keepaway… but it doesn’t work, as Coffey got back in with his power game, whipping Flash into the turnbuckles. Flash gets caught in a full nelson, much to the Glasgow crowd’s approval, before Flash got free and almost nicked a win with a crucifix. A crossbody’s next as Flash keeps getting booed, before a second one sent both men over the top rope and to the outside.
Back inside, a Rude Boy moonsault press keeps Flash in it, as did a bicycle knee, before Flash got distracted by the crowd and hit a Shadows Over Malice senton… into Coffey’s knees. From there, Joe’s got a leaping shoulder tackle, before Awra Best For the Bells got him the win. A fun back and forth, and Christ, it was odd to see him so beloved here, but I’m glad we got the partisan crowd – it makes things look different for once! ***¼
After the match, Flash is branded a “helmet” (apt, given what he carries around), before Gallus said that they run Glasgow like they run NXT. Badly, then? Wolfgang gets a few seconds to challenge Dave Mastiff next week, as he has to be calmed down,.
The Pete Dunne vs. WALTER rematch is in two weeks… cue a training montage for Pete Dunne as he’s sparring with the unnamed Jamie Ahmed in the Harry. This was a nice package to build up the match, although I’m still a little annoyed that this is “just on TV”. Still we wait for that second Takeover…
There’s another Ilja Dragunov promo piece, with shots from wXw, the Harry and PROGRESS. There’s even a cheeky appearance from Alan4L on historic commentary as Ilja comes next week.
Nina Samuels vs. Kasey Owens
This was Kasey’s second appearance for NXT UK, having lost to Jinny on the “after Takeover” episodes of the show taped back in January.
Nina’s right into Kasey at the bell, stomping away in the corner before she stretched Kasey in the ropes. A chinbar keeps Kasey down before she mounted a comeback, sending Nina into the corner for a running double knees that got her a two-count. However, it doesn’t last as Nina ducks a kick, returning fire with a tiltawhirl backbreaker before she cartwheeled off the top rope and pulled Kasey into a backbreaker. From there, the Nina-goroshi follows… and as we look for a new name, Nina gets the pin. Short and sweet, as Samuels continues her path to her shot at Toni Storm’s title. **
The now-freed-from-Blue Peter Radzi interviews Nina after the match. In echoes of the Devlin/Banks feud from earlier, Nina took aim at Toni for abandoning her family to live her dreams, and vowed to shatter them when they face off.
Dave Mastiff is interviewed by someone other than Glen. He talks about his qualifier with Wolfgang. They used two cameras, which made this feel more “alive” than normal, and as he walks off, Kay Lee Ray replaces him to applaud Nina Samuels sarcastically. We find out that next week, Ligero has a contenders’ qualifier against Jordan Devlin. Oh boy Ligs.
Zack Gibson and James Drake come to the ring. Gibson crowed that Amir Jordan was injured, so there’s no title defence. Except they’re interrupted by Kenny Williams, mic in hand… and he’s got a replacement partner for this: Noam Dar. So that’s 205 Live and NXT UK Dar’s been on within 24 hours this week. He gets this week’s Mansoor Award…
NXT UK Tag Team Championship: Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) (c) vs. Kenny Williams & Noam Dar
Glasgow popped huge for Dar’s arrival, and we start with all four men slugging it out… taking themselves to the outside.
In the ring, Dar goes for Gibson’s throat and chest with chops and uppercuts, before a running forearm and a Northern Lights drew a near-fall. Things turned around with some double-teaming as Drake took Dar down with knees and forearms, keeping him isolated as all Kenny Williams could do was watch the champions focus on Dar’s recently-injured knee. When Dar did force an opening, Zack Gibson pulled Kenny Williams off the apron to prevent a tag as Drake went back to grounding Dar with a front facelock. Nevermind, Dar gets the tag moments later as Williams clears house, scoring with a springboard crossbody to Drake before a running forearm cracked the champion.
A bulldog into the corner took Drake into the turnbuckles, while Williams’ through-the-ropes dropkick puts Gibson into the barriers. Kenny keeps going with a DDT after he got caught by Drake, before a springboard trust fall to the outside saw Kenny try to ensure that the champions wouldn’t go for another count-out win. They return inside as Williams lands a high back elbow off the top rope for a near-fall, but Drake manages to find a way back with a backbreaker. Dar tags in, and quickly runs into a boot from Gibson, before he kicked away Zack’s leg from under his leg as the Champagne Super Knee Bar followed.
Gibson gets free by tagging himself out of the match, but the champions can’t double-team as Williams took Zack outside for a back elbow off the barriers as Dar locked in the Champagne Super Knee Bar again. Zack tries to run in to break it up, but an ankle lock subdues him as Glasgow became unglued… until Zack pushed away and sent Williams into Dar to break it up. A Parade of Kicks ensues next, before Dar almost snatched the win with a small package… Drake looked for the win with a single leg crab, with Williams having to grab Dar’s hand to prevent the tap before he broke the hold with an enziguiri. Good save! Gibson clocks Williams with uppercuts, only to get caught with a rebound lariat off the ropes, before Dar took a the bullet for Williams in the form flying lungblower… that allowed Kenny to hit a wheelbarrow facebuster for a near-fall.
Dar comes in without a tag, but James Drake just pulls him outside and wraps his bad knee into the ring post. Karma? That leaves Williams on his lonesome, as he’s eventually trapped in the corner for the Grit Your Teeth dropkick, before a Helter Skelter from Gibson and an Organ Crusher 450 splash from Gibson led to the win. Christ, that was a good main event. Some good tag work on both sides, with a hot tag – this is exactly the kind of stuff this brand’s capable of when things click. ***¾
After some episodes in New York that could best be handwaved as boring, NXT UK hit a solid home run this week. Bookended by good tag team action, with solid stuff inbetween, NXT UK may still be waiting for the tricky second Takeover, but at least they’ve finally found the formula for a hot TV show. This week. This may be unpopular, but if they’re going to react like this all the time, can the show be taped in Scotland/the North permanently?