Kassius Ohno looked to teach Mark Andrews in the ways of British wrestling on this week’s episode of NXT UK.
We’re heading up to the one year anniversary of when NXT UK started taping – but not the first year of it airing. Remember all those two-episode weeks? We open with Sid Scala playing Dwight Schrute to run down this week’s matches, since whatever they plugged last week was glossed over. Cue that, cue titles, and we’re still at Download, which means Vic Joseph and Aiden English are still on commentary.
Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) vs. Tyson T-Bone & Saxon Huxley
I think by the opponents, you can guess the result… Huxley’s taken to reading a book for his entrance, so I guess he’s now a librarian?
Aichner started by roughing up T-Bone, taking him down with a shoulder tackle before the traveller fought back from the bottom. A clothesline rocks Aichner into the ropes, before he caught a Thesz press and eventually countered into a slam. Tags took us to Barthel and Huxley, with the latter getting knocked into the corner with an uppercut as this was all Imperium here. A double chop to Huxley’s throat took him into enemy territory, where he ate a pair of dropkicks after getting hung up in the ropes. From there, Barthel uses a chinlock to ground Huxley. Aichner gets a tag in, but he instead dropped to the floor so he could knock T-Bone off the apron and crash into him with a knee by the ring steps.
With nobody to tag, Huxley’s got to make a comeback on his own, but forgot about Barthel, who was the legal man. At least for a few more seconds after the attack from behind, as the uppercut/powerbomb combo got Imperium the win. A true squash, but this crowd didn’t seem interested in the slightest. **½
Backstage, Travis Banks is with Radzi, who’s asked about his loss to WALTER a few weeks back. Banks is devastated, but he’s going to hit reset and see what’s next. Very non-committal.
Xia Brookside vs. Jinny
Jinny wasn’t alone, as Jazzy Gabert was out with her as usual these days.
Xia took exception to that, but Jinny reckoned she’d be able to beat her on her own… the early going wasn’t promising though, as a crossbody drew a near-fall before Jinny decked Xia with a forearm. Jinny misses a charge into the corner not long after, as Brookside hit back with double knees, before a Jinny avoided a baseball slide dropkick. That put Xia on the outside, where she eyeballed Jazzy… you know, like all easily distracted wrestlers do? Jazzy throws Xia back inside as Jinny was waiting with some ground and pound, before a lot of stomping just riled up Xia. Another forearm rocked her just as quickly though, as Jinny traps Brookside in the seated surfboard, only for Xia to get free and reach the bottom rope.
Xia lands a ‘rana out of the corner, but Jinny’s quickly back, knocking the referee aside. That opened things up for Jazzy to trip Xia, as Jinny wins with a roll-up – a finish that looked wonky on tape, and I’ve a feeling “this feud must continue.” *¾
Backstage, Imperium are talking. The background noise damn near overwhelms them at times. It seems they’re happy to accept Trent Seven’s challenge so they can finish off British Strong Style… but WALTER’s hardly as enthusiastic. At least at first. He says he’ll break Trent’s back, but not the rest…
Kenny Williams is outside, having washed mud out of his mouth from last week. He’s wrestling Noam Dar next week, and is looking to avoid Noam’s skulduggery.
They replay the finish of Gallus’ win over Dave Mastiff and the Hunt from last week… and show footage from “after the show” where Mastiff challenged Joe Coffey. Media Glen catches Gallus backstage, where Joe Coffey accepts the challenge.
Toni Storm heads to the ring next, and at least this crowd finally wakes up and makes noise for her. Toni tells us that Kay Lee Ray took her under her wing when she moved to the UK, but now Kay Lee’s lost her way. She’s ready for Kay Lee to have her title shot when she is, and that’s the cue for the Scotswoman to come out in her gear… Kay Lee teased having the match right now… but of course it’s a con job, as we get pantomime boos. Instead, we’re getting it at Takeover: Cardiff at the end of August, and Kay Lee’s “going to make her life living hell” until then.
Media Glen tells Sid Scala what we just heard. That seemed to catch Sid off guard as he has to reassure us that they’ll be in action before then: next week, there’ll be a women’s trios match with Jinny, Jazzy and Kay Lee Ray against Toni Storm, Piper Niven and Xia Brookside. I like how Kay Lee Ray turned bad just because she’s a title challenger. Graphics then confirm that next week WALTER faces Trent Seven…
Kassius Ohno vs. Mark Andrews
The entrances started just after the bottom of the hour, so either we’ve a short show or this is going long. I hope the latter.
Ohno grounds Andrews in the early stages, almost pinning him with a cravat, as Andrews was forced to use his agility to evade Ohno, scoring with some dropkicks and a satellite armdrag to take the American outside. A tope follows… but Ohno caught him and proceeded to drop Andrews throat-first across the turnbuckle steels. A very British wrestling move. Back in the ring, Ohno goes for the throat, using a legdrop and… a nerve hold. A chinlock’s more effective, as was a cravat in the top rope. Chops from Ohno rock Andrews, who tried to fight back… only to get choked in the ropes some more. The crowd’s not reacting much to this, sadly, as Ohno’s bullying tactics left Andrews in peril… such as when he shoved the Welshman off the top rope.
A big slap on the outside left Andrews reeling, but he’s able to turn it around as he managed to catch Ohno with a tope con giro into a ‘rana on the outside. Another flying ‘rana back in the ring gets Andrews a near-fall as he started to chain together offence… but this Download crowd were only interested in the big spots. A knee slide from Andrews got him past Ohno, but he was blind to a forearm to the back of the head, before Ohno looked for a Joker Driver, but instead caught him with an electric chair facebuster for a near-fall. More chops just served to rile up Andrews, but Ohno again drops him with a knee before a neckbreaker was somehow countered into a nasty reverse ‘rana for a near-fall.
Another swinging DDT looked to follow, but Andrews instead counters a counter into a Stundog Millionaire. The tornado DDT follows, but Ohno gets up at two, before he countered a shooting star press with a cravat… standing up and hurling Andrews with a Cravat Suplex from there. A discus boot follows, but he ends up going for a tombstone something or other, only for Andrews to catch him with a wheelbarrow for the win. This was decent, but this crowd were struggling to care at times… well, outside of hand-waving during Andrews’ music. ***¼
Remember those early Download shows, when we thought these were hot crowds? This week was downright rotten. Granted, it wasn’t helped by squashes and iffy finishes, or what was generally holding pattern booking… but this felt like a crowd who were seemingly tired – like this had been a monster 80s-style TV taping. This weekend’s tapings in Plymouth should be a lot hotter as they have to build up to Takeover in Cardiff next month.