Takeover Cardiff is almost behind them, as NXT UK’s back to give us a rematch from Cardiff while Tegan Nox debuts on the brand this week.
From the tapings on the day after Takeover, we’re still in Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, as NXT UK approaches the first year anniversary of it airing. Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph are still on commentary, as we’re straight to ringside for the arrival of Imperium. The crowd finally wake up and boo Imperium, then chant for Tyler Bate as Marcel Barthel said “your champions, like your nations are a symbol of weakness.” Big shade at the NXT UK tag champions there in Wales. We’ll accept Imperium’s teachings and ways of life, as we remember they are not a cult. Alexander Wolfe got SAnitY chants, because of course he did, as WALTER bragged about “disposing” of Tyler Bate, claiming that there was nobody left to step up to Imperium.
We then get interrupted by music for DANNY and HARRY. Wait, that’s not Harry, that’s BEANO!
Danny Jones & Harry Green vs. Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner)
I swear Harry was a doctor a few weeks back… Imperium jump the match, sending Green outside as Barthel wore down Danny Jones from the off.
An Irish whip takes Jones into the corner for a butterfly suplex, before a PK left Danny laying. Green’s pulled himself up onto the apron, but Fabian Aichner tags in instead, dropping Jones with a pair of backbreakers for good measure. A massive slam just pushes Jones into the corner as “Man Like” Green-o tagged in, but he faces a similar fate, cornered and double-teamed by Imperium. Green fights back with elbows in the opposition corner, but an enziguiri misses as he ends up taking a wheelbarrow/flying DDT combo. Jones gets hung up in the ropes for the Imperium dropkicks, while Green’s finished off with a European uppercut/powerbomb combo. Very squashy, but a decent showing from the Welsh lads. **¼
After the match, WALTER picks up Danny Jones and slaps him, before Wolfe held him up for a lariat.
They show replays of Sid Scala’s brave effort last week against Kassius Ohno, before Media Jim interviewed Sid. Scala bemoaned how underhanded Ohno was, before announcing that Ohno will be facing him next week in a British Rounds match. Very World of Sports-y.
Noam Dar’s got a press conference tonight. Because they want you to think he’s a footballer, see?
Jordan Devlin vs. Ashton Smith
Devlin’s still smarting from being left off of Takeover Cardiff, while Ashton… is quite a ways off being on those cards, you’d think.
Devlin starts with a wristlock, but Smith fought back before he got slapped. A second slap’s blocked as Devlin’s knocked into the corner, before Smith followed up with some clotheslines. An attempted sunset flip is blocked as Smith pulls up Devlin to dropkick him back down, ahead a massive back body drop. Thanks for playing.
Devlin rolls onto the apron, but manages to get back into it by fair means or foul, following in with forearms to the back of Smith. Air Jordan looked to follow, but Smith got the knees up, and took Devlin into the corner for a running knee. Another diving knee keeps Devlin down, before a modified Angle Slam almost put away the Irishman. Smith catches a crossbody as Devlin just couldn’t get going, taking a suplex for good measure… and finally Devlin finds an opening, sidestepping a charge into the corner before landing a springboard cutter for a near-fall. A superkick from Smith nearly does it, but Devlin kicks out, before a standing Spanish Fly put him back in it, with the Devlinside getting the win. Ashton Smith’s still waiting for his second singles TV win, but he gave Devlin a hell of a scare. ***
Radzi’s meant to be interviewing Toni Storm, but she’s no-showed. Nina Samuels comes in to take the empty spotlight with a really verbose promo, before calling herself the future of NXT UK.
Kassius Ohno has a sitdown promo to express his frustration that an American’s having to display classic British wrestling. They replay Sid Scala’s promo from earlier to hype up the British Rounds match, and they’re giving this Takeover-levels of build with ALL the talking heads, giving us the rules of a British Rounds match. Good God, they’re doing a hell of a job building this up in a week.
Shax vs. Tegan Nox
Tegan got a huge welcome back in Wales as she returned to TV after injuring her knee during last year’s Mae Young Classic. A kick and a fallaway slam shows that Tegan’s not getting paid by the hour, because she rushed in with a Shining Wizard for the win. Squashier than a Butternut squash.
Kay Lee Ray wanders out afterwards to brag about winning the NXT UK Women’s title two weeks ago, before talking about feeling put out by Tegan Nox stealing her thunder. Tegan grabbed a mic and shouted at Kay Lee, challenging her to a match… Kay Lee just walked away.
We then cut to Noam Dar’s press conference, as I get CCW vibes. Yeah, I heard the podcast. He talks about a “man of the match” performance in “Dardiff”, before breaking into catchphrases. A barely audible journalist asks a question, before Radzi asked him about the tag team match using WWE speak. Dar orders him out, presumably because of how awkwardly-written the question was. Trent Seven was in the room too, but he’s talked down as I guess that’s the next match. Especially because Trent takes a call from “Drake Maverick” talking about how much “you didn’t want him”. Inside! What the hell was up with the audio here? Still, at least they tried something different.
Dave Mastiff and Joe Coffey are still recovering from that Last Man Standing match in Cardiff…
NXT UK Tag Team Championship: Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) vs. Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews
We’ve got about 20 minutes left on the show as Gibson and Drake got an instant rematch. Apparently a Mod wears a wrestling title belt like a model wears a sash. Who knew?!
Andrews and Gibson starts us off trading wristlocks, but it’s the challengers who took the upper hand early. At least until Andrews found his way back through with armdrags on James Drake, as both teams were using speedy tags. Double-teaming from Gibson and Drake cleared the ring as a dropkick took Webster off the apron, while the crowd removed their footwear to try and get in Gibson’s… nose? A superkick-assisted neckbreaker drops Andrews for a near-fall as Webster breaks up the cover. The double-teaming continues with a double-team shoulder breaker to Andrews on the outside, which gave Gibson something to focus on, using a Jim Breaks-like arm lift to throw Andrews across the ring.
Drake’s in to drop Andrews with a spinning heel kick for a near-fall, before he used a cobra clutch to keep Andrews grounded. Andrews makes a tag out to Webster, who cleared house himself, taking out Gibson with a tope while baiting Drake into some Angel’s Wings for a near-fall. It might be the crowd micing, but this Cardiff crowd doesn’t seem to care too much about their Welsh tag champions…
Gibson gets back in after a distraction, but he loses track of Webster, who’s able to get a blind tag in from Andrews before he assists on a standing 450 splash for a near-fall. Webster’s back in, and again on the wrong side of things as he took a Doomsday Device for a near-fall. On the top rope, Webster manages to crack Drake with a headbutt before he tagged out to Andrews, who lands an avalanche reverse ‘rana for a near-fall, before Gibson interjected himself to again yank away at Andrews’ shoulder. Gibson tags back in, throwing Andrews shoulder-first into the turnbuckles before is attempt at a suplex was countered… but he counters the Stundog Millionaire into the Shankly Gates. Webster breaks it up with a Shadows Over Malice senton, before he got the tag back in to try and pick apart Gibson. A Rude Boy moonsault press helps, but Gibson blocked the Eton Rifle, before Andrews blocked a Ticket to Malice… instead watching on as Webster rolled up Drake for a near-fall.
More blind tags as I lose track of things, with Webster nearly pinning Gibson with a La Magistral before Drake became legal. Absolutely nothing is registering it seems, such is the pace, as Drake misses a superkick and stares in disbelief, allowing Webster to land his Eton Rifle (Destino) before Andrews’ shooting star press got the win. This was fine, but the crowd just did not seem to care until the end. Slow down lads – for my money, too much was being crammed into the time. ***½
At least the crowd begin to celebrate as the show fades to black… a decent episode of NXT UK, and I’m impressed with how much thought and build they put into the British Rounds match, making a hell of an effort to educate the TV audience what that match was going to be.