It’s back to the grind for NXT UK as this week saw Gallus in action, while Aoife Valkyrie made her debut.
We’re still at York’s Barbican as we’re bridging across two days of tapings, for those of you looking to dig up spoilers from Cagematch. Tom Phillips and Aiden English are back on commentary. Hopefully they fixed their desk…
Aoife Valkyrie vs. Amale
Wow, Amale didn’t even get an introduction. I think that tips off who’s winning.
From the opening lock-up, Valkyrie takes down Amale in a front chancery, before a sunset flip got an early two-count. A wheelbarrow roll-up follows for a two-count, before Amale charged in with a knee, only to get caught with a back elbow… then another off the middle ropes for a near-fall. Valkyrie keeps going with a standing moonsault for a near-fall, before Amale used the hair to get back into things. Except that just angered Valkyrie, who rose like a phoenix to pepper Amale with some kicks, finishing off with an overhead kick, then a spinning heel kick that dropped Amale like a stone.
All that’s left is for Valkyrie to head up top to finish off Amale with a flying axe kick – I’ve a feeling they won’t be calling it the Death Note here – and that’s the very squashy win for the Irish debutant. Solid stuff, even if it felt like a 50-50 match without Amale getting her turn… and man, my head hurts from just watching that spinning heel kick. **
They dug up Travis Banks! Radzi interviews him about the loss at Worlds Collide, but the cheery Banks is interrupted by Alexander Wolfe’s staring. Wolfe talks about Worlds Collide, but Banks takes a dig at him “riding WALTER’s coat tails”. That doesn’t go down well, and that’ll be our build for… next week?
Dave Mastiff vs. Saxon Huxley
Huxley starts by booting Mastiff in the head, but it led to nought as Big Dave slammed him.
A leap off the top goes awry too, as Mastiff chops Huxley, and he’s doing all the WALTER stuff for the sake of subtlety. The stalling suplex isn’t in WALTER’s playbook though, nor are those Danielson elbows, before Huxley mounted a comeback with a bunch of knees, but Mastiff charges him down with ease. Mastiff adds a back senton, then hits a sit-out splash a la Earthquake (or… WALTER, I guess). A German suplex and a cannonball finishes off Huxley, who’s still looking for his first win on this brand. I know, right? An easy tune-up for Big Dave, who’ll probably face WALTER given the way they do things here. **
Post-match, Dave does the WALTER pose. Subtlety hammer.
Backstage, Toni Storm’s asked about Kay Lee Ray’s challenge of an I Quit match… she then knocks on Johnny Saint’s door and tells Sid Scala to make the match. I think they call that speaking to the organ grinder, rather than the monkey. Conveniently, they had a contract ready, that Kay Lee Ray had signed, and Toni signs it… despite the fact that she won’t be able to challenge Kay Lee for the title again if she loses.
Promo time with the Grizzled Young Veterans follows. Template stuff. Gibson talks about history in NXT UK while James Drake mouthed along. Zack wasn’t happy about being used “for entertainment” in ladder matches, and put over William Regal… because he’s not put them in multi-way tags. Eventually we get around to dragging the locals, as York is “famous for nothing”. I mean… Jorvik?
There’s a scorching burn as Gibson compared York to the Hunt. They defend them… oh wait, no they don’t. Your usual fantastic delivery from Zack Gibson, but by Christ, it’s clear they’re in a holding pattern with them.
Backstage again as Radzi’s shilling merch. He’s interrupted by Joseph Conners, who tosses away the program and bragged about beating A-Kid. He’s facing Tyler Bate next week because he’s still trying to show he’s Takeover worthy. Gotta admire the persistence.
Amir Jordan vs. Joe Coffey
This was Amir’s first singles outing here since all the ways back on episode six, where he lost to Zack Gibson. I don’t expect a different result here against the white raincoat of Joe Coffey.
Jordan tries to restrain Coffey with a side headlock early, holding on before Coffey took him down with a shoulder tackle. Right to the taped-up shoulder too. Amir’s able to reply with a dropkick before a crossbody’s caught and turned into an overhead belly-to-belly. Throwing Amir into the corner, Coffey gets on top, landing a wheelbarrow facebuster for a two-count, before an armdrag and an armbar followed from the Scotsman. Coffey clings on, throwing some clubbing shots to the chest as well, before Jordan finally got free with a SPIKING HEADSCISSORS. That woke me up! Except Coffey shrugs it off before he got elbowed… and was met with another crossbody too. Coffey rolls outside and takes a tope as Jordan turned up the tempo, only to land in Coffey’s knees from a senton bomb.
From there, it’s elementary as Coffey charges Jordan into the buckles, then decked him with Awra Best for the Bells for the win. Squashy, but Jordan at least got his hope in. He looked good on his singles return, but since Joe’s got a date with Ilja Dragunov… there was only one result on the cards. **½
Post-match, Coffey talks trash about Ilja Dragunov. Remember when Gallus were babyfaces for a few weeks? The rest of Gallus have Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan next.
The latest Saudimania is in two weeks. I guess that means NXT UK gets bumped to Thursday afternoon? We don’t get the typical “next week” hype by the way, so your guess is as good as mine. Other than Conners/Bate, that is.
Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
The NXT UK straps aren’t on the line, as we start with Coffey and Burch locking up and rolling into the ropes.
Coffey has more luck as he wore down Burch with an armbar, but the Londoner fought out as Oney Lorcan tagged in. Chops follow, and Burch is quickly back as a double-team atomic drop wore down Coffey some more. Another switcheroo brings in Wolfgang as Burch was cornered, then worn down with a chinbar… only to fight free as Lorcan tags in and cleared house with uppercuts. At least until Coffey held him in the corner, allowing Wolfgang to squash him with a charge as the tag team champions took over. Lorcan fought out of a full nelson, but couldn’t get free as Gallus cornered him, but eventually Oney fired back with chops… only to get dropped by Wolfgang.
Wolfgang misses a springboard moonsault though, allowing Burch to make the hot tag in as he unloads on Coffey with forearms and uppercuts. Elbows too, before a German suplex rolled into a ripcord beadbutt from Burch. Lorcan’s back in as they went for the 1-2 Plex, but Wolfgang’s in… and gets headbutted for his trouble. A running blockbuster from Lorcan drops Coffey, but things turned around when Burch came in as Coffey pulled him off the top rope, before Wolfgang game in to slingshot Burch. That’s countered as Burch went for a crossface, while Lorcan restrained Wolfgang with a half crab… but Wolfgang powered out to break the holds.
Wolfgang proceeds to charge Lorcan to the outside, while Burch ate a half-nelson slam… before an enziguiri-assisted slam gets the Scotsmen the win. A fun main event tag, as this week’s NXT UK wrapped up with a pair of Gallus wins. ***
We’ve more post-match stuff as Ilja Dragunov appears in the aisle to stare down Joe Coffey… who eggs him on, as we close with a scrap between the pair of them. Awra Best for the Bells drops Ilja as Gallus mug the Russian, and we close with that goddamned Gallus theme yet again. Hey yeah. Oh no.
A very paint-by-numbers edition here, as a hattrick of squash matches made for very inessential viewing. So far on their run on “proper TV” in the UK, this show isn’t troubling those ratings – and considering you’re talking about it being on BT Sport 2 (a channel that needs only 12,000 viewers to crack the top 15 most weeks), that’s not encouraging as far as signs of interest. It’s only going to add to the narrative that NXT UK is “placeholder wrestling” – especially as you’d have thought something would have been done to attract the casual WWE fans to this show now it’s on “proper TV”. Maybe that’ll be the new carrot? “They’ll do something on the next tapings”… which happens in a month.