WALTER’s NXT UK title’s on the line in this week’s main event, as he went up against a Bomber.
WWE’s wrapping up their residency in York here – and we open with a video package of Dave Mastiff talking against a backdrop of WALTER. They throw in footage of Mastiff lifting Atlas stones, as he promises to end WALTER’s reign tonight. Tom Phillips & Aiden English are back on commentary.
Travis Banks vs. Alexander Wolfe
Banks got this match after he accused Wolfe of riding on WALTER’s coat tails.
Banks jumps Wolfe early, taking him outside for a low-pe, before they rushed back inside as a springboard stomp gets the Kiwi an early near-fall. An early attempt at the Slice of Heaven’s cut off with an uppercut, as Wolfe finally takes off his track jacket. A chinlock helps keep Banks down, as does a slam, as Wolfe was dictating the pace.
Banks escapes a charge in the corner, and began to land some body blows before a rolling forearm staggered Wolfe briefly. A trip takes Wolfe into the corner for a dropkick and another springboard stomp, with Banks following up with an apron PK as things spilled outside. Wolfe has to absorb another stomp off the top as Banks kept pushing ahead with kicks, only to get caught with a twisting suplex as Wolfe nearly nicked it.
The pair exchange a barrage of blows as Wolfe broke through with a German suplex, while a Slice of Heaven from Banks only sent Wolfe onto the apron. Banks teases a Kiwi Krusher on the apron, but instead had to make do with a double stomp, only for one last surge from Wolfe to lead to a twisting neckbreaker on the floor. A DDT back inside gets another near-fall, before a sit-out powerbomb got the job done for Wolfe. A really good TV match, but in front of a beyond-tired crowd, this was always going to have a ceiling. ***¼
We get a vignette from Eddie Dennis – talking about going from a head teacher to being a wrestler. Something about the word “principal” here grated, even if that really was the title. Eddie tells us how qualified he is, and how he’s going from manipulating the minds of kids in the classroom to manipulating our minds.
A vignette highlights NXT UK’s tag team division. Of course it morphs around Gallus, and I’m left wondering what on earth it was there for. Poochie?
Saxon Huxley vs. Ridge Holland
At least the crowd still react for the cheap pop for Yorkshire’s Ridge. Except Yorkshire isn’t a home town… Huxley charges in as he traps Holland in the corner with clotheslines, but a capture suplex from Ridge turned it around in a heartbeat. A POUNCE follows, as the Ogdens chanted about Ridge being built a fridge, before an Alabama slam gets the win. Well, they’re still evolving his act, and this was entertaining enough but if he’s only doing short squashes, why is he only working monthly on TV?
WrestleMania advert. See all your old favourites, and the current roster too, I guess. Promo time from Jordan Devlin – he’s coming back next week.
Isla Dawn vs. Aoife Valkyrie
Commentary reminds us how Isla’s meant to have some momentum coming in. That may be evaporating against the newcomer Valkyrie. It’s her second televised match in, having beaten a male in her debut. Sorry, Amale. Pronunciation, pal.
Valkyrie looks to work the wrist early, hammerlocking the arm on the way to a roll-up for an early two-count as Dawn was having trouble early on. Some headscissors from Aoife lead to back-and-forth pinning attempts, while Dawn busts out some splits to avoid a head kick from Valkyrie. Innovative. Valkyrie keeps going with kicks, following in with a standing moonsault before another hammerlock neutralises Isla. Dawn recovers with a 619 in the corner to knock Aoife off the top, following up with a Meteora for a near-fall, but Valkyrie’s overhead kick gets her back in it as a flying scissor kick gets the win. By the numbers, but decent enough for a competitive TV squash. **¼
Ligero gets a promo… he’s asked about people who say a lot about him. Noam Dar was the latest… they face off next week. Cool reflections.
NXT UK Championship: Dave Mastiff vs. WALTER (c)
They’ve built this up fairly well, even if WALTER vs. Mastiff isn’t a match that’s going to get much buzz. Unlike WALTER vs. Finn Balor, which they’re already building up on “full fat” NXT.
We have a struggle early on as WALTER looked for a chop, only for Mastiff to duck as we started with shoulder tackles. Nobody moves. WALTER leaps over Mastiff, but couldn’t avoid a crossbody as a two-count gets Mastiff an early advantage, before WALTER’s sleeperhold ended in the ropes as Mastiff continued to frustrate him.
A sit-down splash greets WALTER as a powerbomb’s countered out of, before we’re back to right hands and chops. Mastiff surprises again with a German suplex into the corner before a cannonball’s stopped with a shotgun dropkick. WALTER again goes for the powerbomb, but Mastiff back body drops free before getting dropped with a big boot. Mastiff’s back with body shots before WALTER finally took him down with a chop. That signals WALTER’s big match finish, but the top rope splash comes up short as Mastiff tries for a Finlay roll… but WALTER elbows free before he was caught with a rebound German suplex. Then comes the Finlay roll for a near-fall, before another shotgun dropkick missed, allowing Mastiff to capitalise with a back senton.
That left WALTER in the corner as a cannonball follows, before Mastiff went up top… perhaps teasing a moonsault, but WALTER chops out the leg as his challenger crashed to the mat. Regardless, Mastiff continued to catch out WALTER, this time with a clothesline, but WALTER’s able to snap back in as he finally lands a powerbomb, and that’s enough for the win. A LOT better than I was expecting, but if Dave Mastiff’s back to the midcard mire after this, then WALTER being caught off guard here is going to have been for nought. ***¼
Bookended by two solid-to-good matches, this was an otherwise pretty perfunctory episode of NXT UK. Exactly what you expect from this brand – although with NXT UK Takeover Dublin Ireland (Jesus guys, these names are too long), you’d expect the batch of tapings that begin next week to have a lot more vigour behind them.