Two episodes of WWE NXT UK aired on Wednesday, November 7.
Match 1: Dave Mastiff vs. Damien WeirSummary: Damien Weir made the mistake of trying to take the massive Dave Mastiff out with a cross-body. Needless to say, it didn’t go well. Mastiff proceeded to land a senton on his weaker opponent before planting him to the mat with a 15-second stalling suplex. He then picked up the win after a cannonball into the corner.
Verdict: As I said in last week’s results, every brand needs a monster, and that’s exactly what Mastiff is to NXT UK. Like the Sid Scala match, this was another short encounter designed to show that Mastiff is not to be messed with.
Match 2: El Ligero vs. James DrakeSummary: El Ligero, a big favourite with the fans, used his acrobatic style to good effect and almost got the win after connecting with a sunset flip powerbomb. James Drake had plenty of offence of his own, notably when he hit a big boot into the corner, but it was Ligero who picked up the victory following a springboard DDT.
Verdict: The NXT UK series is only just getting started, so there are still plenty of performers who WWE is establishing with the new audience. As the weeks go on, matches and storylines should become more meaningful. This was simply a way to get both guys on the episode.
Joe Coffey promoWolfgang, Joe Coffey and Mark Coffey attacked the popular Ashton Smith on his way to the ring. Joe said the trio are at a higher level than everybody else in NXT UK, even British Strong Style, and described the brand as “our kingdom”. It was later announced that the three men would face Smith, Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster on the next episode.
Match 3: Sid Scala vs. Eddie DennisSummary: This was Eddie Dennis’ first match in NXT UK. He floored Sid Scala in the early stages with a heavy right hand and used his height advantage to connect with several knee strikes. The athletic Scala fought back, notably hitting a cross-body from the top rope. However, he never looked like defeating Dennis, who launched Scala into the corner with a buckle bomb before slamming him to the mat with a Neckstop Driver for the win.
Verdict: Honestly, the majority of NXT UK matches have been of decent quality but very few have really stood out. This one was an exception, with the intense Dennis living up to his weekly promos with an impressive performance against a much smaller opponent. It’ll be interesting to see how he’s booked going forward.
Match 4: Pete Dunne vs. Danny Burch (United Kingdom Championship)Summary: Pete Dunne began in typically aggressive style, targeting the fingers on Danny Burch’s right hand. It took longer than expected for Burch to gain some momentum in the match. When he did, he landed a powerbomb, followed by a knee strike to the face, but only managed to get a 2-count. The challenger then threw the champion around with multiple suplexes — one at ringside and one from the top rope — but he still couldn’t put him away. In the end, after both men kicked out of finishers, Dunne almost snapped Burch’s fingers and made the challenger submit.
Verdict: NXT UK episodes have showcased the lesser-known performers during the first 40 minutes before ending with a high-profile main event, and this was no different. The match was of very good quality, as you would expect, but it is always a little underwhelming to watch a pre-recorded title match when the outcome is so obvious. Still, if you’re going to watch something from the first episode, make it this. Credit to Nigel McGuiness, too — his commentary made this even better.
2nd NXT Show Results:
Episode 2, Match 1: Toni Storm vs. Dakota KaiSummary: Dakota Kai escaped a lengthy submission from Toni Storm before connecting with a strong headbutt, knocking them both to the mat. The two women traded punches and forearms before Kai caught Storm in the face with a kick into the corner. With Storm’s head against the bottom turnbuckle, Kai failed to connect with a follow-up kick and Storm picked up the win moments later with a Storm Zero. Following the match, Kai was attacked from behind on the stage by the debuting Jinny.
Verdict: I’m a little surprised that NXT UK hasn’t introduced a women’s title tournament yet. It’s still early days for the brand but, with no title to battle for, the women’s matches so far have felt largely pointless. At least Jinny’s debut should lead to a meaningful rivalry.
Match 2: Amir Jordan vs. Zack GibsonSummary: Amir Jordan’s early spell of offence didn’t last long, with Zack Gibson quickly taking control with a series of heavy strikes. In the end, Gibson hit the Helter Skelter before making Jordan submit to the Shankly Gates.
Post-match: “Liverpool’s Number One” laid down a challenge to Pete Dunne and reiterated that the NXT UK brand should be built around him. With the fans booing Gibson’s every word, Trent Seven interrupted, described the scouser as “completely delusional” and mocked him for having to watch WWE’s first United Kingdom Tournament from home on his mother’s laptop. Seven wanted to have a match but Gibson declined and walked to the back.
Verdict: Gibson does it again. This whole promo (25 minutes into the episode) is well worth a watch. Just like the debut episode of NXT UK, the fans were trying to hijack the entire segment with hilarious derogatory chants. The next set of NXT UK tapings take place in Liverpool, so it’s not impossible that Dunne’s title reign could soon come to an end.
Match 3: Kenny Williams vs. Jordan DevlinSummary: Kenny Williams used his athleticism to control almost the entirety of this match. Then, out of nowhere, Jordan Devlin reversed a DDT and hit his finisher to pick up the victory.
Verdict: This was… sudden! There has been a lot of hype around Devlin, so I was hoping to see him involved in a more meaningful role in the first few weeks of NXT UK.
Match 4: Ashton Smith, Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster vs. The Coffeys & WolfgangSummary: One of the biggest moments from the first NXT UK six-man tag came when Mark Andrews hit a Stundog Millionaire on Mark Coffey. Moments later, Flash Morgan Webster and Ashton Smith double-teamed Wolfgang in the corner but a distraction from The Coffeys allowed Wolfgang to turn things around. In the end, Webster took out everyone with a cannonball senton from the top rope to the outside. The Coffeys then attacked Andrews and Smith at ringside before Joe Coffey hit Webster with a discus lariat for the win.
Verdict: It’s good to see that some storylines are finally starting to develop in NXT UK, even if I felt like I should have been more invested in this main event than I actually was. Smith was particularly impressive at stages in this match. Let’s hope he gets more opportunities in the future.
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