#AndNEW: New Champions Declared At NXT UK TakeOver Cardiff

On Saturday, August 31st, the WWE’s NXT UK brand held their second NXT UK TakeOver event in the brand’s history. The event showcased six separate matches but on two separate occasions, champions were crowned at TakeOver Cardiff. In the first match up a triple threat, tag team match for the NXT UK Tag Team Champions saw Gallus (Mark Coffey, Wolfgang) take on Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster and the NXT UK tag team champions the Grizzled Young Veterans of James Drake and Zack Gibson. It was unquestionably a spirited affair as all six men put in an exquisite exhibition amongst them. If it wasn’t the technical prowess of Zack Gibson and James Drake it was the demonstration of Coffey and Wolfgang or the tandem offense of Webster and Andrews that proved to be quite a display.  Throughout the match, fans were witness to a few hot tags that led to spots amongst those involved.

Throughout the match, it was hard to call as each team had moments in which they appeared to have the better of their opponents. If it wasn’t Andrews and Webster that was able to take out one team it was Coffey and Wolfgang prepared to dominate with their strength. In fact, at one point of the match, both Gibson and Drake appeared to be recovering outside the ring leaving only the challengers to battle one another.  One spot saw Mark Coffey attempt a superplex of Mark Andrews to the floor only to see Andrews hit a shooting star press on Gallus and Zack Gibson while Drake and Webster recover on another side of the ring. Andrews hit slumdog millionaire followed by a senton by Flash Morgan Webster only to have Gibson kick out at two. The champions appeared to have the match under control at one point as Drake hit 450 splash after the helter-skelter.

New Champions TakeOver Cardiff
Photo / TripleH / Twitter

Once Morgan recovers he comes into the aid of his partner. At any point of this match, the emotions of the NXT UK fans in attendance could have witnessed any possible result as Gallus seemed to have an advantage towards the end until both the champions and Andrews and Webster double-teamed Gallus. As the match was entering its closing moments we witnessed a mid-air Welsh Destroyer followed by a tope suicida into a mid-air doomsday device. With the hometown heroes and the champions having a standoff exchanging blows. Webster hits a 630, but a shooting star press onto a prone Zack Gibson resulted in Mark Andrews pulling his partner onto him and becoming the first-ever Welsh champions in WWE history. They are the new NXT UK Tag Team Champions crowned at TakeOver Cardiff.

Later on, in the evening we saw NXT UK Women’s Champion Toni Storm defend her title against Kay Lee Ray. Prior to their match, we see a replay of Storm’s win over Rhea Ripley at TakeOver Blackpool. Fans are shown the journey Ray on towards challenging Storm for the championship. Whether it was her winning women’s battle royal in June to beating down unsuspecting challengers like Candyfloss or getting very personal with her comments on Storm. Before the match even begins, it appeared as though Ray was trying to get into the head of the champion. Storm appeared quite motivated in her battle with Ray as she wasn’t just coming to the ring to defend her championship but to fight for her honor as well.

Before the match even begins, we catch a glance of Storm looking at Ray as she appeared quite emotional as her former friend had betrayed her. It was already as though Storm was emotionally being manipulated even before the match was to begin. Ray would even take a count-out to frustrate the champion. However, Storm would only take so much and proceed to show her anger and pent up hostility towards the challenger. It is clear the story early on being told is Storm is quite emotional and that is what could ultimately cost her in this matchup. When the opportunity presented itself Ray was able to capitalize on Storm stretching her at one point in the ring. Ray then as Vic Joseph suggested was ‘stalking’ a wounded Storm at one point in the match.

New Champions TakeOver Cardiff
Photo / @TripleH / Twitter

Ray continues to slap and strike Storm who appeared to be crying, but that was ever so brief. Storm regains her composure and was simply reigning down fists and clotheslines on the challenger. Storm hits the Storm Zero, but Kay Lee Ray kicks out at two. The reaction from the crowd was silent as they hadn’t anticipated the challenger to kick out at that finisher. Ray then hits a reverse code-red and that results in the champion kicking out at two. The challenger continues to work on Storm until the opportunity to walk away as the winner presented itself. Ray once again hits not one, but two reverse code reds with one off the ring ropes for the count of three. Once again new champions were crowned at TakeOver Cardiff.