NXT UK is now residing on Thursday nights on the WWE Network. And Pro Wrestling Post rings in the changes by handing me, Mark Blake, the reigns of reviewing NXT UK! You may know my work from various news posts, Week In Review and my 205 Live Landscape. For my NXT Inclination, I’m going to review the show in a different style. I like to keep all my pieces different from each other. Now with that out the way, let’s get straight into the action!
Piper Niven Vs Isla Dawn
In a battle of the Scottish banshees, Piper came out on top in a super hard-hitting affair. If you like Joshi style wrestling? Then you’d love this opening bout!
Isla Dawn really gave as good as she got here, and looked as though she could walk away with the victory. It’s easily the best I’ve seen her in an NXT UK ring. A very close near fall after a running Meteora had me convinced she had snatched the win, but alas it wasn’t to be for Dawn.
Niven was the stronger of the two and ultimately the more experienced at taking her chances. And that chance was her so impressive Michinoku Driver. It looks so clean and crisp, exactly as Taka used to do perform it. The result was 1..2..3.. for a Piper win.
As I said, both women come out of this match looking great. They withstood some stiff shots from each other and showed great indomitable spirit. Exactly what I expect from two STARDOM workers.
The commentary team was putting across that Piper’s head was elsewhere due to her last loss to Rhea Ripley, but I think that’s a disservice to Isla Dawn who looked a= like a much more credible challenger than what she was given credit for.
Winner – Piper Niven
A quick backstage piece now as Ilja Dragunov is informed that he isn’t medically cleared to compete tonight. Alexander Wolfe walks past and offers to take his place in his match tonight. And reminds him to think about his future.
Piper Niven is then shown, saying she wants a title shot after her performance earlier. Jinny overhears and says that she herself will be the next champion. A staredown ensues until Jazzy cheap shots Piper from behind. Jinny joins in on the beatdown as officials rush in to break it up.
Alexander Wolfe vs Saxton Huxley
You’ve got to hand it to NXT UK booking. Before this match began I was sat there thinking that Huxley would lose in super quick time. Especially as he was up against The Axe Man Of Imperium, Alexander Wolfe. But you know what, I thought that Huxley was going to win on a couple of occasions here!
Being two big men, the match was on the slow side but that’s not a bad thing here. The pacing of the match was impressive. From the hot start of Huxley to the sleazy antics of Wolfe to get back into the match, it was an unexpectedly good match.
The highlight for me was the finish. A fantastic German suplex followed by a vicious powerbomb by the Axe Man. Huxley isn’t a small man by any means and it showed just how strong and dangerous Wolfe can be.
Scratch another in the bedpost for Imperium. They’re running through the NXT UK roster like no one’s business. Maybe that’s why they’ve been on NXT recently?
Winner – Alexander Wolfe
Ashton Smith is chatting away backstage as the Grizzled Young Veterans of Zack Gibson and James Drake walk past. They admonish Smith for being a loser but Smith hits back that they’re losers for losing the NXT UK Tag Team Championships. Gibson says that he and Drake run this place. Smith calls them out on it and says he’ll find a partner and challenges them to a match.
Mike Bird is waiting in the ring for his opponent, but Wolfgang and Mark Coffey come out, dragging Bird’s opponent behind them. Coffey puts over Bird by saying he’s trained many people, including half of the current NXT UK Tag Team champions, Flash Morgan Webster. They want to shake his hand so they venture into the ring and go to shake Mike’s hand.
But surprise surprise they hand out a beat down instead. This draws out Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster to make the save. But as they get the upper hand, Joe Coffey storms the ring and gives the numbers advantage to Gallus. The trio beat down the tag champs to send a message that they’re next in line.
Tegan Nox vs Kay Lee Ray
I’m throwing this out there…I adore Tegan Nox. I’ve been a big fan of hers for many years after seeing her on a PROGRESS Wrestling card. I was happy for her when she signed with NXT, and I was distraught for her when she suffered that terrible injury at last year’s Mae Young Classic. So seeing her back on these shores with her happy shiny smile….made me all warm and cuddly inside.
I just wish she wasn’t facing a woman who is seriously on top of her game right now. Kay Lee Ray has had an amazing year so far, culminating with her victory over Toni Storm at Takeover: Cardiff to capture the NXT UK Women’s Championship. Kay Lee is on fire and deservedly so.
Tegan came out of the blocks so quick. Full of piss and vinegar (excuse the expression), using her quickness to her advantage. But with targets on her surgically repaired knees, it was only a matter of time before the champion ground Nox down. That and she insisted on going to the top rope, and each and every time Kay Lee Ray brought her back to the canvas in a very un-ladylike way.
The end came after Tegan missed a kick and ended up hitting the post instead. Leaving her wide open for the champ to hit her Dirty Bomb finisher for the win.
I’m not kidding, Nox came out of this match looking a lot more resilient than what she did going in. The beating she got from Ray and the way she kept getting back up are signs of a babyface champion. I’m sure within the next 12 months she will be holding that title high. C’mon Tegan!
And that’s it for this week’s debut edition! I hope you liked it. You can always leave me a message below with any comments or queries. Or you can even hot me up on Facebook or Twitter. Links are below.
So until next week, ta ta!