NXT UK Inclination 23/01/20 (Banks vs Kendrick)

How great was Worlds Collide?! Want to see how “we” got there? Then you’re in the right place! This right here is the go-home edition of NXT UK with the main event of Banks versus Kendrick I’ll be breaking down the matches and promos/interviews that lead to Worlds Collide. Without sounding big-headed, I think I do a great job. Have a read and see for yourself. And as always, feel free to blast me on the social media! But for now, strap in and get to reading!

We begin this week with what feels like an episode of RAW…an in-ring promo.

Sid Scala and the NXT UK General Manager Johnny Saint are in the ring. Not long after, all of Imperium walk out from the back and join them. A small speech from the GM leads to him giving WALTER a brand new title belt. A new incarnation, if you will. The champion accepts the belt and begins to tear strips off Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne. Both former UK champions. Saying how much better he is, how he is a more worthy champion. Typical heel speel.

He then went on a tirade about how Imperium would get revenge on Undisputed Era for attacking them at the end of NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool II. Revenge and embarrassment will be on the cards when both Imperium meets Undisputed Era at World’s Collide.

World’s Collide Cruiserweight Title Match Qualifier
Jordan Devlin vs. Ligero

First match of the evening and it’s a high stakes match. Winner of this contest is added to the Worlds Collide Cruiserweight championship four-way match.

Jordan Devlin has been on one heck of a run over the past few months. He’s been putting on great matches left right and center, and more importantly, winning them too. Well, apart from the Tyler Bate match at Takeover: Blackpool II, but let’s gloss over that part. Ligero or Ligs to his friends 😉 is one of the brand’s beloved babyfaces. But I’m not sure if being a crowd favorite is enough to grab the W here.

And sure enough, from the get-go, you can see that Jordan was focused. His desire was there to see. Ligero was certainly in the match, peppering Devlin with a high-pressure offense. Hard physical shots along with the speedy attacks had Devlin rocked on many occasions. Even when the match went outside, Ligs used the ring area to his advantage. Not usually his style but when the stakes are this high…anything goes I suppose.

When the match went back inside the ring it was all Jordan. The pressure he was putting Ligero under finally told when the pair reversed a multitude of moves. Eventually, Jordan grabbed Ligero and hit his Devil Inside finisher to advance to Worlds Collide…And we all know how that finished don’t we?

Winner – Jordan Devlin

NXT UK Champion Kay Lee Ray spoke about facing off against Mia Yim at Worlds Collide in the preshow. But was rudely interrupted by Imperium, who was then interrupted themselves by Andrews and Webster. A little bit of trash talk between the pairs ends when Flash mocks Imperium for not winning tag team gold.

Ilja Dragunov vs Josh Morrell

Hiya Josh! I hope you enjoyed your “match” against Dragunov! Well, I say match…it was a total annihilation by the Moscowvite. Squash match indeed here peeps. Morrell didn’t get one iota of offense in at all. It was all Ilja to make him look strong and credible for his match against Finn Balor at Worlds Collide. A few bits of chain wrestling, some strikes, and a Torpedo Moscow gives Ilja a workout victory.

Winner – Ilja Dragunov

After the match, Ilja grabs a mic and begins to call out Balor, but is cut short by Joe Coffey. He flat out blamed him for his championship loss against WALTER at Blackpool II. He wanted to punish him but as he was representing NXT UK at Worlds Collide, he gets a pass. But once he comes back from that event, the Iron King wants Ilja’s head.

After being put down by Andrews and Webster, Imperium meets with Johnny Saint. They want a match against South Wales SubCulture. Saint agrees but then Sid Scala recommends that it should be a six-man tag. Aichner, Barthel, and Wolfe versus Andrews, Webster and a partner of their choosing.

Travis Banks vs The Brian Kendrick

This match was flat out fantastic! I’ve been banging the drum for Banks for quite some time. I’ve seen him on the indies over here in the UK putting on amazing matches and knew it was a matter of time before he showed that in NXT UK. All it took was an opponent of Kendrick’s quality.

The first half of this match was Banks’s coming out party. Kendrick played the part of the guy that just wasn’t interested at all. Travis took advantage of this and made Kendrick look amateur at best. Completely outwrestled and not able to keep up with the Kiwi, Kendrick looked embarrassed. So he resorted to underhanded tactics. Trapping Banks’ hand in the rings steps and kicking them, thus injuring Travis’s hand.

With a great big bullseye on his hand, Kendrick zeroed in and worked that hand hard. Wrist locks, hard strikes, and great submission work kept Travis down. All the while Kendrick was growing in confidence and gloating to the crowd. This really was a match of two halves.

A Sliced Bread #2 from Kendrick gave him an unexpected two count which sent him off into a furious frenzy. Losing his focus, he was hit by a surprise Slice of Heaven and a Kiwi Crusher from Banks and it was game over. Travis Banks goes forward to Worlds Collide!

Winner – Travis Banks

That hour flew by in my opinion. Three (well two really) good matches really did make for a great TV show this week. With the high stakes of the Cruiserweight four-way match on the line, the matches really picked up and showed the importance of being at Worlds Collide. And with Travis Banks now seemingly accepted by the NXT UK faithful, they have created another babyface to elevate to the upper midcard/main event level. Great booking from my boys Shawn and Jim 😉

Also, the low key calling out of Dragunov by Joe Coffey was an unexpected surprise. That could be a nice little feud. And the six-man tag of Imperium versus SWSC and their mystery partner was a welcome addition too. Expect more storyline progression over the coming weeks as most of the bigger stories are coming to their natural end soon.

And next week is where you’ll see me again folks. I shall be rubbing my hands in glee with the success of Worlds Collide until then. And you never know, if Edge does make a Rumble return, you may hear me mark out too!