16th Aug2019

‘NXT: UK’ Review (Aug 14th 2019)

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s NXT UK review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have a packed hour to get to, so let’s make like The Force Awakens and steal all of our ideas from A New Hope/actual Star Wars movie. It’s Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. Don’t give me an episode number. Okay, NXT UK starts…yesterday. This is a little late. No episode numbers. The UK Awakens. There. That works.


Match #1: Flash Morgan Webster def. Mark Coffey

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

In the first of two matches set up for the Welshmen to prove their worth to General Manager John Saint and secure an opportunity to represent their home country at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff, the innovative offense of Flash Morgan Webster was pitted against the hard-hitting Mark Coffey of Gallus. When Wolfgang interfered for the second time at the height of the action, Mark Andrews took out The Last King of Scotland outside the ring. Though Andrews paid for it with a wicked clothesline from Coffey, Webster rolled up his foe with the inside cradle to pick up an important win as soon as he reentered the ring. As a result of the victory over the Gallus member, the dream is still alive, and if Andrews can overcome Zack Gibson next week, he and Webster will secure an NXT UK Tag Team Championship Match at NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff.

My Opinion: 3 out of 5 – This was a solid way to start the show. I wouldn’t go parading this thing around like it was the Macy’s float of the year or any-thing, but Snoopy has his moments, doesn’t he? Okay, the Peanuts reference might not have worked. The wrestling was pretty evened out between these two guys, with no one looking better or worse than the other. I feel as indecisive as Dave Meltzer. This was one of those easy matches to watch that has a purpose, but doesn’t require a lot of thought to understand why it’s happening either. Title contention is the best reason for a match to occur and when you’ve got two wrestlers on your roster that are attractions of a certain kind, then you’ve got a match that simply needs to deliver quality wrestling, which this bout did. Overall, I’m rambling, because I don’t know how to write an ending, just like Francis Ford Coppola. The horror…of not getting my surfboard back. I loved that surfboard. Where’s my surfboard?

Match #2: Travis Banks def. Kenny Williams

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Prior to Kenny Williams’ matchup against Travis Banks, Noam Dar decided to get a closer look at the contest and joined the NXT UK announce team. In the explosive match that followed, The Kiwi Buzzsaw reigned supreme when he hit the Slice of Heaven into the Kiwi Crusher on The Lucky Yin. In the aftermath, moments after Banks and Williams shared a good sportsmanship fist bump, Dar taunted the victorious competitor with a sarcastic round of applause.

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5 – There’s nothing wrong with this match, but simply wasn’t that dynamic or any-thing like that. This was a fine plate of meat and potatoes with just enough salt and pepper to make it palatable come supper-time. I liked the idea of respectful competition here, as everybody being at odds with each other just doesn’t feel real enough to be the way of doing things all the time. There were some nice moves here and there to keep the match from getting too dull, so this worked out fine overall.

Match #3: Nina Samuels def. Isla Dawn

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

In a hard-fought showdown, all eyes were on “The Nina Samuels Show” as she reminded the WWE Universe of her toughness, besting The White Witch with the Ushigoroshi for the three-count.

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5 – These two worked well together for what they went for here, which was a simple bout built on Nina being groomed as a star. There was some good back and forth, but Nina was the main reason for this match being booked the way it was. No one looked weak after the bell rang in favor of Nina and that’s a victory all its own.

Match #4: (Main Event) Kassius Ohno def. Ilja Dragunov

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The ultra-intense Ilja Dragunov has been on tear since coming to NXT UK, but in a heated main event against Kassius Ohno, his undefeated streak was snapped. Dragunov truly showed his resilience against Ohno, battling back from his opponent’s systematic attack with a furious assault that included a vicious German Suplex and an earth-shattering powerbomb off the turnbuckle. In the final moments, the crafty Ohno snuck in behind the referee and pushed Dragunov off the turnbuckle, causing his injured arm to crash down on the top of the ring post. After moving outside the ring and hurling his adversary at the post, the self-professed “Wrestling Genius” climbed back through the ropes and blasted the Moscow competitor in the back of the head to hand him his first loss in NXT UK.

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5 – This was better than the Roman Reigns/Buddy Murphy match, which happened to be excellent. I heard that message board people thought that was a great match and while I really liked it, I thought this was a lot more satisfying. Ohno has been one of the best-rounded fighters in the sport for some time and his presence in NXT UK has been one of the best things going for it. It’s nice to have a veteran here to give the home-grown folks a spit-shine every now and then. IIja worked hard to keep up with Ohno and did a pretty good job of doing so. It’s nice when a plan come together. Does that A-Team reference work? If I had a cigar it would’ve made more sense. Overall, this was some good stuff.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

This show was built around having numerous matches that built towards the future and did so quite well. The entire show was better than the individual parts, which is a good sign that this whole brand still has a chance to succeed.


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