28th Dec2018

‘NXT: UK’ Review (Dec 26th 2018)

by Nathan Favel

NXT-uk-large

Welcome to this week’s NXT: UK, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have a big title match for the main event, so let’s see if every-thing comes together alright.

Match #1: Zack Gibson & James Drake def. “Wild Boar” Mike Hitchman & “Primate” Jay Melrose

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

One episode after General Manager Johnny Saint announced the first Semifinals Match for the forthcoming NXT UK Tag Team Championship, pitting Moustache Mountain against Gallus’ Mark Coffey & Wolfgang, Zack Gibson & James Drake made it clear they will not be denied their place in the tournament when they took on the strange combination of “Wild Boar” Mike Hitchman & “Primate” Jay Melrose.

Withstanding an absolutely animalistic assault from their opponents throughout the match, Gibson pulled Drake out of the way as Hitchman was charging to the corner, sending their opponent flying into the turnbuckle and setting up Ticket to Ride for the victory. As the dust cleared, Gibson staked his team’s claim to the forthcoming NXT UK Tag Team Titles while mercilessly belittling the crowd in his home city of Liverpool.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was too short for its own good, but it was good while it lasted. The wrestling was very visceral, but it felt like it was more than just rushed, which normally goes without saying in a short match. Over-all, this was a nice teaser to the better matches we should see from the winning team in episodes to come.

Match #2: Dave Mastiff vs. Josh Morrell

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

A monster needs to be fed, pure and simple. But, before the undefeated Dave Mastiff could feast on the likes of Josh Morrell, Eddie Dennis attacked the Bomber’s opponent during his entrance, apparent payback for Mastiff’s mid-match attack on the previous episode. The question now is, will Mastiff look to feed on Dennis instead?

My Take: 0 out of 5 – This match never got started, so it gets a bad rating. I could give it a DUD rating, but this wasted my time and didn’t make any-one look good. Why can’t you just let people wrestle?

Match #3: Marcel Barthel def. Mark Andrews

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

In his NXT UK debut match, second-generation competitor Marcel Barthel was very impressive against Mark Andrews for the majority of the contest, utilizing a cold, calculating precision to gain the solid advantage. Although the heroic Andrews managed to battle back and take charge of the match, the sudden emergence of his adversary Fabian Aichner clearly distracted things enough to throw Andrews noticeably off his game.

Then, in the final moments, as Barthel distracted the referee, Aichner delivered the hard-knee to Andrews against the ringside barricade, clearing the road for Bethel to hit the fisherman’s releases bell-to-back suplex for the victory. As the smoke cleared, Aichner entered the ring and shook the German brawler’s hand, signaling the possible formation of a “European union.”

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a good match that had a lot of good holds and chops. I sound like a pre-schooler who works at a butcher shop. This had a real European feel to it, which works out well considering that this is supposed to be a British league. I liked this match, although I would’ve preferred that Aichner had not been booked to screw over the finish, but I get the point of him being involved, any-way.

Match #4: (Main Event) Rhea Ripley def. Deonna Purrazzo in a NXT UK Women’s Championship Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

In the main event, Deonna Purrazzo made her debut with an opportunity to capture the NXT UK Championship Match against Rhea Ripley. Unleashing every bit of her impressive assault against Ripley from the word go, “the virtuoso of NXT” proved a truly worthy adversary for the Mosh Pit Kid. The two fierce competitors fought tooth-and-nail in an intense showdown from beginning to end. But just when it looked like the titleholder was completely disoriented from her opponent’s assault in the height of the action, Ripley had enough presence of mind to use the momentum from Purrazzo’s charge and hurl her face first into the turnbuckle, before finishing her off with the Riptide for the three count. When Ripley continued her attack on her fallen challenger after the bell, though, Toni Storm emerged to send her NXT UK Women’s Champion heading for the hills. What will happen when Ripley goes to war with 2018 Mae Young Classic winner in a highly-anticipated rematch at NXT TakeOver: Blackpool?

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was a bit shorter than a title match ought to be, but the quality was still there. Isn’t Deonna from America or Canada or some-thing? I’ve never heard her speak with a European accent, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have one. I said doesn’t more than once in a paragraph. Doesn’t that get me a couple of bucks? It never felt like Deonna had a chance to win here, but the match was still good and there’s nothing wrong with that.

News Of The Night:

  1. Eddie Dennis and Dave Mastiff are locked in a feud over… integrity?
  2. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel may be getting put together as a tandem.
  3. Toni Storm and Rhea Ripley are still feuding for the title, thanks to Toni saving Deonna from being beaten up by Rhea after the main event.

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

I wish this had been a more ambitious episode, but at least it had good wrestling in most spots and it didn’t break the merry-go-round, if that makes any sense.

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