12th Jan2019

‘NXT: UK’ Review (Jan 9th 2019)

by Nathan Favel

NXT-uk-large

Welcome to this week’s NXT: UK review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have the big show before the big show (NXT: UK – Takeover), so let’s see if it is better than last week’s event.

Match #1: Ligero def. Joseph Conner

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

After weeks pontificating from dark corners about being “fed a lie” as one of NXT UK’s “shiny new toys,” a focused Joseph Conners brought all his resentment to bear against the high-flying Ligero. Despite his aggression, however, it was not enough to overcome the Leeds Luchador, who used the ropes to springboard himself inside an explosive DDT to pick up the win.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – The wrestling here was fluid and crisp, but it never felt like this match was going anywhere beyond the bottom of the card, if that makes any sense. My theory on booking matches is that in addition to establishing the reputation of a given wrestler, the match itself should be auditioning for higher placement on the card. That sounds obvious, but when you see so few pairings getting taken seriously on WWE TV, it isn’t hard to imagine why the next Ric Flair/Ricky Steamboat bouts aren’t happening on Vince’s events. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have had an excellent series of matches, but they’ve become tired due to the matches being required to look the same while being used as fodder for whatever agenda Vince is pursuing that week. This might seem like the wrong time to have this gripe, but when you have all of these great pairings all across the company not be used for more than a TV segment, it wears on your nerves…if you care about that kind of thing. Anyway, this match won’t do much for their careers, but it was good while it lasted.

Match #2: Travis Banks def. Tyson T-Bone

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

In the final moments of his match against Tyson T-Bone, Travis Banks was suddenly interrupted by Jorden Devlin, who emerged dressed like The Kiwi Buzzsaw in the hopes of distracting his adversary mid-match. These mind games failed to influence the outcome, however, as Banks managed to knock a meddling Saxon Huxley off the apron before finishing off The King of the Traveler with a Slice of Heaven. As the bell was still ringing, Devlin charged the squared-circle to deliver a post-match assault, igniting a brawl between the two Superstars that nearly ended with a second Slice of Heaven by Banks before The Irish Ace headed for the hills.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was a fun fight that gave both guys a bit of time to show what they can do, but my problems with the first match apply here as well. The finish was just a cheap way out of having a pure wrestling contest, since the only way to push a feud is to have the other guy interrupt the finish. Aren’t there supposed to be security people to prevent the wrestlers from just running out to screw with each other?

Match #3: (Main Event) Gallus def. British Strong Style

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Following months of conflict, the best factions in NXT UK finally clashed in an epic Six-Man Tag Team main event, just days before the first-ever NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool.

Fueled by unyielding animosity on both sides of the ring, all six of the competitors fought tooth-and-nail throughout the contest. Just a few of the explosive moments included British Strong Style clearing the ring in an all-out brawl, an overwhelming assault by all three members of Gallus on the resilient Tyler Bate and Trent Seven, The Artful Dodger getting hurled into the steel ring steps by Joe Coffey before roaring back with a monster Superplex on The Iron King, Pete Dunne locking Wolfgang and Mark Coffey into back-to-back-to-back submission maneuvers, one of the longest airplane spins in recent memory by the first-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion, a wicked powerbomb by Joe that nearly put away the BruiserWeight and a corkscrew senton by Bate off the ring post and out on the ringside floor that took out every competitor in sight.

In the culmination of the hard-fought showdown, it was ultimately Joe Coffey who would reign supreme, hitting All the Best for the Bells on Tyler Bate to give Gallus a huge victory in their kingdom and The Iron King incredible momentum heading into his WWE United Kingdom Championship showdown against Dunne this Saturday at NXT UK: Blackpool.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was an excellent main event that could serve as one of those important matches for this league for the next year. By the way, now that NXT: UK has its own Performance Center, I think it’s fine to refer to it as a true league, rather than just as an homage to NXT itself. Any-way, the wrestling was on par with some of the best Ring Of Honor tag matches, which is a compliment I don’t give lightly. The amount of submission moves was more than just welcome and if this kind of action can get more into the main roster, than Vince might just be able to compete with All Elite Wrestling and all of the other great leagues that are in the sport right now. I think this match will prove itself as the kind of thing that you’d call addictive, which is not always some-thing a WWE match has the luxury of being called.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

The main event saved this thing from a much lower rating, in addition to the card being less crowded, despite the main event doing all of the work to sell this show and the PPV this weekend.

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