By Haydn Gleed, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)
NXT UK Hits
Flash Morgan Webster vs. Fabian Aichner: Although not as good as the Mark Andrews vs. Aichner match from two shows previous, this was still a very good match. The match slowed down too much in the middle portion, but the majority of the match was an exciting and very entertaining contest. What I loved about this match the most was the simple but effective psychology in terms of Aichner immediately doing what he did to Mark Andrews previously to Flash, which drew the artist formerly known as Mandrews down to ringside to check on his friend. This allowed for Fabian to be distracted later in the match enough to allow Flash to get the surprise victory.
Joe Coffey vs. Trent Seven: I was worried early in the match when the announcers were talking about Seven having a serious knee issue. And then the man from Wolverhampton seemingly forgot about that while performing a running suicide dive and a superplex with no obvious issues to his knee. In other words, it looked like we would get the usual “Trent forgetting to sell effectively” type match. I will admit, however, that down the stretch the sell job by Trent was stellar so I will give him props for that. This was a match designed to give Trent some babyface sympathy but more so some heel heat for Joe Coffey for continuing to go after the knee while also gaining some much needed credibility as a badass heel. Gallus as a group have been hitting their opponents with sneak attacks and backing down from challenges face to face, but this clean victory gave Coffey the credibility that he and especially the Gallus faction needed.
Kenny Williams and Amir Jordan dissension: I’ve come to expect with the booking of NXT UK that every match feels that it has some meaning, but that brings the negative of burning through matches quicker than ideal. We saw the breakup of Joseph Conners and Saxon Huxley one week and then two shows later they had their match and then both men were left in mid-card purgatory with nothing to do. So with that in mind, when Kenny Williams was criticizing Amir backstage for too much dancing and not taking the matches seriously, I was expecting a heel turn leading to a match next week. Instead, because of Amir’s over exuberance during their match later, it left Kenny in a two on one situation, which ultimately cost their team the contest, but there was no instant heel turn afterward. It seems they are going with a storyline that one or the other will turn, but I like the fact they are giving this a slow build and allowing for material that can be put into a great video package to set up a showdown match between the two. By the way, if that happens at NXT UK Takeover, prepare for a potential show stealer.
Isla Dawn build: Similar to what I noted above regarding the pacing of booking, it has been the same situation with Pete Dunne’s title in the men’s division. One week we would have somebody winning and calling out the Bruiserweight and the week after having a match and then we don’t see them again in NXT UK for a while. They seem to be doing something different in the women’s division. Okay, it’s clear it will be Toni Storm against Rhea Ripley at the NXT UK Takeover, but they started Isla Dawn’s push for a title match a couple of weeks ago with a win over the lowest women on the roster totem pole in Nina Samuels and this week she beat somebody seen as a step up in Killer Kelly. Granted, the matches have been average but at least they are taking the time and building up Dawn as a threat even though she will more than likely just be the challenger of the week.
Overall show: Two very good matches, a good tag match, some intriguing storyline developments, and great in-ring story telling. What more do you want for an hour of TV?
NXT UK Misses
Tag team titles announcement: I honestly thought I had missed a week by accident when the show opened with a video package showing the announcement of NXT UK Tag Titles. Instead, it turns out that instead of showing the segment they just decided to throw it in a video package, which was very odd. I don’t know if the actual footage was bad or they didn’t get the crowd reaction they were hoping for, but this just felt weird. Speaking of weird, have you seen the tag titles? The NXT UK titles have been beautiful so far, yet this looks like something that Barry down the road made his garage and walks around his mother’s basement with it over his shoulder while proclaiming himself the real world champion. We’ve all got a friend like that, don’t worry.
Dot Net Members have access to the weekly NXT UK audio reviews hosted by Haydn Gleed and Darren Gutteridge. For more information, visit PWMembership.net. If you wish to get in touch with Haydn, do so via twitter (see above) or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW: Help support Prowrestling.net when you shop Amazon by starting your online Amazon shopping at Prowrestling.net/amazon. You are not charged extra, but we receive a small and very helpful commission on everything you purchase. Thanks for thinking of us every time you shop at Amazon.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Vice TV's "Dark Side of the Ring" executive producers Evan Husney and Jason Eisner discussing the March 24 second season premiere focusing on the Benoit family tragedy, plus their pro wrestling fandom, the show's name and origins, highlights of season two, Chris Jericho becoming the narrator, and much more...