1/12 Powell’s NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool live review – Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm for the NXT UK Women’s Championship, Pete Dunne vs. Joe Coffey for the WWE UK Championship, Trent Seven and Tyler Bate vs. Zack Gibson and James Drake to become the first NXT UK Tag Champions

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool
Aired live January 12, 2019 on WWE Network
Blackpool, England at the Empress Ballroom

The show opened with a video package that focused on Pete Dunne’s WWE UK Championship win and some of the UK wrestler highlights, including the launch of NXT UK… The broadcast team of Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness checked in from ringside. McGuinness said he has goosebumps over his goosebumps. The duo hyped some of the matches…

1. “Moustache Mountain” Tyler Bate and Trent Seven vs. James Drake and Zack Gibson to become the first NXT UK Tag Champions. Bate and Seven were over huge with the live crowd. NXT UK general manager Johnny Saint entered the ring and held up the NXT UK Tag Title belts prior to the opening bell. Seven was isolated by the heels duo and suffered a cut on his head. The broadcast team blamed the blood on Seven taking a forearm.

Seven dove at Gibson and they tumbled into the corner where Bate made the hot tag. Seven hoisted up Drake in an airplane spin and spun his legs into the head of his own partner. Bate powered up both men and performed another airplane spin for a pop. Bate followed up by performing an exploder suplex on Drake on the apron, which resulted in Drake crashing into Gibson on the floor. Seven took out both men with a drive from the apron.

Seven tagged in and powerslammed Gibson, then Bate performed a top rope headbutt. Seven covered Gibson for a near fall at 16:45. Gibson and Drake came back with a suplex and a 450 splash combo on seven for a strong near fall at 19:10. Gibson applied his Shankly Gates wristlock. Bate tried to make the save, but Drake cut him off and applied the same hold. Bate powered up Drake and performed a Death Valley Driver onto Gibson and Seven to break up the submission. Bate and Seven performed a clothesline into a snap dragon suplex combo for another good near fall.

Bate wanted to go to the ropes for a move, but Gibson stopped him from the floor and ended up with Bate on his shoulders. Drake avoided a clothesline from Seven and dove onto Bate, who took a Doomsday Device style move on the floor. Seven tried to dive onto Gibson, but Drake cut him off in mid-air. In the ring, Gibson and Drake performed a lung blower combo move, which led to Seven being pinned…

Zack Gibson and James Drake defeated Tyler Bate and Trent Seven in 23:45 to become the first NXT UK Tag Team Champions.

After the match, Johnny Saint and Sid Scala walked onto the stage and applauded the tag champions… An NXT Takeover: Phoenix ad aired…

Powell’s POV: A fantastic tag match to start the show. There were some excellent near falls for both teams. The live crowd was red hot and are having a ton of fun. For those reading this on delay, go out of your way to see this match. In the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t seen much of the NXT UK television series. Those two-hour blocks were simply more than I could add to my plate at the moment. The weekly members’ audio reviews by Haydn Gleed and Darren Gutteridge along with their NXT UK roster evaluation and preview of this show helped keep me up to speed, but I’m mostly coming at this from the perspective of someone just checking in for the Takeover special after keeping up on all of WWE’s previous UK specials. I should be able to add the UK show going forward, assuming they are scaling back to one episode per week now that they’ve run everything they had in the can.

WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne was backstage taping up his hands… Joseph hyped Triple H appearing on Facebook Live after the show… The broadcast team recapped the footage of Travis Banks being attacked by Jordan Devlin prior to the show…

Travis Banks limped as he made his entrance. Jordan Devin made his entrance and was attacked on the ramp by Banks. Devlin came back and placed the bad knee of Banks on the ring steps and stomped on it several times. Banks boasted in the ring about what he did and claimed to be Ireland’s greatest wrestler. Saint came out and spoke with Scala, who then said they had a backup plan. Finn Balor made his entrance to a big ovation…

2. Finn Balor vs. Jordan Devlin. The wrestlers went face to face and Devil slapped Balor, who immediately went on the offensive. Balor performed a sling blade clothesline and went up top for his finisher, but Devlin rolled to ringside. Devlin tried to leave. Balor caught him on the ramp and threw him back inside the ring. Devlin kicked the middle rope into Balor’s groin as Balor was trying to return to the ring.

Devlin had a run of offense before Balor spun him into the corner and chopped him. The chop fest was on as both men exchanged hard chops. Devlin performed a uranage and a standing moonsault for a two count. Balor came back and performed some of his signature offense and got a two count. Devlin came back with a couple of headbutts and a wicked arm pull into a suplex for a near fall.

Balor fought back and threw a kick at Devlin from the apron while Devlin was on the floor. Balor went up top for his finisher, but Devlin cut him off. Devlin got a near fall while using the ropes for leverage. Devlin went for moonsault, but Balor put his knees up. Balor performed a brainbuster and then dropkicked Devlin into the corner before performing the Coup De Grace and scoring the pin…

Finn Balor defeated Jordan Devlin in 11:45.

Powell’s POV: A cool match between teacher and student, as Balor trained Devlin to wrestle. A very nice surprise for the live crowd and viewers at home. You had to know Balor was winning, but it was good to see Devlin get in as much offense as he did, as he definitely gained something in defeat. I enjoyed the way they kept teasing the inevitable Coup De Grace. Everyone knew it was coming, but they made the crowd want to see it more with each tease.

A Royal Rumble ad aired… Joe Coffey was shown getting his hands taped by Mark Coffey and Wolfgang… Rugby player turned developmental wrestler Luke Menzies was shown in the crowd… The broadcast team set up the No DQ match and a video package aired to recap the feud…

3. Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis in a No DQ match. The wrestlers quickly fought to ringside where Mastiff ran Dennis into the ring steps. Mastiff took the ring steps apart and slid a piece inside the ring. Dennis grabbed a kendo stick at ringside and worked over Mastiff with it. Mastiff ended up with the kendo stick and took his turn using it as a weapon. Mastiff powerbombed Dennis.

The ring steps piece was set up in the middle of the ring. Mastiff charged at Dennis, who ended up catching him and performing a uranage onto the steps. Dennis scared off the ring announcer and took his chair. Mastiff avoided the chairshot and performed a rolling senton. Mastiff went to the ropes. Dennis cut him off and performed a crucifix slam. Dennis set up a table in the corner of the ring. Mastiff came back and ended up performing a rolling senton the exposed floor where the padding had been pulled back.

Back inside the ring, Dennis avoided a springboard moonsault. Dennis performed a Neck Stop Driver for a near fall. Dennis hit Mastiff with a chair and then positioned him on the top rope before hoisting him up for a crucifix slam through the table, but Mastiff escaped it. Mastiff came back with a cannonball style move that drove Dennis through the table in the corner, then covered and pinned Dennis…

Dave Mastiff defeated Eddie Dennis in 10:50 in a No DQ match.

Powell’s POV: Good effort from both men. Dennis showed some really good strength by hoisting up the massive Mastiff for a couple of big spots. Dennis isn’t a big power guy, so it was even more the impressive to see someone with his body type pull it off. The live crowd didn’t seem all the invested in the feud based on their tame reactions for the entrances. They were probably coming down from the Finn Balor appearance too, but they were won over by the hardcore spots.

An ad aired for the Fighting With My Family film… Kay Lee Ray and Jazzy Gabert were shown in the crowd… A video package set up the NXT UK Women’s Championship match…

4. Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm for the NXT UK Women’s Championship. The ring announcer delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Ripley had the first stretch of prolonged offense. Both women traded punches in mid-ring at 9:50. Storm got the better of it and performed a German suplex.

Ripley came back and applied a modified cloverleaf. Storm escaped the hold and applied an ankle lock. Ripley reached the ropes to break the hold at 11:10. Storm performed her third German suplex of the match into a bridge for a two count. Ripley hit Riptide for a near fall. Ripley acted shocked that she didn’t get the three count, and Joseph noted that no one in NXT UK had kicked out of the move.

Storm threw a headbutt and followed up with her Storm Zero finisher for a near fall at 13:40. The fans applauded as both women remained down. Ripley went for her finisher again, but Storm countered into Storm Zero and scored the pin…

Toni Storm defeated Rhea Ripley in 14:50 to win the NXT UK Women’s Championship.

Powell’s POV: A good match between two very talented women. The crowd was happy to see the title change and chanted “you deserve it” afterward. I’m actually surprised they didn’t stretch out Storm’s chase a little longer by keeping the title on Ripley.

An ad aired for the Nigel McGuinness documentary that will air on the network after this show… McGuinness spoke with Joseph about the documentary and said he’s proud to have his story told by WWE…

Charlotte Flair was shown in the crowd… A video package set up the WWE UK Championship match… Ring entrances for the main event took place. Joe Coffey was joined onstage by Mark Coffey and Wolfgang, who returned backstage as he walked to the ring. Pete Dunne was out last to a favorable reaction and “Bruiserweight” chants while the broadcast team spoke about how his title reign topped the likes of Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles and is approaching Hulk Hogan’s reign…

5. Pete Dunne vs. Joe Coffey for the WWE UK Championship. In-ring introductions took place for the main event. The bell rang and Coffey stood with his arms crossed. Joseph said Coffey was trying to intimidate Dunne, but he added that he doesn’t think Dunne can be intimidated. Dunne threw an early forearm that Joseph said Coffey just absorbed. At 6:00, Dunne applied grapevined Coffey an went for a submission hold. Coffey powered him up, but Dunne hit him with knees to the head and went back to working for the submission hold, which he was unable to apply.

Coffey eventually suplexed Dunne for a two count. Dunne and Coffey traded blows in mid-ring, then Coffey dumped the champion to ringside. Coffey followed and ran Dunne toward the steps. Dunne did a flip off the steps and performed an enzuigiri. Coffey came right back with a powerslam on the floor. Coffey returned to the ring and Dunne followed. Coffey ran Dunne into the corner several times and gave him a backbreaker. Coffey performed a sidewalk slam for a two count at 10:00.

Coffey applied a bearhug at 11:30. Dunne escaped it and grabbed the nose of Coffey, who shoved him off and performed an overhead belly to belly suplex for a two count. Dunne came back with a forearm followed by an enzuigiri in the corner. Coffey performed a German suplex, but Dunne landed on his knees and threw another kick at Coffey, who ended up at ringside. Dunne performed a moonsault from the ropes onto Coffey on the floor at 13:25.

Coffey went on a flurry of offense that concluded with a powerbomb for a near fall at 15:00. Coffey set up for what appeared to be an inverted piledriver, but Dunne dropped off his knees and Coffey turned it Boston crab. Dunne acted like he was out briefly, then came to life and reached the ropes to break the hold. Dunne and Coffey stood and locked hands before going back and forth with headbutts. They threw simultaneous headbutts and both men fell to the mat. Dunne performed a German suplex. Coffey stood right up, but Dunne put him in a subission hold. Coffey rolled onto him for a two count, so Dunne released it, then went for a triangle. Coffey powered up Dunne and went for an inverted piledriver, but Dunne countered into an ankle lock.

Coffey performed a German suplex at 19:55. Coffey went for a spear. Dunne caught Coffey with a knee to the head. Coffey ended up going for a move from the ropes, but Dunne caught him with an uppercut and picked up a near fall. Coffey caught Dunne going to the ropes. Dunne grabbed his fingers and bent them back to free himself, but Coffey drove him into the post and then performed a powerbomb on the ring apron. Both men rushed back to beat the referee’s ten count.

Coffey got to his feet and threw punches and kicks at Dunne, who was still lying on the mat. Fans booed. Dunne grabbed the arms of Coffey and fired kicks at him, then stood up and delivered a series of stomps to his head. Dunne fired up and had the crowd as he stopped the hans of Coffey and then kicked him. Coffey came back and ended up performing a discus clothesline for a near fall. Coffey went for another discus clothesline, but Dunne countered so that he was on top of him. Dunne went for the finger break spot, but Coffey avoided it and powered him into the corner. Coffey went to the top rope with Dunne and ended up flinging him off the top rope while crashing to the mat with him. A “holy shit” chant broke out.

Both men got to their feet at 27:15 and traded punches in the middle of the ring. Dunne got the better of it with Coffey leaning against the middle rope. Dunne punched himself out and then Coffey came back with a big left hand that dropped Dunne. Coffey pressed Dunne into the air and performed what McGuinness called a Mt. Everest suplex for a near fall. Coffey stomped and then punched the back of Dunne’s head. Coffey set up for Dunne’s Bitter Ending, but Dunne avoided it and hit the move himself. Dunne rolled under the ropes to avoid being pinned.

At 31:00, both wrestlers were on the ropes. Coffey fell backwards to the floor while Dunne fell into the ring. Dunne followed and was hit by a discus lariat. Coffey brought Dunne back to the ring and performed a uranage style slam for a near fall. They went back to the top rope (so perhaps the first time was botched and this was a repeat?) and this time both men fell to the floor and crashed into the barricade. Both men returned to the ring. Dunne ducked a punch and hit one of his own, then performed Bitter End for a near fall. Dunne pulled at the fingers of Coffey, who tapped out…

Pete Dunne defeated Joe Coffey in 34:15 to retain the WWE UK Championship.

Wait, there’s more. As Dunne was celebrating, Walter’s entrance music played and he walked to the ring. The fans snag his entrance theme. Walter entered the ring and looked at Dunne. As they were moving toward one another, Coffey climbed back on the apron. Walter kicked Coffey off the apron. Walter and Dunne looked at one another. Walter put his hands behind his back, then Dunne put the title belt in his mouth and held it with his teeth. Fans chanted NXT loudly. Walter looked at the belt, looked at Dunne, and then left the ring. Dunne went back to celebrating and then Joseph asked what it means for NXT UK and the WWE UK Title…

Powell’s POV: Wow, a cool finish to the show with the debut of Walter. I honestly thought the show was over once Dunne got the win. Oops. A terrific main event that should be remembered when it’s time to put together the best match of 2019 nominees. Strong wrestling and great suspense. Overall, a very good show. There wasn’t a bad match and the English fans provided the usual fun atmosphere. I didn’t think anything would top the opening tag match, but the main event did in my book. It will be interesting to see how the readers vote in our polls on the main page. And with that, I’m off to join my mates at our annual fantasy football postseason party. Yep, the bloody English lingo is starting to rub off on me. Haydn Gleed and Darren Gutteridge will be recording their members’ exclusive audio review of this event on Sunday. Wanker out.

Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Brian Fritz discussing the formation of All Elite Wrestling and their launch rally.



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