By Haydn Gleed, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)
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NXT UK TV taping
Cardiff, Wales at Motorpoint Arena
They took about a 1,000 seats away from the Takeover seating and it was still only about half full by the first match.
Dark Match: “The Hunt” Wild Boar and Primate defeated A-Kid and Jack Starz. A nice win for Wild Boar and Primate in Boar’s home country. Kid and Starz got more offence than I would have expected, but it was a dark match.
Imperium came out and cut a promo bragging about Takeover.
1. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel defeated Danny Jones and Harry Green. Pretty much a squash match. After the match, members of Imperium took turns working over Danny Jones to good crowd heat.
2. Jordan Devlin defeated Ashton Smith. This was a good match and definitely the best since Smith has been in NXT UK.
3. Tegan Nox defeated Shax. A lovely home reaction to the Welsh girl, who won in ten seconds with a Shining Wizard.
After the match, new NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray confronted Nox. She said after she won the title all she heard about was the return of the local girl. She told Tegan to stay out of her way. Nox said that if she wants a fight, she’ll fight her anytime.
4. “South Wales Society” Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster defeated “Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake to retain the NXT UK Tag Titles. Another great match between the two two. I assume this main events one of the shows.
1. Travis Banks defeated Tyson T Bone. Anything involving T-Bone is an excuse for a comfort break, so I didn’t get a true feel for this match
2. Rhea Ripley defeated Debbie Keitel. After the match, Rhea was laying her claim to a NXT UK Women’s Championship when she was interrupted by Jinny and Jazzy Garbet. Jinny claimed Rhea’s look and her achievements are in the past. Jinny made her claim to a championship match. Jazzy tried to climb into the ring when Rhea knocked her to the outside.
3. Joseph Connors defeated Kenny Williams. The crowd was quiet and struggled to get into this match.
4. Kassius Ohno defeated Sid Scala 1-0 in a British rounds match (6 rounds of 3 minutes). A blast from the past, the way they used to wrestle on World of Sport. It seems like a more traditional form of the concept that TNA once used. I understand this was probably a blowoff to the feud that built backstage, but the crowd was bored with the technical aspect as it became repetitive. Between this and the seemingly random match the night before (which came out of nowhere), there’s no emotional attachment to a gimmick match that really needed it. On a positive note, the finish of the match was really well timed and everyone involved deserves credit.
Taping Three (and beyond)
1. Ligero defeated Oliver Carter.
Tyler Bate cut a promo saying he felt he had let everyone in the crowd down. The crowd chanted no. He said he’s not done in NXT UK and there’s plenty of fight left in this big strong boy. Jordan Devlin interrupted and complained about not being on Takeover. Devlin claimed that he would have won the title against Walter. Tyler went down the aisle to confront Jordan.
2. Nina Samuels defeated Dani. Huge cheers for Dani, who’s from Cardiff, but this was a showcase for Samuels.
3. Noam Dar defeated Trent Seven via DQ. The DQ occurred because of a towel…..seriously.
4. Piper Niven defeated Isla Dawn.
5. Alexander Wolfe defeated Saxton Huxley.
Mike Bird was supposed to face Jack Starz in his debut match, but Gallus came out and destroyed them. Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster tried to make the save but got beat down.
6. Kay Lee Ray defeated Tegan Nox in a non-title match. Ray won after targeting the knee of Nox.
Dark main event: Pete Dunne defeated Fabian Aichner.
Gleed’s Ramblings: There wasn’t much energy in the building at the start of the night, which was a combination of low attendance and probably a bit of fatigue. There were roughly 1,000-1,200 in the building, which was a huge step down from Takeover.
It didn’t help matters that the tapings are essentially match after match after match with no context. I’m sure there will be a lot of stuff backstage that we will see on the TV show, but four hours of this was just too much for the crowd. It was also not clear which were dark matches, but they could get between four and six shows out of these shows.