By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool II
Aired live January 12, 2020 on WWE Network
Blackpool, England at Empress Ballroom
A video package opened the show… The broadcast team of Tom Phillips and Nigel McGuinness checked in from ringside. “Nigel, we are home,” Phillips said. McGuinness said they started three years ago and they are back to take over again…
1. Trent Seven vs. Eddie Dennis. The bell rang and Dennis went for a kick that Seven ducked. Seven powerbombed Dennis for an early near fall. Dennis came back with a Razor’s Edge style powerbomb. Later, Seven set up for the Burning Hammer, but Dennis grabbed the top rope to stop it.
Dennis tried to remove one of the top turnbuckle pads. The referee caught him, but the pad fell off moments later when Seven cut off Dennis in the corner and superplexed him for a two count. Seven went for the Seven Star Lariat, but Dennis ducked it and Seven’s momentum took him into the exposed turnbuckle.
Dennis went for a Razor’s Edge into the exposed buckle, but the referee stood in the way. Dennis turned and tossed Seven over the top rope and onto a guy at ringside. Damn. Back inside the ring, Dennis covered Seven for a good near fall. Dennis hit his Neck Stop Driver finisher and scored the pin…
Eddie Dennis defeated Trent Seven in 8:20.
Powell’s POV: I don’t know who the guy was at ringside who agreed to have Seven thrown at him, but I hope he gets a little extra pay. He basically turned away and hoped for the best. The actual match was very entertaining and got the show off to a strong start.
A Royal Rumble video aired… The Gallus members were shown warming up backstage while McGuinness wondered if Joe Coffey could defeat Walter in the main event… A video package set up the NXT UK Women’s Title match…
2. Kay Lee Ray vs. Toni Storm vs. Piper Niven in a Triple Threat for the NXT UK Women’s Championship. Ring announcer Andy Shepherd delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Storm hit Ray before the bell. Niven pulled Storm away for a moment and the bell rang to start the match. Niven didn’t seem to play favorites, as she went after both opponents. Storm and Ray were fighting on the mat when Niven performed a senton on top of them.
Phillips noted that Niven has had some back problems. Niven tried to pull Storm way from Lee and was greeted with a punch from Storm. Niven came right back with a running cross body block onto Storm. Ray hit Niven with a nice superkick.
Later, Ray placed a chair around the head of Storm, but Niven ran in and shoulder blocked Ray before she could execute her plan of attack. Storm picked up the chair and looked at Niven, who jawed at her while Ray stood on the apron and laughed. Storm dropped the chair and both women went after Ray. Storm dove onto Ray at ringside, then Niven performed a cannonball onto Ray.
Ray came back with a senton from the top rope onto Storm and Niven at ringside. Phillips pointed out on the replay that the back of Ray’s leg hit the ringside barricade. Fortunately, she got right back to her feet. Storm cut off Ray on the ropes and set up for a superplex, but Niven grabbed Storm and powerbombed her. Ray went for a senton on Niven, who moved, causing Ray to land on Storm. Niven powerbombed Ray and followed up with a Michinoku Driver for a near fall.
Ray came back with a Gory Bomb and had the pin, but Storm actually stopped the referee from making the count. McGuinness pointed out that there are no disqualifications in a Triple Threat. Niven performed a Canadian Destroyer on Ray. Storm rushed back and took out Niven with a kick, then performed her Storm Zero finisher on Ray. Storm had the pin, but Niven broke it up at the last moment by shoving the back of Storm.
Storm put Niven down with a Pedigree style move and then followed up with a frogsplash. Ray returned to take out Storm with a superkick and then stole the pin on Niven…
Kay Lee Ray defeated Toni Storm and Piper Niven in 13:10 in a Triple Threat match to retain the NXT UK Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: A very good Triple Threat match. Niven looked great to the point that it’s crazy to think that she had a recent bout with Bell’s Palsy. All three wrestlers did a very good job with the three-way spots and there was some nice storytelling given the unique dynamic between the characters. I really enjoyed this and I’m looking forward to seeing where all three women go from here from a storyline standpoint.
The Imperium members were shown backstage. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel were preparing for their match while Walter and Alexander Wolfe watched…
Travis Banks was shown in the crowd and then he waved to the fans… A video package set up the Jordan Devlin vs. Tyler Bate match…
3. Tyler Bate vs. Jordan Devlin. The crowd sang their Bate song once the bell rang to start the match. Bate performed an early press slam and then dropkicked him to ringside. A short time later, Bate leapt off the ropes into a Codebreaker from Devlin in a cool spot. Devlin went on the offensive and applied a surfboard hold.
Bate rallied and performed an airplane spin that went on for quite some time. Bate slowed down, then sped up again before dumping Devlin. Bate followed up with a brainbuster for a two count. A short time later, both men were at ringside when Devlin kicked Bate and then returned to the ring. The referee made a slow count and Bate returned just in time. Bate and Devlin traded strikes inside the ring. Bate got the better of it while the crowd fired up. Devlin came back, but Bate caught him with a kick from the ropes.
Bate set up for his finisher, but Devlin avoided it. Devlin performed a standing Spanish Fly. A short time later, Devlin performed another Spanish Fly from the top rope and then followed up with a suplex and still only got a near fall. A short time later, Bate connected with a headbutt from the apron. Bate performed a wild springboard DDT and then hit his Tyler Driver 97 for a good near fall. Bate leapt right up and performed a corkscrew splash and scored the pin.
Tyler Bate defeated Jordan Devlin in 22:30.
After the match, Triple H, Johnny Saint, and William Regal were shown standing and applauding in one of the second level boxes as Bate celebrated his win…
Powell’s POV: The match looked strong on paper and totally delivered. I assumed that babyface Bate would win if for no other reason than heels won the first two matches, but they made me second guess myself a time or two. I liked the well deserved standing ovation from the WWE authority figures and loved the emotion that Bate showed while playing to the crowd afterward. This has been a heck of a show thus far and it should only get better with the last two matches.
A video package set up the NXT UK Tag Title match…
4. Mark Coffey and Wolfgang vs. “Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake vs. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel vs. Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster in a four-way ladder match for the NXT UK Tag Titles. Phillips noted that Andrews and Webster were wearing purple while paying homage to their native Wales (it sure as hell wasn’t for my Minnesota Vikings, sigh).
Gibson and Drake introduced chairs early, but they were cut off and Drake was set up in the corner in a tree of woe. The Imperium duo of Aichner and Barthel performed baseball slide dropkicks that drove the chair into Drake’s face. Andrews and Webster set up a chair inside the ring, but The Imperium duo cleared them from the ring. Coffey and Wolfgang brought a bigger ladder into the ring and stopped Aichner and Barthel from climbing the first ladder. The crowd chanted for tables.
Later, Andrews performed a shooting star press off the ladder onto Coffey in a cool spot. Moments later, Webster was placed on a ladder that was leaning against the middle rope and held in position by Barthel. Aichner performed a springboard moonsault onto Webster. Damn. The Imperium duo climbed a ladder, but Gibson and Drake cut them off and set up a taller ladder next to the one Imperium used.
There was a spot with multiple ladders in place and all eight wrestlers on them making plays for the title belts that were hanging above the ring. It didn’t really lead to anything notable, though the ladders remained in the ring once everyone ended up back in the ring or at ringside. Drake performed an impressive 450 splash from a ladder that was propped up over the ropes and through another ladder, and hit Andrews with the move.
There were a pair of ladders set up over the ring apron and the barrier. One of them collapsed while Andrews was punching Coffey, who was lying on the table. This appeared to lead to Andrews and Webster calling an audible, as they performed a double senton splash from a high ladder onto Wolfgang, which drove him through the other table.
Andrews and Webster made a play for the title belts, but they were cut off by Gibson and Drake. Gibson stood guard while Drake made a slow play for the belts. Andrews found a kendo stick and took out Gibson, then fired away at Drake. Andrews made a play for the belts, but Imperium returned and took him out with a brainbuster. Barthel climbed the ladder and got his hands on the belts, but Coffey cut him off. Coffey went for a German suplex and the ladder started to tilt, but Aichner grabbed it from the other side.
Wolfgang returned and speared Aichner through a ladder that was set up in the corner. Coffey shoved the ladder over and Barthel landed on a pile of wrestlers at ringside. Coffey and Wolfgang pulled the belts down to the win the match and retain their titles…
Mark Coffey & Wolfgang defeated Zack Gibson & James Drake, Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel, and Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster in 25:00 in a four-way ladder match to retain the NXT UK Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: A good match with the big spots you expect from a match like this. It felt a little crowded with four teams at times and there was also a lot of times when wrestlers were selling at ringside for extended periods of times. That’s going to happen with so many teams involved. But the match was enjoyable and I was legitimately surprised to see the champions retain. I thought the plan would be for Aichner and Barthel to win the titles so that Imperium had more gold going into their Worlds Collide match with Undisputed Era.
A Worlds Collide ad aired… An ad aired for the Royal Rumble and focused on the Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan match for the WWE Universal Championship… Ridge Holland was shown in the crowd (rugby player Luke Menzies turned pro wrestler)…
The broadcast team spoke at ringside and set up a video package on the main event…
5. Walter vs. Joe Coffey for the WWE UK Championship. Andy Shepherd delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The bell rang to start the match and Walter immediately went for a kick, which Coffey side stepped. Th wrestlers brawled at ringside early. In a nice touch, Phillips said the referee was giving them a lot of leeway since it was a WWE UK Championship match and the main event of the night.
Walter controlled the bulk of the mat wrestling in the ring. Walter applied a choke hold from behind, but Coffey powered him onto his back and then fell backward to break it. Coffey performed an impressive German suplex into a bridge for a two count.
A short time later, Coffey speared Walter in the corner. Walter came back with a dropkick, which Coffey avoided, causing the referee to take the kick. REF BUMP!!! Coffey powerbombed Walter and got the visual pinfall while the referee was down. Imperium’s Alexander Wolfe ran out and caught Coffey with a kick. Gallus’s Ilja Dragunov ran out and took out Wolfe. Dragunuv performed a move on Wolfe, which drove him into Coffey, who came up holding his knee. Walter clotheslined Dragunov and then went after Coffey and powerbombed him onto the apron.
Back inside the ring, Walter performed a short-arm clothesline and went for the pin. A second referee ran out and made a two count. Dragunov and Wolfe fought to the back with Dragunov getting the better of the exchange. Walter went up top, but Coffey cut him off with a chop. Coffey went to the ropes, then fell down and sold knee pain. Coffey went back to the ropes, but Walter knocked him down. Coffey got up and hit Walter, then performed a suplex from the ropes. Both men were down.
A short time later, Walter went to work on Coffey’s bad knee and then performed a top rope splash for a near fall. Coffey came back with a clothesline for a near fall of his own. Coffey got to his feet and went for a discus move, but Walter ducked it and applied a sleeper hold. Walter performed a sleeper suplex and a powerbomb, then delivered a kick to the back of Coffey. Walter powerbombed Coffey and applied a sleeper from a different angle. Coffey tapped out.
Walter defeated Joe Coffey in 27:35 to retain the WWE UK Championship.
After the match, Wolfe, Aichner, and Barthel came to the ring and helped Walter to his feet. The group struck their pose in the ring. Phillips thanked fans for joining them and said the era of Imperium is in full force. The crowd started cheering and then the Undisputed Era faction of Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly attacked the Imperium members in the ring.
Walter and Cole had a staredown while everyone else was at ringside, but the rest of Undisputed Era returned and joined Cole and in working over Walter. The fans popped big and chanted NXT while Undisputed Era stood tall. Strong and O’Reilly held Walter in place while Cole hit him with the Last Shot. The other members of Imperium tried to return to the ring, but the other Undisputed Era members put the boots to them. The Undisputed Era members struck their pose in the middle of the ring to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A very well worked main event. Coffey did a nice job of selling the knee injury, which gave him an out for losing. That said, I never really bought into the possibility of Walter losing, mostly because he’s such a strong champion that there was no reason to take the title from him. The post match angle was strong, well received, and obviously sets up the Worlds Collide main event between Undisputed Era and Imperium, which should be a lot of fun.
Overall, another excellent Takeover special with some top notch in-ring work and straight forward, logical, and easy to follow booking. This was a very good show and it’s worth going out of your way to check it out if you didn’t watch it live. Dot Net Members will hear an exclusive audio review of this event on Monday that will be hosted by The British Invasion podcast duo of Haydn Gleed and Darren Gutteridge. Let us know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade and voting for the best match in our post show polls available on the main page.
Join John Moore for his live review of Impact Wrestling Hard To Kill as the show airs tonight on pay-per-view television and FITE.TV.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...