By Haydn Gleed, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)
NXT UK TV
Taped January 17-18, 2020 in York, England at the York Barbican
Streamed January 30, 2020 on WWE Network
The review of the February 6 show will be available later today or over the weekend.
Highlights were shown of World’s Collide before the usual video and music opened the show. Tom Phillips and Aiden English were on the call for a show that was taped before the show they just opened the show showing highlights for (I feel like I’m back watching Ring Of Honor)…
Video was shown of Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster approaching Dave Mastiff, and Tom Phillips confirmed that Dave would be their partner for the main event against Imperium.
1. Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan defeated “The Hunt” Wild Boar and Primate. During the match Phillips randomly said that Nigel McGuinness was away on an apprenticeship to make homemade Yum Yums…..ok. Nice tag match between these four men.
Gleed’s Ramblings: It was difficult to get totally invested in this, as there was a feeling that nothing was on line (hey, I am watching ROH TV!), but as an exhibition match this was fun to watch. I have the feeling we are going to get quite a few of these matches over the next few weeks considering this was taped before World’s Collide and there’s no new tapings until March (insert another ROH joke here).
Toni Storm was interviewed after her match with Rhea Ripley at World’s Collide. She was asked what went wrong. Toni claimed that it’s Kay Lee Ray still in her head. She said this has to end and walked off…
Eddie Dennis walked out in a suit. He stared at members of the audience on his slow walk to the ring. He climbed in the ring and grabbed a microphone. The crowd booed as he looked around. He said that he did this as they showed highlights of Eddie Dennis throwing Trent Seven over the top rope at NXT UK Takeover Blackpool onto the guy at ringside.
Dennis said he took a pillar of NXT UK, a founding father, Trent Seven and put him above his head, and when the referee wouldn’t let him throw him into the turnbuckle, it forced his hand. Trent interrupted. He came out with a microphone and said, you are boring and more importantly Eddie you are a liar and a cheat.
Seven said as much as the history books will say Eddie Dennis defeated Trent Seven, but he feels that the history books will miss out the fact that he exposed the steel turnbuckle and that was the reason that he got the win at Takeover 2 Blackpool. Trent proposed that they do it again, but this time we take every single turnbuckle pad and we expose four corners of steel. He said let’s do it as a street fight. Eddie took a swing at Trent Seven but Trent ducked and kicked Eddie as he rolled out of the ring.
Gleed’s Ramblings: The positives first, Trent was his usual self on the promo, that being someone who could hype someone crossing a road as the greatest thing ever and people would buy it, but once again they are completely dropping the ball with Eddie Dennis. I was hoping we would get to know the character more and why he is deranged but he just took us through highlights of something we have already seen. He’s also talking in a mixture of a Mankind and Broken Matt Hardy voice with his promo, it’s dreadful. For someone with so much promise, and someone who when he was being introduced with sit-down interviews was calm, cerebral, and came across as intelligent and dangerous, this gimmick is really bad. All that being said I am looking forward to seeing the rematch as the gimmick is somewhat unique.
Tyler Bate was interviewed in the UK Performance Center. He was interrupted by A-Kid who complimented Tyler on his match at NXT UK Takeover and said that he wants to get to that standard. Tyler said they shouldn’t put this off anymore, they should have a match next week. They shook hands…
A vignette aired for Aoife Valkyrie. She stated that she would be arriving in two weeks…
Gleed’s Ramblings: A nice looking and well produced vignette and I’m looking forward to seeing the girl from Ireland.
2. Isla Dawn defeated Nina Samuels. I’ve literally lost count of how many times this match has been on NXT UK TV, but I will say that this is probably the best match between them that we’ve seen. There’s still a lot of room from improvement from both but it’s encouraging to see the match quality trending upwards. Considering how the announcers talked about how management were high on Isla Dawn, you had to know she was winning this match.
Ilja Draganov was interviewed backstage after his match with Finn Balor and was asked what he took away from the match. He said he’s searching for the big battlegrounds and Finn gave him that. He said he has learned from this and you know what? Finn told him do not miss. He asked if fans had seen his nose, then added he did not miss. He said he will re-focus now and get prepared for Joe Coffey.
Gleed’s Ramblings: A confident promo, which totally suited the Russian’s character.
RADZI!!! was backstage with Burch and Lorcan, who said NXT UK has a great tag team division and they are going to test themselves. They challenged Gallus to a match (Radzi didn’t ask them how they feel and that upset me)…
3. Ridge Holland defeated Tyson T-Bone. The finish came out of nowhere. It was evenly matched and then Holland hit a slam and that was it…
Gleed’s Ramblings: The worst gimmick in NXT. Holland, who is green as grass (and played fake rugby), against the most boring wrestler on the roster. What could possibly go wrong? All joking aside, this could have been a lot worse. They mostly stayed away from wrestling moves and instead beat the tar out of each other with punches and kicks. When they did go for some wrestling moves, they did not look good. Considering how low my expectations were this did exceed them but that wouldn’t have been hard.
Tyler Bate vs. A-Kid and Trent Seven vs. Eddie Dennis were promoted for next week’s show (both should be a lot of fun)…
4. “Imperium” Marcel Barthel, Fabian Aichner, and Alexander Wolfe defeated Mark Andrews, Flash Morgan Webster, and Dave Mastiff.
Gleed’s Ramblings: You have to hand it to Andrews and FMW, they competed on the Sunday in Blackpool in the ladder match NXT UK Takeover, then flew to the States for their Dusty Rhodes classic match, and then flew back to York for this match a few days later. You know there are going to be some people out there who are confused how Alexander Wolfe was competing here considering a few days earlier he was sparked out in the main event at World Collide. It was a good match and definitely main event worthy. Imperium is the dominant faction in NXT UK and just beat The Undisputed Era. If we look at this in chronological order, they weren’t going to lose this match.
I made a few ROH jokes at the start of this report, but the main difference between ROH and NXT UK despite the similar issues with schedules and tapings, is NXT UK do have self contained TV feuds which won’t ever play out on PPV/Network Special. They are basic feuds where one week Wrestler A has an issue with Wrestler B and they face each other the week after. It makes for much more interesting TV if not majorly exciting. The next few weeks are going to be difficult to keep the momentum NXT UK Takeover Blackpool II and World’s Collide generated but it’s the nature of the beast. They are making every effort with up to date promos from after the main issues at World’s Collide so they are making every effort.
Not a bad show. I’m still disappointed by what they continue to do with Eddie Dennis without giving the opportunity for us to know why he is the way he is but that aside a decent opening match, a decent women’s match, a slugfest which was awful but an improvement on how atrocious it could have been, and a good main event. The backstage videos from Worlds Collide made this show feel current.
I’ll be back tomorrow with this weeks report of NXT UK and members will be able to listen to my audio reviews of both shows. I can only apologise by how I got behind. I was suffering from a nasty cold that had me bed bound so I was banned from using my laptop for a week.