NXT UK put on another two episodes on Wednesday evening, featuring the start of several new rivalries, Wolfgang and The Coffey Brothers continuing their reign over the entire locker room, and the beginning of an eight-woman tournament to crown the inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion. Let’s take a look at all the ongoings from the wacky world of WWE’s United Kingdom brand.
Women’s Tourney Begins
The first of the two episodes began with WWE COO Triple H and NXT UK general manager Johnny Saint announcing an eight-woman single-elimination tournament to determine the first ever NXT UK Women’s Champion. The eight women entering the field are as follows; Rhea Ripley, Xia Brookside, Dakota Kai, the newly crowned Pro Wrestling: EVE Champion Nina Samuels, 2018 WWE Mae Young Classic winner Toni Storm, Isla Dawn, Millie McKenzie, and current PROGRESS Women’s Champion Jinny.
Kicking off the tournament action was the opening match of the second episode, as Kai taking on Samuels. This was a strike-heavy match as both women used a strong style barrage of kicks and knee strikes. There was a near fall for the New Zealand native as she reversed the new EVE Champion’s attempt at a Gory Special into a close rollup. Kai was clearly ticked off at the two count as she laid into Samuels, hitting a plethora of kicks followed by her signature Kairopractor (a sunset flip Backstabber-type move) to advance through to the semifinals.
Episode two rolled on with the second of two semifinals, featuring Jinny going against the disgustingly young Millie McKenzie. Despite being the younger of the two, The Suplex Machine dominated the reigning PROGRESS Women’s Champion with some massive German suplexes, which were preceded by a spear that completely knocked The Fashionista off her feet. A third German was however countered by a buckle Japanese arm drag, allowing Jinny the opportunity to defeat Millie with a Rainmaker-style roundhouse kick. She now joins Dakota Kai as the first of four semifinalists, all with the hope of becoming the inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion.
Scottish Trio Causes Carnage
The domination caused by three stalwarts of the Scottish wrestling scene continued this week, as Wolfgang, Joe Coffey, and Mark Coffey once again put the NXT UK locker room on notice with their no-nonsense attitude and ambushes. The first episode saw Wolfgang beating Ashton Smith (a man that has been targeted by the trio a few times now) in the main event, pinning him to the mat with a modified fisherman’s suplex as opposed to one of his actual signature moves. The Regulator released a brutal assault on Smith throughout the contest, flattening him like a pancake thanks to a jumping senton. It wasn’t all bad news though, as Ashton got in quite a bit of offence actually. Just wasn’t his night, unfortunately.
They were then nowhere to be found on episode two until right when the show was about to go off the air, as they set their eyes on some new targets – Moustache Mountain. Trent Seven had just been defeated in a match at that stage, losing to Zack Gibson who had help from his Grizzled Young Veterans ally James Drake. His leg was Gibson’s main focus of attack in the match, resulting in Joe Coffey putting him in a single leg Boston crab to further increase the damage done to it. Expect to see Moustache Mountain and The Coffey Brothers going after the NXT UK Tag Team Championships when those belts make it to air.
New Rivalries Develop
NXT UK hasn’t seen too many rivalries start to develop since first airing around a month ago. The action’s that good that you don’t even really need to have too many top feuds at a time, but to have something to do for those lower down the card would be an ideal scenario. That’s what we got this week as two new rivalries began to develop – Jordan Devlin against Ligero, and Dave Mastiff against Tyson T-Bone.
Make no mistake about it @Jordan_Devlin1, I know exactly who I am. My reputation of hard work and graft over the last 17 years should be enough for YOU to know who I am. But I’ll happily show you if that’s what you’re after. #NXTUK https://t.co/swFwNZbO07
— El Ligero (@Ligero1) November 14, 2018
The Irish Ace was victorious in his episode one opening match, defeating “The Business” Sid Scala with a move he apparently refers to as the Island’s Call (like a Death Valley driver, but he sits out with the opponent at his side). As a whole, the match was essentially a showcase for the Irish star as he more or less had control for the entirety of the match. Scala nearly scored a win over the former OTT World Champion with a sunset flip but in the end, it was a three count for The Import Killer. Post-match, Devlin stated that we’re yet to see the real him, while also singling out the luchador who doesn’t realise he’s actually from Leeds. Jordan vs Ligero should be a classic – tune in next week to see if that’s the case.
Didn't you speak in broken Spanish for 16 of those years? But when @WWE came calling and told you to cop on to yourself you suddenly remembered you were from Yorkshire. Pray we don't end up in the ring together or I'll slap your stupid mask sideways you dope. #NXTUK #NXTIreland https://t.co/kq0MqTfR2w
— Jordan Devlin (@Jordan_Devlin1) November 14, 2018
Episode two now, and the NXT UK debut of Tyson T-Bone, one of the entrants in the first United Kingdom Championship Tournament back in January 2017. His first official match under the NXT UK banner, however, came against Jake Constantinou, quite a contrast in sizes. A mauling of Jake ensued as the MMA fighter got no offence in whatsoever. T-Bone put an end to his merciless mugging with a big lariat that just about knocked Jake’s head clean off his shoulders. Tyson was, as expected, disgusted with the level of competition being put in front of him. Cue Dave Mastiff’s music.
The Bomber was in action against another man who competed in the inaugural UK Championship Tournament in the form of Dan Moloney. Much like in the previous match, Mastiff killed his opposition. Despite being a larger guy, he can still leave his feet when the time calls for his hit, as we saw with his impressive dropkick and match-ending cannonball senton in the corner for a three-count. Tyson T-Bone was watching on here from ringside, shades of the Baron Corbin/Bull Dempsey feud from early 2015. When this match eventually happens, don’t expect to see itendg as soon as these two matches did.
Apart from these main stories, there was a handful of other ongoings from the two episodes that are worth talking about. Firstly, two newly-formed teams faced off as Kenny Williams and Amir Jordan took on Joseph Conners and Saxon Huxley, both sides perhaps looking to put their names in the hat for a shot at the NXT UK Tag Team Championships. Conners and Huxley dominated a large portion of the action, only really being knocked back when Jordan made a hot tag to Williams who took out both opponents. A missed DDT off the top rope however gave Joseph all he needed, planting the former ICW Zero-G Champion into the mat with his patented Don’t Look Down reverse STO finisher for the three count.
Speaking of the Tag Team Championships, it appears that Moustache Mountain and The Grizzled Young Veterans are trying to one-up each other en-route to the titles being formally introduced on TV. We already mentioned Zack Gibson defeated Trent Seven in the main event of episode two, but episode one saw James Drake going up against Tyler Bate. Both men got equal amounts of offence in, with Mr Mayhem countering attempts at the Tyler Driver ’97 and The B i g S t r o n g B o i showing everyone why he was crowned the first United Kingdom Champion. A rebound lariat off the ropes set Drake up for a Tyler Driver as the two teams went 1-1 in singles action.
It was another two exciting editions of NXT UK, to the shock of absolutely no-one. With the Women’s Championship now officially up for grabs and continued talk of the Tag Team Championships coming to air, there’s plenty of things to speak about. Not to mention all these new rivalries slowly starting to build steam!