Welcome back to the weekly TJRwrestling review of WWE NXT UK. Last week, it was a good show with the main event between Walter and Dave Mastiff for the NXT UK Championship being the standout match. You can read my entire review if that show, and every episode I have covered in the archives here. Let’s see how they continue the build to NXT Takeover: Dublin.
WWE NXT UK from Coventry, England 3/12/2020
They start off the show with the crowd in full force and we are joined by Nigel McGuinness and newly promoted play by play commentator Andy Shepard. Shepard was formally the ring announcer for the brand. He mentions how excited he is to move to the commentary desk but is cut off when the lights go out and the music of Finn Balor hits.
Balor makes his way out to the ring. He mentioned that he would be in the arena to call Walter out last night on NXT. Balor grabs a mic and introduces himself. He says that he isn’t here to improve the ratings, but he came for Walter. He asks if Walter has the balls to come out and face the prince. The lights go out and the Imperium music hits the arena. Walter makes his way down to the ring and both men share a staredown. The rest of Imperium makes their way to Walter’s side. Alexander Wolfe has a mic and says they want to give Balor a proper welcome. Imperium surrounds the ring and comes in the ring one by one but Balor takes them all out. Balor slides out of the ring as Imperium regroups inside the ring. Balor stares at all the members in the ring as he walks slowly up the ramp.
Piper Niven is backstage and is asked why she got involved in the I Quit match last week between Kay Lee Ray and Toni Storm. Niven says that she and Storm are like sisters, they may fight, but at the end of the day, she had to help out. She says she couldn’t watch as Kay Lee Ray crippled her friend. She says that Ray is a lost cause and when she looked in her eyes she sees nothing but evil. Niven says that something has to be done.
There is a package showcasing Tyler Bate. He is one of the top talents in NXT UK and it’s smart of them to have him on the show in some capacity.
Pretty Deadly (Lewis Howley and Sam Stoker) vs. Dereiss Gordon and Dan Moloney
The match starts with Pretty Deadly taking out both men and sending them to the outside of the ring. Stoker and Moloney are the legal men and Stoker works him over with some boots to the chest. He tags in Howley and he continues the assault. Moloney goes for a clothesline but misses and Howley takes him down. Moloney rebounds and picks Howley up in a Suplex and covers him for a two count. He makes the tag to Gordon who comes in and hits a big elbow to the face of Howley. He hits a series of kicks and covers for a two count. He works Howley over to the corner but Stoker distracts him and Howley gains the advantage. Howley makes the tag and he takes Gordon down and covers him for a two count. He makes a tag back into Howley and he hits Gordon with some elbows in the corner. He hits a suplex for a two count. Pretty Deadly hits some double team offense and gets another two count. They exchange tags and continue to isolate Gordon in their corner. Stoker stomps down in Gordon and hits him with some punches. He tags in Howley who gets a two count. He puts Gordon in a chin lock and hits a knee to the back. Gordon recovers and hits a sunset flip but Howley is able to make the tag. Stoker tries to stop Gordon from making the tag but he does and Moloney is a house of fire. He hits both men with some stiff shots but Pretty Deadly regains the advantage when Howley hits him with a shot to the head. Both men get in the ring and hit the Deadly Pretty to pick up the win in about 8 minutes.
Winner(s): Pretty Deadly
Match Rating: 2.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: It was a pretty standard tag team match with Pretty Deadly picking up a win. There was a lot of tandem offense, and both teams worked smoothly together. Pretty Deadly’s gimmick is eerily similar to Tyler Breeze and it’s almost like having two of him in one team. Dereiss Gordon is an athlete and he got to show some of that off here when he had the chance to get some offense in. Average start to the night.
Alexander Wolfe is backstage with Johnny Saint and Sid Scala. He says that he wants a match tonight against Finn Balor and they agree. Jordan Devlin comes right in behind and says that they don’t have to worry anymore, because their ace is here. Sid says that he is glad that he is there, and he will have the chance to prove it when he defends the NXT Cruiserweight Championship against Travis Banks in two weeks.
Joe Coffey and Dave Mastiff are having a confrontation at the NXT UK Performance Center. They say that they will finish it next week and that Gallus is on top.
Ligero vs. “The Scottish Supernova” Noam Dar
Ligero looks to get started quickly but Dar scoots away. They lock up and Ligero looks for the early advantage but Dar fights out. Dar works on the arm but Ligero flips out. He pushes Dar into the corner and uses the ropes to his advantage. He stomps on the back of Dar and goes out to the apron. He goes to kick the leg but Dar jumps over and kicks his legs out from under him. Dar goes to the outside and hits an uppercut on Ligero. He rolls him in the ring and covers him for a two count. Dar hits dimes elbows and stomps down on the ankles and wrist of Ligero. Dar hits a Suplex and covers for a near fall. Dar tried to pull the mask off but Ligero resists. Dar takes his legs out again and he falls to the mat. Ligero recovers and throws Dar to the outside. He comes over the top with a senton and takes both of them out. Ligero rolls him back in the ring and hits some kicks to the chest area. Ligero hits a Reverse DDT and gets a two count. Ligero continues working on Dar but he fights back and kicks out the legs of Ligero. Dar locks him in a Fujiwara Armbar but Ligero rolls him up and gets a two count. Both men exchange blows in the ring before Dar kicks out the legs of Ligero again. He lines him up and hits the Novaroller and picks up the win. The match went for about 5 minutes.
Winner: Noam Dar
Match Rating: 2.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: Noam Dar was the star of the match, although Ligero put up a good fight. Dar kept grabbing his horns on his mask which came off as a little goofy but this was a fun back and forth match. Dar is a former NXT Cruiserweight Champion and it seems like this match was a way to get him back on the show. His offense looks good and this was a little better of a match than I was expecting it to be.
Travis Banks is being interviewed backstage. He is asked how he feels to be getting a shot at the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. He says that Devlin needs to remember that it wasn’t his shoulders that were pinned to the mat at World’s Collide. He says that he will be the first Kiwi Cruiserweight Champion. Banks leaves and the interview is over.
Amale vs. Dani Luna
The bell sounds and both women lock up in the ring. Luna tosses Amale to the side after she tries to lick her up for a Suplex. Amale comes back with an armbar but Luna fights her off again. Amale is back on the offensive and gets her in another armbar. Amale continues to hold her arm and showboats in the ring. Luna takes exception and picks her up over her head and slams her down. Luna goes to continue the offense but is attacked from behind by Kay Lee Ray and the match ends in a DQ after 2 minutes.
Winner by DQ: Dani Luna
Match Rating: DUD
Collective Thoughts: Wasn’t much to the match before Kay Lee Ray came in and beat up Luna, which is probably going to set up the next big women’s program for the brand. Lee has been a pretty dominant champion thus far, which isn’t a bad thing.
After the match, Ray grabs a mic and says that now that she has gotten rid of Toni Storm, she is putting the rest of the division on notice. Luna comes in and hits her from behind but Ray picks her up and slams her down with the Gory Bomb. Ray tells her that in case she didn’t hear her the division belongs to her.
There is a package for Aoife Valkyrie. She says that we will all be witnesses to the rise of the Valkyrie.
They announce that it’s official for next week that Gallus will be taking on Dave Mastiff, Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster in a six-man tag team match. It’s time for the main event.
Finn Balor vs. Alexander Wolfe
The match begins and Balor takes Wolfe down to the mat for the early advantage. He locks the arm of Wolfe behind him but Wolfe gets back to his feet and hits an elbow to the head. Wolfe tries to mount some offense but Balor cuts him off with a shot of his own. He puts Wolfe in a clutch but Wolfe gets back to his feet and works him into the corner. Balor reverses and starts to hit some shots to the chest. Balor with a series of big chops. He continues to slap Wolfe down to the mat and covers for a two count. Balor walks over but Wolfe picks him up and hits a backbreaker. He covers Balor and gets a near fall. He puts Balor in the corner and hits some high knees. He grabs the face of Balor and works him down to his knees. Wolfe locks him in a bearhug and Imperium makes their way down to the ring. He slams Balor down and gets a near fall. Wolfe picks Balor up and slams his head into the corner. Wolfe locks him in another bearhug and brings him to the middle of the ring. Balor fights out and hits an alone to the head. Wolfe cuts him off and hits a chop and some knees of his own. Balor recovers and hits a forearm off the ropes. He comes off the ropes again and hits a Basement Dropkick. He stomps down off Wolfe as he is looking out at Imperium on the outside. Balor hits a Slingblade and goes to follow up but Aichner grabs his ankle and pulls him down. Wolfe takes advantage and hits Balor and knocks him to the mat. The referee throws the rest of Imperium out of the ringside area. Wolfe goes for a Powerbomb but Balor gets out and hits a double stomp. Wolfe hits a Bridging German Suplex and gets a two count. Wolfe picks him up but Balor slides out and hits the corner dropkick. He climbs to the top and hits the Coup de Grace. He picks Wolfe up and hits the 1916 DDT and picks up the win in about 7 minutes.
Winner: Finn Balor
Match Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: I can’t remember a Finn Balor match recently that was just average but that’s what I felt about this one. Wolfe was a fine opponent, but the whole match never really picked up. Balor hit all the usual moves like The Slingblade, The Coup de Grace and the 1916 DDT, although the 1916 he delivered here looked a little ugly. This was just a way to build heat with Balor and Imperium as their eventual collision is right around the bend. It was the best match of the night, so that’s a positive.
After the match, Balor celebrates in the ring as the show goes off the air.
Overall Show Rating: 5.5 out of 10
This was one of the weaker episodes of WWE NXT UK that I have seen thus far. There wasn’t much heat from the crowd and the matches were all-around average. Balor’s opening promo was very short and to the point and the action that followed when Imperium came out was just okay. The opening tag team match had its moments, although you knew how it was going to go when Pretty Deadly got an entrance and the other team didn’t. Noam Dar had a nice showing defeating Ligero and the women’s match was short only going two minutes before Kay Lee Ray got involved. The main event was just average and didn’t have a lot going for it. I will say though that the addition of Andy Shepard to the commentator’s booth was welcome and he had a solid first outing.
What did you think of WWE NXT UK this week? Loved it? Hated it? Still haven’t seen an episode? As always, follow me over @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. Support the site. Support each other. I’ll be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.