Welcome back to the weekly TJRwrestling review of WWE NXT UK. Last week, it was a solid show and Gallus ended the show coming out on top in six-man tag action. News broke earlier this week that the NXT Takeover: Dublin event is being pushed to October due to the Coronavirus outbreak, and with this show being taped, we might see some build to a show that is no longer happening.
In case you missed my announcement from my NXT review, this will be my final week writing reviews for weekly shows here at TJRwrestling. I will continue to contribute to the site in other ways. Life gets the best of us sometimes. Let’s go out with a bang.
WWE NXT UK from Coventry, England 3/26/2020
The show opens and they jump right into things and send it down to the ring for the first match.
Imperium (Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner) vs. Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter
The two teams get a little chippy to start but they settle down and Barthel and Carter start the match off for their teams. Barthel works on the hand and arm of Carter and takes him down to the mat. He wrenches on his legs and Carter is in a world of pain. Carter attempts to fight out but Barthel cuts him off. Barthel maintains control and kicks Carter in the back. Carter comes back with a superkick but Barthel is quick to recover and make a tag. Aichner works on Carter when he gets in the ring but Carter fights his way out and makes a tag to Smith. He is a house of fire and takes out Aichner a few times before making the tag back into Carter. They hit a double team move and Carter covers for a two count. Carter continues to stay on the offensive and he goes up for a moonsault but Barthel pulls his leg off the rope sending him crashing down to the mat. Barthel gets the tag and he hits a big chop on Carter and stomps him in the corner. Barthel with another stiff shot and makes a tag to Aichner. He hits Carter in the back with some shots that sends Carter down to the mat. He makes the tag back to Aichner and they hit a double team dropkick before celebrating on the rope. Aichner is back in and he works on the head and neck of Carter. Carter gets to his feet and tries to fight out but Aichner takes him down. Carter finally is able to escape and makes the tag to Smith who takes out both members of Imperium. Big Suplex by Smith for a two count. He picks up Aichner but he slips out and hits Smith with an elbow. Carter makes a blind tag and hits a splash and covers Aichner but Barthel breaks it up at two. Barthel tosses Smith to the outside and Imperium goes for a double team but Smith pushes Barthel off the rope as Carter hits a hurricanrana for a two count on Aichner. Barthel recovers and takes Smith out of the ring as Aichner and Carter brawl on the inside. Aichner gets the upper hand and they knock Smith to the outside and hit Carter with the European Bomb and pick to the win in about 8 minutes.
Winner(s): Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner
Match Rating: 3.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: Imperium continues its dominance over NXT UK with another win here. Aichner and Barthel are slowing becoming one of my favorite tag teams and they work well together. Smith and Carter held their own here as well, and it was a solid tag team match overall.
After the match, Imperium celebrates in the ring.
They show a package showcasing the NXT UK Tag Team Champions, Gallus.
Mustache Mountain is backstage talking about the battle royal next week to determine the Number One Contender for the NXT UK Championship. Alexander Wolfe comments next and says that he will win to protect the interest of Imperium.
Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter are being interviewed. Smith says that when they decided to join forces, they knew it wouldn’t be smooth sailing. He says that NXT UK has the best tag team wrestling but he is interrupted by Pretty Deadly who are clapping and tell them to chill out because they are just messing with them. Before they leave, Smith says their focus needs to be on next week since they are both in the battle royal.
Nina Samuels vs. Aoife Valkyrie
Samuels threw out the challenge last week because she is tired of being overlooked.
Both women lock up and Valkyrie grabs a headlock. She takes Samuels down to the mat but she reversed course and puts Valkyrie in head scissors. Valkyrie gets back to her feet and rolls Samuels up for a two count. They have a test of strength and Valkyrie rolls her up again for another near fall. Samuels uses the ropes for leverage and take Valkyrie down with a slam and covers her for a two count. She locks up the legs of Valkyrie and then locks her up in a combination submission. Valkyrie reverses course and hits Samuels with a knee to the face for a two count. Samuels slides to the outside to recover, but Valkyrie hits her with a dropkick through the second rope. Samuels gets up on the apron and kicks Valkyrie in the head and hits a splash for a two count. She picks Valkyrie in a fireman’s carry but Valkyrie slips out. Samuels slaps her in the face and the two have a staredown. Valkyrie hits an elbow and follows that up with a kick to the face. She climbs to the top and hits the top rope Ax Kick and gets the win in about 5 minutes.
Winner: Aoife Valkyrie
Match Rating: 1.75/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: Valkyrie continues her winning ways and you can tell she has the rocket ship strapped to her. It seems like there is a formula for her matches where a woman is backstage the week before and calls her out, only for Valkyrie to end up beating them in quick fashion the next week. Samuels came out like a house of fire to start but ultimately Valkyrie came out on top. Her showdown with Kay Lee Ray for the NXT UK Women’s Championship is imminent.
They show a package that talks about the showdown last week between Piper Niven and Kay Lee Ray. Niven is interviewed backstage and says that she knows how devious Kay Lee Ray can be. She said next week they will be in a tag team match against one another and that she will reach her a lesson.
They show Mark Andrews being attacked last week which lead him to miss the main event six-man tag team match.
Noam Dar vs. A-Kid
These two had a brief confrontation last week that lead to this match taking place.
Dar tries to take Kid down early but Kid fights out. They lock hands and Dar takes him down while working over the arm. Kid bridges up and puts Dar in a headscissors. Dar gets out and puts Kid in a side headlock. Both men get back to their feet and Kid goes for a kick but misses and Dar shrugs him off. They lock hands again with Kid getting the advantage this time. Dar gets back to his feet but Kid locks him in an octopus stretch. Dar recovers but Kid takes him out with a kick to the spine. Kid rolls him up and gets a two count. Both men exchange pinfall attempts but they only get one count. They get back to their feet and Dar looks frustrated. They lock up again and Dar works him over to the rope and hits a big elbow that sends Kid out to the apron. Dar follows that up with a strike to the neck and stomps down on Kid. Dar hits a series of uppercuts and gets a near fall. He works on the arm of Kid again and he is in a world of pain. Kid gets back to his feet and hits a dropkick that sends Dar across the ring. He attempts to follow up but Dar is playing possum and locks Kid in an armbar. Kid rolls out and puts Dar in a Triangle Choke of his own. Dar powers out and puts Kid in a leg lock. Kid fights out of that one and puts Dar in an armbar. Both men are back up and Kid tries to put a waistlock on but Dar hits a low blow. He follows that up with the Nova Roller and picks up the win in about 7 minutes.
Winner: Noam Dar
Match Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was a fun match that had a dead crowd. A-Kid showed a lot of athleticism here with both men trading wrestling holds for the majority of it. Kid has been getting a lot of TV time lately but has come out on the losing end most of the time. Noam Dar is a weird cat, but I can see why the brand thinks highly of him. This was an example of a good match that the crowd nearly detracted from because they didn’t react to anything in the ring.
After the match, Dar grabs the mic and says that he isn’t afraid of some battle royal. He says they he is in the supernova 11 and that they are looking at the next NXT UK Champion.
They go to a package showcasing the NXT UK Champion Walter.
Dave Mastiff is shown backstage and says that no one will be able to throw him over the top rope next week. Kassius Ohno says that he is a wrestling genius and that his intelligence will allow him to win next week. Ilja Draganov says he prepares for every match like it is a fight and that there is only one fighter in the match next week.
NXT Cruiserweight Title Match
“The Irish Ace” Jordan Devlin (c) vs. Travis Banks
They get the championship introductions and it’s time for the main event to get underway.
Banks takes him down to start the match but doesn’t keep the advantage long. He works on the arm of Devlin and takes him down to the mat again. Devlin fights out and both men are back to their feet. Devlin puts Banks in an armbar of his own and works him to the mat. Banks fights out and they are back at square one. Banks catches a kick from Devlin and works on his ankle. He moves to the upper body of Devlin and works on the arm. He rolls Devlin up a few times and gets a two count each time. Devlin rolls to the outside to regain his composure. Banks grabs him by the hair to bring him in but Devlin pulls him down neck first on the top rope. Devlin gets back in but Banks is quick to meet him and he sends him outside again. Banks comes out with a Suicide dive but Devlin moves and Banks hits nothing but guardrail shoulder first. Devlin rolls him back in the ring and hits an elevated backbreaker and gets a two count. Devlin throws him into the ropes and hits a high knee to the midsection. He starts to work on the arm of Banks in the center of the ring. Banks starts firing back but Devlin snuffs him out. He pushes Banks into the corner but Banks gets a boot to the face. Both men exchange blows and Banks comes off the ropes but is met with a Spanish Fly and Devlin covers for a two count. Devlin hits a double knee to the face of Banks. He works him down with some elbows to the head and puts his boot to his throat. Banks tries to fight out again with some chops but Devlin hits a jawbreaker. Devlin walks over and starts to kick Banks in the chest but it’s only firing him up. Banks attempts a comeback but Devlin counters him again and slams him down. Devlin does for a moonsault but Banks gets the knees up. Banks hits a series of corner elbows and a Rolling Senton. Banks hits a bridging German Suplex but only gets a two count. Banks continues to take it to Devlin with some kicks to the chest. Devlin catches the last kick and sweeps his legs out from under him. Banks comes back with a leg sweep of his own and kicks Devlin to the outside. Banks comes flying out with a Suicide Dive and this time he connects. He rolls Devlin back in the ring and hits a big double stomp off the top rope. He covers Devlin but he kicks out. That was an awesome near fall. It’s men exchange strikes in the middle of the ring. Banks hits a sunset flip for a two count and they exchange pinfall attempts. Banks with a big kick and Devlin returns the favor and both men are down on the mat. Devlin is the first one up and drags Banks to the corner of the ring. Devlin climbs up top, but Banks pulls him down into the Tree of Woe. Banks goes up top and hits a double stomp and covers but only gets a two count. Banks climbs up top again but is met with a kick to the head by Devlin. He hits Banks with some punches and hits a slingshot cutter but only gets a two count. Devlin does up top but misses a moonsault. Banks hits a Slingblade and goes for the Kiwi Crusher, but Devlin slips out and rolls him up and picks up the win in about 15 minutes.
Winner and STILL NXT Cruiserweight Champion: Jordan Devlin
Match Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a very good match between two guys that have great chemistry. Travis Banks came to play and he stood toe to toe with the NXT Cruiserweight Champion. The crowd was dead to start but they got them right back into it with the near falls and back and forth action. Banks took a nasty looking bump into the guardrail shoulder-first and hopefully he is fine because it looked brutal. Jordan Devlin played the opportunist role well and used the outside to his advantage. They really got something with this guy and he carries himself like a true champion. Having the Cruiserweight Title close the show was also a cool sight and it shows that they are starting to value the belt a tad bit more. It was a very strong main event to close the show.
Post-Match, they show replays of the best spots in the match. Devlin walks up the ramp celebrating with the title and the show comes to an end.
Overall Show Rating: 7 out of 10
This was a strong showing for the NXT UK brand. To me, it’s hard to rate a one hour show higher than a 7 and I think that everything on this show was strong sans maybe the Aoife Valkyrie match. The opening match was competitive with Imperium picking up another win to keep the faction stronger than ever. Noam Dar and A-Kid went out and had a quality match but the match lost some luster due to the lack of any kind of crowd heat. The main event stole the show though and had two guys go out there and bust their asses for 15 minutes and put on a quality championship match. Overall, as I said, it was a strong show and the 20-man Battle Royal next week should be a great watch as well.
What did you think of WWE NXT UK this week? Loved it? Hated it? Still haven’t checked it out? Either way, follow me over @collectiveheel on twitter and let me know your thoughts. Support the site. Love each other, and wash your hands. I’ll be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.