I was far too late to realising there was a NXT UK Takeover event on at the weekend, only discovering that it was due to be on on Friday. I’m glad I heard the rumblings about it and decided to tune in. I’ve tried keeping up with it, but there’s not really much drawing me in to it. Or there wasn’t.
What looked on paper like it could be a decent show really stepped up and knocked it out of the part for the first show of its scale. The show followed the same structure as the Takeover shows of NXT, and steered away from the typical mess that is a classic PPV of the main roster. There were 5 matches across 2 hours and 40 minutes, which all managed to tell a convincing story. I highly recommend checking it out. There were a lot of crazy chants, as we’ve come to expect from the UK audience, and that just helped the atmosphere come across while watching.
The opener was a tag team match for the NXT UK tag titles, and it set the bar high for the rest of the show. We had two strong teams battling it out after a few weeks of build up, and the match was fantastic. There were some crazy moves pulled out, Tyler Bate, the big strong boy, even put both opponents on his shoulders and spun them around in a crazy feat of strength. The match was well worked and had a very solid ending to it.
Then there was a singles match, it was supposed to be Jordan Devlin vs Travis Banks, but Devlin, and his dastardly heelish ways eliminated Banks before anything really got going. We were then greeted by Sid Scalla and Johnny Saint saying they thought this was going to happen. In my most Marking Out Moment of the show, the music hit as the lights went dark and Finn Balor came out to the eruption of cheers, and I was excited, everyone seemed excited, and it was a great way to shut the Irish Ace down after his first few months. He’s a good wrestler, but Finn Balor showed that he is one of the best in the world. He didn’t have his ‘happy to be here’ smile on, he looked more serious, more sinister, reminiscent of his NJPW run, and given that I’ve seen only a limited amount of him in WWE, looked fantastic. I think the only performance of his I really remember was his utter squashing of Baron Corbin when he came out as the demon, and that match only lasted about 2 minutes. An absolutely solid match from both guys here, and it ended the only sensible way, hopefully they’re doing something a bit longer term with them, but it could likely just be a one off. There’s a video on the WWE youtube channel of Finn Balors reveal and entrance and it’s electrifying. It has about 4 stages, and it’s worth watching. It starts by everything going dark, and people cheer a bit, it sounds like a lot, but it only intensifies when his name then shows up on the screens. It the gets louder again as he walks out, and then the final part to seeing it all come together is the crowd following his entrance. It’s all rather incredible.
The next match was alright, a no disqualification match, with some cool spots. I think it was the weakest match on the show, but Eddie Dennis was painted as really strong, and Bomber Dave Mastiff continued to look as impressive as he has done already. There were tables, and chairs and it delivered on being a decent match, but on a show like this, there had to be a match that wasn’t up to anything else.
For the Womens Championship, Mae Young Classic winner Toni Storm took on NXT UK Womens Champion Rhea Ripley. It was a hard fought match, with spots reminding us of what happened last time, and playing on Toni Storms work after winning the MYC and losing the match after the UK title tournament. It was a well crafted match, but I believe that the winner was wrong. We had Rhea Ripley being a cocky heel, talking the talk, but not being able to beat a 100% Toni Storm kind of weakened my opinion of her. She’s clearly the bigger one of the two, but I didn’t believe it while watching. Toni is a great wrestler, but didn’t need the elevation immediately of the title, I hope the feud continues, but we’ll see what happens.
The WWE UK Title was on the line in the last match of the night, Gallus’ Joe Coffey vs the Bruiserweight Pete Dunne, whose title reign has just crossed 600 days. The match really showed that Joe Coffey was able to handle the expectations that were placed on him, and Pete Dunne just proved why he’s held the title for so long. The match was very back and forth, very well contested, and hard to tell who would win. Towards the end of the match they went for the final moves, but ended up having to abandon the move as they fell off the turnbuckle to the outside trying the same thing twice. The ending had to change, and it made sense, it kind of was a move that more people should tap out to, so I am glad that they changed it and kept it sensible.
What happened after though was remarkable. Pete Dunne had his title, was celebrating, then WALTER turned up. He walked out, made his way into the ring, started to stare down, but Joe Coffey climbed up to the edge of the rink, and WALTER booted him straight off, then resumed his stare down. It was intense, and it hopefully will give levity and weight to NXT UK as WALTER is such a great wrestler that we can hope that the feud between them elevates the brand.
All in all, it was a fantastic show, incredibly well worked, and there were some incredible moments that have to be seen.
Have an excellent day! Thanks for reading! You’re all my favourites!