Date: October 17, 2018
Location: Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
So over the last few years, WWE has been going over to the UK for some one off shows and they’ve been pretty good. Since it’s WWE though, that means it’s time to start a whole new weekly show (currently their fourth show on Wednesdays) under the NXT banner. I’m not sure what to expect here so let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at the history of WWE in the UK and HHH talks about how ever empire has a beginning.
The announcers preview the show. Dang Joseph is way taller than I thought.
Mark Andrews vs. Joe Coffey
Coffey is a big guy who has his brother Mark in his corner. The brothers were rather violent back at the UK Title Tournament shows back in June so they’re certainly villains. Coffey powers him to the mat to start and gets two off a test of strength grip. The much smaller Andrews gets in a shot to the face and a springboard hurricanrana has the fans right back into things.
Coffey is right back up with some hard shots to the face and just plows through Andrews with a shoulder. A swinging butterfly suplex gets two and we hit a cross arm choke to keep Andrews in trouble. Mark Coffey is about to get in a cheap shot but gets caught, leaving Joe to run Andrews over instead. Back in and Andrews slugs away for all he’s got, capped off by an enziguri to put Coffey down.
A double stomp to the ribs sets up a standing corkscrew moonsault for two and Andrews is running out of steam. Coffey has had it with Andrews and hits a pop up powerslam for two of his own but the Stundog Millionaire gets Andrews out of trouble for the moment. Mark Coffey saves Joe from the shooting star so Andrews dives onto both of them for the big crash. Back in and Mark Coffey offers another distraction, allowing Joe to hit a hard belly to belly into a discus lariat for the pin at 7:37.
Rating: C+. Good choice for an opener here as you need something entertaining to get the fans into the feel of the show. The Coffey Brothers are going to be solid heels as they’re bigger than most of the people on the show and work well together. On the other hand you have a high flier like Andrews, who is always going to be worth a look. Nice match here and it even sets up some stuff going forward. Not bad at all and a smart move to put Joe over someone who has been on the main roster.
Post match the double beatdown is on but Flash Morgan Webster makes the save with his helmet as payback for the brothers beating him down back in June.
Eddie Dennis is the Pride of Wales and has been friends with Andrews and Pete Dunne for years. He’s got some stories.
Here’s the very popular Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) to talk about this being the most important day in the history of British wrestling. This is the birth of NXT UK so let’s pause for the UK chant. Just a few months ago, they stood in this very ring and became the NXT Tag Team Champions. Since then, HHH has mentioned something about some NXT UK Tag Team Titles. There’s just one problem: there aren’t any other tag teams in NXT UK. There is however a boat load of talent in the back so let’s have some of them become teams to give Moustache Mountain some competition. Posing and cheering ensue.
Dave Mastiff, a big man with a huge beard, is coming to show what he’s made of. Mastiff has to weigh at least 350lbs if not more. That’s certainly a bit different.
Clip of Noam Dar returning in June and becoming #1 contender.
Sid Scala vs. Dave Mastiff
Mastiff’s entrance gets a gasp. Scala on the other hand doesn’t get much of a reaction because he’s just a guy in trunks. Mastiff drives him into the corner as the announcers aren’t even pretending that this is going to be competitive. A big toss sends Scala flying and Mastiff hits a rather impressive dropkick to cut him down. There’s a release German suplex into the Cannonball in the corner for the pin at 1:58. Exactly what it should have been.
Nina Samuels is ready to show what she can do.
Nina Samuels vs. Toni Storm
You can feel the star power from Storm. Toni takes her down by the head to start, drawing a rather positive chant from the crowd. Back up and Samuels slaps her in the face, earning a series of strikes into the corner. Storm misses a charge though and a running knee gives Samuels two.
Some stomps keep Storm in trouble so she fights up with forearms to the face. A kind of sloppy tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gives Samuels two and it’s time to start mocking Storm. Naturally that fires Storm up (Samuels kind of had it coming) and it’s a release German suplex into Storm Zero (White Noise onto the knee) to give Storm the pin at 4:09.
Rating: C. Oh yeah Storm is going to be a star and there’s no stopping that. She has a great look, the charisma, the presence and can work in the ring. Not bad for someone in her early 20s. Samuels got to show off a bit here and wasn’t very impressive. Her offense was very basic and nothing she did really stood out.
Next week: Tyler Bate vs. Wolfgang.
United Kingdom Title: Pete Dunne vs. Noam Dar
Dar is challenging and General Manager Johnny Saint is in the ring for the introductions. Dunne gets a hero’s welcome, as you had to expect. Feeling out process to start but hang on because the fans need to sing Happy Birthday to Dar. That’s not cool with Dunne so he blasts Dar with a clothesline, which is fine with the fans as well. Dar sends him outside for a hard soccer kick to the arm and Dunne in in some sudden trouble.
Back in and Dunne hits a quick X Plex for a breather and unloads in the corner. Dar kicks him with the face so Dunne flips out of a German suplex and gets two off a powerbomb. A northern lights suplex gives Dar the same so Dunne goes for the fingers like a true villain who the fans cheer anyway. Dar is right back with a release fisherman’s suplex onto the apron and they’re both down. Stereo dives beat the count at nine as the fans declare this awesome.
Dunne goes to the fingers again so Dar spins around into an elbow to the face. A leglock is reversed into a cross armbreaker but Dar reverses that into an ankle lock. Dunne staggers him with an enziguri so Dar forearms him in the back of the head for the double knockdown. Dar kicks the leg out but the Nova Roller is forearmed out of the air. The Bitter End is reversed into a kneebar with Dunne having to dive for the rope. That’s enough for Dunne, who bends the fingers back again and stomps on the arm, setting up the Bitter End to retain at 11:35.
Rating: B. This didn’t have the drama or the emotion (or the time) that a lot of Dunne’s matches have but Dar more than showcased himself here. They’re doing a very good job of having Dunne get closer and closer to losing the title but surviving in the end. Whoever eventually figures out the puzzle is going to look like a star and that’s the point of such a long title reign. Good first main event here.
Post match Dunne offers a handshake but the injured Dar sticks his pinkie up, which Dunne seems fine with as he returns the gesture and smiles.
Overall Rating: B+. This is a situation where the wrestling and the content weren’t exactly the point. The purpose of this show was to start off strong and they did just that. You got an introduction to several characters and that’s going to be the case for the first few weeks. The main event was a solid match and we know Dunne is the man around here, while the rest of the show was about setting up a foundation. This was a success, and while there’s a long way to go, they’ve started well.
Joe Coffey b. Mark Andrews – Discus lariat
Dave Mastiff b. Sid Scala – Cannonball
Toni Storm b. Nina Samuels – Storm Zero
Pete Dunne b. Noam Dar – Bitter End
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