NXT UK – October 31, 2018 (First Episode)

NXT UK
Date: October 31, 2018
Location: Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness

So this is something a little interesting as there will be two episodes of the show released today, both with today’s date listed. My guess is that since these shows were taped so long ago and another taping has already taken place, they’d like to get caught up at a faster pace. Since Mae Young Classic ended last week too, they needed something to make sure we still have four shows on Wednesday, because that’s just what we should have. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Trent Seven vs. Saxon Huxley

Huxley says he’s burned off the deadwood since losing in the UK Title tournament and the new beast is ready. They fight over a lockup to start with Huxley getting the better of it and working on the arm. A chop just hurts Seven’s arm and Huxley knees him in the ribs. Seven grabs a DDT but gets hammered down as the fans sing something to both of them. We hit the chinlock to keep Seven down for a few moments longer than you might expect until he fights to his feet for a windup lariat. There’s a backdrop as the fans are off to a version of what used to be Bayley’s song. The Burning Hammer finishes Huxley at 5:08.

Rating: D+. This was the less popular mustached guy beating the 193th menacing guy who likes to fight. Seven having to sweat a bit was fine, as he and Tyler Bate are two of the most popular guys around here so it’s a good idea to let him get a win like this. Huxley got a lot, but it’s not like he stands out whatsoever.

Video on the Coffey Brothers.

Mark Coffey vs. Flash Morgan Webster

Mark has his brother Joe with him. Webster gets caught with a shot to the ribs to start but he’s fine enough to snap off some armdrags into an armbar. A running hurricanrana sets up a standing inverted Swanton for two but Joe offers a distraction. That’s enough for Mark to get in a hard uppercut and a bridging belly to back suplex gets two.

Mark slows things down with some knees to the ribs and another belly to back is good for three straight near falls. Webster is back with a middle rope spinning flip attack for a breather and a jumping knee sends Mark outside. A hurricanrana around the post drops Mark so Joe offers a distraction, allowing Mark to grab another suplex. Mark tries yet another suplex but this one gets reversed into a crucifix to give Webster the pin at 6:16.

Rating: C-. It’s a good sign that they already have some heels together and faces to fight them, but Webster isn’t doing much for me. He comes off as the guy whose gimmick is being quirky without actually being quirky. The match was slightly better than the first, but it wasn’t exactly thrilling stuff. Also, do you really want to have one of your monsters losing clean, especially with his brother there to help him?

Post match the beatdown is on but Travis Banks and Mark Andrews run in for the save.

Danny Burch says you should be here to win.

Sam Gradwell says he’s not here for five star matches but to be a thunderstorm.

Danny Burch vs. Sam Gradwell

Burch forearms him into the corner but Gradwell punches his way out and snapmares him down as the fans think someone looks stupid. A German suplex gets Burch out of trouble and he hammers away, only to walk into a Michinoku Driver. They slug it out (you knew it was heading there) with Burch getting the better of it and grabbing a hanging DDT for the pin at 4:04.

Rating: C-. This was a rather simple way of doing things and that’s how it should have gone given the people in there. Burch can wrestle a good match but having him be the fighter isn’t the worst way to go. Gradwell is another generic guy in trunks who talks about how tough he is. Find something new.

Post match Danny talks about being a proud Englishman who has spent fifteen years traveling the world, carrying the banner of British wrestling. Now he’s home and part of the best wrestling in the world. He knows he’s earned the respect of everyone in that locker room but it’s time to get someone’s attention. That would be Pete Dunne because Burch wants the UK Title. Burch has been British strong style since Dunne was a baby so come try him.

Video on Jordan Devlin.

Zack Gibson vs. Noam Dar

They fight over arm control to start with Dar getting some very early control. The fans sing some more but Dar stops to mock Gibson’s boots in a weird moment. Gibson’s headscissors doesn’t get him anywhere so Dar goes for the leg and tries to take the boot off. I’m still not sure what that’s about so Dar just cranks back on the leg instead. Gibson’s armbar works a bit better as Dar can’t even roll his way out. The break finally has Gibson annoyed so Dar grabs some rollups for two each.

Another kick to the knee stops Gibson again and they head outside where yet another shot to the knee cuts Gibson down. Back in and a belly to back suplex gives Dar two but Gibson goes right back to the arm. The fans sing something else that I’m assuming is anti-Gibson, though it’s not always easy to tell. Gibson hits a few clotheslines for two and we hit the chinlock. There’s the stomp on Dar’s arm, which has become almost a requirement in arm work today.

A wristlock suplex keeps Dar in trouble but he’s right back with a few shots to the face. Dar gets two each off a pair of suplexes so Gibson gets his own near fall off a middle rope Codebreaker. The Shankley Gates is broken up and they head outside again with Gibson powerbombing him onto the ramp for a very painful sounding crash. That gives us the dive in at nine and the Shankley Gates go on.

Since that move only works in matches that aren’t incredibly important, Dar dives over to the rope for the break. Dar fights up again and kicks the knee out but the Nova Roller misses. Gibson can’t follow up so Dar heads up and hits a top rope double stomp to the knee. They get in a fight over arm cranking and knee kicks until Dar slaps on a kneebar, which is broken up as well.

Gibson’s Backstabber is countered into an ankle lock with a grapevine but that’s STILL not enough as Gibson punches his way out, including grabbing Dar’s ear. Dar misses a middle rope stomp to the knee and hurts his own knee in the process. Helter Skelter (a lifting spinning suplex) finishes Dar (with Gibson raising the bad leg) at 21:10.

Rating: B-. Well that was rather long, though it was also pretty good. Dar is SO much better as a face than a heel that it’s almost funny, while Gibson is a rather strong heel who has turned into one of the better villains on the show. This could have been five minutes shorter (it would have kept the show under an hour) but it was still an entertaining match that didn’t feel as long as it was.

Overall Rating: C. The show is starting to hit its stride though they’re still in the early stages. Considering this was the third show, that’s a combination of impressive and expected but the show certainly doesn’t drag and you can see who are the bigger stars. Nothing on here was bad and the main event is pretty good, making this a pretty easy hour (plus) show to watch.

Results

Trent Seven b. Saxon Huxley – Burning Hammer

Flash Morgan Webster b. Mark Coffey – Crucifix

Danny Burch b. Sam Gradwell – Hanging DDT

Travis Banks b. Noam Dar – Helter Skelter

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the paperback edition of KB’s Complete 2003 Smackdown Reviews (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:

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