Date: November 28, 2018
Location: NEC Arena, Birmingham, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
It’s time for a title match as Jordan Devlin has challenged Pete Dunne for the NXT UK Title and gets his shot here. It’s not like there is anyone else to get the shot at the moment so they might as well go with Devlin. Other than that we’re likely going to get some build towards the first ever Women’s Title match, which should be taking place next week. Let’s get to it.
The announcers hype up the upcoming title matches.
Xia Brookside/Millie McKenzie vs. Charlie Morgan/Killer Kelly
Xia grabs a top wristlock on the very tall Morgan to start things off. A headstand lets Morgan reverse into a regular wristlock so Brookside grabs a hurricanrana to get out of trouble. The rather popular Millie comes in for a swinging neckbreaker and it’s time to start in on the armbar. That goes nowhere so it’s off to Kelly, who gets armbarred as well, this time with the shoulder at a really painful looking angle.
Kelly finally sends her into the corner for the break and, with her arm apparently not wrecked, hammers away on the mat. Millie pops up for a hard release German suplex (Fans: “SUPLEX MILLIE!”) and it’s back to Xia to pick up the pace. That’s cut off with a toss into the post but Millie is right back with a spear to Morgan, giving Xia the jackknife rollup pin at 5:14.
Rating: C. Millie definitely has star power and Xia’s look alone will keep her in a good place for a long time. Being the daughter of a big time WWE trainer won’t hurt either. I still haven’t gotten much out of Kelly, but I’ve heard good things about her stuff from outside NXT UK. That’s not exactly unheard of so maybe she’s better than I’ve given her credit for.
Ashton Smith vs. Eddie Dennis
Smith, who isn’t the taller one for a change, spins out of a wristlock to start but bounces off a shoulder block attempt. A dropkick staggers Dennis and a leg lariat puts him on the floor. The suicide dive just isn’t working though as Dennis drives him back first into the apron instead. Back in and Dennis gets into his cocky mode before hitting a judo throw for two.
The cravate goes on for a bit, until Smith fights up with a quick backbreaker. A springboard dropkick puts Dennis on the floor for a big flip dive (no hands of course) and a top rope leg lariat gets two. Dennis gets some boots up in the corner and goes up, only to get staggered with a dropkick. The superplex is countered into the Severn Bridge though and the reverse implant DDT gives Dennis the pin at 6:02.
Rating: C. Smith’s offense looks good as he’s a big guy with some great athleticism. That’s the kind of style that makes him a valuable commodity, but there’s something so interesting about Dennis. It’s kind of a mysterious aura and that’s much more important than the athleticism. Anyone can show off in the ring, but being someone who gets your attention is what matters.
We recap Saxon Huxley and Joseph Conners splitting last week.
Joseph Conners vs. Saxon Huxley
They go right at each other to start with Huxley uppercutting him into the corner. Some right hands have Conners in trouble until some knees to the ribs cut Huxley off. A hard clothesline lets Conners hammer away on the mat as the fans call him Judas. Things slow down a bit as we hit the chinlock. Since Conners doesn’t like the JUDAS SUCKS chants, he puts Huxley on the top for some forearms to the back. Huxley makes the comeback with a running knee and a dropkick, only to miss a charge. A sitout Rock Bottom spinebuster gives Conners two, followed by Don’t Look Down for the pin at 5:15.
Rating: D+. The brawling was fun but neither of these guys do anything for me. They’re just generic brawlers who don’t stand out in any way. I mean, other than Huxley’s look of course. Neither has any kind of a character to be seen and the story was started last week and blown off a week later. That doesn’t do them any favors and it’s a problem on a lot of the roster.
Video on Toni Storm, who wants to make history. She doesn’t just want to win because she needs to win. Ripley isn’t getting the title because it’s Toni time.
Video on Rhea Ripley, who tried being nice last year in the Mae Young Classic but would rather be ruthless and get what she wants. She’s not worried about Toni Storm because Toni isn’t Rhea Ripley.
United Kingdom Title: Pete Dunne vs. Jordan Devlin
Devlin is challenging and gets taken down by the wrist. That’s reversed into a headscissors but it turns into a slap off with Dunne getting the better of things. Devlin takes him down by the wrist to little avail as Dunne monkey flips his way to freedom. One heck of a forearm drops Dunne but he pops back up with a heck of a clothesline. It’s time to bend Devlin’s fingers back before Dunne just stomps on Devlin’s head. You can’t say he doesn’t vary up his offense.
Devlin avoids a charge though and kicks at the back before going with some more slaps to the face. A standing moonsault hits Dunne’s legs for two but he’s up with a glare and a hard forearm. This time it’s Devlin getting dropped so Dunne hits a running forearm in the corner. The snap German suplex sets up the X Plex into a cross armbreaker but Devlin rolls onto him for two and a break. Dunne tries a charge but runs into a backdrop driver for a closer two than you might expect.
A standing moonsault misses though and Dunne unloads with stomps on the fingers. The Spanish Fly plants Dunne but he’s right back with a Koji Clutch. With that broken up, Dunne tries a stomp to the hand on the steps but gets shoved off, sending him face first into the steps. Devlin isn’t done and hits a Spanish Fly off the steps. That’s enough for a dueling MAMA MIA/HOLY S*** chant, with the fans not quite in sync.
Both guys have to dive back in to break the count, with Devlin grabbing a reverse hurricanrana for two more. The fans accurately declare this awesome but switch to oooo as Dunne punches him in the face to block a standing Lionsault. Dunne back’s is killing him though and he can’t follow up, allowing Devlin to roll to the apron.
Devlin sends him back first into the post and a super Spanish Fly (dude learn a new move) gets two more. That’s good for a standing ovation and Devlin follows up by removing Dunne’s mouthpiece and hitting a superkick. Devlin’s moonsault is countered into a triangle choke and Dunne breaks the fingers to make Devlin tap at 15:10.
Rating: A-. Devlin had been growing on me for a bit and this was the big match that he had been needing. These guys beat the heck out of each other with Dunne’s back injury slowing him down just enough to keep Devlin in there. Dunne, the hometown boy, was being outwrestled by the talented Devlin but took over when Devlin tried to go a little too high. The brawling worked well for Dunne too, including the whole breaking fingers thing. Great match here, as tends to be the case with Dunne.
Overall Rating: B+. That main event alone is enough to make the show work as the top stars around here carry things as far as they need to go. They’re got a star on their hands whenever someone takes the title from Dunne, which almost has to be coming sooner rather than later. The rest of the show was entertaining as well with all but the Conners vs. Huxley match exceeding expectations. Just get some better character development and everything will be great.
Xia Brookside/Millie McKenzie b. Charlie Morgan/Killer Kelly – Spear to Morgan
Eddie Dennis b. Ashton Smith – Reverse implant DDT
Joseph Conners b. Saxon Huxley – Don’t Look Down
Pete Dunne b. Jordan Devlin – Dunne snapped Devlin’s fingers
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