NXT UK – December 19, 2018 (First Episode)

NXT UK
Date: December 19, 2018
Location: Plymouth Pavilions, Devon, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness

We’re getting into some interesting times now with the announcement of the NXT UK Tag Team Titles. That instantly gives a lot of people something to do and that’s a good thing around here. Other than that we have some people coming after the United Kingdom Title, which needs to change hands sooner rather than later so Pete Dunne isn’t miles ahead of everyone else. Let’s get to it.

The opening video previews Rhea Ripley defending the Women’s Title against Isla Dawn tonight. This might work better if Dawn’s witch thing actually developed whatsoever.

Opening sequence.

Jordan Devlin vs. Mike Hitchman

An early fireman’s carry takeover puts Devlin down but he hits some forearms to the back to put Boar in trouble. The chinlock goes on for a bit before an Irish whip into the corner messes with Boar’s back again. The release Rock Bottom looks to set up the standing moonsault but Boar is out of the way. Boar hits a backsplash but can’t hit a package piledriver. Instead Devlin kicks him in the head, only to miss a moonsault. The pop up powerbomb gives Boar two, only to have Devlin snap off the Ireland’s Call for the pin at 4:57.

Rating: C-. Devlin is someone they want to push and his work has gotten better but he doesn’t exactly offer anything special. He has a good look and can wrestle a match, but the “I’m the best and will be the champion” thing has been done to death and puts him in the middle of a large group of people doing and saying almost the exact same thing.

Post match Devlin says betting on him isn’t a gamble because the Ace trumps all.

Moustache Mountain likes NXT UK so far and now it’s time to win the titles. First though, they need to take care of Gallus.

Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews want the Tag Team Titles as well because they’re exciting.

Fabian Aichner vs. Eddie Ryan

Ryan wears a lion mask to the ring because he’s the English Lion. He certainly has a good look to him. Aichner won’t shake hands to start and the threat of a headbutt makes Eddie back off. A dropkick staggers Aichner though and a clothesline takes him outside. Back in and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker plants Eddie, followed by a belly to back suplex for two. Ryan knocks him into the corner, setting up the middle rope European uppercut. Aichner has had it with him though and sends Eddie outside for the running knee into the steps. The helicopter bomb gives Aichner the pin at 5:07.

Rating: C. I liked both guys here as they offer something a little different than the same people that populate this show so often. These are two big guys who hit each other hard, setting them apart from the aforementioned “I’m from the UK and I’m tough”, which gets a little difficult to take time after time.

Video on Travis Banks.

Tyson T-Bone/Saxon Huxley vs. Moustache Mountain

T-Bone hammers on Bate to start and drives him into the corner for the tag off to Huxley so the beating can begin. The middle rope elbow to the jaw takes Huxley down though and Seven comes in to scare him to the floor. Back in and T-Bone pops Seven in the jaw with a right hand to take over with the villains getting the better of things in the corner. They take turns hitting Seven in the face and a crossbody against the ropes gets two.

The front facelock slows Seven down even more until T-Bone hammers away with forearms to the back. T-Bone’s big right hand is countered with a snapdragon suplex, followed by an enziguri for the tag to Bate. A German suplex takes Huxley down and the running shooting star gets two. Bate’s suicide dive takes T-Bone down and the clothesline/dragon suplex combination finishes Huxley at 7:03.

Rating: C. It’s pretty clear that Moustache Mountain is going to be in the title match whenever the titles are decided and that’s just fine. Now if this place is smart, they’ll have them lose in the title match and make a new team so they can set up a big rematch down the line. Hopefully that’s where we go, because it’s what makes the most sense and has the most potential.

After beating Eddie Dennis last week, Dave Mastiff wants the UK Title. Dennis runs in and beats him down.

Video on Pete Dunne.

Next week: Toni Storm is back, Webster/Andrews vs. James Drake/Zack Gibson and Mark Coffey vs. Travis Banks.

Women’s Title: Isla Dawn vs. Rhea Ripley

Ripley is defending for the first time. Dawn’s headlock doesn’t get her very far so she takes Ripley down for one instead. The headlock on the mat works a bit better but Ripley is right back up with a running dropkick to take over. Ripley slams her down for two more and puts a boot on the back for some posing. The chinlock goes on for a bit, followed by a hard clothesline for two on Dawn.

A victory roll is countered into Ripley’s standing cloverleaf until Dawn rolls her way out. Ripley misses a big boot and goes shoulder first into the post (that’s an epidemic anymore). Dawn knees her in the ribs and the snap suplex Jackhammer gets two. Nigel: “Dawn has put away everybody with that bridging suplex.” Has she won three matches with it yet? Riptide retains the title a few seconds later at 9:00.

Rating: C. This was similar to any first title defense with little drama and nothing more than a way to get Ripley a title defense under her belt. The wrestling was fine though I can’t say I’m surprised at the lack of a reaction at Dawn’s big near fall. That’s all this needed to be as Ripley is likely to hold the title for a pretty long time to come.

Replays and posing take us out.

Overall Rating: C+. Perfectly fine show this week as you can see the first Takeover card from here. That doesn’t mean it’s anything thrilling, but I’ll take acceptable over “let’s get this over with” any day. They still have a long way to go for their midcard character development but things could be far worse considering how long the show has been around. Not a bad show at all here, though the same problems still exist.

Results

Jordan Devlin b. Wild Boar – Ireland’s Call

Fabian Aichner b. Eddie Ryan – Helicopter bomb

Moustache Mountain b. Saxon Huxley/Tyson T-Bone – Clothesline/dragon suplex combination to Huxley

Rhea Ripley b. Isla Dawn – Riptide

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