NXT UK – January 9, 2019 (First Episode)

NXT UK
Date: January 9, 2019
Location: Liverpool Olympia, Liverpool, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness

We’re coming up on the first Takeover and that means a few more things have to be pieced together. One such thing is the other half of the Tag Team Title match. We’ll take care of that tonight with the other semifinal match in the Tag Team Title tournament, with Flash Morgan Webster/Mark Andrews vs. Zack Gibson/James Drake. I think you know where this is going so let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Jamie Ahmed/Dan Moloney vs. Amir Jordan/Kenny Williams

Jamie cranks on Jordan’s arm to start but Williams comes in to jump over Ahmed to start in on his arm. It’s already back to Jordan for two off a splash and a running forearm in the corner. A cheap shot from the apron lets Ahmed hit a clothesline for two and it’s off to Moloney to keep Jordan in trouble. It’s off to a hammerlock for a bit until a backdrop allows the hot tag to Williams. A springboard back elbow drops Ahmed and it’s time for some kicks to the face. Jordan makes a blind tag as Williams dives onto Moloney. The Swanton finishes Ahmed at 3:59. Williams and Jordan are shocked that they actually won something.

Rating: C-. Williams and Jordan looked good here but we’ve already established that they’re not going to win anything against a bigger name team. You have to build them up somehow though and this worked well enough. Their stunned look was a nice touch too as they haven’t had any significant success coming into this win so they’ll take anything they can get here.

We look back at Joe Coffey destroying Pete Dunne to end last week’s show.

Here’s Gallus (with Wolfgang playing Batista as the Coffey Brothers have matching shirts and Wolfgang is in a vest) for a chat. Joe says no one likes them and they’re fine with that. Next week (or later today if you live in the real world) it’s finally Gallus vs. British Strong Style. Dunne is going to be lucky to be able to walk out of the ring and make it to Blackpool because this is their kingdom. The group pose takes us out. Nothing to say here, but Joe has good delivery.

Earlier today we had a press conference (with the invisible press) for the Women’s Title match at Takeover. Toni Storm is proud of winning the Mae Young Classic but winning the title would mean even more. Rhea Ripley, with her feet on the table, isn’t worried about Toni because she’s beaten her before.

Toni was injured in the first match and that’s going to motivate her to win the title. She lists off all the women she beat in the tournament, with Rhea just saying “didn’t beat me”. Rhea doesn’t take kindly to her win being called a fluke because she’s the face of NXT UK. The fight is almost on with Johnny Saint holding them back as Rhea says Storm will never be champion. The press conference bit was kind of dumb but at least it was different.

Joseph Conners doesn’t think much of Ligero, who he faces next week.

Isla Dawn vs. Xia Brookside

We actually get a handshake to start as the fans aren’t sure who they like more here. A wristlock gives us a standoff so Dawn takes her down into a quickly broken armbar. Dawn slips out of a headscissors and works on the legs, which just seems to annoy Brookside. Back up and Brookside dances out of a crossarm choke to put Dawn in one of her own. Dawn reverses into the same thing before it’s off to a pinfall reversal sequence for some near falls each. Brookside tries a victory roll but Dawn uses the Owen Hart counter by sitting down on it for the pin at 4:59.

Rating: C-. This didn’t have the time to go anywhere but Brookside continues to be all kinds of charming and adorable while Dawn is the kind of person who could be built back up into something bigger down the line. They’re going to need some fresh challengers after Takeover and while Dawn has already lost a shot, it’s not like they have any better options at the moment.

Video on Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis. Eddie promises to put him down for good in Blackpool.

During the break, Jinny jumped Dawn, who seemed more surprised than anything else.

Damien Weir vs. Jordan Devlin

Devlin works on the arm to start and flips him over into an armbar on the mat. Weir gets taken into the corner where Devlin says this is just having fun because Weir isn’t in his league. That earns Devlin a right hand but it’s a release Rock Bottom into the standing moonsault. Weir gets his back bent over a knee and it’s off to the double arm crank. A victory roll gives Weir two so Devlin kicks him in the head. Devlin scores with a slingshot cutter and the hard belly to back suplex makes it worse. Ireland’s Call finishes Weir at 4:49.

Rating: D+. Just a squash here though Devlin is starting to separate himself from the rest of the midcard pack. They need to get to a big match for him already and having him vs. Travis Banks before Takeover would be perfectly fine. Neither of them is near the top of the show but you have to have some midcard feuds in there somewhere.

Post match Devlin grabs the mic but Banks comes in to chase him off. The proposed fight doesn’t happen tonight.

Moustache Mountain is ready for either team in Blackpool.

Tag Team Title Tournament Semifinals: Flash Morgan Webster/Mark Andrews vs. James Drake/Zack Gibson

The winners get Moustache Mountain on Saturday. Drake and Andrews start things off but it’s quickly off to Gibson to knock Webster off the top. A Doomsday Device gets two on Andrews and we’re only about 45 seconds in. That’s followed by a middle rope elbow/backbreaker combination on the floor as Andrews is still in serious trouble. Back in and we hit the chinlock, followed by a heck of a chinlock from Drake.

Gibson grabs another chinlock but Andrews finally kicks the villains into each other, allowing the hot tag to Webster. That brings the fans right back into it and Webster clotheslines Drake down to hammer away. A running flip dive drops Gibson on the floor, followed by the Baba O’Reilly Buster for two on Drake. Gibson counters a monkey flip with an armbar but Webster knocks him outside without much effort.

An assisted standing 450 gives Andrews two on Gibson but Webster gets pulled to the floor. Ticket to Ride is good for two on Andrews, who hurricanranas Drake into Gibson for a breather. Webster comes in with a Swanton to both guys and a reverse hurricanrana gets two on Drake. That puts everyone down and the fans are very pleased. Gibson heads outside and catches Andrews’ dive, reversing it into Helter Skelter on the ramp. Back in and another Ticket to Ride finishes Webster at 8:19.

Rating: B. This was looking pretty boring to start but my goodness it picked up steam as they got going. I was expecting Webster and Andrews to just be the spunky challengers who were little more than a roadblock for Drake and Gibson but they turned it into a rather good match with everyone working hard and giving us the obvious ending, but not before a great effort.

Overall Rating: B-. The main event helped a lot here and it made for a rather good show. That’s what they need as we get closer to Takeover, which isn’t the most thrilling show in the world. They can make something out of it though, and that’s the best effort they can get in at the moment. Drake and Gibson advancing should promise us a good Tag Team Title match as well and that’s what Takeover needs. Nice show, with one rather good development.

Results

Kenny Williams/Amir Jordan b. Jamie Ahmed/Dan Moloney – Swanton Bomb to Moloney

Isla Dawn b. Xia Brookside – Rollup

Jordan Devlin b. Damien Weir – Ireland’s Call

Zack Gibson/James Drake b. Flash Morgan Webster/Mark Andrews – Ticket to Ride to Webster

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