Date: July 3, 2019
Location: Download Festival, Leicestershire, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Aiden English
We have to be coming up on the end of this taping cycle. This week has a title match included with the Grizzled Young Veterans defending against Moustache Mountain in a rematch from Takeover: Blackpool. The crowd reactions continue to be the most interesting parts of these shows as the fans might not be the most familiar with the product. That makes for a better chance to see what works and what doesn’t, assuming NXT actually pays attention. Let’s get to it.
We open with a look at the Grizzled Young Veterans winning the titles and Moustache Mountain fighting to get back to the title shot.
Rhea Ripley storms to the ring and, after telling the cheering fans to shut up, calls out Piper Niven for a fight right now.
Rhea Ripley vs. Piper Niven
Rhea manages to pound her down to start but the big running crossbody out of the corner gets Niven out of trouble. A trip to the floor lets Ripley snap Niven over the top rope and the beating continues outside. Niven gets posted to give Ripley one as the fans have moved to split. We hit the bodyscissors on Niven for a good while until Piper dropkicks her into the corner. Niven does exactly the same thing but Rhea drops her across the ropes.
The standing Cloverleaf has Niven screaming a lot until a rope is grabbed. That just makes Rhea even angrier so she slaps Piper in the face. A Saito suplex plants Rhea and the fans move to a more general NXT chant. An exchange of clotheslines goes nowhere but Rhea can’t hit Riptide. Instead Piper avoids a charge to send her shoulder first into the post, setting up the Piper Driver to finish Ripley at 8:33.
Rating: C+. I liked this more than I was expecting to and Ripley got in a lot on Niven. That being said, it makes sense to have Niven win here as we’ve seen Ripley at the top of the division before and it’s a good idea to let someone else get close to that level. Niven is an athletic monster and will likely be near the title scene soon enough.
Kenny Williams gets jumped by Noam Dar, who rubs his face in the mud.
Ilja Dragunov is back next week.
Jack Starz vs. Alexander Wolfe
The much bigger Wolfe works on the wristlock to start and then bends the arm back on the mat. With the arm work boring him, Wolfe hits a good German suplex and whips Starz from corner to corner. A pump kick rocks Starz again but he slips out of a fireman’s carry. Starz rocks him with a running uppercut in the corner but runs into a Death Valley Driver. The sitout powerbomb finishes Starz at 4:05.
Rating: D+. Nearly a complete squash here and that’s how it should have been. If nothing else it’s all you expect when Starz is out there. Wolfe is a great addition to the team as the four man unit looks better than the three man version. Imperium is going to need some long term competition and it could be interesting to see who joins British Strong Style against them.
Gallus is ready to destroy the Hunt and Dave Mastiff. The cameraman gets thrown out.
Toni Storm is in action next week as well.
Jazzy Gabbert vs. Mercedes Blaze/Dani Luna
Jinny is out with Gabbert. With Luna being knocked around, it’s quickly off to Mercedes, who gets crushed in the corner as well. Both women get crushed at the same time and it’s a Dominator to finish Mercedes at 1:44. Complete squash.
Kassius Ohno says NXT UK is in a state of emergency. If you want to save British wrestling, you need someone like him. Ohno likes a lot of the founding members of the roster but sees Mark Andrews as a follower. Andrews uses a superkick to be like Shawn Michaels, not realizing that it was a British wrestler named Chris Adams who perfected it.
Also next week: Gallus vs. The Hunt/Dave Mastiff.
Tag Team Titles: Moustache Mountain vs. Grizzled Young Veterans
The Veterans are defending. Bate hiptosses and armdrags Drake to start and it’s off to Seven as the fans are chanting…something I can’t understand. The assisted Swanton from Bate gives Seven two so Gibson comes in instead. A few chops have Gibson cringing and it’s a blind tag to bring Drake back in for a blind side knee off Gibson’s back to take Seven down.
Seven gets sent outside for a slingshot knee/backbreaker combination. Back in and the chinlock keeps Seven down but a backfist finally allows for the tag to Bate. The BIG STRONG BOY chants start up and Gibson gets muscled over with a suplex. The standing shooting star looks to set up the Tyler Driver 97 but Gibson makes the save. That’s fine with Bate, who hurricanranas both of them down at once.
The big no hands dive takes out both champions at the same time and a powerbomb gets a very delayed two on Gibson. Everything breaks down and a superkick/neckbreaker combination sends Bate outside. A Backstabber into an assisted Fameasser gets two on Seven and Drake screams a lot. Seven tells him to take his best shot and it’s the Seven Star Lariat to take Drake down again.
The second hot tag brings Bate back in and a small package gets a hot two on Gibson. Everything breaks down again and Seven puts Gibson in the torture rack. Bate comes off the top with the knee to Gibson and a headbutt to Drake in the same landing. The Burning Hammer drives Gibson onto Drake but Imperium runs in for the DQ at 12:05.
Rating: B. I was getting into this one as they went along and the ending actually caught me by surprise. They came up with a smart way to protect the champs and keep the challengers looking strong while also setting up another match between Imperium and British Strong Style. Good stuff here.
Post match the beatdown is on as the fans dub Imperium as WALTER’S B******. Seven gets handcuffed to the corner as Walter apron bombs Bate. Imperium shouts a lot and poses to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. This was one of those shows where they did everything they could have done in just under an hour. The main event was the best thing on the show and Imperium continues to look like the best thing about the show in its short history. I had a very good time with this and it absolutely flew by, which isn’t often the case around here. Keep doing this as we head into Cardiff and they’re in great shape.
Piper Niven b. Rhea Ripley – Piper Driver
Alexander Wolfe b. Jack Starz – Sitout powerbomb
Jazzy Gabbert b. Mercedes Blaze/Dani Luna – Dominator to Blaze
Moustache Mountain b. Grizzled Young Veterans via DQ when Imperium interfered
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