NXT UK – April 30, 2020 (Hidden Gems)

Date: April 30, 2020
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Andy Shepard
Host: Tom Phillips

It’s another special edition of the show but this time around it’s something you have seen before. This week’s theme is Hidden Gems, which means we are looking at matches that aired for the live crowd at TV tapings but were filmed for whatever reason. That could make for some interesting footage as it’s all new to us. Let’s get to it.

Tom welcomes us to the show and explains the idea.

From the Download Festival in Derby, England, June 14, 2019.

NXT UK Women’s Title: Toni Storm vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Storm is defending and they fight over wristlocks to start. Storm takes her to the mat but Purrazzo headstands out of a headscissors. Purrazzo gets in her own headscissors so Storm slips out as well to give us a standoff. Some uppercuts give Storm one and we hit the half crab. A rope is grabbed in a hurry so Storm kicks her in the chest for two more. Storm misses a charge into the corner though and Purrazzo snaps the arm back for her own two. Purrazzo stomps away in the corner and takes a bow, setting up a modified STF.

The fans ask if Storm will be their girl until Purrazzo quiets them down with another shot to the arm for some near falls. The armbar brings the fans back into it but it’s a Lethal Combination into a Koji Clutch. Back up and they slug it out until Toni rolls some German suplexes. The arm goes out on Storm Zero though, allowing Purrazzo to put on another armbar. Storm gets to the rope for the save so it’s a hard clothesline and a quick Storm Zero to retain at 11:14.

Rating: B-. Storm is someone who can be awesome when she has the right circumstances and she made it work here. The arm work made sense and Storm went with a rush of adrenaline to retain the title in the end. It was also one of Purrazzo’s best performances around here, even though she wouldn’t be in the company by the time it aired.

From Plymouth, England on July 20, 2019.

Matt Riddle vs. Ligero

From a TV taping. Andy: “How do you solve a riddle like the Original Bro?” Tom: “I see what you did there.” The fans chant something I can’t understand as the bigger Riddle goes with the grappling to start. Ligero reverses into a headlock but Riddle powers him up with a belly to back suplex. The chinlock is snapped back on and Ligero slugs away with the forearms.

Riddle powers him down again and starts with the strikes, setting up the running forearms in the corner. A suplex sets up the Broton for two and Riddle is fired up. Riddle grabs a Jackhammer for two but the Floating Bro is countered into a running German superplex. Ligero flips out of a German suplex and they head to the floor with Riddle getting caught with a hurricanrana. A springboard Stunner gives Ligero two back inside and a slingshot splash gets the same. C4L is countered into a powerbomb and it’s the Final Flash into Bro Derek. The Floating Bro finishes Ligero at 8:38.

Rating: C+. I wanted to see more of this as Ligero came to play this time. Ligero can work well with anyone and while I’m still waiting on that big breakout moment from Riddle, he looked good here in a rare instance where he was a good bit bigger than his opponent. Nice match here with both guys putting in a nice performance.

From the Download Festival in Derby, England, June 15, 2019.

NXT Women’s Title: Shayna Baszler vs. Isla Dawn

Shayna is defending and drives her into the corner to start without looking too worried here. Dawn gets a quick one off a rollup and takes out the leg to mess with Shayna’s head. That earns Dawn a headlock so she rolls Baszler up for another two. A suplex sends Baszler outside so Dawn follows but gets sent into the steps.

Back in and Baszler stomps on the arm, setting up the armbar. Baszler hammers away for two and the arm is bent around the top rope. An armbar takedown lets Baszler crank on the arm a little more but Dawn fights up for a running dropkick. A gutwrench faceplant gives Baszler two so she kicks Dawn in the face and grabs the Clutch for the tap at 8:39.

Rating: C. This wasn’t great but I’m not sure who was going to buy Dawn as a threat against Baszler when Dawn has never won anything of note. Baszler is a monster and it takes someone special to beat her, or even challenge her really. It wasn’t bad, but it felt like a long squash.

Ilja Dragunov is keeping his fire going until he finally gets to face Walter for the UK Title. He’s ready to go where no one else ever has and this match will redefine violence.

Next week: the Rise of Imperium. Cool.

From Coventry, England, March 6, 2020.

Ilja Dragunov vs. A-Kid

Kid wrestles him down to start and gets a quick one to set up a standoff. They hit the mat again with Kid tying him up into a bow and arrow. That’s reversed into a chinlock, which is reversed into a headscissors on Dragunov. An exchange of rollups give them two each and Kid slips out of a headscissors for a standoff. Kid headstands into a headscissors on the mat (dang) so Dragunov slips out and says bring it.

Dragunov changes plans and hits him in the face, setting up a crossbody for two more. The top rope elbow to the floor drops Kid again but he’s right back with a German suplex back inside. Kid’s northern lights suplex into an armbar, followed by a quick high crossbody for two. Frustration is setting in so Dragunov BLASTS him with a clothesline.

The 61Line gets two more but Kid kicks him in the arm. Dragunov responds by kicking him in the FACE and a deadlift German suplex gets two. Kid pulls the leg down and twists the ankle so it’s an enziguri with the free leg for the double knockdown. Somehow Kid is back up with a super Spanish Fly for two but Dragunov spinebusters him. Torpedo Moscow finishes Kid at 13:23.

Rating: B+. That’s your perfect example of someone letting it all hang out as Kid gave this everything he had and the match was awesome. It says a lot when I know the result beforehand and still got sucked into the match because they were going that hard. This was awesome and I hope someone important was watching both of them, because it was great stuff.

Overall Rating: A-. Now this was more like it with a heck of a show where they threw wrestling matches out there to fill in their wrestling show. It’s so nice to see that instead of a show with a lot of talking and I’ve been enjoying this (and 205 Live) so much more as a result. WWE has such a deep video library that it makes sense to use it in a time like this. Check this out, especially that main event, if you have time.


Toni Storm b. Deonna Purrazzo – Storm Zero

Matt Riddle b. Ligero – Floating Bro

Shayna Baszler b. Isla Dawn – Kirifuda Clutch

Ilja Dragunov b. A-Kid – Torpedo Moscow

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