NXT UK – May 14, 2020

NXT UK
Date: May 14, 2020
Host: Andy Shepard

It’s time for another special edition of the show and that should be something interesting. This time around it’s another Superstar Picks show and I’m curious to see what they pull out of the vault this time. The first edition was a lot of fun and hopefully that is the case again here. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Andy Shepard welcomes us to the show and explains the concept in a hurry.

Eddie Dennis starts us off with a trip way back to Raw, March 3, 1997.

European Title: Owen Hart vs. British Bulldog

This is the finals of a tournament to crown the inaugural champion. They go to the corner to start with no one having an advantage. They exchange wristlock counters and it’s Bulldog with some very early control. He counters a monkey flip with a cartwheel and both guys nip up to a standoff but they shake hands and reset.

Owen grabs the wrist and climbs the ropes but gets caught in a powerbomb. Bulldog catapults him to the floor and invites him back in. Rollup gets two for Owen but an armdrag puts him on the mat where Bulldog takes over with a headlock again. Owen tries the same wristlock counter as before but the British one drops him right on his back and arm to counter.

We take a break and come back with Bulldog working on the arm even more. Bulldog’s old crucifix gets two. The delayed vertical is countered into an enziguri attempt but Bulldog ducks low. There’s a surfboard but Owen grabs the referee to escape. Bulldog speeds things up but Owen avoids him to toss him out to the floor. Bulldog is holding his knee but gets back in pretty easily.

Back in Owen tries a leapfrog but injures his own knee. He’s channeling his inner Bret though and is goldbricking so he can get the advantage. Now they’re ticked off and the Sharpshooter is broken up. Things speed up and Owen kicks his head off for no cover. Owen drops a leg for two and hooks a chinlock as they get a breath. Bulldog is knocked to the floor and a sunset flip back in gets two.

We take a second break and come back with Bulldog ramming elbows into Owen’s ribs but a belly to belly suplex stops him cold. Off to a camel clutch but Bulldog stands up and hits an electric chair to break the hold. Owen tries a Flair cover with his feet on the ropes for two and a middle rope elbow gets the same. This is already very good and is getting great. Up to the corner and Bulldog falls onto him to counter a superplex for two.

Bulldog comes back with clotheslines and the fans are getting into it. A suplex puts Owen down for two. Smith gorilla presses him but crotches him on the top. Owen’s German suplex gets two and Bulldog is in a bit of trouble. He’s fine enough to load up the powerslam but Owen grabs the ropes to escape. There’s the enziguri and Bulldog is down. He hooks the Sharpshooter but Bulldog makes the rope. Owen loads up a tombstone but Bulldog reverses into the Powerslam for two. The victory roll that Owen beat Bret with at Wrestlemania X is countered into a rollup of Bulldog’s own for the pin at 22:43.

Rating: A+. Just a total classic here as they countered each other perfectly the entire time and we got a great false finish with Owen kicking out of the powerslam. Do you ever remember that happening? This is easily one of the best matches you’ll ever see, especially on free TV. Great stuff and probably their second best matches ever each.

Candy Floss sends us to Raw, April 7, 2014.

Here are AJ and Tamina so the former can brag about being Divas Champion for 295 days now. She gave all of them a chance to prove her wrong and every single one of them has failed. She’s the hero of this story and the savior of the Divas division. Scratch that. She IS the Divas division, but here’s the debuting Paige to disagree. Paige is here to do what no one else would: congratulate AJ on her accomplishments. AJ tells her to go back to NXT and offers Paige a beating to send her there. Paige isn’t ready but AJ slaps her in the face and says let’s make it a title match. The fans are happy because they all know what’s coming.

Divas Title: AJ Lee vs. Paige

The champ jumps her to start and drops Paige with a running elbow. The Black Widow goes on but Paige powers out, hits a horrible looking Paige Turner and wins the title in a shock at 1:19. Well as much of a shock as it can be given how obvious it was as soon as Paige’s music hit.

Primate’s favorite match from NXT UK is from November 1, 2019 (though it seems to really be October 31, 2019).

Dave Mastiff vs. Jordan Devlin

Devlin goes right at him but is smart enough to bail to the floor when he feels the power. Back in and Mastiff throws him around again, followed by a hard shot to the face. A choke takes Devlin to the top rope but he takes Mastiff’s arm down across said rope to take over. The arm goes around the rope again and Devlin stands on Mastiff’s head. The short armscissors goes on and some of those slaps to the leg look like taps. Anyway Devlin backflips away and muscles Devlin up for the break.

Back up and an overhead belly to belly sends Devlin flying but has to slap his own arm. Devlin tries the Devil Inside for as much success as you would have expected. A hard whip puts Devlin on the floor and there’s a Regal Roll to crush him even worse. Back in and Devlin hits a slingshot cutter into a moonsault for two, only to try it again and hit raised boots. Into the Void connects but Devlin collapses to the floor. Mastiff pulls him back in and goes up for some reason, allowing Devil to hit an enziguri. A super Devil Inside finishes Mastiff at 12:03.

Rating: B-. Devlin is looking more and more like a main eventer every single day and Mastiff does things that a giant should not be able to pull off. That gave us a rather entertaining match with Mastiff’s power and freaky athleticism being enough to hold Devlin down, but in the end it was one creative move that stopped him. That made for a rather strong story in a match where you wouldn’t have expected it.

Finally, Trent Seven picks this one from the United Kingdom Championship Tournament II Night Two.

NXT Tag Team Titles: Moustache Mountain vs. Undisputed Era

The Era is defending. Bate dropkicks Strong to start and it’s quickly off to Seven for some arm cranking. As usual this goes badly for Seven but everything breaks down with the champs sending them outside. Back in and the fans are split as Strong chops away at Seven in the corner.

We’re already into the chinlock but Seven kicks O’Reilly to the floor. Like a smart champion, O’Reilly runs around the ring and pulls Bate off the apron to take over. As tends to be the case, the hot tag goes through a few seconds later, allowing Bate to come in and clean house. O’Reilly saves Strong from the airplane spin and jumps on Bate’s back, so Bate German suplexes Strong at the same time, just because he can.

Seven comes back in and gets kicked in the face for two, sending O’Reilly into fits of frustration. A discus forearm knocks Seven into Bate for the tag and the dragon suplex/clothesline combination (how they beat O’Reilly yesterday) gets a close two. Back up and O’Reilly’s brainbuster gets two on Bate but Seven sends Fish to the floor. A hard shot rocks O’Reilly and a torture rack neckbreaker/top rope knee drop combination finishes O’Reilly for the titles at 10:40.

Rating: B. That’s the way to fire up a crowd and it doesn’t matter if the title reign is just for the live crowd and they drop the belts right back in short order. Moustache Mountain is a fun team and the fans in both America and England love them. This was a perfect opener and that’s all you could have asked to see.

Overall Rating: A-. It’s a greatest hits show and I’m not sure what else you can ask for out of it. They had a nice mixture of stuff here and it was a bunch of either very good to classic matches. This is the kind of thing that they can do time after time and it is going to work almost every time. I wouldn’t mind having NXT UK back, but it’s not exactly something all that high up on my priority list. Keep this going as long as you can because it’s a lot more fun.

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