NXT UK – May 21, 2020

Date: May 21, 2020
Host: Andy Shepard

It’s another special show with a big look at a major match. This time around it’s the triple threat match for the Women’s Title between Kay Lee Ray, Piper Niven and Toni Storm. I don’t remember that match being such a huge one but it’s nice to take a look at something else for a change. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

We open with a video on Storm, who won the Mae Young Classic, earning a shot at the NXT UK Women’s Title. Storm defeated Rhea Ripley to become the new champion, but Jinny was waiting for her.

From NXT UK, April 12, 2019 (actually April 10 in a weird error).

Women’s Title: Toni Storm vs. Jinny

Jinny is challenging. They go right at it to start with Toni getting the better of it and grabbing a half crab. The fans don’t make it any better by calling Jinny a Primark Princess, though Toni switching to an STF might be more painful (emphasis on might). After using the rope for a break, it’s off to a camel clutch to put Toni in trouble for a change. Storm reverses into a surfboard on the mat but Jinny is right back in the ropes for the break.

A Downward Spiral into the middle buckle knocks Toni silly and it’s time to start in on the back. Jinny hits a backbreaker and grabs a chinlock with a knee in the back. Now it’s a regular chinlock as Jinny is looking rather strong so far. Toni fights up with some rolling German suplexes but another shot to the back cuts her off. Jinny’s version of Storm Zero is countered with a headbutt and Jinny is rocked. She’s fine enough to try a hurricanrana, which is reversed into a powerbomb. Storm Zero retains the title at 10:34.

Rating: B-. Jinny was treated as an equal here and a real threat to the title, which is the best thing that can happen to the division at the moment. Storm and Ripley have been on top for so long that they need someone fresh in the ranks. It doesn’t have to be someone to win the title, but there needs to be someone who makes Toni sweat, which is what we had here.

Then we had Rhea Ripley and the debuting Piper Niven ready to fight for dominance.

From NXT UK, July 3, 2019.

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.

Kay Lee Ray won a title shot though by winning a battle royal. It turns out that they used to be friends but Ray didn’t think much of her. Ray won the title in an upset at Takeover: Cardiff, which was quite the twist.

We look at Niven, Ray and Storm being friends for a long time but Niven talked about differences coming up. Ray and Storm both started fighting, perhaps over needing to be the dominant one. Niven doesn’t know what happened to the three of them but all Ray and Storm wanted was the title. Storm even asked Niven to step aside from her title shot, but that wasn’t happening. They don’t even know who each other are anymore and they all want the title.

From Takeover: Blackpool II.

Women’s Title: Kay Lee Ray vs. Piper Niven vs. Toni Storm

Ray is defending and Niven jumps her during the Big Match Intros. Niven sends Ray outside for the suicide dive and then Cannonballs both of them in a row. That earns her a whip into the steps so Toni and Ray can fight, only to have Niven drop a backsplash onto both of them. Ray superkicks Niven and chokes Toni, who is right back with a release German suplex.

Storm suplexes Niven as well but gets planted by Ray, who is suplexed by Niven to put all three down at once. It’s Toni and Piper slugging it out but Ray shoves them together in what might not have been the smartest move. Ray grabs a chair and wraps it around Storm’s neck but Niven breaks up the Pillmanizing (and near death). Storm picks up the chair and Niven says hit her, only to have them both go after Ray instead.

With Ray and Storm on the floor, Niven hits a Cannonball off the apron to crush the champ. Back in and Niven breaks up the superplex by powerbombing Storm but Niven breaks it up with a top rope Swanton. Niven’s Michinoku Driver gets two on Ray, who somehow gets Niven up for the Gory Bomb and the same near fall.

Niven busts out a Canadian Destroyer on Ray (because she can) but Storm breaks up the cover and hits Storm Zero for two more on Ray with Niven making the save this time. Storm Zero doesn’t work on Niven so Toni settles for something like a Pedigree instead. A frog splash hits Niven but Ray steals the pin to retain at 13:24.

Rating: B. They didn’t really stop moving here for the most part and Ray winning that way makes sense. I’m a little surprised they pinned Niven, but it makes a little sense given that Storm is coming up on the big match with Rhea Ripley at When Worlds Collide. All three worked hard here though and it was good stuff with the logical ending.

Niven doesn’t think they can ever be friends again.

Ray is glad she crushed everyone’s dreams because she’s champion.

Rating: B. This was a pretty entertaining use of an hour as you got a nearly complete story of three people who are no longer friends and it’s all because of the title. It makes the championship look a lot more important and that’s one of the best things that can be done. The women’s division still needs some work, but at least they have some good talent at the top of the heap. Solid show here, though not exactly worth going out of your way to see.

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