NXT UK – June 11, 2020

NXT UK
Date: June 11, 2020
Host: Andy Shepard

It’s another Superstar Picks edition this week and that is one of the most entertaining things you can get on these shows. They offer a great look inside the WWE vault, which is something you don’t get to do often enough on television. Giving it the British slant makes things even more interesting. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Andy explains the concept, saying each match will be for a title.

Sam Gradwell starts with a surprise match from Great American Bash 2006.

US Title: Finlay vs. William Regal

JBL goes on a hilarious rant before the match about Bobby Lashley (Finlay’s original opponent) being pulled from the match due to high liver enzymes. JBL: “LIVER ENZYMES??? AS MUCH AS I’VE DRANK I’M LUCKY TO HAVE A LIVER!!! MY LIVER LOOKS LIKE JAKE ROBERTS’ AND MY LIVER ENZYMES HAVE NEVER BEEN HIGH!” Regal is worried about Hornswoggle (not yet named) interfering so he goes a-leprechaun hunting and before the match starts.

Regal says he’ll just leave but Finlay tries to roll him up anyway. They lock up and go all the way to the floor without breaking it. They walk around and back up the steps and into the ring without breaking that lockup. Regal grabs a single leg and works the leg but that gets him nowhere. Regal throws him to the floor and here’s Hornswoggle! He pops Regal in the leg and JBL freaks out, saying he wants one for Christmas.

Regal loses track of him and stands on the steps instead of, you know, GETTING IN THE RING. Hornswoggle sneaks up on him and Regal nearly jumps out of his skin. Back in Finlay gets a clothesline for two and it’s off to a nerve hold. This heel vs. heel thing is only kind of working so they’re going for comedy. JBL gives us a European soccer lesson as Finlay takes over. Regal gets in some kicks and a butterfly suplex for two.

Hornswoggle is back as he bites Regal’s fingers, forcing Regal to rake the eyes to escape. Back in and Finlay takes over, working on the hand until Regal hits him in the leg to break things up. They’re certainly mixing up the comedy and technical aspects here. Regal hooks a chinlock but Finlay fights out with some shots to the ribs.

Back to the floor and you can hear them hitting each other incredibly hard. This was the same thing they did back at Uncensored 96, although this is a very different match. Back in and Finlay grabs a quickly broken chinlock. Regal fights up and throws him into the corner, where they ram heads for a double knockdown. In a great old school heel move, Regal drops to a knee, putting his leg on Finlay’s throat, while he talks to the referee. The exploder suplex puts Finlay down and there’s a knee drop for two.

The fans call this boring, making me think they don’t know what that means. Regal runs off the apron and gets crotched on the apron skirt. Finlay hammers him back into the ring and takes Regal’s shoe off, though it’s possible Hornswoggle stole it. Finlay misses a charge and hits the post as the fans are loudly booing now. Regal gets the Irish club that I can’t spell but Hornswoggle slips Finlay Regal’s boot though. Finlay clocks Regal with said boot to retain at 13:49.

Rating: C-. I’m going to be in the fairly extreme minority here but I enjoyed this. The technical aspect of it is really good but the comedy stuff is going to be very hit or miss. To be fair though, this was a hard one to work out as the styles really clashed. I was entertained by it though and that’s the point of this, or any match.

Piper Niven goes with this from NXT UK, November 28, 2018.

NXT UK Women’s Title: Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm

For the inaugural title. Storm wastes no time in slugging Ripley down into the corner for the running hip attack. Ripley falls to the floor and eats a suicide dive but another hip attack hits the barricade. They head to the apron and Storm Zero is countered with a backdrop, leaving Toni nearly in tears from the pain.

Back in and a hard whip keeps Toni in trouble, followed by the shoulders to the ribs. The fans are behind Storm, even as she gets caught in a bodyscissors to stay on the ribs and back. Ripley switches over to the standing Cloverleaf, sending Storm over to the ropes for the break. The back is fine enough to roll some German suplexes, followed by a headbutt into a bridging German suplex for two.

A running knee attack in the corner gets two and the fans chant Evolution, not realizing that this wouldn’t air for a month after that show because…I have no idea actually. Storm Zero is countered with another backdrop over the top with Storm’s back hitting the apron again. Riptide is escaped but Toni’s back gives out on Storm Zero, setting up Riptide to give Ripley the title at 9:27.

Rating: B. This was good stuff with Ripley getting to win clean in the end with her finisher instead of having the cheating finish to set up a rematch. They went with the right call here of having a definitive winner and that’s the way they should have gone here. Storm already has the bigger honor anyway and can come back to win a regular title later on.

Post match Saint and HHH present Ripley with her title.

Noam Dar, with a beard, doesn’t like the rest of the roster.

Video on Aoife Valkyrie.

Dar wants to be deemed an essential service.

Amir Jordan (by way of Andy) sends us to Summerslam 1992 for a match you might have seen.

Intercontinental Title: Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith

Bulldog, challenging here, has British Commonwealth boxing champion Lennox Lewis leading him to the ring and carrying the Union Jack. The place comes unglued for Davey but Bret isn’t booed at all, as his style is perfect for a crowd like this. Bulldog shoves him into the corner to start before hitting a hard shoulder to send the champion to the floor. Back in and they head to the mat with Bret grabbing a headlock to take over. Bret gets a few near falls off some rollups and it’s right back to the headlock.

Back up again and Davey grabs a hammerlock but Bret hits a HARD elbow to the face to escape, drawing the ire of the fans. Davey takes him down with basic technique and cranks on the armbar. The hold stays on for a good while with the fans getting louder and louder the longer Smith has control. Bret finally sends him into the ropes to escape and drives a knee into Smith’s ribs. The fans boo Hart out of the stadium for a basic move like a knee and boo even louder for a chinlock.

An atomic drop (called a reverse piledriver by Vince) puts Smith down and Bret blocks a crucifix (which worked earlier) in a Samoan Drop for two. Another chinlock is quickly broken but Davey charges into a boot in the corner to put him down again. A bulldog puts Bulldog down but he slams Bret off the top a second later. Davey misses a top rope splash and is sent to the outside, drawing a ton of heat for Bret.

The champion tries a dive to the floor but lands on Davey’s back, nearly breaking several bones in the process. Bret sends him into the post before heading back inside pounding away with European uppercuts. Hart hooks a chinlock for a good while before loading up the Five Moves of Doom. He pulls Bulldog up by the hair to show how evil he is and it’s off to a sleeper. This stays on for a LONG time as well but Smith rams him into the corner to escape again.

They slug it out but Davey drops him out of a gorilla press into the ropes. Three straight clotheslines get two for Smith and a gorilla press gets the same. The delayed vertical and the chest first bump into the buckle get the same. Bulldog hits his powerslam finisher but Bret gets out at two, with far less of a reaction from the crowd than you would expect. Bret rolls through a suplex for two of his own, only to get superplexed down for a near fall.

Back up again and a double clothesline puts both guys down, giving the fans a needed breather. While laying on his back Bret hooks the Sharpshooter ala last year against Mr. Perfect, terrifying the fans. Smith gets the rope so Bret tries a suplex, but Davey drops to his knees and hooks both legs for the pin and the title at 25:40. The place ERUPTS on the three count.

Rating: A+. This took awhile to get going but once those near falls started it turns into an instant classic. Davey had to win here and it was a perfectly clean pin in the middle of the ring. Bret, ever the critic, doesn’t like this match and basically blames the whole thing on Smith for being spent five minutes in. Those of us in the real world see it for what it is: a masterpiece.

Bret, Davey and Diana embrace to end the show.

Overall Rating: B+. That first match is the kind of thing I look forward to on a show like this. How many people have thought of that match in years? It isn’t something you’re going to see every day and aside from something like this, when is it ever going to be presented? Do more things like that and showcase what kind of resources you have.

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