NXT UK – July 9, 2020

Date: July 9, 2020
Host: Andy Shepard

We have another theme show this time around as we look at NXT UK wrestlers coming over the United States. That makes for some interesting possibilities as the NXT UK wrestlers coming over has been a semi regular treat. There is some incredible talent over in the UK and seeing their styles mesh against others is rather fun to see. Let’s get to it.

Andy welcomes us to the show and wastes no time in throwing it over to Alexander Wolfe to introduce us to our first match. Well actually an Imperium video and then the first match.

From NXT, October 9, 2019.

Kushida vs. Walter

Non-title. Feeling out process to start until Walter powers him onto the apron and pats him on the head. They take turns riding each other on the mat until Kushida gets in a dropkick to send us to a break. Back with Kushida slipping off a springboard and getting kicked in the face for his efforts. The one legged Liontamer has Kushida in more trouble as Walter cranks away.

That’s broken up so Walter chops away but the powerbomb is countered into a DDT for the breather. Kushida gets sent to the apron and manages to snap the arm across the rope. A sunset bomb is blocked though and Walter stomps on the face to put Kushida on the floor. He’s right back up with a rolling DDT to the floor though and they both have to beat the count.

Back in and a kick to the arm sets up the Hoverboard Lock but Walter reverses into the sleeper. Kushida flips out of that and Walter has to grab the hands to block a cross armbreaker. Walter powers out again and it’s a half nelson pumphandle suplex into a bridge for two.

The frog splash is broken up and Kushida grabs the Hoverboard lock on top before superplexing him down by the arm. A foot on the rope gets Walter out of trouble so Kushida dropkicks the arm again. Walter dropkicks the heck out of him and the powerbomb gets two in a great near fall. With nothing else working, Walter hits a ripcord lariat to FINALLY put Kushida away at 16:48.

Rating: B. Much like Kai vs. Belair, this one took its time getting going but once they hit that other gear, it was some awesome stuff with both guys hitting each other very hard and setting up a big finish. It didn’t hit the level that some of Walter’s matches have but it was the match Kushida has been looking for around here. Walter still feels like a treat and a big, special performer, which is why you put him in a spot like this. Very good main event.

Eddie Dennis video.

Xia Brookside picks this from the second Mae Young Classic.

Semifinals: Meiko Satomura vs. Toni Storm

The fans are split, as you probably guessed. Toni’s wristlock doesn’t work to start so Satomura takes her down with a headlock. That’s reversed into another headlock but Satomura gets on top to put Storm in trouble again. The first few kicks wake Storm up a bit and a shoulder block has no effect either way. Storm is tired of this even stuff and kicks her hard in the chest for two. A few more shots keep Meiko in trouble and Storm goes back to the arm, only to get the tar kicked out of her.

Kicks to the chest and legs have Storm down and Meiko cranks on the leg in something like a seated reverse figure four. A rope is finally grabbed and Toni elbows her way out of a suplex. Meiko spinwheel kicks her down and the fans are right behind Satomura again. Toni grabs an STF and it takes a good while for Meiko to make it to the ropes. A good fisherman’s suplex gets two on Satomura and Toni knocks her to the floor for a big suicide dive.

Back in Toni kicks her in the face, only to be screamed at for her efforts. They trade kicks until Satomura plants her with a DDT. The Death Valley Driver gets two on Storm but Toni hits a hard German suplex. Storm Zero only gets two but Meiko blocks another and hits a Pele kick to the head. The step up Scorpion kick knocks Toni silly….for two. The fans were buying that as the finish and you can hear them being surprised by the kickout. Storm has had it though and hits a last gasp Storm Zero for the pin and the spot in the finals at 13:06.

Rating: B+. It took some time to get there but they were rocking at the end. I’m not sure what to think of the pick, as Satomura was clearly the top star in the tournament (at least in the fans’ eyes) but Storm is the kind of prospect that you have to push to the moon. You could have gone either way here and been right, but egads the kickout on that Scorpion kick was hard to ignore.

They both cry on the announcement as Meiko gets a LOUD thank you chant. Of course they hug, as they should. Kairi Sane comes in to present Storm with roses as HHH is on the stage to bow to Meiko. Storm can barely speak and can barely believe that she just won that match. She’s living her dream and thanks everyone for working so hard to get here.

Nina Samuels video.

Flash Morgan Webster picks our last match.

From NXT, August 22, 2018.

United Kingdom Title: Zack Gibson vs. Pete Dunne

Dunne is defending and gets a roar from the crowd. The fans chant for the UK as Gibson works an armbar to start. Dunne flips him down to break a wristlock but Gibson hits him hard in the throat to take over. That just earns Gibson a hammerlock and Dunne cranks back on the fingers to make it worse. With that not working, they lock legs and stand on their heads to slap each other in the face. British wrestling is weird at times.

Dunne gets the better of it and kicks the arm but Gibson hits a hammerlock faceplant to take over. A belly to back suplex sets up another armbar as Gibson really isn’t hiding his style here. The cobra clutch goes on for a few moments until Dunne has had enough and forearms him in the face. A moonsault over Gibson sets up an enziguri and the X Plex sets up a quickly escaped cross armbreaker.

With Gibson bailing to the floor, Dunne moonsaults down onto him for the big crash and a double knockdown. Back in and a sitout powerbomb gets two, only to have Gibson kick a moonsault out of the air for the same. Dunne blocks another chop though and stomps on the hands. Stereo enziguris give us a double knockdown though and let’s pause for the standing ovation.

Dunne is up first and tries a superplex but Gibson twists it into one of his own. The Shankly Gates seated armbar goes on so Dunne lunges for the rope. Gibson pulls him back so Dunne bites the rope for the break. Dunne’s mouthpiece gets knocked out so Gibson goes to throw it out, only to have his finger snapped. The Bitter End retains the title at 13:38.

Rating: B. So uh….who is supposed to beat Dunne? He’s been champion longer than CM Punk was and while people give him a run for his money, you could see him holding the title indefinitely. I mean, other than Cole (if they’re coming up on the WarGames match that seems to be the case), is there anyone who seems likely to do it? Anyway the match was more good stuff from these two, though it would be nice to have the NXT UK people beat someone other than themselves.

Overall Rating: A. What else do you want here? It’s about an hour long and the worst match is a hard hitting match that goes for almost fourteen minutes. This was the kind of Best Of show that is as easy to watch as it gets and makes for a good use of the archives. They can do this for a LONG time to come too and that’s a nice way to spend an hour on Thursdays.

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