NXT UK – July 16, 2020

Date: July 16, 2020
Host: Andy Shepard

We’re still doing the Greatest Hits deal this time around, which has been the case more often than not over the last few weeks. There isn’t much else that can be done, though we have been seeing some promos and vignettes thrown in. They aren’t anything great, but it gives me some hope that things could be getting back to normal sooner rather than later. Let’s get to it.

Andy gives us a quick intro.

Zack Gibson introduces us to our first match.

From NXT UK, October 31, 2018.

Zack Gibson vs. Noam Dar

They fight over arm control to start with Dar getting some very early control. The fans sing some more but Dar stops to mock Gibson’s boots in a weird moment. Gibson’s headscissors doesn’t get him anywhere so Dar goes for the leg and tries to take the boot off. I’m still not sure what that’s about so Dar just cranks back on the leg instead. Gibson’s armbar works a bit better as Dar can’t even roll his way out. The break finally has Gibson annoyed so Dar grabs some rollups for two each.

Another kick to the knee stops Gibson again and they head outside where yet another shot to the knee cuts Gibson down. Back in and a belly to back suplex gives Dar two but Gibson goes right back to the arm. The fans sing something else that I’m assuming is anti-Gibson, though it’s not always easy to tell. Gibson hits a few clotheslines for two and we hit the chinlock. There’s the stomp on Dar’s arm, which has become almost a requirement in arm work today.

A wristlock suplex keeps Dar in trouble but he’s right back with a few shots to the face. Dar gets two each off a pair of suplexes so Gibson gets his own near fall off a middle rope Codebreaker. The Shankley Gates is broken up and they head outside again with Gibson powerbombing him onto the ramp for a very painful sounding crash. That gives us the dive in at nine and the Shankley Gates go on.

Since that move only works in matches that aren’t incredibly important, Dar dives over to the rope for the break. Dar fights up again and kicks the knee out but the Nova Roller misses. Gibson can’t follow up so Dar heads up and hits a top rope double stomp to the knee. They get in a fight over arm cranking and knee kicks until Dar slaps on a kneebar, which is broken up as well.

Gibson’s Backstabber is countered into an ankle lock with a grapevine but that’s STILL not enough as Gibson punches his way out, including grabbing Dar’s ear. Dar misses a middle rope stomp to the knee and hurts his own knee in the process. Helter Skelter (a lifting spinning suplex) finishes Dar (with Gibson raising the bad leg) at 21:10.

Rating: B-. Well that was rather long, though it was also pretty good. Dar is SO much better as a face than a heel that it’s almost funny, while Gibson is a rather strong heel who has turned into one of the better villains on the show. This could have been five minutes shorter (it would have kept the show under an hour) but it was still an entertaining match that didn’t feel as long as it was.

Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews had a big 2019 and they’re ready to find out who jumped Andrews from behind and then get their titles back.

Kay Lee Ray has our second match.

From NXT UK, June 19, 2019.

Battle Royal

Xia Brookside, Jinny, Jazzy Gabbert, Kay Lee Ray, Piper Niven, Isla Dawn, Nina Samuels, Killer Kelly, Candy Floss, Rhea Ripley, Rhio, Kanji

The winner gets a future Women’s Title match. Everyone but Jazzy go to the ropes to start before three of them go after Jazzy instead. That means Rhio and Kanji being tossed out, followed by a Dominator to Floss. Jinny gets rid of her and the ring has cleared out in a hurry. Ray is sent outside (not over the top) and comes up holding her knee. Niven picks Jazzy up and puts her on the apron, allowing Brookside to get in a sliding dropkick for the elimination.

That leaves Jinny surrounded so it’s a triple team from Brookside, Dawn and Niven. Jinny is thrown over the top but Jazzy catches her and slides the boss back in. Jazzy is ejected so Xia gets rid of Jinny a few seconds later. Ripley muscles Kelly out and we’re down to five. Brookside and Dawn go after Ripley but Xia gets tied in the Tree of Woe for her efforts.

There goes Dawn and it’s the Ripley vs. Niven showdown. Hang on though as Samuels is tossed and it’s Ripley, Niven, Brookside and Ray on the floor. A Cannonball crushes Ripley but she shoves Ripley over the top to the apron. Niven pulls her out with her and Brookside eliminates them both with a dropkick. The celebration is on but Ray comes back in and dumps Brookside for the win at 8:40.

Rating: C. It’s the right end result and the match was well paced but STOP WITH THAT STUPID ENDING!!! It feels like every other battle royal has that same exact ending and it’s so overdone these days. As soon as Ray was seen on the floor, you knew where this was going because that’s how so many battle royals go these days. Ray winning is fine, but come up with a better way to do it.

Jinny has shown her dominance before and is ready to do it again.

Ilja Dragunov wraps us up with this.

From NXT UK, January 2, 2020.

Ilja Dragunov vs. Alexander Wolfe

No DQ with Gallus and Imperium barred from ringside. Dragunov comes to the ring but sneaks through the dark arena to attack Wolfe during his entrance in a smart move. The fight heads to ringside with Dragunov getting the better of it, only to have Wolfe post him. Dragunov is fine enough to hit a spinning chop into a backsplash, setting up a big ax handle out to the floor to knock Wolfe silly.

Wolfe is right back up to disarm Dragunov of a kendo stick so Dragunov says bring it on and goes for the stick, only to get kicked in the face. Some stick shots to the back have Dragunov screaming but he blocks the big shot to the head. Wolfe is back with a kendo stick legsweep into a backbreaker for two, followed by the stick going across the mouth. That’s broken up as well and Dragunov starts striking away with the cane as well. Dragunov hits a heck of a shot to the chest on the floor, meaning it can be table time.

The table is set up in the corner and Dragunov kicks him down to the floor again. Wolfe is right back up with a chair shot though, setting up a Death Valley Driver onto the apron for the big knockdown shot. Dragunov hits a quick enziguri and shakes his head as Wolfe goes for the chair. Said chair is put onto Wolfe’s face in the corner for a Coast To Coast and a near fall, only to have Wolfe come back with a chair shot of his own.

Wolfe can’t follow up though so Dragunov throws in a bunch of chairs of his own. That takes too long so Wolfe grabs a German suplex and a DDT onto the chair for two. A chair gets sent into Dragunov’s throat but Dragunov gets up and says bring it. That’s what Wolfe does, by slamming the chair around Dragunov’s hand. Wolfe does it to the other hand as well but Dragunov is back with a clothesline and a running Death Valley Driver through the table. Torpedo Moscow finishes Wolfe at 14:52.

Rating: B+. They beat the fire out of each other here and this was the kind of match that shows Dragunov’s incredibly high potential. He could be a top star around here in a heartbeat because of his insane facials alone but when you throw in his ability in the ring, the star power is even stronger. Heck of a match here and I had a great time with it.

Overall Rating: B-. The main event was good but it is becoming a little more obvious that this show doesn’t have the history to keep airing so many greatest hits show. You would think that they might find another place to go for some more matches, like say that huge vault of theirs, but NXT UK alone isn’t going to cut it much longer. I’m not sure when they’re going to have fresh content, though things are starting to get thin.

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