NXT UK – July 30, 2020

NXT UK
Date: July 30, 2020
Host: Andy Shepard

The barrel scraping continues as we look for some more content to fill in time until they can do some fresh tapings. I’m not sure more they can do in this situation but it might be time to look at some other NXT content, or even content from somewhere else. Hopefully we get something good here so let’s get to it.

Joseph Conners sends us to the Download Festival on June 26, 2019.

Mark Andrews vs. Joseph Conners

Andrews rolls out of a wristlock to start and takes him down with an armdrag. The fans are VERY appreciative of an armbar but Conners cuts them off by bending Andrews’ neck around the ropes. A running clothesline gets two and a suplex is good for the same as they’re keeping the offense simple so far. Some choking on the apron and a neck snap across the rope somehow wake Andrews up so he can slug away.

The knee slide into the enziguri sets up a suicide dive to the floor to rock Conners again. He’s right back with a sunset bomb into the corner though and a belly to back faceplant gets two. The fans are all over Conners, showing that the Download Festival has bad taste in heels. Andrews can’t get a backslide but can get a Stundog Millionaire. Fall To Pieces finishes Conners at 6:09.

Rating: C-. Just a match here and nothing that hasn’t been done better before. What makes me feel better though is that it seems Conners is falling down the card, which means we don’t have to listen to him anymore. Andrews is still easy to cheer for and that’s a good piece to have around on any show.

So Conners picked a match where he lost. I knew he was kind of dense.

A Kid is ready to come back because he has been studying everyone in NXT UK.

Isla Dawn wants to clip Xia Brookside’s wings. From NXT UK, January 9, 2019.

Isla Dawn vs. Xia Brookside

We actually get a handshake to start as the fans aren’t sure who they like more here. A wristlock gives us a standoff so Dawn takes her down into a quickly broken armbar. Dawn slips out of a headscissors and works on the legs, which just seems to annoy Brookside. Back up and Brookside dances out of a crossarm choke to put Dawn in one of her own. Dawn reverses into the same thing before it’s off to a pinfall reversal sequence for some near falls each. Brookside tries a victory roll but Dawn uses the Owen Hart counter by sitting down on it for the pin at 4:59.

Rating: C-. This didn’t have the time to go anywhere but Brookside continues to be all kinds of charming and adorable while Dawn is the kind of person who could be built back up into something bigger down the line. They’re going to need some fresh challengers after Takeover and while Dawn has already lost a shot, it’s not like they have any better options at the moment.

Dani Luna is ready to show us another side of herself.

Noam Dar is waiting on his birthday wishes and has a present for us. From NXT UK, October 17, 2018.

United Kingdom Title: Pete Dunne vs. Noam Dar

Dar is challenging and General Manager Johnny Saint is in the ring for the introductions. Dunne gets a hero’s welcome, as you had to expect. Feeling out process to start but hang on because the fans need to sing Happy Birthday to Dar. That’s not cool with Dunne so he blasts Dar with a clothesline, which is fine with the fans as well. Dar sends him outside for a hard soccer kick to the arm and Dunne in in some sudden trouble.

Back in and Dunne hits a quick X Plex for a breather and unloads in the corner. Dar kicks him with the face so Dunne flips out of a German suplex and gets two off a powerbomb. A northern lights suplex gives Dar the same so Dunne goes for the fingers like a true villain who the fans cheer anyway. Dar is right back with a release fisherman’s suplex onto the apron and they’re both down. Stereo dives beat the count at nine as the fans declare this awesome.

Dunne goes to the fingers again so Dar spins around into an elbow to the face. A leglock is reversed into a cross armbreaker but Dar reverses that into an ankle lock. Dunne staggers him with an enziguri so Dar forearms him in the back of the head for the double knockdown. Dar kicks the leg out but the Nova Roller is forearmed out of the air. The Bitter End is reversed into a kneebar with Dunne having to dive for the rope. That’s enough for Dunne, who bends the fingers back again and stomps on the arm, setting up the Bitter End to retain at 11:35.

Rating: B. This didn’t have the drama or the emotion (or the time) that a lot of Dunne’s matches have but Dar more than showcased himself here. They’re doing a very good job of having Dunne get closer and closer to losing the title but surviving in the end. Whoever eventually figures out the puzzle is going to look like a star and that’s the point of such a long title reign. Good first main event here.

Post match Dunne offers a handshake but the injured Dar sticks his pinkie up, which Dunne seems fine with as he returns the gesture and smiles.

Overall Rating: C. I was getting flashbacks to the old days of the show here and not just because they had so many older matches. This felt like a show from their formative days, with two nothing matches and then a good main event to bail it out. I’m getting worried about how bad things are going to get, if nothing else due to having the Best Of be people picking matches where they lose. They don’t have anything better than that?

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