It’s been a weird wrestling week so far.
Thankfully, both NXT and AEW Dynamite managed to save the day, as they have so many times before, by putting on stellar shows, which had me feeling a lot more hopeful as I sat down to watch the UK version of the WWE‘s number one show.
But was it worth the hour of my life I had to give over to it?
Well, there’s only one way to find out, let’s lace up our boots and head to the ring for the NXT UK Review.
Aoife Valkyrie vs. Amale
Some wrestlers show up in NXT and are ready to go and some show up and are a work in progress.
Aoife Valkyrie is definitely the latter.
Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that she’s green behind the gills or anything. In fact, her first-ever match in NXT UK was pretty good overall, but you can see that she’s going to need some time to adapt to the style of wrestling that the company asks of its performers.
But the signs are there.
She hit a sweet Standing MoonSault and her finisher, the Flying Axe Kick off the turnbuckle, is an innovative way to pick up any win.
As soon as she’s up to speed with the WWE’s way of doing things, I’m sure she’s going to be a great asset to the NXT Women’s Division and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her pushed into the title picture.
Just not before she’s ready.
Winner: Aoife Valkyrie
Dave Mastiff vs. Saxon Huxley
This may have been a squash match, but it was a squash match that served a purpose.
Ever since they clashed in a tag-team match a few weeks ago, Dave Mastiff has had the NXT UK Champion Walter, firmly in his sights and he used Saxon Huxley to get his point across to the leader of Imperium.
He used Walter’s moves whenever he could and after he picked up the 1-2-3, he stood in the middle of the ring and mocked his iconic pose.
I love how this is playing out.
I expect them to face off for the title and part of me is convinced that The Bomber is going to walk out the new champion.
This is because I fully expect Walter and Imperium, along with the Undisputed Era, to get called up to the main roster after Wrestlemania, so they’re going to need to put the belt on someone who can carry the brand forward, and they need to look no further than Dave Mastiff.
Winner: Dave Mastiff
The Grizzled Young Veterans Promo
This was the highlight of the night as The Grizzled Young Veterans cut a brilliant promo to those in attendance in York.
Zack Gibson is fast becoming one of the best talks in the WWE and here he ragged on everybody from the NXT UK General Manager to the fans who’d shelled out their cash to watch the show and it was beautiful.
Having been such a hit in The Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Classic, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t move onto the American brand sooner rather than later, as, if truth be told, they’re starting to outgrow the UK version.
Whatever the future holds for Gibson and Drake, I can see a time when The Grizzled Young Veterans hold the gold on either SmackDown or RAW as I believe they’re just that damn good.
Joe Coffey And Gallus
I’ve decided to lump the last part of the show into one segment for a reason.
Not because I’m lazy, which I am, but because it was done to set up a feud between Coffy, Gallus and Ilja Dragunov.
This all stems from NXT UK: TakeOver Blackpool II where Dragunov tried to help out Coffey in his fight with Walter but ended up accidentally injuring him instead.
Obviously Coffey blames the Russian for his loss, so after he’d dispatched Amir Jordan in swift enough fashion, and Gallus had picked up the 1-2-3 in a very competitive bout with Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, Dragunov made his way out to settle his debt.
Once again, this proves my theory that all Babyfaces have their common sense glands removed when then become the good guy, as after he’d had a bit of back and forth with Joe Coffey, Gallus jumped in and beat the shite out of him.
A match has been made for next week’s NXT UK that will see the two face off but I don’t think that this is going to be a one and done deal.
With Walter heading into a feud with Dave Mastiff, then Joe Coffey has to have something to do instead of chasing after the title, so I fully expect this rivalry to go on for a couple of months at least.
And I’m alright with that as I’m a fan of everyone involved here.
I enjoyed NXT UK this week and though it might seem strange that I’m willing to go so easy on NXT UK, considering the kicking I gave to AEW Dark this week, there is a reason behind it.
NXT UK is still a fledgling organization in my eyes, without anywhere near the money behind it as its American brother or anything AEW can put together. It is the true definition of a developmental system and would be like watching the old OVW and comparing it to RAW.
There is still a lot of room for the product to grow, along with the wrestlers themselves, and a good place to start would be by letting them put on more TakeOver’s each year.
As it currently stands there isn’t another UK based one on the calendar for the remainder of this year, and considering the amount of ready to go talent they have on the roster, along with rookies and wrestlers who just need some fine-tuning, that decision strikes me as odd.
The company manages to put out at least one PPV per-month for the main brands and about six for the US version of NXT, but they can’t find a spot on their schedule for another TakeOver UK?
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather see Water and Mastiff go at it on a PPV than have to sit through another g*ddamn Goldberg match.