NXT vs NXT UK, The Battle of The Brands – NXT UK – 27/02/2019

NXT UK has been doing an amazing job of distinguishing from its American counterpart. Despite sharing some roster members with the original NXT, the UK branch of the black & yellow brand has made its own stars. This week, some of those stars went to war as the NXT UK Tag Titles were on the line against one of NXT’s most underrated tag teams and Kassius Ohno came to fight one of NXT UK’s newest and deadliest signees. There were three matches to enjoy, so let’s get into it.

Tyler Bate defeated Jack Gallagher via Roll Up

Jack Gallagher traps Tyler Bate in a vicious submission hold

The first match saw the Gentleman of 205 Live come back to NXT UK to lock up with another technical prodigy, Tyler Bate. The two kept the pace slow and the technicality high as Gallagher used a series of holds to torture Tyler Bate. He wasn’t trying to be a heel but he had a bunch of holds lined up to test the limbs of Bate. Tyler would not be kept down as he too had holds to use and was able to reverse Gallagher’s offence into some of his hit spots, including the Airplane Spin that was reversed. In the end, the decision came down to a long series of pinfall attempts. They ended up rolling around the ring until Bate was able to keep Gallagher down for the three-count. Obviously, Gallagher was shocked but he didn’t snap and just accepted the loss.

For technical wrestling fans, this is a much watch. The two had plenty of chemistry together and continuously traded holds and submissions. Gallagher appeared to be having a lot of fun and seemed to take enjoyment in tying up Bate. It wasn’t the most intense bout on the card but it didn’t need to be. This was a nice opener that provided something different to what is normally seen on WWE TV.

WALTER defeated Kassius Ohno via Golden Bomb

WALTER hits Ohno with a German Suplex

This was a full on fight. There was nothing too flashy here as both men are prominent strikers and used this to their advantage. There were forearms, overhead punches, boots and chops, thrown across the match. WALTER doesn’t seem to get to throw that many chops in his matches but when he did they counted. Ohno has come the closest so far in matching WALTER’s striking power but even he couldn’t get the job done. WALTER seems to be an unstoppable monster right now and that Golden Bomb devastated Ohno. These two fought around ringside and never really stopped trading strikes. It was a hard-hitting and stiff affair that was a total spectacle to watch. Ohno might not have won but his style would be more than welcome in NXT UK.

Zack Gibson & James Drake defeated Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch via Ticket to Mayhem

Gibson is almost trapped in a Half Crab

The main event saw the first NXT UK Tag Champions take on their first challengers. The Grizzled Young Veterans had a challenge on their hands as they had to take on the scrappy team of Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. Once again, this was a hard-hitting affair that started relatively slow and soon descended into madness as both teams had to pull out more and more stops to win. There were finisher kick-outs where the Ticket to Ride only achieved a two-count, as did the Implant DDT. Neither team could seal the deal. There was an intense submission slap fest as both teams had one member in a submission. Lorcan had Drake in a Half Crab and Gibson had Burch in the Shankly Gates. The two were staring each other down and only broke the submissions when a slap fight broke out.  In the end, the Ticket to Mayhem put down the challenger team and the Grizzled Young Veterans were able to successfully retain their titles in a fun 20-minute or so match.

This match screamed main event and, despite the slower methodical start, it quickly ramped up the intensity as the rules were broken further and the heel and face teams got more and more desperate for the win. Both teams would often shine and once Lorcan was able to shake off the double team bullying the match was an open game. This was a credible first defence and further establishes the veterans as a sneaky and dangerous team. Lorcan and Burch had a very welcoming reception from the crowd and should be featured more in the NXT UK programming,

So there you have it, overall it was a fun little 50 minutes of programming that offered a bit of everything. There were three unique matches that offered their own style of wrestling as well as plenty of story continuation elsewhere. Eddie Dennis addressed his loss to Dave Mastiff, Ligero offered Joseph Conners another match and Jordan Devlin has provoked a Falls Count Anywhere match with Travis Banks after attacking him at the Performance Centre. The brand continues to put on hot shows and will only continue to get hotter as time goes on.

All images courtesy of wwe.com

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