Both Andrews and Dar are stretchered out

“Tragedy and Contracts” – NXT UK Review – 27/03/2019

NXT UK was a sad affair this week. There were some excellent matches but the whole show was marred by a disappointing and tragic ending to its main event match. We saw a double injury, an X and a contract signing that featured an NXT UK first. Alongside that, there were developments in the Women’s division and a big debut. Let’s get into it.

Jordan Devlin defeated Dan Moloney via Ripcord Backdrop Suplex

NXT UK opened with an exhibition match between the Irish Ace Jordan Devlin and the returning Dan Moloney. It wasn’t a very long or competitive match as it was very rare that Maloney would have control of the match. Devlin started strong and bar a very few occasions would be in total control. He started by outdoing Maloney with technical wrestling and continued by outpowering Maloney. Key points of the match included Devlin dragging Maloney into a Uranage and following it up with a Standing Moonsault and hitting a Springboard Cutter after suffering a nasty Back Body Drop. He finished the match in brisk fashion too by dropping Maloney on his head with a ripcord Backdrop Suplex and getting the three count. It was a brisk and brutal opener to the show and continued the running theme that unless your name is Finn Balor, Devlin is unstoppable.

Ohno Apology

Ohno tries to apologise

Following the burial of Dan Moloney was a very sarcastic apology from Kassius Ohno. He had been ordered by the higher-ups of NXT UK to apologise for his actions in the match with Ashton Smith. However, instead of apologising, he decided to mock his opponent and talked about the euphoric rush of knocking someone out. He then talked a bit about why he chose NXT UK and dropped some mocking lines about Travis Banks. He finished the promo by highlighting his intentions to go after the biggest prize in NXT UK and walked off without hassle. So if Kassius Ohno does go after the UK Championship, then we may just see an Ohno/Dunne/WALTER programme in the near future.

Rhea Ripley defeated Xia Brookside via Riptide

Brookside flies to the outside

Xia Brookside hates bullies. By that logic, it makes sense she would go after the biggest bully in NXT UK, Rhea Ripley. The former Women’s champion had taken umbrage with Brookside’s words against her so this match was set. It started as you’d expect with Ripley using her power advantage to bully Brookside. This would take up a decent portion of the match before Brookside managed to make a comeback using a Jawbreaker and a running Bulldog. Xia used the momentum to partially get back into the match and ended up launching herself at Ripley with a Crossbody. Once back inside the ring, Brookside landed a second rope Codebreaker but only got a two count. Ripley wouldn’t take this lying down and muscled back into the match achieving a decisive win with the Riptide. After the match, she dropped a promo about being the most powerful woman in NXT UK.  This is instantly challenged by a newly debuting Piper Niven, aka Viper of ICW fame. She challenges this claim and Ripley vanishes before the two can square up. Niven provides a new challenge to the women’s division and adds a positive end to a really good example of a competitive NXT UK women’s match.

Piper Niven comes to NXT UK to challenge Rhea Ripley

There was some other women’s division news as the next NXT UK women’s title match has been set as Toni Storm vs Jinny which will take place in two weeks and Isla Dawn and Kay Lee Ray will have a match next week.

Noam Dar versus Mark Andrews ends in injury

This was tragic. What was going to be an amazing finish to an amazing match was ended by an unfortunate potential double injury. Both Dar and Mark Andrews were stretched out following the X being issued after a Reverse Rana went wrong.  It appeared that Dar’s knee gave out before the move could properly begin so no necks were broken. This is sad as Dar had only recently come back from a similar injury. Anyway, the match itself was a lot of fun as we got to see Dar be a cocky and bullying heel as he fought the worked up Andrews. Both men got to show off their signature offence and showed clear knowledge of each other’s moves and styles. After an opening stalemate, Dar took the upper hand when he delivered a low kick to Andrews then kicked him off the apron. From there he bullied Andrews with targeted attacks and blatant illegal moves, even crotching Andrews against the ropes.

Andrews finally came back into the match and managed to start hitting some high impact offence. He hit the Stomp 182 and a Plancha despite his injured leg. The two then traded submissions and dives before a cunning Dar kicked Andrews out of a Springboard. He then threw the downed Andrews into the steel steps and locked in the Champagne Super Kneebar when Andrews got back into the ring. Andrews got to the ropes and tried to come back by hitting a rope assisted Moonsault and managed to pull off the Stun Dog Millionaire. At this point that gets a two and the unfortunate injury occurred.  An excellent match marred by an unfortunate end. I wish both men a speedy recovery.

WALTER/Dunne Contract Signing

Usually, when a contract signing takes place on screen, then we know it’s probably going to be chaotic. Some will go through a table and papers will go everywhere. This time that didn’t happen. Dunne and WALTER came to the signing, they sat down, signed and that seemed to be that. WALTER didn’t say anything and Dunne dropped a promo about wanting the match and the fact that his reign would continue after Takeover New York. He starts to walk away when WALTER spoke for the first time in NXT UK. He threatens “Peter” and issues the threat he poses to his title reign. The show ended with the two posing across from each other.

Dunne and WALTER stare each other down ahead of Takeover

So there you have it, another hour of NXT UK laid to rest. It had some highs with WALTER speaking for the first time, Rhea Ripley kicking ass, and Piper Niven making her first NXT UK appearance but also some crushing lows with the unfortunate injury to the newly signed Noam Dar. Hopefully, he isn’t out for long and he can pick up where he left off. Elsewhere we have next week’s matches set as Trent Seven takes on Joe Coffey and Kay Lee Ray fights Isla Dawn. It’s going to be fun.

All images courtesy of wwe.com

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