“Imperium” – NXT UK Review – 29/05/2019

NXT UK once again came to us from Glasgow and offered up another chaotic show that offered more insight into the formation of a new faction, Gallus in action, and the finale of the Nina Samuels show. With that last point, the audience was waiting to see if the show would end in Nina being crowned Champion or if it would be the curtain call on her contendership. Alongside all that we got a unique bout between Gentleman Jack Gallagher and Kassius Ohno. So, let’s waste no more time and get into it.

Imperium Opened the Show

Imperium on mic

Last week, WALTER shocked the world by forming an alliance with Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner. This new union took to the ring to open the show and address the audience on why they did what they did. They talked about leading NXT UK into a new era. They are now Imperium and the ring mat is sacred to them. They mocked British Strong Style who didn’t take the words kindly. British Strong Style came out and both teams brawled until the cameraman was taken out and the camera feed cut. After the break, Sid Scala announced that a six-man tag match had been set for two weeks from now.

Mark Coffey & Wolfgang defeated Team Whitewolf via Enzuigiri/Powerslam Combo

Gallus trap Romo in a finisher

Team Whitewolf didn’t stand a chance in this match. They were against two strong opponents and in Gallus’ home turf. The odds couldn’t have been more stacked against them. They barely got any offense at all as they were tossed around like ragdolls. Coffey had A Kid in a Full Nelson and delivered a Swing before finally making a hot tag to Carlos Romo. Unfortunately, Romo couldn’t do much either as Mark Coffey instantly hit him with a Lariat and tagged in Wolfgang for the finish. It was annihilation from Gallus and they won in dominant fashion. However, I can’t help but be happy to see Team Whitewolf make it onto NXT UK TV. They deserve the exposure after putting on amazing matches in Fight Club Pro and Defiant as well as plenty of other promotions.

Cassius Ohno defeated Gentleman Jack Gallagher via Rolling Forearm

Test of strength

We went from a squash match to a drawn-out bout of technique and vicious strikes. Ohno wanted a master of the European/British style and was granted that through Jack Gallagher. The pair started out with a technical masterclass, with sportsmanship and submission/technical holds. When this didn’t go Ohno’s way, he hit a brutal forearm and busted Gallagher open. From there, he worked over Gallagher until the comeback happened. Then Jack went to work on Ohno’s elbow and wrist to try and overcome Ohno’s power game. The pair duked it out, trading strikes until Ohno hit a Rolling Forearm sending Gallagher into the ropes. Jack had a leg under the rope but Ohno blocked the ref’s view and Gallagher was declared the loser despite clearly having a rope break. This was a fun little throwback match that really drew from the days of old World of Sport Wrestling. It was full of nice throwbacks and full of the traditional European style Ohno seems to crave even if he had to cheat to win. I doubt this feud is over just yet.

Toni Storm defeated Nina Samuels via Storm Zero

Storm Zero

This was exactly what you expected it to be. A nice competitive match that made NXT UK come full circle. Nina Samuels was Toni Storm’s first opponent on NXT UK and now had become her most recent challenger. She had attacked Storm for not caring about her family. This added a personal tinge to the match and meant that Storm would have to get her emotions in check or Samuels would use them against her. They started technical but went all out by the end as they escalated through submissions, strikes and even Samuels busting out Springboard moves. Storm survived a Springboard Twisting Plancha into the ring, a top rope Dropkick and a slew of backbreakers. Storm came back with a vicious headbutt, a bridging German and won with Storm Zero. This won’t be a stand-out match but it was certainly fun and a nice end to the show. Samuels has made herself look like a strong villain but more interest will come from who’s next. There are a lot of strong contenders for Storm’s title, like Kay Lee Ray and the newly debuted Jazzy Gabert. The Women’s division is only going to get more competitive from this point on.

Nina springboards into the ring

So, there you have it, another week of NXT UK passing us by. It felt like a faster show than usual, as the matches felt tight and well-paced and the story beats kept the show moving. Imperium is an interesting unit and it’ll be fun to watch them go to war with British Strong Style. There has also been a teased team forming between Isla Dawn and Xia Brookside, as well as the looming Piper Niven/Rhea Ripley fight.

NXT UK is certainly forming some strong unions between wrestlers and both title scenes should soon heat up with a lot of competition. Oh, and Joseph Conners called out Ilja Dragunov… Damn, that sounds amazing.

(All images courtesy of wwe.com)

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