This was a tough episode to watch. The WWE Network had managed to desync the audio to an insane degree, meaning the sound was about ten seconds ahead of the action. It made the show feel off but I soldiered through to bring you the action in the review form. As for today’s episode, we had tag team action, a who attacked Imperium hunt, Kay Lee Ray killing a newcomer and the face to face meeting of WALTER and Tyler Bate before their TakeOver match. Throw in Mark Andrews and James Drake and we’re set for a strong episode. Let’s get into it, shall we?
Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) defeated The Hunt via European Powerbomb Combo
There was no real intro to NXT UK this week, it just got straight into some hard-hitting tag team action. The match was Imperium vs The Hunt and as opening tag bouts go, it was rather impressive. Both teams have unique chemistry with each other and mixed together well. Barthel and Aichner had to utilise their smarts to stand a chance against the pure savagery of The Hunt. Aichner learnt this early on getting bitten by Primate as a means to tag in his partner. From there though the match went downhill as Imperium trapped Boar and worked him over like a well-oiled machine. It became the standard work over til hot tag match ending with Wild Boar being hit with the finisher to lose. They did mount a fun comeback but it was not enough as too many Spears led to Boar eating a turnbuckle and Aicher and Barthel wiping him out. This was an excellent way to open the show and offered a nice bit of TV time for both teams. I appreciate them keeping Imperium looking strong since they are meant to be the dominant faction right now.
Post-match we got two segments. The first announced that Noam Dar will take on Travis Banks at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff following their interactions last week. Given the two seem to have no love for each other, that should be an explosive bout. The other was backstage where Aichner and Barthel were attacked and laid out by a mystery assailant following their tag team win. There’s an obvious contender as to who this attacker could have been but the camera cleverly hid their identity.
Kay Lee Ray defeated Shax via Dirty Bomb
NXT UK officially became the sanitorium as Shax and the former Queen of Insanity took to the ring next. Ray did her usual, dominating early on by working over the arm of her opponent and looking to inflict as much punishment as possible. This went on for a while with only small sections dedicated to a Shax comeback. She started to level some strikes but took too long on a Springboard move and got kicked in the face for it with a Crescent Kick. A Dirty Bomb later and the match was won, chalk another one up for Kay Lee Ray.
After the match, the crowd got their wish as Toni Storm made an appearance after Ray reminded everyone what she plans to do at TakeOver. Before Storm could say anything, Ray tore into her with barbs about her pushing away everyone she was ever close to. She accused Storm of being the reason she and Ray weren’t friends anymore, the reason she had no friends, the reason her exes all left and to really stab at her heart, the reason her father left her. That last one was too much and Storm slapped the words out of Kay Lee Ray’s mouth. Ray rolled out of the ring, clutching her face but smiling all the same as she just got under the skin of the champion once again.
Mark Andrews defeated James Drake via Stundog Millionaire Roll-Up
James Drake is such an underappreciated talent. He can be put in the ring with anyone and put on an excellent match. In this case, it was against Mark Andrews for the right to be in the NXT TakeOver Tag Title Match in Andrews home turf of Cardiff. He had an uphill battle to fight as not only was Drake an imposing foe but also, he had fellow Grizzled Young Veteran Zack Gibson in his corner. He started out on top and continued to break down Andrews time and time again. It was incredibly one-sided until Andrews finally started to fire up and come back into his own. He managed to mount a comeback that made the match more balanced. Drake still kept up the pressure though and Gibson interference ensured the match kept rolling. Gallus ended up making an appearance too, laying out Flash Morgan Webster and trying to get at Gibson. In the interference, Gibson tried to Suplex Andrews but ended up getting stunned and pinned. Mark Andrews and Webster now get to go to Cardiff and Grizzled Young Veterans have an even bigger battle coming up in defending their NXT UK Tag Team titles. Once again NXT UK offers a strong main event to close out most of the wrestling portion of the show and we get more intrigue in the tag division.
WALTER met Tyler Bate and a Steel Chair
Last but not least was the face to face meeting between WALTER and Tyler Bate. This technically happened. But not as WALTER wanted it. As Imperium members had been attacked all night, he was already and then to make matters worse, Trent Seven was back from being injured by the NXT UK Champion. Seven distracted WALTER whilst Bate attacked Alexander Wolfe, who had accompanied WALTER, with a chair. They both then turned their attention to WALTER where Bate looked set to mash him with the chair and Seven was there to make sure said mashing happened. They both beat down WALTER with Bate finishing the show with a massive show of strength by hitting the Tyler Driver 97 on the current champ. Through their actions tonight the pair have sent a very strong message to the NXT UK Universe and proved that even Imperium can be broken.
So, there you have it, another episode of NXT UK watched and reviewed for your reading pleasure (or displeasure if you hate my opinions.) Thanks to this episode we have new TakeOver matches thanks to Noam Dar and Travis Banks, we have new TV matches as Kenny Williams will take on Jordan Devlin and we have new interesting directions to follow as Trent Seven is back and should be back for blood. We had some strong matches, strong story beats and a strong crowd to lead this episode that helped it overcome the technical issues the Network was having. Here’s to hoping the tech problems are resolved by next week’s episode.
NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff Card
- WWE United Kingdom Championship Match: WALTER (c) vs Tyler Bate
- NXT UK Women’s Championship Match: Kay Lee Ray vs Toni Storm (c)
- Triple threat tag team match for the NXT UK Tag Team Championship: Grizzled Young Veterans (c) vs Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster vs Gallus
- Last Man Standing Match: Joe Coffey vs Dave Mastiff
- Singles Match: Noam Dar vs Travis Banks
All images and videos courtesy of WWE