Welcome once again to Cardiff, Wales. Tonight is the first official night of the Imperium Era. They were all present for the show as well as Noam Dar throwing a press conference for himself and an NXT Tag title match. Throw in a Jordan Devlin match and the triumphant debut of Tegan Nox and that sounds like a recipe for one hell of an episode. There’s a lot to unpack so let’s stop stalling and get into it.
Imperium Addressed the NXT UK Universe then Killed a team of Local Talent
It’s safe to say Imperium were not popular with the Cardiff crowd. When they took to the ring, the crowd lambasted them with Tyler Bate chants and boos. It might be their era but that doesn’t mean the people will like it. They asserted that they need to be there and that the crowd will come to accept, respect and understand their teachings and way of life. They still claimed to be there to protect the honour of wrestling and the sacredness of the mat. Again, the crowd did not enjoy that.
After that, Danny Jones and Harry Green took to the ring and regretted it. The pair were instantly murdered by Barthel and Aichner as Wolfe and WALTER looked on. No quarter was given as the pair took their time dismantling the duo. There was next to no offence from the local team as they were swatted like flies. It ended with the European Bomb and another round of boos from the crowd. Post-match, WALTER decided to have some fun beating up the local lads too. Nigel McGuiness said it best, it was academic from Imperium.
Jordan Devlin defeated Ashton Smith via Devil Inside
Once again, we see Ashton Smith be the unlucky loser. He put on yet another strong showing of strength and technical timing but yet again could not get the big win. Then again, he was against Jordan Devlin so it would have definitely been an upset, had he won. It was a fairly one-sided match in some regards as Smith had used his size and strength advantage to take control of the match and beat down Devlin was stiff strikes and vicious power moves. He even managed to Super Kick Devlin out of a Moonsault. Unfortunately, he took too much time on set up and gave Devlin and opening to get back into the match. A surprise Spanish Fly led to the Devil Inside and the three count. One day, I’ll get to write that Ashton Smith got a win but today is not that day.
Tegan Nox defeated Shax via Shining Wizard
Well, this was the very definition of blink and you’ll miss it. Tegan Nox made her grand debut after being out with an injury since the Mae Young Classic second tournament. She made her return on her home turf and won in very quick fashion. Her opponent got a slap in and nothing else. It took a kick, a throw and a Shining Wizard to end the match. After the match, the new Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray came out to spew some bile about Tegan Nox stealing her spotlight. She threatened to give Nox the same treatment she gave Toni Storm. Nox wasn’t scared and instead offered to fight Ray any time and anywhere.
NXT UK Tag Team Champions Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews defeated The Grizzled Young Veterans via Fall to Pieces
The main event saw the Grizzled Young Veterans try to reclaim their lost gold. This time there could be no excuses as the odds were much more even. They wanted their rematch and got it, they never stated they didn’t want it on their rival’s home turf. That didn’t seem to bother them though as they were on fire for a lot of this match. Mark Andrews’ shoulder was targeted and damaged for Shankley Gates. This was their main focus but didn’t stop them going for as much damage as possible whenever they were given a chance to. They also tried to play the hit the illegal move or double team when given the chance. This did not keep down the champions as they came back from every obstacle to keep their titles. Webster looked like a star coming in for saves and being one of the fiercest hot tags in a while. He came out swinging and made himself the centrepiece of the match. He saved the match, outsmarted Gibson and even hit a Pedigree. Andrews got his finisher off for the three-count and even spiked James Drake with a top rope Reverse Rana. The Grizzled Young Veterans have now lost twice to the smallest team in the fight and now have no more excuses for losing.
So, there you have it, another NXT UK episode here and gone. It was a wild ride and a strong night for the home country heroes. It’s nice to have Tegan Nox officially in the country, to see that the tag team scene is still going strong and that as of next week British Round matches are returning to TV. Sid Scala challenged Kassius Ohno to a rematch following his loss last week that will be fought under British round rules, a staple of older British wrestling. It’ll certainly be a spectacle to see. Let’s just see how the crowd takes to it.
All images courtesy of wwe.com