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NXT UK TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 18, 2019
STREAMED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY CHAD KOENIG, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
– The show started with footage promoting this weeks match of Kassius Ohno vs. Sid Scala, who requested the first- ever British Rounds match in WWE history. This type of match consists of a series of six rounds- all with a time limit stipulation of three minutes each, and with a 30- second break between rounds. To win the match, a competitor must earn any combination of two pinfalls or submissions, or one knockout. If either of those does do not occur by the end of the sixth round, then the competitor with the most total falls is declared the winner of the match.
(1) TRAVIS BANKS vs. TYSON T-BONE
Banks started off with multiple turnbuckle running uppercuts to T-Bone, with announcers bringing up Banks “rage” and “aggression” and questioned if he needs to tone down those traits. T-Bone countered and gave Banks several stiff, fierce punches to the gut. The first failed pinfall attempt came from Banks with a reverse double stomp from the bottom rope. T-Bone failed to attempt his slice-of-heaven finisher, but Banks acquired a quick roll-up from the suplex attempt for the 3.
WINNER: Banks in 4:39
(Koenig’s Analysis: Nothing overly exciting or notable. I do appreciate Bank’s double stomp which he does backwards while facing the turnbuckle. Unique.)
– Radzi Chinyanganya in a backstage segment noting that, for the second week straight, Toni Storm could not be found, and was immediately interrupted by Gallus, claiming that they are still top contenders for the NXT UK tag titles, as they were never pinned in their triple-threat match at Takeover: Cardiff.
-“No B.S. NXT on USA commercial
(2) RHEA RIPLEY vs. DEBBIE KEITEL
With the crowd chanting “Rhea’s gonna kill you” from the get-go, it was obvious that the confident and strong Ripley had the upper hand in this match and absolutely dominated Keitel. A short match starting with a lockup, a rope break, and a waist-lock take down that ended in an easy 3.
WINNER: Ripley in 1:23
(Koenig’s Analysis: I think Keitel has a great look. And I hope to see her get better in the ring, but when you go face to face with Rhea Ripley, especially when she is riding high from her recent appearances on NXT television going face to face with Shayna Baszler, dont expect to have your hand raised at the end of the match. The look on Ripley’s face and her expressions as Keitel while she attempted a waste lock were priceless. You could just see her thinking out loud: “Oh, please. This is weak….”)
– After the match, Ripley paced in the ring with a microphone, stating that it was time to get her NXT women’s title back and that there was nobody that compared to her in the ring. Jinn and Jazzy interrupted her, with Jinny commenting on how “90’s” Ripley’s apparel was as they marched to the ring. She then cut a good promo on Ripley saying how everything about her was “from the past”. Jazzy jumped to the apron, grabbed Ripley and was then met with a crisp kick to the neck by the dominant former champion.
– As Ripley stood strong in the middle of the ring following the altercation, announcers brought up that Trent Seven was met with a “special welcome” earlier in the day, cutting to footage of Noam Dar obnoxiously following Seven backstage with a megaphone as he was arriving to the venue. This name-calling on the speaker led to a brief pull- apart.
– WWE Network commercial for “Chronicle: Sasha Banks”
(3) JOSEPH CONNORS vs. KENNY WILLIAMS
Connors went right to work on the smaller Williams, highlighted by a great short- arm clothesline. While stalking Williams, he fought back up until a veteran move by the young Connors as he literally hit the top rope as Williams sprung to the top of it, knocking Williams off of the rope and on to the mat, which led to a near pinfall attempt and kickout. Connors powered through most of the match with a surfboard stretch, killing some time before Williams came back with a connecting slingblade, pin attempt and kickout. As Williams went to the outside of the ropes to jump to the top again, Williams attempted the same maneuver that worked so well for him earlier in the match, just to be faked out by the smiling Williams, and drove Connors face first into the turnbuckle. Another failed pinfall attempt by Williams as Connors grabbed the bottom rope. Connors showed some solid offense in before getting the 1-2-3 over Williams.
(Koenig’s Analysis: There was some good selling in this match by Williams, especially after falling from the top rope mid- match. But it wasn’t the over-selling that we have grown to (*ahem) love by the WWE. A couple of young wrestlers who I feel have an upside as they develop. I look forward to following these two closely.
WINNER: Connors in 5:08
– Video of Cesaro praising Ilja Dragunov for their Takeover: Cardiff battle. (Side note: I would love to see Cesaro come full-time to NXT UK. He is one of the most talented performers under the WWE umbrella and arguably the most under-utilized.)
– The WWE Hell In A Cell commercial with the cell wrapping itself around the bodies of wrestlers. This commercial looks about as cheesy as that match between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt from WrestleMania 33.
– Vignette for Oliver Carter’s return to the ring next week.
– Newly- crowned NXT Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray in a backstage promoting a match with Tegan Nox in 2 weeks, followed by an announcement for next week’s main event- Trent Seven vs. Noam Dar.
(4) KASSIUS OHNO vs. SID SCALA – British Rounds Match
Round 1: A slow- paced round chock full of various arm holds- first while upright, and then on the mat. This continued for the 3- minute round until it’s end.
Round 2: Scala gets Ohno into a 3/4 nelson early in the match and held it on before Ohno reversed into a full nelson. Scala countered out and the 2 of them worked arm holds until the end of the match, with only one 2- count when Scala rolled him into a cradle. After the bell rang, Ohno attempted a cheap headlock to no prevail.
Round 3: Ohno held Scala in a standing side headlock for the first 30 seconds of the match before ending it by punching the tired Scala in the throat. Scala fired some strikes at Ohno and attempted an arm hold before Ohno returned with another attack to the throat. Ohno scored the first pinfall after hitting a rolling elbow. The 30 second break started after the pinfall.
Round 4: Ohno starts strong, tossing Scala to the mat several times in the first 70 seconds before finally dropping a knee into the battered throat of Scala. Ohno followed Scala as he floundered around the ring before Ohno got Scala to his feet, holding him in a front face lock. Scala broke out and attempted throwing fists at the much larger Ohno before he nailed Scala with a forearm that knocked him dazed and confused. Ohno held Scala in a 3/4 nelson for the rest of the match before another shot to the trachea of Scala as the bell rang.
Round 5: After a weak attempt to take the big man down, Scala was put into an abdominal stretch as Ohno mocked him for nearly a minute- yelling “kill me” to Scala at one point. Ohno held the beaten Scala before a shoulder block knocked him to his knees- with Ohno getting laughs from the crowd as he held a thumbs up with the left hand and the arm of the fallen Scala in his right. Ohno then held Scala in a half straitjacket before escaping it and attempted some strikes to the fresher Ohno, bringing them to the corner post. Ohno stepped outside of the post and stretched Scala’s leg before the ref made Ohno stop and get back into the ring. While Ohno was getting back into the ring, the ref was yelling at him while Scala is behind them, climbing the ring post and nearly got a pinfall on Ohno after a high cross. The match ended with Scala unsuccessfully trying to knock the big man to his feet, while seemingly catching his second wind.
Round 6: Scala immediately attacked Ohno (a la “Rocky 4”) to try and tire him early as he needed 2 falls in the next 3 minutes to take home the victory. Ohno countered with a Finlay roll. For the next minute of the match, Ohno landed some blows and finally an elbow to the back of the head. The final 60 second mark hit with Ohno standing strong and lifting Scala into an electric chair for a few seconds before Scala countered into a victory roll that didn’t live up to its name as Ohno bounced out after 2. Another failed pin attempt happened immediately as Scala attempted a crucifix pin. Ohno landed a boot to Scala’s face knocking him to the ground in the final seconds, as a last ditch effort saw Scala get Ohno into a backslide pin in the final 2 seconds, but the clock stopped too soon for the 3.
WINNER: OHNO (1-0)
(Koenig’s Analysis: I have never see a British Rounds Match before and it started out a bit slow and plodding. However, I understood it by the third round as I realized that this was a match that seemed to be more focused on submissions than pinfalls- at least this specific match was. It was, as I noted, a bot “Rocky IV”-esque, which was great because to me, that’s the greatest Rocky. It told the story of the underdog wearing down the larger monster. However, it ended more like the original Rocky, with Scala taking the loss. A fun match that made me want to learn more about its history).