SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT UK TV REPORT (EP. 102)
JULY 2, 2020
STREAMED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY CHAD KOENIG, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosted By: Andy Shepherd (from home).
Note: They have no used the opening theme from NXT UK in the past two weeks following the #SpeakingOut movement, which spotlighted NXT UK wrestlers.
-Andy Shepherd announces that this will be an episode featuring wrestlers from the UK, which made it it to the WWE, and their favorite matches.
-Nikki Cross gave a quick background on Aoife Valkyrie and Isla Dawn, and that their match was her pick and asked us to “enjoy the match”.
(1) AOIFE VALKYRIE vs. ISLA DAWN (NXT UK TV March 5, 2020)
-Taken from my original review.
They lock up early on and Valkyrie went for an armbar, which she held for bit. As Dawn escaped, Valkyrie countered with a roll up for two. She went back for the armbar that Dawn countered with several two counts of her own by slamming her arm up and down for multiple pins. Valkyrie bridged out and the two exchanged near falls for far too long. Valkyrie landed a standing moonsault that Dawn kicked out of. Dawn got up and forced her into the corner. She went up and Dawn kicked her down. Valkyrie rolled to the middle of the ring as Dawn went up to the top. She connected with a meteora and two count. Back to their feet, Valkyrie got a couple of kicks in, went to the top and dropped a leg. Pinfall for the win.
WINNER: Valkyrie at 4:27.
(Koenig’s Analysis: Bless their hearts, they tried. They are both green as grass and haven’t found their characters yet either. Potential for both of these young talents. Lots of pauses between moves and some hesitation.)
Follow up: I’m surprised that this was Cross’ “favorite”. This was horrible.
-“Undertaker: The Last Ride” on WWE Network commercial
-Shepherd introduces a video package on the origin of Imperium.
-William Regal introduces two wrestlers who he loves seeing perform in the ring- Noam Dar, who he admires, and A-Kid, who Regal brought to Johnny Saint.
(2) A-KID vs. NOAM DAR (From NXT UK TV March 26, 2020)
-Taken from my original review.
They start with match attempting to grab each other for strength tests. They then brought the action to the mat and grappled for a bit before getting back on their feet where A-Kid wrapped up Dar in an octopus before he wiggled out. They brought it back to the mat and exchanged traded roll-up pinfall attempts.
After the shared a smile realizing they they have similar agility, they lock up and Dar dropped A-Kid on the ropes with an elbow and a kick to the chest. Dar picked A-Kid up for a couple of uppercuts, followed by two count. After Dar had his arm worked on, they get to their feet and A-Kid connected with a dropkick. He went up to the top rope but Dar caught him and worked on his arm. A-Kid countered into a triangle that dar then countered into a heel hook. Dar got him on his back for another two. After getting back up, dar gets a low blow in, and while A-Kid is recovering and Dar landed the Nova Roller for the win.
WINNER: Noam Dar at 6:41
(Koenig’s Analysis: A-Kid is improving greatly and has been in the ring with some real talents. I think this was his first loss on NXT UK, but it came from a slimy veteran. These two put on a match full of speed and counters. I think they could have taken a moment to rest and get some anger towards each other, but that’s nit-picking.)
Follow up: This match still holds up and Noam Dar has improved his heel gimmick, even in quarantine, from videos posted on NXT UK division since the start of the COVID19 pandemic.
-Vignette for tase team Pretty Deadly (Lewis Howley and Sam Stoker). They were on a grassy hill having a picnic while warning that they were going to “run the tag team division”. Yes. You heard that correctly.
-WWE Smackdown commercial.
-WWE Champion Drew McIntyre in a Zoom video stating that it was finally time that he as on NXT UK television and says that he started fighting in that area about 19 years ago and is considered one of the “founding fathers of the UK wrestling scene”. He was impressed with the growth of talent and that Pete Dunne and Mark Andrews blew him away when he saw them. He chose their semi-final match to crown the inaugural NXT champion. I loved the passion in his voice when he was speaking. I wish more of THAT came out in his current on-air personality.
(3) PETE DUNNE (c) vs. MARK ANDREWS (from February 22, 2017)
Dunne slammed Andrews and went for a pinfall attempt right after the bell. He put Andrews in a headlock and slammed him down again. Andrews flipped off the top and countered an incoming attack by shoving Dunne away. He rolled out of the ring and Andrews went over the top and tackled him outside. He gave some high-fives to some fans, rolled Dunne back in, and got kicked right back out. Dunne followed and worked on Andrews hand. He put his hand on the stairs and missed stomping on it. Andrews executed an incredible Rana. Both men rested for a moment and went back into the ring and went right back into battle, with Dunne getting a quick near pinfall.
Dunne got on top of Andrews and wrenched his neck hard. He continued to pound on him as Andrews tried to fight back. Andrews went over the top and on to the apron. When Dunne approached, Andrews hit a Stunt 182 and rolled into a two count. Andrews attacked with double knee with a Northern Lights suplex, and got a near pinfall after a standing moonsault.
Dunne went into the corner, seemingly exhausted. Andrews with a Rana off the top rope for another two. Dunne rolled himself outside to catch his breath. Andrews with a moonsault off the corner, but Dunne caught him mid air and tossed him onto the apron. Dunne with an X-Plex outside of the ring and flattened Andres. Dunne went back in the ring as Andrews ran in at nine. Dunne grabbed Andrews’ arm and started stomping on his head. Dunne put him up for another X-Plex that Andrews countered and got a two count.
Both men were exhausted and Andrews slowly made his way to the top. Dunne played possum and pounced with Simon the rope. The two exchanged blows, with Dunne falling to the mat. Andrews went up for a shooting star but was met with knees. Dunne with a roll up for two. The crowd was heavily invested. Andrews went off of the middle rope and Dunne hit him with a forearm. Dunne put him up but Andrews countered with another two count. The crowd was on their feet now. Andrews went up to the top again and executed a perfect shooting star, but Dunne ran underneath and suplexed him into the corner. Dunne with a Bitter End that advanced him into the finals.
WINNER: Dunne at 10: 57
(Koenig’s Analysis: As with most of the early NXT UK wrestlers, they put on a clinic. Fast-paced action and heavy-hitting moves. These guys took a pounding. The hard apron shots, the moves outside of the ring. Tremendous.)