WWE NXT UK (Jan. 30th)
RESULTS: Dave Mastiff over Jay Melrose in 5:00, Walter over Jack Starz in 2:30, Jinny over Kacey Owens in 5:10, Tyler Bate and Trent Seven over Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel in 13:08
-Dave Mastiff defeated “Primate” Jay Melrose in a short match with his Into the Void cannonball to the corner. They are pushing Mastiff’s unbeaten record on NXT UK coming out of his TakeOver win over Eddie Dennis. Melrose got some offense in but couldn’t lift Mastiff because of the size discrepancy. It was just a match.
-There was a video promoting Xia Brookside’s return next week.
-Zack Gibson and James Drake came out and cut a promo. Gibson insulted the audience and locker room, stating that while other wrestlers were thinking of catchy nicknames, they were getting better and led to them “stealing the show” at TakeOver (accurate). Gibson is a great promo. Sid Scala interrupted and announced they were going on the road to Phoenix and they will defend the tag titles against Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. He added that match will happen “soon” with a pause and the audience booed.
-Walter had his debut match against Jack Starz and was the most-promoted element on the program. Walter’s entrance is tremendous and feels like a megastar. Nigel McGuinness compared Walter to Stan Hansen, Bruiser Brody, and Kenta Kobashi. Walter chopped Starz and turned his chest red instantly as the audience hummed his theme music. Walter connected with a running dropkick and powerbomb for the win. This was a perfect squash match and introduction and Starz did a great job and served his role to the fullest in making Walter come off as a monster. The audience gave Walter a standing ovation.
-Jinny defeated Kasey Owens with the Makeover, which is an X-Factor off the middle turnbuckle. This was a good match for television with lots of intricate submissions and varied offense from Jinny, who they are building up as one of the top female heels on the show.
-The rematch between Toni Storm and Rhea Ripley for the NXT women’s title will air on February 20th from the tapings at Axxess in Phoenix.
-The main event was the big match on the show with Tyler Bate and Trent Seven defeating Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel after the combination lariat from Bate and Dragon suplex by Seven onto Barthel. The announcers positioned this match as Moustache Mountain needing to rebound after their loss at TakeOver with McGuinness using Curt Hawkins as an example of what can happen with too many losses. This was a very good television match, they had the heat on Bate for a while, attempted the shoulder bounce on the rope early and was met with an enzuigiri from Barthel on the apron. Bate landed a tope to Aichner on the floor followed by Seven with a seven-star lariat onto Barthel for a two-count. They sent Aichner to the floor after he missed a top rope splash and hit the double-team maneuver for the win. Aichner and Barthel are the best new tag team on any brand presently and should grow into a great team this year.
This was an episode to check out with a very good main event. It was a great introduction of Walter with the squash format fitting him perfectly and I was impressed with Jack Starz making him look like a million bucks in the process.
The show is so much easier to follow with one episode per week. They have their pushed talent and the others to make the pushed talent look great. It’s a safe formula but a good one for star creation and I’m very high on the addition of Walter as he adds a big element needed for this show and they have the big dream match with Pete Dunne to play out over a long period before they deliver on it.