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    Thursday, November 8, 2018

    NXT in the UK (11/07/18): A Champion Triumphs, A Kingdom Lives

    For the second week in a row, NXT UK graciously gave us two back-to-back episodes. Considering Episode 5's main event was Pete Dunne versus Danny Burch for the United Kingdom Championship and Episode 6 featured 2018 Mae Young Classic Winner Toni Storm versus Dakota Kai, this was all sorts of awesome.

    It seems like NXT UK is really trying to make up for its backlog of episodes since the summer. I'm up for anything to finally get the NXT UK Women's Championship as well as the NXT UK Tag Team Championships on my screen as soon as possible. We all know that nothing solidifies a brand than a women's title and tag team titles, right? No offense, 205 Live.

    Shoes off if you hate Gibson! Liverpool's #1, not sure if that means he's #1 because he's the best or because he's the most hated, withstood the entertaining Amir Jordan's early barrage of offense before pummeling him with heavy strikes, a Helter Skelter, and inevitably making him submit to the Shankly Gates. This was actually a rematch from the 2018 United Kingdom Championship Tournament, which also ended pretty much the same way.

    After the match, Gibson challenged United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne and maintained that NXT UK should be built around him, all while every single person in that arena booed him with passion. Moustache Mountain's Trent Seven interrupted, called Gibson "completely delusional", and challenged him to a match, which Gibson "completely" declined. 

    Love him or hate him, you can't deny Gibson is a great promo. Considering that the next set of NXT UK tapings will be in Liverpool, it might not be completely wrong to think that Dunne's title reign might come to an end over there. Liverpool might love that, but fans everywhere else? Not so much.

    Fresh from their formation last week, Wolfgang's Packor The Coffeys and Their Pet Wolf(gang)?laid waste to the popular Ashton Smith, not even letting the man finish his entrance properly. Joe Coffey then said their trio was at a higher level than everybody else in NXT UK, even British Strong Style, and called NXT UK their "kingdom." 

    For those not in the know, British Strong Style is a stable composed of United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne and Moustache Mountain, Tyler Bate and Trent Seven. The idea that these two three-man stables could face each other down the road is an exciting prospect to say the least. But for now, The Coffeys and Wolfgang had Smith, Mark Andrews, and Flash Morgan Webster to contend with for the next episode, which streamed right after this one. Thank GM Johnny Saint, the best of all saints!

    This was the very first six-man tag team match on NXT UK, and it was the main event of Episode 6. Mark Andrews was able to hit a Stundog Millionaire on Mark Coffey for some Mark-on-Mark action, Webster and Smith double-teamed Wolfgang in the corner until a Coffey-flavored distraction allowed The Last King of Scotland to turn the tables on their adversaries, and The Modfather later hit everyone outside the ring with a senton bomb from the top rope. 

    Joe Coffey still got the last laugh, though, taking out Webster with a discus lariat after decimating Andrews and Smith at ringside with his brother Mark. This was a great first win for this Wolfgang-Coffeys stable and I look forward to how their storyline will continue from this point forward. Smith, in particular, was also pretty impressive, so here's hoping we get to see more of him, too.

    Holy, freaking hell. This match between 2018 Mae Young Classic Winner Toni Storm and Team Kick Captain Dakota Kai, despite both women showing respect to each other, was pretty freaking brutal. That headbutt from Kai after surviving a lengthy submission from Storm took them both out, and those punches, those forearms, those kicks... As good ol' JR would say, this was a slobberknocker and most definitely at its finest. 

    After Kai missed a kick, Storm hit her impressive Storm Zero, and that was all she wrote. I was not disappointed when I got hyped for this match last week. Both women looked like worthy contenders to the NXT UK Women's Championship, when it finally arrives, which was probably why the debuting Jinny attacked Kai. Fashionistas tend to be a jealous bunch. Or so I'm told. 

    Pete Dunne defended his United Kingdom Championship against Danny Burch in Episode 5's main event, and boy, was it a title defense. Burch held his own against Dunne's aggressive style, keeping his fingers safe from Dunne's assault. But Dunne could not be denied, so Burch suffered a powerbomb and a stiff knee strike to the face. Still, Burch persevered and ragdolled the champion with several suplexes. That one at ringside made us wince. 

    Dunne eventually got the win after almost snapping Burch's fingerswhat the hell is it with Dunne and people's fingers?and making Oney Lorcan's NXT tag team partner tap. This was a bloody good main event, made even greater by Nigel McGuinness' excellent commentary, and you cannotI repeat, cannot!freaking miss this.

    FINAL DECREE: The two things I was hyped forStorm versus Kai and the United Kingdom Championship matchdid not disappoint, Eddie Dennis finally debuted, Zack Gibson continued to be amazing on the mic, and the Wolfgang/Coffeys alliance further developed into an intriguing prospect. This week's NXT UK definitely needed more women, but hopefully, GM Saint's major announcement for next week addresses that. With its first-ever six-man tag team match in tow, I have to give this week's NXT UK episodes a stiff A. There's honestly no stopping this show.

    The Few Hunky-Dories:

    • Finally. After weeks and weeks of Eddie Dennis promos, we finally have the UK's version of Kevin Owens debut this week against the athletic Sid Scala. Spoiler alert: Dennis is tall, and he used that height advantage to dominate Scala with heavy right hands and several knee strikes. Scala tried to fight back with a crossbody from the top rope but it was for naught. Dennis hit him with a corner buckle bomb and a devastating Neckstop Driver to make for an impressive debut. This was all Eddie Dennis, with his intense performance living up to his weekly promos. I am now very concerned for the well-beings of his "friends," Mark Andrews and United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne.
    • Dave Mastiff continued his monstrous dominance this week, plowing through a game Damien Weir who unfortunately experienced firsthand why no one tries to crossbody massive mammoths of men. That suplex was stalled for about 15 seconds, which was impressive at most, but that senton and then that cannonball was just flat-out concerning. Can someone check if Weir is still alive? Jfc.
    • A red-masked Ligero and James Drake had a fun match, with Ligero going over Drake with a springboard DDT. Ligero is clearly a huge fan favourite with his largely acrobatic lucha style of wrestling, but don't sleep on Drake. That corner big boot was fantastic. Drake has also previously appeared for 205 Live, too.
    • There wasn't a lot of the Jordan Devlin versus Kenny Williams match to really consider. Williams controlled most of the match, only to get pinned by Devlin with his devastating finisher after a reverse DDT. That win was from out of nowhere and truth be told completely sudden. Sorry, Williams, but I guess your luck ran out here. I'd have loved to see more of these two competitors but I guess this establishes Devlin as both sneaky and dangerous? Definitely not someone you should ignore. Right, Finn Bálor?
    • With NXT UK seemingly pushing forward with two-for-one episodes every week, I'll be referring to them from next week onward as parts one and two of each week's edition. Comments, reactions, suggestions, questions? You know where to tweet me. 
    Images from WWE

    Jofer Serapio (@ShawarmaJoereviews WWE RAW & NXT UK for Smark Henry. He has been an avid professional wrestling fan since grade school. These reviews are as close to professional wrestling as he can get. According to him, Kevin Owens is his best friend in the whole wide world. He also hates Zack Gibson but sadly can't afford a shoe.
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    Item Reviewed: NXT in the UK (11/07/18): A Champion Triumphs, A Kingdom Lives Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Pepe Serapio
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