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    Friday, November 2, 2018

    NXT in the UK (10/31/18): Gibson Walks His Talk, Wolfgang Chooses His Pack

    It's an interesting week for NXT UK and surely an interesting end for October 2018 as the UK brand presented not just one, but two episodes for October 31. I'm not going to complain here, as two things are most definitely better than just one, but this review will be a little jam-packed because of this double foiblefor my part, anyway.

    Whether this format will continue to be the pattern in the upcoming weeks will remain to be seen. It's a great effort to catch up with the brand's backlog of taped episodes, though, considering I really wanted to see that particular NXT UK Women's Championship match at Evolution. Ah, well. We'll see it sometime soon, I believe. That said, please bear with me as I try my best to do justice to this two-for-one edition of this week's NXT UK.

    Trent Seven was in action twice this week. First he took on and beat Saxon Huxley with a Burning Hammer in a good five-minute back-and-forth singles match in Episode 3, before teaming up with Moustache Mountain tag team partner Tyler Bate against Saxon Huxley again and Sam Gradwell in Episode 4. Gradwell was also in action twice this week, having faced and lost to the re-debuting Danny Burch in Episode 3. 

    Episode 3's singles match was a great way to showcase Seven as a character of his own, separate from Bate and the Moustache Mountain team we've all mostly grown accustomed to seeing him with. Yes, he does bear a passing resemblance to Jesus, and it was just goddamn hilarious when the crowd picked up on that with Jesus-related chants. "Are you Jesus in disguise?" Considering Jesus was from Jerusalem, probably not. 

    Still, it was fun seeing Seven get his first singles win here. Props to Saxon Huxley, too, for a competitive match.

    Speaking of competitive matches, Huxley redeemed himself in Episode 4's tag action, dominating Seven in the relatively short match that was meant to establish Moustache Mountain as the top tag team on the show. Considering the only other tag team we've seen so far are the Coffey brothers, and they haven't even been in tag action yet, the goal wasn't that hard. Unless Huxley and Gradwell continue to work as an actual tag team for the weeks to come, I guess. 

    That said, Bate was the MVP of his team here, saving Seven from a lengthy submission from Huxley and picking up the win after a clothesline/snap dragon suplex double team on Gradwell. Time to twirl your moustaches, gents.

    Prior to their match, Flash Morgan Webster did an interview while Mark Coffey and his brother Joe got a hype video. Despite the numbers game, the eccentric Webster managed to get the win with a crucifix pin. Of course, the Coffeys aren't known for having great sportsmanship, so they attacked the Modfather after the match. Unfortunately for the brothers, their numbers advantage didn't last long, as Mark Andrews and Travis Banks came out to make the save. 

    Like I said and will keep on saying, the Coffeys attacking three men on the same night wasn't that great of an idea and it looks like they're about to pay for that grave mistake. Keep your eyes on Webster, though. He looks like he's going to be a big fan favourite down the line.

    The main event of Episode 3 saw Zack Gibson and 205 Live's Noam Dar throw hands. This match was announced last week after Gibson insulted Dar during his promo. Gibson continues to be a nuclear heat magnet, which is just awesome. I've never really seen anyone that can attract this much consistent heat. Shoes off if you hate Gibson! 

    Dar was mighty impressive in this match, too, showcasing his heart and determination to win. He refused to lose by count-out after Zack powerbombed him onto the stage area. Despite Gibson struggling with his own knee, Noam just couldn't get the job done. Liverpool's #1 ended up getting the win with the Helter Skelter but not without an assist from the ring post. This was the best Noam Dar has ever been portrayed in the WWE and the Cambridge crowd made sure to make him feel the love with a well-deserved standing ovation.

    This was the only women's match this week, so I was a little disappointed. But I guess so was Nina Samuels after dominating Isla Dawn, even going so far as to launch her into the middle turnbuckleouch!and still losing the match. Dawn almost got the win with a small package but it wasn't until a suplex later that the match was officially over in her favor. 

    I like Dawn's gimmick, calling herself the Modern Day Witch, but it might just be because it's the season for witches and I just finished watching the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix. Still, I'm keeping my eye on Isla Dawn. She's going to be quite interesting. Insert creepy cackling here.

    This was originally supposed to be Travis Banks versus Wolfgang, but after Banks was taken out backstage, Mark Andrews took the opportunity and asked GM Johnny Saint to be the Kiwi Buzzsaw's replacement in the main event of Episode 4. Hmm. 

    Wolfgang continues to be a magnificent beast in this match, launching Andrews onto the ring apron from outside of the ring and later performing a moonsault that even though missed its mark still impressed me quite a bit. A Stundog Millionaire and a shooting star press later, though, and Andrews goes over Wolfgang in a really good match. Afterward, Andrews and Wolfgang shook each others' hands as a sign of respect. 

    Unfortunately, the Coffey Brothers really are turds, coming out to attack Andrews and then Flash Morgan Webster who tried to make the save. Mark Coffey is obviously a sore loser. Hey, wait a second... Were the Coffey Brothers also responsible for that backstage attack on Travis Banks? Gasp! Wolfgang came back out to make the savebut then he didn't, choosing instead to join forces with the Coffeys to further punish Andrews and Webster. Wow. What a couple of sore losers.

    FINAL DECREE: It seems that NXT UK's main event scene can make no mistakes. That has been four amazing main events in a row and it looks like there's just no stopping the Queen's NXT. I, for one, am looking forward to what happens next week, what with the Coffeys building themselves as the top heel duo of the brand and Wolfgang joining them to make a really interesting stable. That was nothing short of a meaningful storyline development, perhaps even the biggest one on the brand, and along with this week's veritable introductions in Danny Burch, Jordan Devlin, and even Isla Dawn, NXT UK deserves another A. Happy Halloween, folks.

    The Few Hunky-Dories:

    • NXT's Danny Burch made his NXT UK debut in Episode 3 of this week's two-for-one edition, beating Sam Gradwell in a short but brutal bout. Immediately after this match, Burch called out United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne, laying out a challenge for the title. Dunne was later interviewed and claimed that he's not worried about facing Danny Burch for his title. Burch is a hard-hitter, and this match was debatably the hardest-hitting match this week, so a fight with Dunne could be a really amazing title match once it happens next week.
    • Sam Gradwell received an "Are you Sheamus in disguise?" chant during his match with Burch and that cracked me up. Interestingly, Gradwell's tag team partner in part two, Saxon Huxley, also bears some resemblance to Sheamus. Is this a sign of things to come? Sheamus should make an appearance on NXT UK, to be honest. The live crowd would love him. Also, Huxley and Gradwell should form a faction with the Celtic Warrior. Sons of Sheamus, anyone?
    • Jordan Devlin received a video package in Episode 3 and a quick promo in Episode 4 before his match against Tucker. If you've seen both United Kingdom Championship Tournaments, then you probably know that Jordan Devlin is very much associated with former NXT Champion and former Universal Champion Finn Bálor. Devlin channeled his inner heel Bálor here, injuring Tucker's left arm before countering Tucker's top rope Swanton with raised knees and hitting his driver finisher for the 1-2-3. Like Trent Seven's singles match and Isla Dawn's singles match, this served to put over Devlin as someone to watch in the coming weeks.
    • Jinny received two teaser promos, one on each episode this week, and I'm excited to see what this fashionista will bring to the table. Jinny was supposed to be a part of the NXT Women's Championship #1 Contender's match on day one of the United Kingdom Championship Tournament this year but was removed because of an injury. She did appear on the 2018 Mae Young Classic but was defeated in the first round by Toni Storm.
    • We got another good Eddie Dennis promo on Episode 4 of this week's two-for-one edition. Dennis sounds more and more like Kevin Owens during his early NXT days. Eddie recalled how he tried out and got signed, how his friendsUnited Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne and Mark Andrewsdidn't even call him while he was injured, and how he has everything to prove after both of his friends advanced in the WWE without him. Watch your backs, boys.
    • In two weeks, it'll be Team Kick Captain Dakota Kai versus the 2018 Mae Young Classic Winner Toni Storm, and I can't freaking wait. That is going to be an amazing match right there.
    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 (10/31/18): Gibson Walks His Talk, Wolfgang Chooses His Pack Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Pepe Serapio
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