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    Friday, February 1, 2019

    NXT in the UK (1/30/19): Walter Over The Bridge

    NXT UK ended January 2019 with a fresh beginning in Walter making his much-anticipated debut.

    We only got one episode this week, with the main event being a tag team bout between Moustache Mountain, who lost their chance to become the first-ever NXT UK Tag Team Champions at TakeOver: Blackpool, and The European Union, who weren't even given a chance to qualify for the same opportunity. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel have recently made appearances on NXT, facing Oney Lorcan and UK's own Danny Burch, who themselves will make an appearance on NXT UK soon. That actually sounds like a pretty awesome deal. 

    Walter is scary, and I actually ended up spending hours debating with myself whether I should go with that pun of a title for fear that he may somehow read this article featuring his NXT UK debut and track me down. Granted that I'm not that important of a professional wrestling blogger for him to personally put down, but you never know with the quiet ones. I could be drinking a fresh cup of tea one Sunday morning and boom! Walter could appear in my doorway and chop me down to death.

    Sort of like what Jack Starz suffered in the Austrian's debut match. Jesus freaking Rollins, those chops looked and sounded very nasty. The crowd's huge reaction said as much. Walter manhandled Starz here, throwing him around at ringside and impressing with a dropkick when they got back in the ring. That powerbomb wasn't that special, let's be honest here, but I'm not telling Walter that right in his face. 

    After the match, Mark Coffey yelled at Walter while The European Union proposed their allegiance to the Austrian if necessary. Walter just ignored them because, I mean, he doesn't really look like he'd need any back-up. Maybe after Gallus finally realizes that they could use their numbers advantage to make Walter pay for humiliating Joe Coffey at TakeOver: Blackpool? We could get another three-man stable war with that, and that would be vunderbar.

    Speaking of The European Union, they faced Moustache Mountain in the main event this week and almost got the win when Fabian Aichner rolled up Tyler Bate. Trent Seven responded by hitting the Seven Stars lariat on Aichner for a close win but Aichner managed to kick out of the pin. Despite a barrage of double-team moves from The European Union, Moustache Mountain persevered with their double-team Dragon suplex/lariat combo and Seven ended up pinning Marcel Barthel.

    This was a terrific match that made me a little sad because I wanted to see The European Union go over Moustache Mountain. I don't hate Moustache Mountain, but I do love The European Union just a tad more. I mean, it would've also been an inspired choice since Walter won his debut earlier in the episode and could've sown the seeds of the fearsome alliance that I absolutely desire. 

    That may not be what they want, though, so I understand. It's still too early for the nine-man war between Walter and The European Union versus British Strong Style versus Gallus. As it stands, and it stands great, Walter is on a solo path of destruction that will inevitably culminate in a showdown of a title opportunity against United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne. RIP, Dunne's chest.

    FINAL DECREE: With Walter's successful debut (were there any doubts?), all the championships have been set up with clear challengers at different points in time: Walter would no doubt take his time before chopping Pete Dunne's chest offGallus definitely has its eyes on him stilland nothing has been made official regarding that impending collision yet. However, both the NXT UK Tag Team Champions, the Grizzled Young Veterans, and NXT UK Women's Champion Toni Storm were announced to defend their titles in Phoenix against certain opponents. This episode also established a possible future Women's title contender in Jinny who continued her vicious, victorious streak, while the undefeated Dave Mastiff looks to be inching closer towards a United Kingdom Championship match. With great action and perhaps an even greater promise of things to come, this week's NXT UK gets a B.

    The Few Hunky-Dories:

    • The Grizzled Young Veterans officially referred to themselves as the Grizzled Young Veterans during their makeshift championship address. I laughed when Zack Gibson referenced the whole "shoes off if you hate Gibson" schtick, which I think is very brilliant, to belittle the effort. NXT UK Assistant to the GM Sid Scala interrupted them to let the pair know that they will be defending their NXT UK Tag Team Championships against Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch when the brand takes over Phoenix. I can't wait for that hard-hitting encounter.
    • Speaking of hard-hitting encounters, Dave Mastiff and "Primate" Jay Melrose rained down heavy forearms and strikes on each other during their match. This might've been Mastiff's toughest challenge yet in NXT UK, no offense to the surprisingly strong Eddie Dennis who failed every time he tried to take out Dave. At least Dennis was able to lift Dave, though. Melrose attempted to do the same but was unable to, leading to Mastiff capitalizing and hitting him with that painful-looking corner cannonball for the win. Someone call him a vet.
    • Although Jinny was able to continue her winning streak at the expense of Kasey Owens, the match was surprisingly even until that middle-turnbuckle flatliner clocked Owens into next week. The Fashionista continued her attack at ringside and then both women traded lengthy submission holds in the middle of the ring. As a connoisseur of submission holds, I appreciated the exchange. The match ended after Jinny hit a middle-rope X-Factor she dubbed The Makeover on Owens. I've seen too many female X-Factors but this one was pretty good. Its name was on fleek, too.
    • Next week, my bae Xia Brookside will be in action while Mark Coffey will butt heads with Walter. RIP, Mark Coffey's chest. Wait, his is wide, so I think he'll be fine. He'll definitely be able to take more of those chops than puny Jack Starz, I think?
    • GM Johnny Saint made the championship rematch between Rhea Ripley and NXT UK Women's Champion Toni Storm official for February 20 in Phoenix after Rhea demanded it. I guess NXT UK won't be following the no automatic rematches thing from RAW and SmackDown Live? Thank god. Ripley versus Storm is actually a pretty good match-up, and as it stands, there's really no point in following that ruling because most of the NXT UK match-ups won't be as saturated and repeated as those on RAW or SmackDown Live. Plus, I may be cool with Pete Dunne and Joe Coffey fighting forever. If only so I can make more Braveheart references to people on the street.
    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. His moustache isn't Moustache Mountain quality but it's a start.

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    Item Reviewed: NXT in the UK (1/30/19): Walter Over The Bridge Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Pepe Serapio
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