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    Monday, February 25, 2019

    NXT in the UK (2/20/19): Whose Time Is It Anyway?

    Surprise, surprise! WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Bayley and Sasha Banks were nowhere to be seen in NXT UK, most likely afraid of losing their titles to this brand's women's division. Or so I'd like to think. Chances are, they're excluding the UK brand from their title defenses simply because, well, there aren't any established potential tag teams in the women's division this side of the world. Yet.

    That said, that doesn't mean NXT UK has an inferior women's division, oh, most certainly not. Going by this week's NXT UK Women's Championship main event, they certainly are no less than world-class. Also this week, the Coffey Brothers fought Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster (again), the NXT UK Tag Team Champions Zack Gibson and James Drake yelled at everyone, and someone from NXT made their NXT UK debut. Spoiler alert: He's not a fan of kneeling. 

    We've seen the Coffey Brothers beat up Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster before, so the finish came as a surprise to no one. The Coffeys spent most of the time isolating Andrews but Webster managed to tag in, with the high-flyers launching a series of whirlwind offense that delighted me so much, I began to think they'd win this time around. Then I remembered that Joe Coffey was previously the #1 contender for the United Kingdom Championship, so I shouldn't have been troubled when Mark took out Andrews at ringside before the brothers destroyed Webster in the ring for the inevitable win. 

    Despite the loss, Andrews and Webster looked really good here, especially with those matching gear that made them look like a cohesive unit more than I've ever seen them. Both guys are fan favorites with an arsenal of amazing moves, so the sky's the literal limit for both of them. However, this feels like a bit of a step back for Joe who I thought would try and get his hands on WALTER as soon as possible, though the Coffey Brothers being the tag team of Gallus feels more natural than Mark and Wolfgang. Still, it's never too late for Joe to wage war on WALTER on his own terms, but should he take aim at the NXT UK Tag Team Championships with his brother first, then I wouldn't mind. The Coffeys are an intense tag team and I wouldn't mind them butting heads with the Grizzled Young Veterans.

    Speaking of the NXT UK Tag Team Champions, they came out to the ring this week to cut a promo, Zack Gibson bragging about, you guessed it, being "Liverpool's Number One." He also complained about being forced to travel to Phoenix, Arizona, where this show was, to educate "yanks" about British wrestling. 

    It was a pretty good heel promo that didn't feel right because no one in Phoenix seemed to know that if you hate Gibson, you have to take your shoes off. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan interrupted the champs so that Burch could remind everyone that he's actually British. When Burch and Lorcan made their way to the ring, though, the champs bolted. They'll face each other for the NXT UK tag titles next week, anyway, so I'm pretty excited for that.

    For this week's main event, we had a TakeOver: Blackpool NXT UK Women's Championship rematch between champion Toni Storm and challenger Rhea Ripley. This match was just as good as the PPV one, with the two Australian athletes bringing everything they've got to respectively take the title home with them. 

    Ripley attacked Storm before the bell even rang, which was a genius heel move. This made Toni look like the underdog, with Rhea dominating her early in the match. A dive to the outside through the ropes helped Storm turn things around. That corner hip attack was a thing of beauty. Although Ripley tried to retake control of the match, a missed shoulder tackle from her end led to Toni capitalizing with Storm Zero to retain.

    It's certainly interesting to see what happens to the women's division next. Storm was obviously retaining her title here and Rhea might have to wait a while to get back into title contention unless they really want these two to fight forever. I'm not going to lie: I wouldn't be opposed to that. Otherwise, they've got a lot of other potential challengers for Toni to fight. Isla Dawn, Jinny, and most recently Nina Samuels have all been featured regularly. Both Jinny and Nina Samuels are good heels to counter Toni's face while Isla Dawn could assume that role. 

    Xia Brookside has momentum on her side, too, so it's not improbable for her to try and mix it up with Storm in a face versus face showdown. That or Xia will more likely feud with Rhea while the latter's out of the title picture. Or maybe Xia will even team with Candy Floss to challenge Bayley and Sasha Banks for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships?! No? I tried.

    FINAL DECREE: A championship match for the main event is always a good idea, especially if those involved are as great of athletes as NXT UK Women's Champion Toni Storm and Rhea Ripley. However, we've seen the Coffey Brothers take on Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster before, so this was a little disappointing for me—the booking, not the action. God knows all four men are freaking great in the ring and my excitement for this match was well rewarded. All I'm saying is that I think it would've been better for the Coffey Brothers to take out another somewhat established team. That said, Shane Thorne appearing on NXT UK was a pretty good surprise while the segment tease for next week's tag team titles match was not that bad. This week's NXT UK gets a B.

    The Few Hunky-Dories:

    • With his Mighty tag team partner Nick Miller no longer with the WWE, Shane Thorne decided to try his luck in NXT UK by going toe-to-toe with one-half of Moustache Mountain, Trent Seven. Trent didn't have Tyler Bate in his corner as well, either as a sign of respect to Thorne or maybe Bate was just busy elsewhere. Regardless, this singles match was a pretty solid match, the highlight of which for me was when both guys ended up landing heavily outside the ring while they were still locked in a Figure Four. Ouch but awesome. Shane did his best here but Seven got his number with the Seven Stars Lariat for the win. Unless NXT UK gets a secondary title, however, I'm betting Thorne forms a tag team with someone if he's staying and has gold in his mind.
    • Tyler Bate's facing 205 Live's Jack Gallagher next week! I'm down for that throw-down, gents. Hopefully, Gallagher brings his old hilarious antics for this match, even if for just the first few seconds.
    • Nina Samuels got a vignette hyping her up. She's somewhat interesting, though we'll see if she can make the most of this opportunity now that she seems to be getting some sort of a push.
    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. Seriously, Xia Brookside and Candy Floss could be an awesome tag team.

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    Item Reviewed: NXT in the UK (2/20/19): Whose Time Is It Anyway? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Pepe Serapio
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