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    Friday, February 8, 2019

    NXT in the UK (2/6/19): A Tale of Two Coffeys

    If you didn't get the title's reference, Charles Dickens will never be your friend.

    This week's lone episode of NXT UK continues to bank on WALTER as a formidable force while also addressing Gallus's state of mind after TakeOver: Blackpool, most especially Joe Coffey who was humiliated after his brutal title match by the upstart Austrian.

    Although it wasn't advertised, the unexpected altercation between the two Aussies fighting over NXT UK gold was a welcome surprise. Both Rhea Ripley and NXT UK Women's Champion Toni Storm weren't in action this week, but you could've fooled me. Rhea is bad.

    Also this week, Ligero and Mark Andrews had a fun bout while Jordan Devlin and Jinny both hyped themselves and myself with their upcoming match-ups. Noam Dar returning to NXT UK and Mia Yim making her NXT UK debut? This brand spoils me too much. 

    Prior to Joe Coffey taking on Ashton Smith, Gallus was seen getting hyped for their matches backstage. According to Joe, NXT UK is still Gallus' kingdom, and he reaffirmed that statement by taking out Smith. I'm pretty sure Joe's still fuming from that NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool loss to United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne as well as the succeeding humiliation he suffered when upstart WALTER came out and booted him off the apron after his title loss. Rude. 

    Smith is known as a high-flyer, so this bout was a clash of styles, which was made very evident when Joe caught Smith in mid-air to hit a German suplex (a jab at WALTER? I know he's Austrian but close enough) and then his discus lariat for the finish. 

    I like how Joe even told the referee that NXT UK is still his kingdom. I mean, that referee wouldn't give a single muck unless he gets physically assaulted in the line of duty but you do you, Joe. Maybe the one person Joe needs to convince that NXT UK is still his kingdom is... himself? 

    Gallus inevitably came out to congratulate Joebecause Smith is a pretty formidable wrestler, mind youbefore his brother Mark made his way to the ring for his own match against... WALTER.

    Last week, WALTER made his singles debut by chopping off Jack Starz's (still hate the name) chest. It was an impressive debut, Nigel McGuinness called it "the most impressive ring debut in NXT UK," and even United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne agreed to that fact during his backstage interview. Somewhere down the line, Dunne said, he expects to meet WALTER in the ring. His chest probably wouldn't want that. Dunne added that that would be when WALTER would understand why he's been champion for over 600 days, a pretty impressive feat, before stating that he fears nobody. His chest should really fear WALTER's chops. Right, Jack Starz's chest?

    Speaking of chests, Mark Coffey's was likely filled with both pressure from his brother's victory over Smith just a few minutes before his own match as well as hatred towards WALTER for humiliating his brother Joe at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool. The Austrian Anomaly, however, didn't really give a muck, unleashing one of his infamous chops right at the start of the match. Jesus. WALTER's got no chill. WALTER's also got no feelings, apparently, as he just stood in front of Mark Coffey and voluntarily absorbed every bit of punishment the Coffey brother could dish out.

    I was both awed and terrified when WALTER lifted Mark Coffey with relative ease into a devastating German suplex (a jab at Joe Coffey's own to Ashton Smith? Interesting). WALTER dominating Mark Coffey was expected but stomping, stretching, and even hurling the Gallus member like he was a ragdoll? I would never ever want to see WALTER in the same continent. The Ring General got the win after countering Mark Coffey with a horrifying yet beautiful dropkick before hitting him with an earth-shattering powerbomb. I still think WALTER needs a better finisher but I'm not telling him that. Never.

    This was another impressive victory from WALTER. While his successful debut against Jack Starz was pretty much written in stone even before that bell rang, this victory against Mark Coffey catapults WALTER's dominance ten-fold. Mark Coffey is bigger, nastier, and definitely more powerful than Starz, so for WALTER to treat him like he did Starz? WALTER is definitely a beast, someone who everyone, including the United Kingdom Champion, should fear. 

    FINAL DECREE: It's another week of WALTER scaring little children with his terrifying silent intensity but I can't complain. Having both Coffeys in action and with different results is a nice little contrast of their respective places in both Gallus and the brand in general, though one could argue that Mark's loss against WALTER could very well be Joe's immediate future. I loved the fast-paced action between Ligero and Mark Andrews as well as the overall development this week regarding the women's division. Ripley souring a nice moment between two faces and getting the upper hand on the champion was a great way to showcase her as a nasty heel. The crowd did seem to be a bit quieter during the Conners versus Hitchman match, but overall, this week's NXT UK still gets a B.

    The Few Hunky-Dories:

    • Ligero and Mark Andrews are no doubt two of NXT UK's best high-flyers, so their opening match was as explosive as it was bloody impressive. I and the Blackpool crowd definitely enjoyed that exchange of several one-count pin attempts early on as well as the barrage of high-impact offense, especially when Andrews reversed a suplex into his Stundog Millionaire. These two took each other to the limit, but it was UK's homegrown luchador who took home the win after countering Andrews' Shooting Star Press with raised knees and immediately hitting his C4L tornado DDT. Just goes to show that it only takes one mistake to lose a match, especially during such a fast-paced bout.
    • The sensational Xia Brookside was advertised for her bout and I beamed when her opponent was revealed to be Candy Floss. It's always a treat to see Xia in action, and truth be told, Candy has grown on me, so this was pretty much a rainbow-sparkled spectacle for my heart, if that is even a thing. Despite being the obvious underdog in this match, Candy dominated Xia with multiple submissions, although Xia did escape every single time, eventually hitting her Brooksy Bomb, a variation of the Iconoclasm her legendary father Robbie Brookside used as a finisher, for her first singles win in NXT UK. After the match, Xia and Candy shared a heart-warming display of sportsmanship that was interrupted by Rhea Ripley who attacked both competitors. NXT UK Women's Champion Toni Storm came out to make the save but Rhea used Xia as her human meatshield and then proceeded to drop Toni with Riptide. Now that was a statement. That was a pretty entertaining match, too. Both the actual match, which served to showcase Xia and Candy, and the post-match segment, which was essentially a plug for the Ripley-Storm title feud, came together to remind us of how fantastic the brand's women's division truly is.
    • If there was one word to describe Joseph Conners, it would be "frustrated." Whether it was because new stars are taking over NXT UK, *cough* WALTER *cough*, or the fact that he wasn't even a part of NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, maybe even both, it didn't really matter. What mattered was that Conners took out a very game "Wild Boar" Mike Hitchman, attacking him all over the ring and ringside before powerbombing him off the top turnbuckle and finally hitting Don't Look Down for the 1-2-3. For his part, Hitchman hit a pretty nice frog splash but it wasn't really enough. Close but no cigar.
    • Last week, NXT UK Assistant to the GM Sid Scala announced that NXT UK Tag Team Champions, the Grizzled Young Veterans, Zack Gibson and James Drake, will defend against NXT's Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch on an upcoming NXT UK episode. Backstage, Lorcan tried to explain why they deserved the title shot but Burch interrupted him, explaining that they have their title shot in three weeks against Gibson and Drake. I share Lorcan's hype here. For those thinking that Lorcan winning the NXT UK tag titles would dishonor the Queen, have you guys forgotten Moustache Mountain's short-lived reign as NXT Tag Team Champions? It'll be a non-issue, gents.
    • Jordan Devlin appeared to tell us that he's been running roughshod over everyone on NXT UK, which is a little bit weird because if I remember correctly, the last time we saw him was when his match with Travis Banks ended up a no-contest, with both men brawling throughout the arena. That doesn't sound like he's been running roughshod over everyone on NXT UK. I am, however, looking forward to his match against 205 Live's Noam Dar in Phoenix when NXT UK takes over Arizona. We've seen Dar in NXT UK before and he's been quite impressive. His title match with United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne, which he lost if you've been living under a rock, was very physical and quite entertaining. With a talent like Devlin as his competition, one can only assume their match is going to be bloody amazing. 
    • We got a video package hyping up Jinny who also told Radzi, the interviewer with the afro, that "when he looks the way he does, he needs a better wardrobe to distract from his face." Damn, so rude! After complimenting herself and her victories as amazing, she went on to admit that the NXT UK roster is full of talented women, which I and everyone else agree with, before congratulating NXT UK Women's Champion Toni Storm who is apparently the one person standing in her way. I mean, Storm does have the title around her waist and if Jinny wants that accessory, she'd need to beat her, but what if Rhea Ripley beats Storm in Phoenix? Well, it doesn't really matter because according to The Fashionista, she will be champion. A+ on the confidence. A++ on Mia Yim taking on Jinny for next week. That is going to be something no one should miss.
    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. WALTER is the monster under his bed.

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    Item Reviewed: NXT in the UK (2/6/19): A Tale of Two Coffeys Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Pepe Serapio
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