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    Friday, March 1, 2019

    NXT in the UK (2/27/19): Veterans Defend UK From Bald Invaders

    NXT UK this week was two things: a masterclass in technical wrestling and a successful defense from would-be invaders.

    Two out of their three matches showcased how enthralling mat wrestling can actually be, from the technical duel between inaugural United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate and 205 Live's Gentleman Jack Gallagher to flashes of smooth exchanges in the NXT UK Tag Team Championship match that saw the Grizzled Young Veterans, Zack Gibson and James Drake, defend against NXT's Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch.

    The third match was more physical than technical but it was still a thing of beauty. NXT's Kassius Ohnoor is that former NXT wrestler Kassius Ohno?tried his luck against WALTER, but to no avail, because WALTER is scary af. I bet Ohno's chest screamed "oh no!" when WALTER chopped it off. Ouch.

    First things first, I'm all for Gentleman Jack Gallagher moving from 205 Live to NXT UK, though he can definitely do both with masterful scheduling, though if he would, then he should prioritize NXT UK because 205 Live has only one title and Buddy Murphy isn't letting go of that gold for 10 more years. Well deserved. 

    Now, I'm not sure if this was just a one-off match from Jack because I don't trust anything anyone in WWE says anymore (I'm looking at you, Vince) but this was possibly his greatest showing in a long time. He hasn't been given much to work with in 205 Live, but here in NXT UK, he got the former and inaugural United Kingdom Champion as his first opponent. Gallagher might've lost the match, sure, but he was able to showcase what he does best and it was bloody damn good.

    For most of the match, Jack controlled the action with submission hold after submission hold after submission hold. Tyler's knee and ankle were targeted by the Gentleman, and even Bate's airplane spin could not deter him. After about 20we countedsuccessive pin attempts from both men, though, Bate eked out the win, surprising Jack as well. Strangely, no post-match attack happened, which was odd, since Jack was a heel and heels attack everyone after the match when they lose. NXT UK: 1. Invaders: 0.

    Some might argue that technical wrestling can be boring, but Gallagher and Tyler made sure to spice things up here and there. The pinfall sequence was definitely entertaining, and this match was one of the more unique offerings I've seen in a while, to say the least. I love technical wrestling, so I suppose I could be biased there, but Jack and Bate are definitely great performers, so if you can appreciate technical wrestling, then you wouldn't have gotten bored with this bout. 

    As it stands, however, this match didn't really do much in terms of progressing storylines. Bate is far from anyone's mind to challenge for the only singles title NXT UK hashe's more likely to go for tag team gold with Trent Seven as Moustache Mountain in the coming weekswhile Jack's NXT UK status isn't set in stone. The finish was just logical but the action was entertaining enough to make me think it's not that big of a deal. Maybe because it isn't.

    In the main event, NXT UK Tag Team Champions Zack Gibson and James Drake, collectively known as the Grizzled Young Veterans, made it 3-0 by retaining their titles against the threat of NXT's Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. 

    This was a really amazing tag team match that really sold Oney and Danny as a unit as well as displayed Gibson and Drake's cunning and perseverance, respectively. Why perseverance with James? The man freaking kicked out of the opposition's assisted DDT finisher. Lorcan and Burch have put away many other teams with that move but James somehow found a way to kick out. Although, to be fair, Danny also showed his perseverance by kicking out of Drake's pin attempt even with Gibson holding his foot on the ropes for leverage. What a dick. 

    In the end, Gibson's Ticket to Mayhem was enough to put away Burch after a grueling and hard-fought match. This was so good, I actually thought Lorcan and Burch would dethrone the Veterans. Even the crowd sounded like they expected the twist.

    Lorcan and Burch are definitely a great tag team, and this match just made me remember that fact. They always seem to get lost in the shuffle, probably because they don't even have an actual tag team name and I'm not quite sure what their gimmick as a team is, but time and time again, they keep proving that they deserve every opportunity they get. 

    If you're not sold on the technical masterpiece that was Gallagher versus Bate or the sheer brutality that was Ohno versus WALTER, then this main event should have you covered. This could actually be one of the best tag team matches of the year so far. You can quote me on that.

    FINAL DECREE: NXT UK was invaded by Gentleman Jack Gallagher, Kassius Ohno, and the hard-hitting duo of Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, but the superior (fight me) wrestlers from across the pond showed why they're not easy pickings. Sure, there were only three matches this week, but each of them had something different, and surprisingly something similar as well, to offer. Add to that the nextor should I say NeXT UK?chapter in the Travis Banks and Jordan Devlin saga, and I was thoroughly entertained. This week's NXT UK gets a B.

    The Few Hunky-Dories:

    • Watching Kassius Ohno take on WALTER was like watching Godzilla take on King Kong. These two men are huge and powerful, that much is obvious. I felt like Ohno one-upped WALTER here with that top rope moonsault, but the front dropkick followed by a huge powerbomb combo sealed Ohno's fate, giving WALTER the win and NXT UK its second successful defense of the kingdom. My friend Bee pointed out that the crowd didn't sound like they were into this match, though I'm pretty sure they were just quiet because they didn't want to get accidentally stepped onor in this case, their respective chests chopped off. 
    • The bad blood between Travis Banks and Jordan Devlin continued to reach new heights this week, with The Irish Ace attacking The Kiwi Buzzsaw during an in-ring drill at the UK Performance Center (great plug for the UK Performance Center, gents). The pair brawled throughout the UK Performance Center and it was then announced that they would settle the score in NXT UK's first-ever Falls Count Anywhere match next week. I am so hyped for that! Will we get another draw to extend this exciting feud until the next NXT UK TakeOver special? Or will we finally get a definitive victor? Tune in next week, folks!
    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. The NXT UK Performance Center needs better security.

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    Item Reviewed: NXT in the UK (2/27/19): Veterans Defend UK From Bald Invaders Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Pepe Serapio
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