NXT UK comes to Plymouth as the Road to NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff begins to pick up steam. This week’s episode promised some sizzling confrontations between champs and challengers, surprise returns and David Mastiff responding to Joe Coffey. It saw a challenge made for the WWE UK Title and some other roster members, like Gallus and Rhea Ripley in action. As the action changed locations, it also appeared to change intensity. Let’s stop stalling and get into it.

Imperium Invaded Saint and Scala’s TakeOver Address

The show started with NXT UK General Manager Johnny Saint in the ring with Sid Scala. They were talking about NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff when they are interrupted by the members of Imperium. They were ready to throw out Scala and Saint and rule NXT UK themselves. However once WALTER was given the mic, some familiar music played. Tyler Bate’s theme hit and in the confusion the Imperium members rushed the ramp to take him out. However, Bate was lurking in the shadows and smashed WALTER from behind. The pair brawled but were separated by refs and trainers. To end the segment, Tyler Bate was given an NXT UK Title match against WALTER much to the shock of Imperium. It would appear that Imperium’s war with British Strong Style and the original pillars of NXT UK is far from over.

Wolfgang & Mark Coffey defeated Lewis Howley & Sam Stoker via PowerSlam/Enziguiri Combo

The first match of the night was a tag bout between Gallus’ Mark Coffey and Wolfgang taking on the often-jobbing team of Pretty Deadly. It was a cut and dry match as Gallus dominated working over Stoker then smashing in Howley when he was brought in as a hot tag. There was nothing flashy about this match, it just featured the usual displays of Gallus’ power-based offence and intimidation.  The most interesting part of the match came in the post-match promo as the Gallus lads challenged the Grizzled Young Veterans. Mark Coffey warned the champions that their titles would soon belong to Gallus.

Rhea Ripley defeated Dani Luna via Riptide 

Squash match number two saw Rhea Ripley take out her frustrations at losing to Piper Niven on Dani Luna. Ripley instantly went on the attack and only let up to trash talk. Luna wouldn’t slouch as any opportunity she was given to strike she did. That being said she only had maybe three of those chance and Ripley instantly responded, punishing her with strike after strike after strike. It was a fast and brutal affair as Ripley seemed driven to break Luna as a proxy for the woman she couldn’t beat. Luna woke Ripley up with a stiff Forearm that saw her instantly get put down with the Riptide. Niven seems to be haunting Ripley and the erratic actions in-ring and the trash talk she was screaming makes me think that Ripley has a loss she needs to avenge. Niven has better watch out as a demon is coming for her.

Alexander Wolfe defeated Jordan Devlin via Sit Out Powerbomb

You should always be careful what you ask for. After the opening invasion from Imperium and Tyler Bate was given a title opportunity, he snapped and demanded an opportunity from Sid Scala. He obliged but it wasn’t a match against WALTER, but his Imperium stablemate Alexander Wolfe. What started with Wolfe’s technical ability and Devlin stalling to wind up his opponent descended into a slugfest. Wolfe started targeting the ribs and would often strike Devlin like he legitimately wanted to knock him out prompting Nigel McGuiness to compare him to Josh Barnett. This was a slow burn, strong style match that actually saw Devlin as a babyface underdog with fan support, just imagine that for a second. There was a lot of back and forth, a lot of stiff strikes and some impressive babyface fire from Devlin in the face of a domineering, larger opponent in Wolfe. The Axe Man was ready to fight and seemed to take joy in systematically breaking Jordan Devlin over the course of the match. This is definitely a must-watch for those fans of Strong Style wrestling and Devlin being a badass. It saved a fairly poor episode of NXT UK.

So there you have it, another week of NXT UK has gone by. It was a bit of a dud episode as it had squashes and story moments but seemed to be lacking any type of killer content, until that main event came around. We got two squash matches but also got to see some of the seeds of TakeOver worthy matches as Gallus challenged the Grizzled Young Veterans and Rhea Ripley seems to want another crack at Piper Niven on a potentially bigger stage. We also know that Eddie Dennis hates wrestling fans and two matches for next week as Xia Brookside and Piper Niven will take on Jazzy Gabert and Jinny and due to Mastiff responding to Coffey at a press conference, Dave Mastiff vs Joe Coffey. Whilst this week seemed like a primer episode to settle into a new taping location, next week’s promises to be much more action-packed. Let’s just hope it lives up to the hype, I want to see Coffey and Mastiff in a super hoss fight.

All images courtesy of WWE.com

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