NXT UK started with a pre-show tribute to Harley Race that was a nice touch and a fitting tribute to someone who has been an inspiration to so many wrestlers worldwide. After that we got another entertaining episode as Noam Dar took on Ashton Smith, the Grizzled Young Veterans addressed their tag titles and Xia Brookside teamed with Piper Niven to take on Jinny and Jazzy Gabert. Plus, the main event looked to be a hoss fight between Dave Mastiff and Joe Coffey. Let’s get into it.

Noam Dar defeated Ashton Smith via Nova Roller

NXT UK opened with a nice little exhibition match between Noam Dar and Ashton Smith. It started as a technical bout but soon became more strike focused as Dar started taking out the legs and working over Smith. Ashton Smith made it back into the match and hit a series of kicks, despite falling foul of Dar playing possum. Smith did the same and nearly won with a roll-up when Dar fell for his own trick. It got very frantic in the closing moments as there were plenty of reversals and Smith came up short on a second rope Leg Lariat, setting him up for the Nova Roller. Once again this was another match where Ashton Smith shows up, impresses and loses. There has to be a story in there somewhere right?

Post-match, Noam Dar revealed he will be at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff after mocking the fans with a jab at the UK Wrestling scene by bigging up his NXT UK contract and the perks it contains. Dar once again managed to prove he is a top tier troll.

Grizzled Young Veterans Received a Challenge

The Grizzled Young Vets came out next to address Gallus wanting a tag title shot. Zack Gibson talked up the team but then buried them by saying they’d only beaten nobody teams whilst they were out defeating the best in the world. These words brought out Gallus who flat out said we aren’t asking, we’re taking a title shot at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff. However just as the teams were squaring up, Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster came out to demand a shot since they’d be the hometown lads. Both the Grizzled Young Vets and Gallus laughed off Andrews and Webster. Zack Gibson decided that instead of having everyone fighting, he talked about Andrews and Webster earning their spot in the title match. It was a surprisingly fair move of someone who is usually top dickhead. Personally, I’d go for a Triple Threat tag match as that would be way more chaotic than having a regular Tag Team match.

Jinny & Jazzy Gabert defeated Xia Brookside & Piper Niven via Dominator

It helps in tag matches to have a partner in your corner, that’s kind of the whole point of that kind of matches. Well, this match was won on that simple point. At the halfway point, Piper Niven disappeared from the match, battling with Rhea Ripley to the backstage area. Xia was left on her own to battle Jinny and Jazzy alone. Brookside put on a valiant effort but was eventually bested by numbers and a blind tag. She was destroyed with a Dominator and the heels stood tall. However, had Niven stayed with her partner and had Rhea Ripley not interfered, then I imagine the faces would have stood tall. Niven and Brookside work well as a team and had a winning formula in dealing with Gabert and Jinny. Plus, I just want to see more of Gabert vs Niven. This felt more like set up than anything else but it did work as a nice tease of a potential future feud. It also made sense for Ripley to try and interfere and Niven to follow, potentially trying to spare Xia any trouble. Unfortunately for Brookside, she never came back.

Dave Mastiff defeated Joe Coffey Ended in Double Count Out

It’s not exactly the most entertaining way to end a main-event but, in this case, the double count made sense. This match started as a fight and got really weird, really quick. Joe ripped off a turnbuckle pad and Mastiff was Speared into it. From there he had to wrestle with a lower back/liver injury. He would be knocked about a bit before Joe Coffey also sustained an “injury.” His ear was attacked and it knocked him dizzy for the rest of the match, stumbling through spots and struggling to stand upright. The pair would work through a few more spots before Mastiff got Speared on the outside and neither man could get back into the ring. It was a very odd match but a perfect way to keep these two burning without stereotypical interference or either man losing. It could have been better but I got part of a hoss fight and this at least tried to do something different, even if it wasn’t pulled off quite as well as they probably wanted to.

So there you have it, another week of NXT UK passes by on the road to NXT UK TakeOver Cardiff. This week gave us more story and two potential matches as we saw Travis Banks question Noam Dar’s TakeOver match and the NXT UK Tag Title scene showing two contenders in Gallus and Andrews and Webster. There is also a match next week to get excited for as Ilja Dragunov takes on Kassius Ohno next week. For now, though it will be interesting to see how all of this pans out. We have tension between Brookside, Jinny, Gabert, Niven and Ripley, the Tag Team contendership question and whether we see Coffey and Mastiff get a TakeOver match. We’ll see how it all goes next week.

All images courtesy of wwe.com

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