Date: August 18, 2022
Location: BT Sports Studios, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andy Shepherd
Then everything changed, as WWE has confirmed that NXT UK will be going on hiatus after three more shows, with NXT Europe taking its place. Granted that isn’t much of a surprise as several NXT UK stars popped up this week on NXT, along with the whole spoiling the winner of the United Kingdom Title tournament. As for this week, more first round matches in the United Kingdom Title tournament. Let’s get to it.
United Kingdom Title Tournament First Round: Joe Coffey vs. Mark Andrews
Coffey shoulders him down to start so Andrews tries a headlock. That works about as well, as Coffey powers him into the corner a few times, setting up a backbreaker. We hit the half nelson of all things to keep Andrews down but he’s back up with some dropkicks to the chest/leg. Andrews gets rocked by a headbutt but manages to come back with a flying forearm.
Coffey gets knocked to the apron where he winds up hanging upside down by his feet for a good visual. Back in and a high crossbody gives Andrews two but Coffey snaps off an overhead belly to belly for two. Coffey knocks him hard into the corner and it’s All The Best For The Bells to get rid of Andrews at 7:40.
Rating: C+. As has been the case for pretty much the entire history of wrestling, power vs. speed continues to work. There is almost no way to screw up such a basic formula and they did it well here. Andrews is good at playing the sympathetic face in peril and Coffey is big enough to hit people really hard. Solid opener.
Post break, Joe Coffey sings about his win and promises to take the title back to Gallus.
Amale vs. Nina Samuels
The fans seem to be behind Nina as Amale rolls her up for an early two. A dropkick into the corner keeps Samuels in trouble but she’s right back with a cheap shot as the referee separates them. We hit the chinlock with a knee in Amale’s back, followed by a backbreaker for two. Nina doesn’t seem to be a fan of Amale’s face as she fishhooks the jaws, only to miss a charge into the ropes. Amale slugs away and the comeback is on, with Amale hitting some clotheslines. The fans get behind Amale for a change as she hits a running boot in the corner. The Hopebreaker finishes for Amale at 6:31.
Rating: C. Amale continues to kind of meander but Samuels is the one who is there to put over just about anyone else. The fans continue to get behind Amale but if she isn’t going to get close to the title, there isn’t much for her to do. She has the charisma to make it work, but she feels like she has been on a treadmill for months now.
Oliver Carter leaves the trainer’s room and runs into Trent Seven, who thinks Carter should just forfeit their semifinal match. That won’t happen, so Seven promises to break Carter’s leg.
Ilja Dragunov loves the tournament but promises to come for the winner.
Chase U vs. Eddie Dennis/Saxon Huxley
Thea Hail is here with Chase U. Chase and Dennis trade wristlocks to start with Chase getting the better of things. Dennis gets knocked down to set up the spelling stomps and it’s off to Hayward. Some quick wrist cranking means it’s already time to go back to Chase, with Hayward barely being legal for fifteen seconds. Huxley comes in as well and accidentally ax handles Dennis’ arm, earning Huxley a shove into a rollup.
That doesn’t mean much as he runs Chase over and drops an elbow for two. Chase is sent into the corner for a clothesline from behind, only to get in a knockdown of his own. The double tag brings in Hayward and Dennis with the former taking over. Hold on though as Huxley comes back in, which doesn’t sit well with Dennis. That means it’s already back to Dennis, who gets backdropped for talking too long. The Fratliner finishes Dennis at 6:43.
Rating: C. One day, Chase U is going to go for some titles and the fans are going to be behind them so hard that it is going to be a sight to behold. The team works so well and they have put something together that is working far better than it should have. Hopefully they get the chance to move up a bit, because it could be a lot of fun.
Post match Dennis yells at Huxley, who chokebombs him and poses with Chase U.
Video on Mark Coffey vs. Noam Dar for the Heritage Cup Part II. They do a nice job of making a midcard title match including Noam Dar feel like a major deal.
United Kingdom Title Tournament First Round: Kenny Williams vs. Tyler Bate
Bate takes him down by the arm to start and then spins around a bit, setting up a quick rollup for two. The threat of Bop and Bang has Williams backing up before he goes with a test of strength. Williams actually takes him down but can’t break Bate’s rather awesome bridge. They head outside with Bate grabbing the airplane spin, only to miss a charge into the post.
Back in and Williams hits some headbutts to the ribs (that’s a weird way to go) but punches the mat in a failed attempt to block a sunset flip. A snap suplex gives Williams two and leaves him frustrated at the count. Some shots to the head set up a neck crank (with Williams almost sitting on his neck at the same time), only to get reversed into an electric chair.
Bate suplexes him out of the corner and nips up, setting up the running shooting star press for two. Back up and bate can’t get the airplane spin, but manages on the second attempt before spinning Williams right back the other way (that’s still clever). Bate is too dizzy to follow up though so Williams is able to get back up and kick him in the knee.
Bop and Bang is broken up again but Bate knocks him outside for the big dive. The fans are WAY behind Bate as he muscles Williams up into a bridging German suplex for two. The Tyler Driver 97 is countered but so is Bad Luck, leaving Williams to roll him up for two, even with feet on the ropes. Williams goes up but dives into an overhead German suplex. The Rebound lariat sets up the Tyler Driver 97 for the pin at 13:20.
Rating: B-. This is the kind of thing that makes Bate shine as he survived against Williams, who was just the right level of threat to give Bate a run for his money. Good main event here, as I think you can see the finals coming from here for Bate, though the match with Coffey should be good. Williams is a fine heel, but he was in over his head here.
Overall Rating: C+. It’s such a weird way to go with this show in its final weeks, as there is no reason to get invested in a lot of this stuff. Even if you knew the show was ending and the tournament was all you had left, there isn’t even any drama about who is winning the title. I still don’t get why WWE is going this way, but at least it is only going to last for a few more weeks before we get to the big finale. For now though, another pretty good show, which is right in NXT’s ballpark.
Joe Coffey b. Mark Andrews – All The Best For The Bells
Amale b. Nina Samuels – Hopebreaker
Chase U b. Eddie Dennis/Saxon Huxley – Fratliner to Dennis
Tyler Bate b. Kenny Williams – Tyler Driver 97
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