Last time in the last Best and Worst of NXT UK: NXT TAKEOVER CARDIFF!!! Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster won the Tag Team Titles, Kay Lee Ray won the Women’s Championship, and Tyler Bate really went hard at WALTER but ultimately came up short. Also, Cesaro was there! If you’d like to read previous installments of the Best and Worst of NXT UK, click right here. Follow With Spandex on Twitter and Facebook. You can also follow me on Twitter if you want.
And now, the Best and Worst of NXT UK from September 11, 2019.
Best: As Bad Guys Go, They’re Great At It
You know who I love? The NXT UK Universe! As WALTER leads Imperium to the ring, the Welsh crowd is chanting “You still suck!” Then they started singing Tyler Bate’s name. When Alexander Wolfe starts talking about “the honor of the mat” and all that nonsense, the “British Strong Style” chants get so loud that he has to pause and give them a moment. Nobody’s saying “What?” just because they can, this is a beautifully unified crowd that’s actually reacting to the story that’s being told in front of them, and that’s a really fun thing to see.
Of course it helps that Imperium are great heels, and know how to react to a hostile crowd. They totally let it get to them while doing a great job of pretending to pretend not to let it get to them. After they’re done with their weird Wrestling Totalitarian rally, two Welsh jobbers come out for a match against Aichner and Bartel, which supports my expectation that Imperiums about to come for the Tag Team Championship. Wolfe and WALTER stay at ringside while the other two beat them handily, as the crowd continues to project their hate for the heels.
After Bartel and Aichner demolish Harry Green with their tag team finisher, WALTER gets in the ring and knocks out his partner Danny Jones just to show how easy it is for him. We don’t know who’s going up against the Champ next, but this segment did a great job of making us want to root for whoever does.
Here’s A Match: These Guys
Jordan Devlin’s defeat of Ashton Smith is pretty inevitable, but the point of this match seems to be to remind people that Ashton can go too, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he does start getting wins soon. Asthon’s a fine enough worker, even if he come off like a bit of a dork, and a push for him isn’t necessarily a bad idea, as long as they put in the time to convince us that he’s interesting and matters, which they definitely haven’t done so far. But anyway, this match was a thing that happened on this card. Jordan Devlin won with his finisher, which is named after an INXS song. Look at them go, look at them kick. Makes you wonder how the other half live.
Hmmm: Ms. Storm Is Missing
The announce team throws to Radzi backstage, who’s supposed to interview Toni Storm, but Toni’s not there. In fact, according to Radzi, nobody’s seen her or knows where she is. Maybe she and Tyler Bate are somewhere comforting each other after their losses. Or maybe she’s about to debut on NXT domestic when it goes live next week. On the other hand, maybe this is just a setup for her to jump out from behind some boxes and attack Kay Lee Ray next week. Time will tell, but in the meantime Nina Samuels is here. She saw an empty spotlight, and she’s not about to let it sit empty.
The other backstage thing that happens this week is Sid Scala announcing that he’s got a rematch against Kassius Ohno next week, and its a British Rounds Match, which has its own very specific set of rules that a bunch of British people explain at length in a video package. I’m not going to try to get into that here (because I don’t really understand it myself yet), but I’m sure once the match actually happens things will be a lot more clear.
Best: Shax Attax, Nox Blox
Tegan Nox is back (and on this brand for the first time, to be clear), and we finally get to see her (hopefully) live up to the babyface potential that made it so frustrating when she blew out her knee and missed the first Mae Young Classic, healed for a year, and then blew out the other knee in the second Mae Young Classic. Now she’s wrestling with two knee braces like a more adorable Welsh Stone Cold Steve Austin, and I think it works for her. If it were up to me she might have a whole new cyborg gimmick, but then if it were up to me WWE would be a lot more like Chikara and I don’t know that anybody else wants that.
In any case, the Welsh crowd is wild for Tegan, and it’s easy to imagine that other crowds will too. All she does tonight is squash Shax, the same little goth weirdo who Kay Lee Ray took down a few weeks ago. Other than the bit where Shax slaps Nox in the back of the head and Tegan sells it like she was hit in the mouth, it’s pretty perfect for what it is. Now that they’ve both beaten up Shax, Kay Lee Ray comes out just to say that Tegan’s getting too much attention and they might have to fight about it. Tegan says she’s ready for that, and I think we’re all ready to watch it.
Best Ever: Pressers And Phone Bits
In one of the all time great wrestling backstage segments, Noam Dar calls his own press release, just to announce that he’s the best wrestler in the world. While he’s trying to get the press to respect him and treat this like a real thing, Trent Seven wanders in, much to Noam’s annoyance. Then Trent claims to have Drake Maverick, GM of 205 Live on the phone, and says “I know you didn’t want him, we don’t want him either.” This could only have been better if Alicia Fox popped up somehow, but she does what she wants these days. Trent versus Noam will be a solid match, but seriously, this was comedy gold.
Best: Ungrizzling The Tag Titles
The Tag Team Championship rematch between the new champs and the Grizzled Young Veterans was really solid, but if anything it felt too weighty for this episode of TV. It was a real, hard-fought, back-and-forth main event on a show that had mostly been promos, squashes, and fake press conferences up until then. But it certainly did what it needed to do, which is establish that Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster are legitimate champions who don’t need a big messy three way match with two big Scottish spoilers involved to beat Zack Gibson and James Drake. Still, I spent a lot of it being distracted by James Drake wearing his own face on his butt, like some sort of onanistic Rick Rude.
Also, some quick notes for Mark Andrews:
- Stundog Millionaire is a terrible name for a move. Drop that.
- Fall To Pieces is a good name for a move. Keep that.
- When you did a reverse rana off the top rope I briefly thought Vic Joseph had yelled “You Gravity Kidding Me!” which made me think that was the name of that move. Consider adopting it.
That’s all for this installment. Join me next week when Sid Scala and Kassius Ohno get properly civilized on each other’s asses.