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NXT UK’s Top Stars Celebrate the One Year Anniversary of UK Branded TakeOver Events

It’s been exactly one year since the very first NXT UK TakeOver event. The brand celebrated this weekend by returning to the same location in Blackpool for a stacked card. Every UK branded title will be on line, but will any of them change hands? Let’s find out!

Trent Seven vs Eddie Dennis

Dennis had been out of action for the majority of 2019 when he started showing up in the crowd during Seven’s matches. Over the course of several weeks, tensions built as Dennis continued to make his presence known when the mayor of Mustache Mountain was in the ring.

This was a fine opening bout between a pair of veteran performers who know each other well. The Trent Seven Army was in the house, and got the night off to a raucous start. At some point in the match Dennis removed the protective covering from one of the turnbuckles. The referee prevented him from weaponizing it at the time, but soon after Trent’s head inadvertently found its way anyway. Dennis teased delivering a Razor’s Edge into the exposed metal but instead sent Seven flying out of the ring onto a camera man. Back inside, Dennis hit a Neck Stop Driver for the victory.

Pinning the elder statesman of NXT’s UK territory instantly establishes Dennis as a man the crowd can invest in hating upon. From here, he can either continue feuding with Seven or move on to a new target with a bit more clout.

NXT UK Women’s Championship: Triple Threat: Kay Lee Ray© vs Piper Niven vs Toni Storm

They spent months building Niven to this moment. She worked hard conquering other top challengers such as Jinny and Jazzy Gabert. She even earned the respect of inaugural UK Women’s Champ Rhea Ripley, who seemingly passed the torch to Piper when she began her quest to dethrone Shayna Baszler here in the US. Then former champion Toni Storm returned from a lengthy absence looking for revenge on the current champion, and this became a 3 way feud.

Storm focused much of her energy on the champ and the deeply personal issues between them. Meanwhile, Piper made sure she wasn’t forgotten by hitting high impact moves on both Toni and KLR. Ray introduced a steel chair to the mix and wrapped it around Storm’s neck. Alas, honorable competitor that she is, Niven did not allow her to follow through on injuring their mutual foe. A series of big moves gave each woman a nearfall, but the 3rd woman broke up each pinning attempt. Storm hit a final frog splash that seemed to be enough to put down Niven for the count, but Ray superkicked Toni and stole the pin.

KLR is a fantastic champion, but it seems odd that months of build up for Niven ended in here eating the pin here. Presumably that sends her to the back of the line while Storm and Ray revisit their one on one feud, but both have also been making appearances on NXT US. Storm even has a match with Ripley for the NXT Women’s Title at Worlds Collide in a couple of weeks, so the UK title scene just seems a little muddy at the moment.

Tyler Bate vs Jordan Devlin

There’s no real story here other than the fact that these are two of the most talented young men in the company, and they’ve been proving it ever since the very first UK Tournament 3 years ago. Regardless of clear face and heel alignments respect for pure talent resulted in a partially split crowd during this match.

One memorable moment saw Devlin set up in bate in a standard Surfboard hold and then take it a step further by pulling back on his foe’s neck until they were face to face in the hold. A bit later, with wrestling not seeming to get the job done, a full on boxing match erupted between the competitors. Another highlight saw both men balancing atop the corner leading into an Avalanche Spanish Fly followed quickly with a Devlinside which Bate somehow kicked out of for the 1st of many “fight forever” chants from the crowd.

Likewise, Devlin also kicked out of a pin after Bate hit both a DDT and a Tyler Driver 97. Alas, Bate was quick to follow that nearfall with a twisting corkscrew splash from which the Irish Ace was not able to kick out. This easily could have been just a filler match to serve as a buffer between the larger title matches. Instead, these young men absolutely stole the show with my vote for match of the night.

UK Tag Title 4 Way Ladder Match: Gallus© vs Imperium vs Grizzled Young Veterans vs South Wales Subculture

Recently Gallus and Imperium have been bickering over which is the more dominant faction, but former tag champions GYV and SWSC weren’t yet ready to give up their claims either. Thus, all four pairings were entered into this massive ladder match to settle the argument, at least with regard to the NXT UK Tag Titles.

A fast and furious 8 man brawl got things started, and the intensity never really let up throughout the match. Chairs, ladders, tables and any other available weapons were put to use in creative and often devastating ways. At one point they had assembled on massive structure in the ring consisting of at 5 ladders with competitors climbing on every inch of it.

As the end grew near, Marcel Barthel got finger tips on the belts, but Mark Coffey stopped him from getting any more than that. Barthel and his partner Aichner tried to set Coffey up for European bomb, but his partner Wolgang speared Aichner through one of the ladders that had previously been placed in a corner. Barthel tried to quickly end things, but Gallus tipped him out of the ring onto the remaining teams. With all of the challengers in ringside heap, Gallus made their way to the top of the ladder to retain their titles.

NXT UK Championship: Walter© vs Joe Coffey

One year ago, I thought the tough Scot Coffey might be the guy who finally ended Pete Dunne’s monumental UK Title reign. Instead, the Ring General Walter made his debut that night, and he was the man who eventually dethroned the Bruiserweight. A lot has happened since, but Coffey once again finds himself trying to end a lengthy title reign.

Coffey is tough, and he has a speed advantage over the Austrian heavyweight. It’ll take a miracle to defeat the champ though as he’s yet to be beaten in NXT. At one point the referee was inadvertently knocked out of the ring. Imperium’s Alexander Wolfe took advantage of this opportunity to make his presence felt, but Ilja Dragunov hit the scene to neutralize that threat. Unfortunately, while dealing with Wolfe, Dragunov also accidentally did some damage to Coffey’s leg.

The Iron King fought tenaciously a while longer, but the leg injured continued to plague him for the remainder of the match. Walter eventually wore down the challenger with a series of sleeper holds to set up a handful of power bombs and one final sleeper that finally got Coffey to tap.

Given how strongly Walter has been built and how protected he is, Coffey should be able to recover from this loss relatively quickly. I’m just not sure what will be next for him now outside of the title picture. Meanwhile, Walter’s next battle is in less than 2 weeks when all 4 members of Imperium take on all 4 members of Undisputed Era at Worlds Collide. Speaking of UE, the boys who currently hold all of NXT’s gold rushed the ring to send a message to their European foes.

Coming Soon:

NXT and NXT UK Worlds Collide: January 25

  • Undisputed Era vs Imperium
  • NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley© vs Toni Storm
  • Finn Balor vs Ilja Dragunov

WWE Royal Rumble: January 26

  • Universal Title Match: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt© vs Daniel Bryan
  • Raw Women’s Title Match: Becky Lynch© vs Asuka
  • Women’s Royal Rumble: Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross
  • Men’s Royal Rumble: Brock Lesnar (#1), Roman Reigns, AJ Styles, Erick Rowan, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Ricochet, Drew McIntyre, Elias

NXT TakeOver: Portland: February 16

WWE Elimination Chamber: March 8

NXT TakeOver:Tampa: April 4

Wrestlmania 36: April 5

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