Blackpool, Dave Mastiff, Eddie Dennis, Empress Ballroom, England, Finn Bálor, James Drake, Joe Coffey, Johnny Saint, Jordan Devlin, Moustache Mountain, NXT, NXT UK, NXT UK Tag Team Championship, NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, NXT UK Womens Championship, Pete Dunne, Rhea Ripley, Sid Scala, Toni Storm, Trent Seven, Tyler Bate, WWE, WWE Network, WWE UK, WWE United Kingdom Championship, WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament, Zack Gibson
The WWE made an amazing announcement back in December when they announced the first ever NXT UK TakeOver event that was emanating from the home of the inaugural UK Championship Tournament at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool. Unless you follow NXT UK every week, you might not be too familiar with some of their wrestlers on the card, but you should all be familiar with Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate and Trent Seven), Pete Dunne, and even the second Mae Young Tournament winner Toni Storm. All of them were in action in what was a fantastic card of action that did not disappoint. The card started with the finals of the WWE NXT UK Tag Team Championship tournament that pinned Moustache Mountain against the team of Zack Gibson and James Drake. While I may have mixed feelings about the way the match ended, there was no denying that this match set the bar very high for the night. Tyler Bate is further proving to me that he is going to be a big star in this business with so much amazing strength and athletic ability. I loved the nod to The British Bulldogs that we saw from Moustache Mountain and the trunks they wore.
Jordan Devlin is another superstar who has really found his footing in NXT UK and he was in action next against Travis Banks. The only problem is that the match didn’t happen because of a knee injury that was reactivated by Devlin who was attacked outside the ring by Banks. Johnny Saint and Sid Scala however had other plans for Devlin as they announced that Banks’s replacement was none other than Devlin’s teacher Finn Balor. Now, we knew that Finn wasn’t going to lose the match, but Devlin kept up with Balor all the way through the match even in defeat. The next match saw Eddie Dennis get his shot at redemption against the man who ended his undefeated streak in Dave Mastiff in what was an OK match that had a couple of good spots. Other than that, it was a little sloppy and not as exciting for a No DQ match. Nevertheless, the show would move on and we would get out NXT Women’s Championship Finals rematch as champion Rhea Ripley defended her crown against Toni Storm. There had to be some of you out there that were pulling for Storm especially with the last couple of weeks she has had.
I was definitely pulling for her, but in reality I really wanted the both of them to have an amazing match. While it started a little shaky at first, they definitely picked up the pace and challenged the opening match for match of the night honors. They gave it their all and they definitely left it all in the ring as Toni pulled off the amazing win. I feel as though this is not the last time we’ll see this two clash. The last match was just pure brutality as Joe Coffey challenged WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne in what is ultimately my match of the night. Both of these guys went back and forth for what seemed like more than a half hour, but the match did not disappoint. The match reminded me of what made the NXT brands so amazing, but the excitement didn’t just end with Dunne retaining the championship. No, it was the NXT UK debut of Walter that ended the show with a bang. The final thing that I will say is that the UK crowd definitely puts the American crowd to shame as the noise level is pure insanity from beginning to end. The crowd at Blackpool last night should be proud of themselves for that enthusiasm. It was a great night and I look forward to more from NXT UK.