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Welcome to our live coverage of the NXT UK spoilers from the Olympia in Liverpool. WWE is expected to announce the launch of the UK Performance Centre and officially confirm NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool for January at tonight or tomorrow’s tapings.
***READ NO FURTHER IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO HAVE THE UPCOMING EPISODES OF NXT UK TV SPOILED***
- Doesn’t sound like a good start:
So the organisation of #NXTUK is an absolute shitshow. Loads of people who’ve paid for them without seats. A load of us standing in the lobby waiting to be told where we’re sat and missing the show. Atrocious @WWEUK
— It’s beginning to look a lot Mike Christmas (@mikeinmcr) November 24, 2018
- First match is Nina Samuels against Xia Brookside. The latter went out in the first round of the Mae Young Classic to Io Shirai in a brief match. She is from Liverpool so very popular, as you would expect. WWE usually beats people in their home towns, let’s see if NXT UK does the same . . .
- Scratch that! Xia won. Short match but a strong showing from both women. The crowd are just getting warmed up but they were solidly behind Xia.
— Elliott Cantor (@ElliottCantor) November 24, 2018
- The Xia-Samuels match was a dark match.
- Crowd is said to be “definitely more than 1000”, with both balcony tiers relatively full and no space available on the floor.
- Sid Scala is in the ring for the opening segment of the tapings, suited and booted.
- Scala brings out Johnny Saint and it is HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT TIME. Triple H appears on the video screen (“live” via satellite”) and says they are going back to where it all began in January: Blackpool. This is confirmation of the story we broke earlier. To clarify, NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool will take place on January 12 at the Empress Ballroom LIVE on the WWE Network. The group will tape TV the following night on January 13.
- The official NXT UK Twitter account has also confirmed the news:
BREAKING: As announced at #NXTUKLiverpool, #NXTUK will return to #NXTUKBlackpool on January 12/13, 2019…and #NXTUK will go LIVE on the @WWENetwork for the FIRST EVER #NXTUKTakeOver: Blackpool on January 12th!
— NXT UK (@NXTUK) November 24, 2018
- Mae Young Classic winner Toni Storm is out next. She talks about how proud she is to be in NXT UK and notes that she has lived in Liverpool for the past five years. Because she won the MYC she gets a title shot of her choosing and picks the NXT UK title – currently held by Rhea Ripley – at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool. Johnny Saint agrees and our first match is confirmed!
- Here’s your TakeOver logo:
- First official match of the tapings is Kenny Williams v Jordan Devlin. Should be a good one.
- The crowd began with “let’s go Kenny/let’s go Devlin” duelling chants until they realised that they prefer giving Devlin a hard time and reverted to their usual “S*** Finn Balor” chants. Harsh.
- Williams managed several near falls and gave a good showing but Devlin came out on top. No surprise there. Devlin cut a promo after the match calling out all the “fakes and pretenders”, saying, “You never, ever bet against The Ace”.
- Dan Moloney v Eddie Dennis is next. This has squash written all over it.
- Moloney starts strong and they spill to the outside for a brawl. Dave Mastiff runs in to attack Dennis. He hits a German suplex and goes for the cannonball but Dennis scarpers. The winner via DQ: Eddie Dennis. Post match, Mastiff takes his frustrations out on Moloney instead, drilling him with the cannonball.
— Dei Owen (@DeiOwen) November 24, 2018
- Tag action next up, with Tucker and Jack Starz (who is also a Scouser) taking on Tyson T-Bone and Saxon Huxley. Don’t expect this to be long either.
- It wasn’t. The underdogs were destroyed in short order, with T-Bone pinning Starz following a brutal double team.
- Ligero v Joe Coffey is next. Coffey is representing the faction Gallus. Previously they were both members of WCPW/Defiant stable The Prestige.
- Ligero annoys Coffey by repeatedly blocking his attacks and never giving up. It’s all for nought though. Like seemingly every match in NXT UK pitting bigger guys against smaller guys, the bigger guy came out on top. In this case Coffey took down Ligero and rolled him up for the win. It’s yet another heel win. Every match has been so far.
- The next match is Mark Andrews against Marcel Barthel, the former Axel Dieter Jr. who occasionally appears on the main NXT brand as a glorified enhancement talent. Dieter Jr. was very popular (albeit as a heel) in the UK for PROGRESS and during WXW tours as part of Ringkampf. It is interesting that he is now working for NXT UK considering the ever-present rumours that his former tag partner WALTER is coming in.
- Here’s Barthel in action:
— Kurt Johansson (@kurtjohansson93) November 24, 2018
- In a surprise result (and yet ANOTHER heel win), Barthel beat Andrews courtesy of interference from Fabian Aichner. Barthel and Aichner shook hands afterwards. Hmm, it’s almost like they are setting up something . . . It is believe that this match will be the main event of the NXT TV show that it airs on.
- Episode 2 starts with the team of Wild Boar and Primate (making his debut) against Liverpool’s Number One Zack Gibson and James Drake (The Grizzled Young Veterans). Unlike Xia Brookside, Gibson is NOT loved by his home crowd.
— Mark Lee (@BrunchOfWar) November 24, 2018
- Gibson pinned Boar to win the match. Yes, another heel win. Gibson cut his usual promo after the match and was drowned out by boos. He said, “The NXT UK tag titles are right around the corner. We conquered all of Europe and we are never going to stop.”
- Dave Mastiff against Josh Morrell was supposed to be next (Morrell wrestled on 205 Live recently when WWE was in the UK). The match never got started because Eddie Dennis took out Morrell before the match.
- Here’s a shot of the crowd. Cheers Ligero!
— El Ligero (@Ligero1) November 24, 2018
- Another surprise next, as NXT and Mae Young Classic star Deonna Purrazzo heads out to face NXT UK Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley. The reaction to her was said to be “muted”. Triple H recently talked about integrating the various NXT rosters under one umbrella, like the old NWA, which appears to be what is slowly happening here.
- You won’t believe this but . . . Ripley retained. Yes, that is in fact EVERY match with a heel win. Outstanding. Just like an episode of Raw. The match was good, with the crowd getting behind Purrazzo eventually. Following the match Ripley continued to attack Deonna and Toni Storm made the save, further building to their match at TakeOver: Blackpool.
- That may well be that for Episode 2, as the NXT insert played again after the match and it felt like a show-closer. Don’t worry though, there is still plenty more to come.
- The next match pits Travis Banks against Jamie Ahmed. The latter is better known on the UK scene as Screwface. He was also on Raw recently when WWE were in Manchester. He was the security guard that Braun Strowman kicked hard in the chest when he tried to run in and attack Baron Corbin.
- A BABYFACE WIN! Ahmed was aggressive out of the date but Banks emerged victorious. Post-match, Jordan Devlin came out to berate Banks, calling him “the wrestling journeyman who abandoned his home”. Devlin said he picks up a pay cheque and goes back home to his family and friends, but Banks doesn’t. “Does your mother even recognise your voice?” He finished off with his new “Never bet against The Ace” catchphrase. This looks like a potential match for TakeOver.
- Next we have more tag action with Kenny Williams and Amir Jordan against Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner. Jordan is very popular but I suspect we will revert to type with a quick heel win here.
- A quick attendance update while we wait for the inevitable squash result. Our sources tell us that the actual attendance is in the 600-800 range. Here is a picture that shows the balconies:
- Surprise surprise, Aichner and Barthel get the win.
- Jinny v Candy Floss is next.
- “Let’s all go to Tesco’s, where Jinny buys her best clothes” – The Crowd
- It was not a squash but Jinny emerged victorious, as expected.
- NXT UK Tag Team Title tournament semi final next! It’s Moustache Mountain v Mark Coffey & Wolfgang. The final of the tournament will be at TakeOver: Blackpool.
- Bate is over huge. Every time he does something that shows his strength the crowd goes wild.
- Joe Coffey attempted to get involved but Pete Dunne cut him off before he could interfere. Trent then pinned Mark Coffey, sending Moustache Mountain to the finals at TakeOver.
- All three of Gallus attacked British Strong Style after the match until Dunne cleared the ring.
- It’s official: Pete Dunne will defend the NXT UK title against Joe Coffey at TakeOver: Blackpool.
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, tomorrow’s main event is Gallus v British Strong Style
- For those keeping score, the following NXT UK talent did not wrestle or appear on tonight’s tapings; Ashton Smith, Flash Morgan Webster, Joseph Conners, Sam Gradwell, Charlie Morgan, Isla Dawn, Killer Kelly, Millie McKenzie.
- And that’s your lot! Thanks for reading everybody. Be sure to join us again tomorrow for the second night of taping spoilers and later tonight for live coverage from Starrcade.