I’ll be honest with you here, dear reader, I’m still smarting due to the WWE burying The Fiend on last night’s Super Blood Money, but I’ll try not to let that cloud my judgment in this week’s NXT UK Review.
In fact, both NXT brands are the only lights in the dark tunnel that is WWE programming lately and as I won’t be covering either RAW or SmackDown going forward- yes, they really did manage to piss me off that much – I’m hoping that focusing solely on these two, without the red and blue programs clogging up my veins, may even yield more positive results for the shows.
But will that be the case? Well, there’s only one way to find out.
It’s time to lace up our boots and head to the ring for the NXT UK Review: Feb 27 Edition.
Tag-Team Match: The Grizzled Young Veterans vs. The Hunt
10 Count Rating: 7
With the way The Grizzled Young Veterans have been pushed lately, there was no chance that The Hunt would ever pick up the win here, but that doesn’t mean that this was a bad match at all.
I’ve said it before, but the mark of good wrestling is that after the final bell, everyone involved comes out of it looking stronger than they did going in and that’s what happened here.
I’m not really sure how far The Hunt’s gimmick can go within the WWE. When the basic premise is that both competitors are humans embodying the antics of animals there really can’t be that much of a long term future for them outside of NXT UK, but having said that it never did George Steele any harm.
Regardless, their whole act might be limiting but their skill between the ropes most certainly isn’t as both Primate and The Boar took Gibson and Drake to the limit before the Grizzled Young Veterans picked up the win.
Hopefully, The Hunt will get a repackage down the line as it’d be a waste to let such obviously talented wrestlers fall by the wayside, but until they do I’ll just enjoy their actions in the squared-circle and ignore their schtick outside of it.
Winners: The Grizzled Young Veterans
Kassius Ohno vs. Jack Starz
10 Count Rating: 6
As squash matches go, this one wasn’t half bad.
It may have been over faster than Hogan’s credibility was after that sex-tape dropped, but in the short amount of time it was on our screens it allowed Jack Starz to get in enough offense to show that he can be an asset to NXT UK.
As for Kassius Ohno, considering how high the company were on him a few years back, and how it seemed he was being fast-tracked to the main event on the red and blue brand’s, it’s strange to see him here and a little bit heart-breaking.
At 40 years of age, I very much doubt he’ll ever get that run his talent so obviously deserved, but hopefully, he can find a home on NXT UK from here on out even if that means he transitions into a role behind the scenes.
The guy has far too much knowledge of the grappling arts for the company not to take advantage of it.
Winner: Kassius Ohno
The Brian Kendrick vs. The A-Kid
10 Count Rating: 7
From one veteran going over to another putting someone over.
The Brian Kendrick vs. The A-Kid was a really good match that had the perfect mixture of technical wrestling and flippy shit to please the NJPW fan inside me. The fact that this didn’t end with Kendrick picking up the win pleased me immensely as it made sense from a storyline perspective.
Unlike the match that proceeded it, where Starz was always going to be defeated by the much larger Ohno, this was a battle between two equally matched wrestlers with similar move-sets and it allowed A-Kid to shine.
This was in no small part down to The Brian Kendrick, he looked great in defeat which gave the rub to his dance partner and if you have to stare at the lights, then that’s what you need to do.
It came to an end after The A-Kid hit a SpringBoard Black Flip DDT to get the 1-2-3 and I think that that move is now my single favorite thing in pro-wrestling.
Winner: The A-Kid
I Quit Match For The NXT UK Women’s Championship: Kay Lee Ray vs. Toni Storm
10 Count Rating: 8
This was both brilliant and really hard to watch.
The brilliance came from the way that both Kay Lee Ray and Toni Storm did everything in their power to make the other utter those immortal words “I Quit”, but the really hard to watch part came from that ending.
I’ve always wondered how far Kay Lee Ray would go to keep her hands on the NXT UK Women’s Championship and, apparently, the answer is that she’d attempt to murder someone.
It wasn’t like this had been a day in the sun for either woman before this happened either, with both using the ring ropes, tables, everything bar the kitchen sink, to get the win, but when Ray got hold of some tape and a chair, you just knew this wasn’t going to end well for Storm.
With her hands bound behind her back and her head trapped between the chair, Kay Lee Ray proceeded to try to decapitate her foe in order to keep the gold and if it hadn’t been for Piper Niven running out to beg her friend to give up, she would’ve done.
It was on the same scale as The Rock beaming Mankind in the head, over and over, in their infamous take on this match.
It was such a brutal display of power that the crowd fell silent, not knowing whether to boo or just be in shock and was so effective that this victory positions Ray as the alpha female in NXT UK and a serious threat to anyone on the black and yellow brand as well.
Winner And Still NXT UK Women’s Champion: Kay Lee Ray
After my nightmares came to life at Super Blood Money, I was wondering if I’d ever trust another WWE program again.
Thanks to NXT UK, the answer is yes.
This was a really good show, with the right people going over in each match, but I really can’t say enough about the “I Quit” Main Event that closed out proceedings. If you only watch one WWE bout this week, make sure it’s this one as both wrestlers put on a clinic in storytelling as well as risking life and limb just for our entertainment.
I have no idea where Toni Storm goes from here as she’s not allowed to go after the title again while it’s still in the hands of Kay Lee Ray, but unless they have the champ drop the belt within the next couple of weeks, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her show up on the yellow and black brand from here on out.
As for the NXT UK‘s Women Champion, I can’t see anyone beating her anytime soon. This was the perfect way to demonstrate just what lengths she’ll go to to protect her title and to have her lose it after this would be madness.
So all hail the conqueror of NXT UK and may she reign for a very long time.