Last time in the Best and Worst of NXT UK: There were two Cruiserweight qualifying matches to build up to WWE Worlds Collide, and WALTER got a new belt. 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 January 30, 2020.
Best: The Return Of Oney And Twoy
Remember when we thought that Oney Lorcan was either done with WWE and about to debut on the indies, or he’d be punished for daring to try to leave and we’d never see him on TV again? I’m not going to pretend I’d be sad to see Biff Busick vs. Darby Allin on Dynamite, but if they’re not going to let him go, I’m definitely glad WWE’s not making him sit at home, because under any name, that guy’s great. And he makes an excellent team with Danny “Twoy” Burch.
And as we’ve discussed before, the UK Tag Team Division needs some reshuffling coming off of every team that has ever mattered in NXT UK (except Mustache Mountain) competing for the belts at Blackpool. So hopefully Oney and Danny are going to stick around here for a while, and build this win over the Hunt into a run of victories that can eventually take them to a tag title shot. I’d love to see these guys, Smith and Carter, and the newly signed Pretty Deadly become the next generation of the NXT UK Tag Division. That’s not to say Mandrews and Webster and the Grizzled Young Veterans don’t have a role to play going forward, and of course Imperium probably still has a Tag Team Championship run in their future, but the division desperately needs new blood more legitimate than the Hunt.
Not that the Hunt are bad, you understand! They’re great at being what they are, but what they are is weird-looking shark-eyed animal men, and that’s probably not going to become a main event gimmick in the near future. They do make for a great dynamic with Lorcan and Burch, though. Put them in the ring with Imperium or South Wales Subculture and Danny and Oney seem like dangerous, funny-looking weirdos. But at the end of the day, they’re still human. The whole point of Wild Boar and Primate is that they aren’t.
Sad Toni, Mad Eddie, And The Shippable Cabin Boys
So it definitely seems like when Toni was off TV for so long after her title loss, she was about to debut on one of WWE’s US cable shows, and then that plan was aborted, right? Now she’s back here and doesn’t seem to have much to do besides worry over a loss that was ages ago now. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong, but it seems like there was a path forward for her and she got knocked off that path. Or maybe she’s just building to one last match with KLR and then she’ll be on her way. Whatever roster she’s going to be on, even if it’s this one, I hope she finds a place in it soon, because she’s too good to be spinning her wheels.
Eddie Dennis is proud of the loss he handed to Trent Seven, and naturally all he wants to do is brag about it. But of course Seven shows up to call out Dennis for cheated, and a hardcore match is made for next week, in which all the steel turnbuckles will be exposed. If that sounds like a sure way for somebody to get injured… well, maybe you’ve read the taping spoilers.
Honestly I wish more young women watched NXT UK, just so the internet would already be full of gay fanfic about Tyler Bate and A-Kid. These handsome young men have only good things to say about each other, and they love hanging out, and next week they’re going to have a friendly match against each other, just for fun. This can only go well, since everyone knows that pro-wrestling friendships are unshakeable and enduring.
Worst: Two-Woman Undercard
I like Isla Dawn a lot, and I think Nina Samuels can make a fine heel. Neither of them are the very best in the ring, but they’re not the worst either, and personality counts for a lot. The problem is that with the occasional addition of Killer Kelly, it feels like Isla and Nina are the entirety of the NXT UK Women’s Undercard. Whenever the “protagonist” women on this show are busy, it feels like we get a Dawn/Samuels match that leads nowhere.
Hopefully with Candy Floss and Dani Luna finally signing, and Aoife Valkyrie debuting soon, they can establish more depth in the women’s division and free us (and Isla and Nina) from this sense of sameness. Or at least, if she’s not going anywhere, say that Toni Storm has to fight her way up through the division to get anther shot at Kay Lee Ray, and give Toni matches against Isla, Nina, Candy, Dani and Valkyrie.
Best: Big Meaty Lads Slapping Meat
This is a fine short match, establishing that New Tough Guy in Town Ridge Holland can easily beat the very tough-looking guy who always loses, Tyson T-Bone. I’m just going to say right now, though, I’d rather see these guys as a tag team. I’m sure they have bigger things in mind for Ridge, but I’ve always been of the opinion that Tyson deserves more than they’re giving him, and I just think their pub-brawling energy would mesh really well as a team.
Best: Big Boy Pile
Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster made a solid choice in picking Bomber Dave Mastiff as their partner for a six-man tag match against Imperium. Dave is one of the unsung heroes in NXT UK, and exactly the kind of fighter you want on your side against the large unfriendly gentlemen of Imperium.
Of course between making this match and fighting in it (at least the way kayfabe time runs) Imperium defeated the Undisputed Era at WWE Worlds Collide, making them even more intimidating as opponents than they already were. Of course Andrews and Webster would never run from a fight, but right now Imperium are really looking like some guys with running from. Of course, this not being a three-on-three tag means that WALTER wasn’t supposed to be involved. But did you ever believe he wouldn’t show up?
In fact, he plays the Jason Momoa to Bomber Dave’s Henry Cavill in a spot that just moved Dave to the front of the line for a title shot. It’s funny how wrestling works that way! Let yourself get attacked by the champion, and you get a chance at the championship. I guess Mastiff picked the right day to debut his speedo look.
Anyway, this is a fun match, although it’s messy in the way any decent six-man tag is bound to be, including the spot where everybody jumps out onto the floor on top of each other. Dave, the Bomber who’s also a Bob-Omb, is especially good at hurling himself, as always.
That’s all for this installment. Join me next week when Trent Seven meets Eddie Dennis in a Steel Corner Street Fight, and A-Kid gets a friendly match with Tyler Bate!
And the week after that, it’s Valkyrie time!