Last time in the last Best and Worst of NXT UK: A-Kid debuted and was saved from a beating by Tyler Bate, and Jordan Devlin put away Bomber Dave Mastiff. 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 November 7, 2019.
Best: Back Alley Brawlers
This is a weird episode, to start with, in that it starts with two short matches of no consequence and then climaxes with one big long match that also turns out to be of no consequence. But we’ll get to all that in due time.
Actually, it’s unfair to dismiss this match as meaningless, because given how the show ends, it does accomplish the goal of reminding everybody that Joe Coffey, the singles wrestler of Gallus, is a total badass. Tyson T-Bone may be a bit of a jobber, but he’s so good at seeing dangerous that he’s still somehow the opponent you want to face to look like a badass in victory.
Joe and T-Bone are both brutish tough guys who seem like they’ve had a lot of fights in the parking lots of pubs, but Joe Coffey is the version of that guy who’s also trained as a technical wrestler, and Tyson isn’t so much. That ultimately gives Coffey the advantage in a believable way, and his victory sets him up for who he’s going to face later on in the show.
Backstage: Here Are Your Heroes
Piper Nivan gets an extended video package about her hopes and dreams and how she became a wrestler. It’s the sort of thing WWE is very good at putting together, and this is no exception. With Rhea and Toni gone, Piper is clearly being positioned as the next big thing, and this package does plenty to get us on her side.
The other babyface on the rise around here is Xia Brookside, and we find out that next week she’s facing Kay Lee Ray. I’m a little disappointed, to be honest, because I was hoping the hints we’d been getting for the past couple of weeks about Xia proving herself worthy of a title shot meant she was going to have a winning streak against other opponents, but apparently it just means she’s facing KLR in a non-title match to see if she can get a title match.
Qualified Best: Witchy, The Killer
If Piper and Xia are the next babyfaces in line on this brand, who’s Isla Dawn? Don’t get me wrong, I really like Isla even if I’d still like to know more about her “White Witch” gimmick. But Killer Kelly’s great too, and considering she was the one who came back from injury last week and made a point of picking a fight with Isla to get this match, it seemed like she should have won.
The match itself was good, if short, but I don’t think Kelly’s ever gotten a win in NXT UK, and I was hoping that she’d come back strong even if it had to be at the expense of my favorite ill-defined witch. “Killer” is a weird nickname for a wrestler we’ve never seen kick anyone’s ass, isn’t it? With Rhea being a tweener in the US and the Jinny/Jazzy team on the decline (and Nina Samuels still not all that exciting), Killer Kelly could use a heel build, and I’m disappointed it didn’t start here.
Best: Out With The Old
The Grizzled Young Veterans versus Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster would have been a rematch for the NXT UK Tag Titles, except that Mark and Flash lost those to Gallus pretty quickly after winning them from the GYV, so instead the two ex-champ teams are just facing off in a grudge match, and it’s a pretty good one. Both teams go hard at each other, and there’s plenty of brutal back and forth, making it really hard to predict who might win. At least until current Champions Gallus come out, at which point the correct “nobody” prediction becomes a little more obvious. At first Gallus just watches and causes distractions, but once Imperium comes out too, the champs rush the ring and trigger a no-contest.
This is one of those moments where the new storyline literally sweeps away the old, with Gallus and Imperium beating up the teams that used to be the top of the tag division, and then squaring off against each other. It looks at first like Gallus might be outnumbered when WALTER shows up to stand with the rest of Imperium. Then there’s a moment where it seems Gallus might be really outnumbered, when Ilja Dragunov comes out and stands with Imperium, paying off Alexander Wolfe’s recruiting efforts over the past few weeks.
Then, suddenly, Dragunov switches sides and stands with Gallus! It’s a pretty exciting moment. I figured he’d turn on Imperium eventually, but I never thought the Russian supersoldier would take sides with the Scottish rednecks against his fellow continental Europeans.
The strange thing, though, is how much this feels like a set-up for a WarGames match. But that’s not possible, is it? This month’s NXT TakeOver already has two WarGames matches scheduled, and surely that must be the maximum number one show can hold? Maybe NXT UK can get their own WarGames special or something? They could shoot it at TakeOver when they have the two rings set up, and then show it later? I’m just spitballing, I have no idea what the plan is. I just know I want to watch Imperium and Gallus/Dragunov murder the hell out of each other, and if it’s in a huge cage, even better!
That’s all for this installment. Join me next week when Xia Brookside gets her chance against Kay Lee Ray, and Tyler Bate faces Kassius Ohno.