Last week on the Best and Worst of NXT UK: A wild Piper Niven appeared, Xia Brookside looked great in a loss to Rhea Ripley, and Jordan Devlin and Mark Andrews beat the ever-living hell out of each other.
Click here to watch the show on WWE Network. 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 April 3, 2019.
Best: Skyrockets in Flight
Okay, I’m pretty much in on Kenny Williams and Amir Jordan at this point. The whole thing where Amir wants Kenny to dance with him and Kenny isn’t comfortable with that is actually a pretty fun angle for a odd couple tag team, and this match really demonstrates what they’re capable of in the ring. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel are pretty great too, as big nasty heels go, although I’m never sure if their aesthetic choices are a little fascist, or if I’m judging that unfairly because Marcel’s German.
In any case, this was a great match between two little flippy guys and two big scary guys, and they all played their roles to perfection. It’s alway fun when the smaller guys take to the sky and the bigger guys pluck them out of the air like it’s nothing, and these two teams are great at that sort of thing. Amir was the face in peril for a big chunk of this match, but then his agility saved him when he dodge Aichner, causing the big Italian to fly out of the ring and giving Amir time to tag Kenny. The match ended when Aichner attempted a slightly awkward suplex on Williams, and Williams countered it into a roll-up. Watching Amir and Kenny win against these monsters makes them feel like the heroes they should be. One by one and two by two, the UK roster wins me over.
Best of the Best: Gonna Find My Baby, Gonna Hold Her Tight
I really like Isla Dawn, even if she’s not the most experienced ring worker here. Kay Lee Ray, on the other hand, is just amazing and I’m always super-excited to watch her. I don’t know if Isla and Kay Lee are friends in real life (I don’t want to assume all Scottish goth girls know each other), but there was an intimacy to this match, a closeness both literal and figurative, that made it feel like something special. These two interlock with each other on a level that I usually associate with something besides wrestling, but I don’t want to disrespect them by mentioning what.
I will say that early in the match Isla Dawn did a flip into a split, and then she gave Ray what might be the thirstiest look I’ve ever seen in a pro wrestling ring. After that, Kay Lee spent the rest of the match finding new and innovative ways to wrap her body around Isla’s body in pursuit of a victory. At one point she held Isla in an armbar with just her thighs, so she could also dunk on her by doing a push-up in her face. It’s a lot. She dragged Isla to the edge of the ring by the feet, and spun her around in one swift motion, directly into a forearm. Despite all the holds in her arsenal (and there are a lot of impressive holds), Kay Lee eventually won by pinfall, proving herself (as we already knew) to be a force to reckon with in the UK Women’s Division. She’s going to come for that title before long, and it’s going to be a hell of a match when she does.
Best: Started Out This Morning Feeling So Polite
First of all, apologies for getting all comic-book-nerdy, but James Drake looks like Seth Green took the Blockbuster serum and then borrowed a nice suit from Scott Summers. That’s not an insult — it’s a great suit, and it a nice contrast to the simpler blue one Zack Gibson wore for this promo. Gibson blamed Oney Lorcan for turning his eardrum into “mincemeat,” which is simultaneously a great Britishism, probably true, and an excellent heelish excuse for not getting into the ring to defend the Tag Titles at NXT Takeover New York (never mind whether or not there’s room on that card anyway).
Rhea Ripley showed up just long enough to say that she’s not scared of Piper Niven, but I’m not sure she believes it. Toni Storm was similarly dismissive of Jinny, but the fashionista appeared from nowhere and beat down the champ just to show that she can. There are rumors Jinny’s injured, so hopefully next week’s title match, which is presumably being taped at Axxess this weekend, goes ahead as scheduled.
Jordan Devlin was angry that WALTER showed up and immediately got a title shot, but he worded that is as “how it is that Walter can saunter onto this brand like some sort of oversized baby…” which made me realize that if you imagine a baby sauntering, which, sorry Jordan, but babies really don’t do, that is pretty much WALTER. Especially if the baby’s wearing a coat.
Best: Thinkin’ Of You’s Working Up My Appetite
Trent Seven versus Joe Coffey was a long main event, an epic battle between two big beefy beardy boys. Much of the story was about both of them, but especially Trent, gradually becoming less and less flexible and losing the ability to do moves as they beat the hell out of each other. At one point Coffey bent Seven backwards over the barricade, and then held him there while taunting the crowd for loving him. Mere moments after that, he was bending Trent’s body backwards against the ring post in a genuinely painful-looking manner.
Trent did his best to regain the upper hand and managed to hit a Seven Star Lariat, but once Joe kicked out of that, it was pretty much all over. He caught Seven in a Boston Crab and held him there for longer than anyone wants to be in a Boston Crab, and inevitably Trent Seven tapped. I originally thought this match was going to be about proving how impressive Trent Seven can be without his flashier young partner Tyler Bate, and it did prove that even though Seven lost. The real message of this match, however, was that Joe Coffey is a man you should fear, and it got that point across as well.
That’s all for this week. Join me next time, when Travis Banks fights Kassius Ohno, and Toni Storm (hopefully) defends her championship against Jinny.