NXT UK TakeOver Blackpool results, recap, grades: Two surprises and two new champions crowned
Two superstars made their NXT UK debuts, one of whom will be around for quite some time
In a first for WWE's newest brand, NXT UK TakeOver stood as a strong pay-per-view coming out of Blackpool, England, on Saturday. With one new champion guaranteed to be crowned due to a vacant title and two other title matches on the show, fans geared up for an exciting show akin to the NXT UK brand's American counterpart.
That is exactly what they got. Not only were the matches thrilling, there were two surprise NXT UK debuts, one from a current WWE superstar who is unlikely to be seen again with the brand, and another from one of the top professional wrestlers in the world who just recently signed with the company.
The crowd was hot from the start, and NXT UK's first pay-per-view certainly made sure it lived up to the "TakeOver" moniker. Though it was a strong show from start to finish, there were a couple down moments and there was only so much that could happen given the newness of the brand. Grade: B+
Here's what went down on Saturday in Blackpool.
NXT UK TakeOver: Liverpool results, grades
NXT UK Tag Team Championship -- Zack Gibson & James Drake def. Moustache Mountain via pinfall to win the vacant titles: Dressed to honor the British Bulldogs, and even performing a couple maneuvers they made famous, it looked like Moustache Mountain was a clear favorite in this match. A double airplane spin by Tyler Bate was an early highlight, but Gibson and Drake soon followed with Helter Skelter and a 450 Splash from which Trent Seven barely kicked out. Mountain also got out of a double submission attempt to keep their team alive. Bate was next to suffer some pain when he was atop Gibson's shoulders outside the ring only for Drake to avoid Seven, dive through the middle ropes and knock him off. It was not long after that Gibson and Drake hit the Ticket to Mayhem for the win. This was the perfect way to start the show and set the tone for the entire evening. Grade: A
Finn Balor def. Jordan Devlin via pinfall: Before the bell could ring to the initially scheduled match, Travis Banks dove through the ropes to attack Devlin in hopes of getting him back for a sneak attack that occurred backstage earlier in the day. Devlin quickly got the upper hand and took out Banks's knee, forcing the match to be called off. Out came general manager Johnny Saint and assistant Sid Scala, who said they planned for this inevitability and introduced Balor as Banks's replacement. The Blackpool crowd went insane. In a teacher vs. student battle, Balor got the most of his former pupil, blocking Delvin's Moonsault with his knees before hitting the Coup de Grace for the 1-2-3.It was a short but solid match and a nice surprise but nothing to write home about too much in-ring wise. Grade: B
Dave Mastiff def. Eddie Dennis via pinfall in a No Disqualification Match: Dennis thrilled throughout this bout with the maneuvers he was able to put Masstiff in despite his opponent's massive size. Ultimately, however, Mastiff's size and strength could not be overcome and a Cannonball into a table propped up by the turnbuckles led to a victory. Grade: B-
NXT UK Women's Championship -- Toni Storm def. Rhea Ripley (c) via pinfall to win the title: Ripley was looking to get even on Storm for winning 2018 Mae Young Classic, an event in which Ripley got eliminated in the semifinals. Storm was aggressive throughout and even kicked out of the Riptide, but Ripley followed suit by kicking out of Storm Zero. This led to a sequence where Storm countered another Riptide into Storm Zero to capture the championship. It was a quality match but not up to the level of their MYC encounter, and though it would have been tough to deny Storm the title, it seemed like an unnecessarily quick change. Grade: B+
NXT Championship -- Pete Dunne (c) def. Joe Coffey via submission to retain the title: The match started slow, and it left one wondering whether Coffey was the right challenger for Dunne, but business eventually picked up midway through the bout and left little doubt that the crowd was in for a treat. Two separate top-rope incidents saw both men fall to the floor, and a double-underhook powerbomb from Coffey to Dunne on the ring apron was a highlight as both man scrambled to beat the 10 count and reenter the ring. A Bitter End from Dunne was not enough to do Coffey in for the bout, and neither was a second hit a few minutes later. After the second try, Dunne got fed up, rolled Coffey over and bent his pointer finger back for the tap out. Grade: B+
A new challenger emerges: As Dunne was celebrating and fans were legitimately left wondering who could actually challenge him for the title, Walter's music hit and the former independent star draped in a black trenchcoat sauntered to the ring. As he began to face off with Dunne, Coffey hopped back into the ring and Walter quickly dispatched him with a big boot. With his arms tucked behind his back, Walter than stepped to Dunne as the champion placed his title strap in his mouth. Walter soon departed as the show went off the air.
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