eWN’s Round Table Preview of WWE NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II


DUNNING: While I do admire his work ethic, there’s just something about him I can’t get behind. He talks a big game but is not someone I’d personally pay a ticket to see. He’s not very appealing to me, but he does deserve to be on TakeOver in some fashion.

VARNES: Give it to NXT UK. Their talent seems rather bland, but they always do put their best foot forward for their shows. If Connors isn’t on a TakeOver, then he’s got something more to prove. Maybe they can write it that way, give him a shot in the arm over it.


STAPLE: The only way we’ll ever know for sure is if he actually gets into a Takeover card. There’s no shame in at least giving him a chance to prove himself if he’s earned it. I agree that he’s been on a mission, but whether or not he’s at that level remains to be seen. I was initially skeptical at whether or not Matt Riddle would pan out with his style and his feud with Kassius Ohno, but I was wrong there.

5) “Noam Dar was supposed to have a match at every TakeOver, according to his interpretation of his contract. If he were to be booked for a spot on this card, how would you put him on the show?”

MANGO: If I’m stuck with the proper NXT UK roster, I’d go with Dave Mastiff. However, if I could expand some more, I’d book him against Gentleman Jack Gallagher or Danny Burch. They seem to want to make something out of Burch on 205 Live and this could give him some more support. GJG is struggling and might succeed better in NXT UK as a babyface rather than trying to be a frustrated heel again on 205 Live.

DUNNING: He does? That’s news to me. Well, if Joseph Connors doesn’t have a match, and Noam Dar doesn’t have a match, and so many others aren’t booked.. why not set up some kind of battle royal? I don’t think NXT UK has ever had one of those for the men.

VARNES: Put him in a match with Ilja Dragunov. Sure, it’s thrown together, but so are at least two of the matches on the card. And they can both go it seems, so why not put him out there and have a good match with a rising talent?

STAPLE: Honestly, I would just have him issue an open challenge and create some anticipation, similar to how Balor answered the call to Jordan Devlin at last year’s Blackpool card.

6) “Which team are you rooting for in the Fatal 4-Way for the tag team titles?”

MANGO: Keep the belts on Gallus. Unless the priority is to have the Imperium vs. Undisputed ERA match at Worlds Collide include the tag team champions against each other, there’s no need to change to new champions.

DUNNING: Grizzled Young Veterans get the best heat out of all of ’em, simply because everyone wants to take their “shoes off” for Zack Gibson. The guy is a star, yet he’s stuck in this tag team division. That’s not a dig at James Drake, who has improved exponentially since partnering with Gibson, but it sure feels like their talents are being wasted when they’re not wearing tag team gold. The other teams have some of the best workers in WWE, yet like so many others are sorely lacking in charisma.

VARNES: Imperium, simply because it adds to their match with Undisputed Era at Worlds Collide. All three title matches are being booked with that event in mind IMO, and as such Imperium holding the gold at WC adds balance vs. UE. All the gold vs. All the gold.

STAPLE: Imperium. Why? Because when Undisputed Era faces them at Worlds Collide for faction supremacy, it would be so cool if each member was holding a championship.

7) “Is Joe Coffey a viable superstar to dethrone WALTER? If not, who should be the next United Kingdom champion?”

MANGO: No. Coffey isn’t bombastic enough to be the next leader of the whole brand. Frankly, I feel like nobody on this roster is. If I had to guess, I’d assume Ilja Dragunov is the next in line, but that he won’t win the title until at least the next UK TakeOver special toward the latter end of this year. Even then, though, I’m not all on board with that. Until I’m convinced otherwise, I’ll continue to say that I think Cesaro or Drew McIntyre or someone else from outside the current NXT UK roster needs to be the next champion. But hey, maybe Ridge Holland will catch on enough that he’ll be the next, cause he seems like he has potential.

DUNNING: He’s not viable because they haven’t built him up enough as a babyface. Not much has changed since Gallus were running around as heels, and that goes for Wolfgang and Mark Coffey too. If Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate couldn’t get the job done, then there’s nothing making me believe Joe Coffey stands a chance. They’ll have a great match, but the result is predictable. I’ll be legitimately shocked if Joe is able to dethrone Walter at this stage, because the leader of Imperium cannot afford to look weak after he was badly mistreated at Survivor Series (he was the first man eliminated in just under 3 minutes!). But who could become the next UK Champion after Walter? Sadly, the only answer I can give is Tyler Bate, as he’s the only credible challenger on the UK brand. No one else has the momentum or the charisma to pull it off.

VARNES: Is he viable? Perhaps not. But despite what I said at #6, he might still get the nod. WALTER’s had the belt for a long time, and he has to lose to someone, sometime. It might as well be Coffey, especially if there’s some interference or something involved. It’s not like I can think of anyone else who could take down WALTER. On the other hand, having gold dripping UE vs. gold dripping Imperium is a hell of a main event for a throwaway PPV that might only have the women’s title v. title match have any significance. So if Coffey wins, it might just be after WC at the next set of NXT UK tapings.

STAPLE: What makes it so difficult is that WALTER is a literal, physical freak of nature. All I need to do is look at his match against Dunne at Takeover: New York. He literally did everything possible, and this is a guy who held the title for nearly 600 days. Coffey doesn’t strike me as a guy that could defeat him, even if I were to suspend my disbelief. Maybe if he were to get help, I’d believe it. I’d require more time for UK to build up their division to see who can defeat him, because you’ll also have to account for Imperium. Then again, Drew McIntyre eliminates him at Survivor Series with ease, so there’s an option.

Big thanks to everyone who took part in this edition!

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