With WWE NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II concluded, it’s time to look back on what happened and assess the damage, praise the positives and talk about what went down.
Per usual, at the end of this post, you’ll see my regular Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint post-show podcast, which reviews the event in more detail, but for those who want a more condensed version of my thoughts, I present to you my “quicker than a hiccup” reaction to the different parts of the evening:
Eddie Dennis vs. Trent Seven
What a dud. It was clear this was going to be just a means to get Dennis back on track and remind people that he’s there and he’s a heel, but I was hoping for at least something more than just that bare minimum.
This was a one move match. Not literally, but everything other than Dennis tossing Seven to the outside after exposing the turnbuckle was pointless.
It was entirely uneventful and they would have gotten just as much out of doing that spot on a TV beat down segment rather than wasting a match on this card with a standard, flat match. I think they missed an opportunity to do something with Noam Dar, Ilja Dragunov, Travis Banks, maybe the Kassius Ohno vs. Dave Mastiff match they teased or anything that could have helped set up Worlds Collide instead.
NXT UK Women’s Championship Triple Threat Match: Kay Lee Ray (c) vs. Toni Storm vs. Piper Niven
This was a step up, but it wasn’t anything to go nuts over.
I’m very curious why they decided to go with Ray retaining and pinning Niven of all scenarios. To me, Ray has been a weak champion and since she’s held the title since August, it was time to move on to someone else.
Backtracking to Storm would have been a bit of the same we’ve already seen, but at least she’s more popular. Moving on to Niven would have made the most sense to me and here she is taking the pin, which should (at least, theoretically) rule her out of being the next champion.
I guess they have a different direction in mind, but I’m not sure what that is, nor when that will happen. Jazzy Gabert? Tegan Nox? We’ll see. But as far as this segment on its own…meh. I would have rather slept than to have gotten up early for these first two matches.
Tyler Bate vs. Jordan Devlin
As expected, this was rock solid. I don’t think this will be some Match of the Year candidate at the end of the year by any means, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.
To me, this should be the ground level of TakeOver matches. Everything should be at least this good or better. Dennis vs. Seven is an example of something much less and while that’s in part due to the people involved, I feel like with so few matches a year that NXT UK gets to shine, everyone should have the work ethic Bate and Devlin had here.
NXT UK Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way Ladder Match: Gallus (c) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Imperium vs. South Wales Subculture
You put a bunch of people and a half dozen or so ladders together and you’re going to have a fun time, more often than not.
I figured this would be the best match on the card and I wasn’t shocked to see that’s how things played out.
Kudos to Andrews and Webster for calling an audible and doing a double Swanton onto Wolfgang when the original plan was for them to do one a piece to Gallus. That was an interesting moment.
United Kingdom Championship Match: WALTER (c) vs. Joe Coffey
Punches. Slaps. This was a brawler match and I’m more than okay with that. That’s what it was supposed to be. Had it been a technical wrestling affair, it would have been strange.
I’ll give credit where it’s due that I didn’t think they would do as good of a job here as they managed. I figured it would be a slow, lumbering affair with an obvious finish coming from a mile away. Instead, there were moments where I legitimately thought Coffey had a shot to win the title.
Major thumbs up for the main event exceeding my expectations.
For more opinions on the show as a whole, check out the latest edition of the Smark Out Moment wrestling podcast SMACK TALK as the panel reviews NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II with our immediate reactions following the event before the dust has fully settled.
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