Reports via Jafar Iqbal and Ian Perry, PWInsider.com
July 28 and 29, 2018
Cambridge, England – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Multiple episodes (likely three) were taped during each night. There’s no word yet on when or where the shows will air, but it’s expected that they’ll be on the WWE Network at some point.
Night 1 – July 28
Dark Match: El Ligero defeated James Drake – It was a solid match to warm the crowd up as they came in. Not much of a response for Drake, except for a hilarious chant – “He’s got his own face on his arse…” – sung in the style of Bray Wyatt. Ligero, who the crowd was behind, got the win in the end with a springboard DDT.
Joe Coffey (w/ Mark Coffey) defeated Mark Andrews – A fun back-and-forth match, the crowd was into both guys. You could tell that they were holding back a little for TV, we didn’t see as much of the Andrews high-flying as we usually do. Mark Coffey didn’t really interfere, but his presence outside the ring helped Joe get the win in the end. The Coffey brothers started to beat down Andrews after the match, only for Flash Morgan Webster to run out and make the save to a decent pop. The Coffeys went to the back and the crowd applauded the two babyfaces.
Toni Storm defeated Nina Samuels – Samuels came out first – the crowd didn’t really know who she was, but she had some decent charisma. Huge pop when Storm’s name flashed on the screen, she was very over. The match itself was okay, nothing spectacular, Storm got the win with her finisher. Fine match to keep Storm strong, you can already tell that she’s going to be a big part of the brand going forward.
In-Ring: Moustache Mountain – Moustache Mountain came out to arguably the biggest pop of the night. The crowd was into their entire entrance, cheering and clapping along. Trent Seven handled most of the mic duties, geeing up the crowd and signalling their intent to be NXT:UK Tag Team champions. That got a ‘YOU DESERVE IT’ chant. They acknowledged that there aren’t any other tag teams in the back, so told the guys to form some partnerships. Really good promo, crowd loved seeing them, and they’ve positioned themselves as that mascot team in the vein of a Public Enemy or DIY.
Dave Mastiff defeated Sid Scala – Total squash – the match couldn’t have lasted more than a couple of minutes. Sid got some pity chants from the live crowd but this was only ever going one way. Mastiff looked like a beast.
WWE United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne (c) defeated Noam Dar – Johnny Saint came down to the ring to oversee this match. Noam Dar had a really nice pop when he came out, but the Bruiserweight got a massive response (second only to Moustache Mountain). They did the in-ring intros, Saint shook both wrestler’s hands, and we got on with the match. I don’t know how it’ll come across on TV, but it didn’t live up to my (admittedly high) expectations. It was a good match, don’t get me wrong, but I expected more from what I assume will be the first ever title match in the show’s history. It was a very back-and-forth match, and the crowd cheered on both. The Supernova had several ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Where’s Alicia?’ chants throughout the match. Dunne is just so good at everything he does, from his physicality to his facial expressions, I’m really pleased I got to see it live. Dunne won in the end with The Bitter End.
Kenny Williams vs. Joseph Conners – No Contest – The match ended pretty early when Conners was legitimately knocked out by a kick from Williams. It took a while for people to accept that it was a shoot (understandably), but Conners got a really warm reception as he was helped to the back. WIlliams looked genuinely distraught at the whole thing.
Dakota Kai defeated Killer Kelly – Really good pop for Kai, and a nice pop for Kelly too. Killer Kelly has a great look and charisma – if her wrestling ability matches up to that, she could be a player. We didn’t really get to see a lot of that here. She controlled the match early on, but Kai made the babyface comeback and got the win. A British interviewer (whose name I don’t think was ever mentioned live) spoke to Kai after the match – the Kiwi thanked the crowd and then said she was going to throw her name into the hat for the Women’s title. Decent babyface promo.
Ashton Smith defeated Tucker – A decent match, nothing to write home about. Neither man was that over, but Ashton was probably the more popular of the two. He got the win in a match that probably went a few minutes too long, but fine for a lower-card TV match.
In-Ring: Zack Gibson, Noam Dar, Johnny Saint – Zack Gibson then came out, getting by far the biggest heat of the night. Liverpool’s Number One cut a promo about winning the UK Tournament and nearly beating Dunne despite having no time to prepare. As he put it, a fresh Zack Gibson can beat a fresh Pete Dunne. I don’t know how it’ll get used though, because the crowd was drowning him out the entire time, and not always with TV-friendly chants. You cant deny he’s very, very over as a heel though. He then started ripping on Noam Dar for losing earlier, which brought the Supernova out. The two were about to fight, but Johnny Saint came out to stop it. That led to a weird moment where Saint seemed to forget his lines. He half-heartedly told them off, then said ‘as you were, gentlemen’, and left. He then reappeared twenty seconds later, shouting at the two men to go to his office. Overall a good segment, if a bit messy at the end.
Trent Seven defeated Saxon Huxley – As you’d expect, Trent was very over with the crowd, right from his entrance to his work in the ring. Saxon wasn’t the best worker in the world, but his look led to a few good chants, like ‘Are You Jesus in Disguise?’ and ‘Tarzan Jesus’. It was your standard ‘babyface fights from behind’ match, and the fans popped big when Seven got the win.
Flash Morgan Webster defeated Mark Coffey (w/ Joe Coffey) – This was a fun match, Webster looked great. He really has the Mod gimmick down perfectly, and of course the in-ring work is excellent. The story of the match was that Joe Coffey would get in the way every time Webster tried one of his high-flying moves on Mark. Webster found a way to get around that (literally), which then led to the roll-up finish and the win for the babyface. After the match, the Coffey brothers were about to double-team Webster, but out ran Mark Andrews and Travis Banks. The two heels were trapped in the ring, but managed to escape when the babyfaces tried to attack. A good post-match segment.
Tyler Bate defeated Wolfgang – This was a really good back-and-forth match, both guys looked good. There was some nice comedy at the start of the match where Bate tried to overpower the Last King of Scotland but, once they got into it, it became a very physical encounter. Bate got the win after moving out of the way of the top-rope senton and hitting the Tyler Driver. Big pop for his win, and Bate celebrated with the fans.
Danny Burch defeated Sam Gradwell – I can’t remember if Burch was advertised for the tapings, but the pop he got was definitely a shocked one. I’d never heard of Gradwell, so I was quite surprised at how competitive the match was. Gradwell showed great charisma, and the crowd had a lot of fun teasing him about his resemblance to Sheamus. Burch got control in the final third of the match and got the win with the Tower of London. Burch cut a fantastic promo after the match, talking about how his fifteen years have led to this moment. It was a very emotional interview and he ended it by laying down a challenge to Pete Dunne. If this promo is anything to go by, they’re positioning Burch as the elder statesman of the company, which is totally fine by me. Good stuff.
Zack Gibson defeated Noam Dar – An absolutely brilliant match, and an excellent way to end the evening. Both guys gave it their all in the ring, and the crowd was into it all the way through. Zack Gibson is such a brilliant heel and the fans love booing him. It was a very physical bout, with Gibson working on Dar’s shoulder and Dar working on his leg. A stiff bump on the outside led to the finish, where Gibson hit Dar with Helter Skelter and the three-count. The finish was botched slightly, so they redid, but it was a small hiccup in an otherwise great bout.
Night 2 – July 29
Dark Match: Killer Kelly defeated Millie McKenzie with a Dragon Sleeper.
Ligero defeated ‘Wild Boar’ Mike Hitchman with a Springboard Tornado DDT.
Moustache Mountain defeated Sam Gradwell and Saxon Huxley when Tyler Bate hit his trademark springboard off the ropes into a clothesline.
Isla Dawn defeated Nina Samuels with a move similar to a Brainbuster.
Backstage: Travis Banks – We were shown a brief backstage video, where Travis Banks had been ambushed and Johnny Saint was checking on him.
Mark Andrews defeated Wolfgang with a Stundog Millionaire followed by a Shooting Star Press. Andrews and Wolfgang teased dissension but they were fine. The Coffey Brothers came out and attacked Mark. Flash Morgan Webster came out for the save. Wolfgang stood by doing nothing, but eventually looked like he was going to help, before siding with the Coffey Brothers and beating down Andrews and Webster.
Jordan Devlin defeated Tucker using a move that I can’t describe. It started off like a GTS, but didn’t finish like one.
Zack Gibson defeated Amir Jordan – Gibson was the biggest heel on the show without a doubt. He forced Jordan to tap out to the Shankley Gates. After the match, Gibson cut a long promo running down the crowd and, well, everything. He was eventually cut off by Trent Seven who mocked Gibson for not being a part of the initial WWE UK shows. Seven challenged Gibson to an impromptu match, but Gibson bailed.
Dave Mastiff defeated Damien Dunne – Dunne was billed differently, I didn’t quite catch it, but it sounded like Damien Wheeler. Mastiff won with the Cannonball in the corner in fairly short order.
Dark Match: Ligero defeated James Drake – In a rematch from yesterday’s dark match, Ligero won using the Springboard Tornado DDT again.
Segment: Ashton Smith, the Coffeys, Wolfgang – Ashton Smith came out for a match but was attacked by the Coffeys and Wolfgang before he made it off the stage. The heels then cut a promo.
Eddie Dennis defeated Sid Scala – Sid Scala was out next, and got tossed around by Eddie Dennis who ultimately defeated him with a Razors Edge into the buckles, followed by a Reverse DDT-esque move.
Jordan Devlin defeated Kenny Williams using the same finisher as earlier.
Toni Storm defeated Dakota Kai with the Strong Zero. They hugged after the match. As Kai was leaving, Jinny ran out and attacked her on the stage. Jinny slipped as was running out, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see them re-shoot that segment.
The Coffey Brothers and Wolfgang defeated Mark Andrews, Flash Morgan Webster and Ashton Smith – Joe Coffey hit a Discus Lariat on Flash for the win.
WWE UK Championship: Pete Dunne (c) defeated Danny Burch – Dunne won, forcing Burch to tap out.