WWE NXT UK Review: Episode 23

January 9, 2019 – Liverpool, Merseyside

Amir Jordan & Kenny Williams def. Jamie Ahmed & Dan Maloney
The match ended when Jordan pinned Ahmed in 3:58 with a Swanton Bomb. This was a lot of fun. It had a good flow and left room for both the winners and the jobbers to shine. I could have used a few more minutes of this kind of action. Williams & Jordan celebrate like they just won the tag titles at WrestleMania and the whole thing is very cute. **¾

Gallus comes out to the ring and damn if their entrance music isn’t the most soothing song of them all. Joe Coffey announces that the three of them will take on all of British Strong Style on the next episode. Then he says he’s going to beat Pete Dunne for the title at Takeover this weekend. Nothing came out of this that we couldn’t get from a much shorter backstage segment.

Next up is a press conference hyping the NXT UK Women’s Championship match at Takeover. Toni Storm says she deserves to be champion more because she stays in the UK, and Rhea Ripley is always galavanting off to the States. That’s something you’d have to follow the Performance Center on YouTube to have a sense of. Ripley gloats about having never lost to Storm. Storm lists some of the big names she’s defeated. Ripley responds to claims that her win over Storm was a fluke and that she’s a Storm-ripoff with righteous anger. This was the first really good character work from both ladies, though if they want these segments to feel less bush league they need to add crowd and camera sound effects.

Isla Dawn def. Xia Brookside
Dawn beat Brookside in 5:09 by blocking a victory roll. I didn’t expect these two of all people to give us our first ode to Johnny Saint, but they did and it was a great chain wrestling contest. Unlike the previous match, this probably ended when it should have because they were starting to lose a bit of their momentum down the stretch, but a million points of credit to both ladies for breaking out this kind of a match and keeping it entertaining for five. ***

Jordan Devlin def. Damien Weir
Devlin beat Weir in 4:49 with the Island’s Call Pete Dunne’s secret brother got squished here. This was longer than it needed to be to get across the point it was trying to make, but I guess the champ’s little bro needed to get some token offense in. After the match, Travis Banks interrupts a Devlin promo and Devlin retreats. Banks challenge Devlin to a match but Devlin won’t let him have it. N/A

Zack Gibson & James Drake def. Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster {Semifinal Match}
The Grizzled Young Veterans beat Flash Mandrews in 8:43 when they hit Webster with the elevated Ticket to Ride. There was a bit too much indy nonsense in this match for my liking, but I can’t say it was boring by any stretch. By the way, when I say there’s indy nonsense here, i don’t just mean flippy moves; what I mean is that there are flippy moves that aren’t particularly well-executed and are too contrived to be believed. In any event, the action was consistent at least and the crowd was really into it. ***

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