WWE NXT UK Review: Episode 31 (Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm)

February 20, 2019 – Phoenix Arizona

Joe Coffey & Mark Coffey def. Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster
Mark got the pin on Webster after Joe hit All the Best in 8:29. Tag matches in front of dead crowds are tough to watch, and these fellas couldn’t get the Phoenix fans excited about pretty much anything at all here. It made eight minutes feel like eight thousand, despite a couple fun spots. **

Remember Nina Samuels? Well NXT UK wants you to and they show a video hyping her. Also, Jordan Devlin sends in a video from Ireland threatening Travis Banks. And finally, Kay Lee Ray debus soon.

Trent Seven def. Shane Thorne
Seven hit the Seven Star Lariat for the win at 8:58. If they don’t end up teaming Thorne with his new TMDK buddies that are currently in the Performance Center then he should get a spot in NXT UK because he felt right at home here. The crowd sat on their hands for most of this, but Seven and Thorne were able to get a few peeps out of them, and brought the drama even when they were silent. The spot in which Thorne used Seven’s figure 4 leglock against him by dragging dropping him on the floor with the hold still on was particularly brilliant. ***

Jack Gallagher wants to ask Johnny Saint if there’s room for him in NXT UK. They shared the same coach in Billy Robinson, after all. He’ll fight Tyler Bate next week. Also, Joseph Conners feels that his recent loss to Ligero was a fluke (just ask Wild Boar). Conners isn’t done with Ligero. I could do without more of that matchup.

The Grizzled Young Veterans come out for a promo. They’re pissed that they had to fly to Phoenix to defend their tag team titles. If people want the titles, they should have to fly to the UK to get them. Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan come out and say they see no reason why they should wait until next week to fight, but the champs make a run for it.

Toni Storm def. Rhea Ripley {NXT UK Women’s Championship Match}
Storm hit the Storm Zero at 10:57 to retain the title. This lacked the depth and drama of their Takeover match, but these two worked their asses off and actually got the crowd invested in the match. Waking dozens of people out of their apparent comas is really impressive. They easily outperformed their first bout, proving that as long as neither of them get injured while fighting each other, they can put on a good show. ***½

This was a big step up from last week, with two good matches in spite of the bad crowd. It gives me hope that the three strong matches booked for next week (Bate vs. Gallagher, WALTER vs. Ohno, and the tag title match) have a shot at impressing.

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