By Brandon Cox
WWE’s new brand, NXT UK, is having their very first special event this Saturday on January 12th. The debut is titled NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool and will be exclusively on the WWE Network, live at the Empress Ballroom. The show will start at 2 p.m. ET and will have a card of 5 matches. This includes:
1.) Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Toni Storm for the NXT UK Women’s Championship
2.) Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) vs. Grizzled Young
Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake) to decide the first-ever NXT UK Tag Team Championship
3.) Pete Dunne (c) vs. Joe Coffey for the NXT UK Championship
4.) Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis in a No Disqualification match
5.) Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin
There is potential for some top-tier matches here. If it delivers anything like its NXT counterpart though, we’re in for a treat. Since this brand is fairly new there hasn’t been a great deal of story build as of yet. But that’s OK as long as the wrestling itself is entertaining. That being said, I’m excited to see how the story continues and what plot twists will be thrown in. Let’s break down the matches.
First up we have Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Toni Storm for the NXT UK Women’s Championship. Women’s wrestling has definitely evolved and improved in the last couple of years. And these two women are more than deserving to be in the title match. With Ripley already beating Storm to capture the inaugural NXT UK Women’s Championship and Toni Storm just recently winning the Mae Young Classic, I’d like to see Ripley retain the belt here. That way Ripley can be known as the true champion and at the same time Storm has the Mae Young Classic for her resume. Storm is the clear fan favorite in this one and doesn’t really need a title around her waist to keep her relevant.
Next, we have Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate and Trent Seven) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake) to decide the first-ever NXT UK Tag Team Champions. I’m thinking this is going to be the show stealer for the event. Everybody loves Moustache Mountain. On the other end, everybody hates Zack Gibson. Gibson does such a fantastic job on being a heel and embracing the hate. And he is an excellent wrestler as well. It’s my favorite formula in a wrestler. Moustache Mountain will more than likely win this match but this is one of those special matches for me where I don’t care who wins. I’ll like who wins either way. This is also another match where neither side truly needs the belts to stay relevant. Expect a huge pop if Moustache Mountain wins though.
After that, we have Pete Dunne (c) vs. Joe Coffey for the NXT UK Championship. Dunne is far and away the fan favorite here. He has held the title for over 600 days, which is actually longer than NXT UK’s brand show existence. Look, I’m all about Dunne being a champ. He deserves it. But that’s a long title reign. Dunne is at a disadvantage here though with Coffey being in the group ‘Gallus’ with brother Mark and third member Wolfgang. I think the numbers game might prevail here. The show before NXT UK: Blackpool though did have Moustache Mountain team up with Dunne to take on Gallus. Where Gallus won with Coffey pinning Bate. Will Moustache Mountain get revenge and help Dunne win?
The fourth match on the card is Dave Mastiff and Eddie Dennis in a No Disqualification match. Not saying this is going to be a bad match. But not a lot has been done with these two so far on the brand. Keep in mind this is a fairly new brand and stories are still just starting. These two were in a match recently that ended with a disqualification. Hence the reason for this match. There has been some investment though with the story between these two so let’s hope this pays off. Dennis is presented as the villain in this feud so maybe Mastiff for the win here?
Last we have Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin. Nothing against Banks, but let me tell you, Devlin has a bright future ahead of him. He had a title match against Dunne not too long ago and proved he is championship worthy. I’d like to see Banks though push Devlin to his limits and also get some spotlight. I think Devlin will win this match though.
Don’t forget to tune in Saturday, January 12th at 2 p.m. ET on the WWE Network to watch the brand’s first special event, NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool live at the Empress Ballroom.
Follow Brandon on Twitter at @therealdealbcox