NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool delivered. From start to finish, there wasn’t a weak match and that crowd was fully invested the whole time. At around two and half hours, the pacing was perfect and there wasn’t a single match that felt rush or overstayed it’s welcome. And I loved how every match ended in a clean victory. Every victory was earned.
Each match deserves a mention so that’s exactly what I’ll do here.
The event started off exactly as it should. The first match was for the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Championship. Moustache Mountain was introduced first and the crowd went absolutely nuts. And at that moment, I was fully invested in this event. There wasn’t a single time that I looked at my phone for any reason. After that, Zack Gibson and James Drake were announced. And just like that, the boos rained down as if this crowd had never enjoyed a single second of their life. The energy of this crowd was amazing and was a very important part of this entire event. The bell rang and once again, that crowd was unhinged again. This match went back and all over the place. Near the end I was sold that the good guys were going to end up winning. And I think it was just because of the crowd. But that ending had such an exclamation point for Drake and Gibson. Seeing Drake suicide dive out of the ring for a Doomsday Device-like move on Bate and then immediately getting back in the ring with Gibson to deliver their newly named “Ticket to Mayhem” on Seven was incredible. Once the three count hit, the energy in that arena was completely sucked out. And I was worried how they would handle the rest of the show.
Next up was Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin. We get shown some footage of earlier in the day of Devlin attacking Banks from behind while was entering the building and injuring his knee. Banks is announced first and appears to be fine. The commentators though wonder if he’s ok from the attack earlier. Devlin’s music hits and starts making his way to the ring only to be greeted with a suicide dive from Banks. The attack from earlier though catches up with Banks and Devlin re-injures the knee, making him unable to compete. Sid Scala comes out and announces he found a new opponent for Devlin. It was the demon, and trainer, Finn Bálor. The crowd was once again cranked back up to 11. Not only was I excited to see Bálor in action, but it was good seeing that energy get back into the crowd. While nothing to really write home about, it was still a good match and I would have preferred this over Banks. After about 10 minutes, Bálor delivers the Coup de Grace for the win.
Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis in a No Disqualification match was next. And honestly, I had the least amount of interest going into to this match. But that changed very quickly. Had it been a regular match, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it as much. But these two used the No DQ to full effect here and it may have been my favorite match of the night. These two beat the living hell out of each with a kendo stick, the steps, and a chair. Mastiff came out victorious with a cannonball dive into Dennis through a table set in a corner. Very entertaining match!
The fourth matchup was Rhea Ripley defending her NXT UK Championship against Toni Storm. This match went back and forth with both wrestlers kicking out of each other’s finishers. The match lasted for about 15 minutes with no dull moments. It ended with Storm escaping Ripley’s finisher and transitioning into Storm’s finisher. This was probably my least favorite match of the night but once again, still a good match.
The main event for the NXT UK Championship is upon us and I think the crowd is ready for another 20 hours of wrestling. Joe Coffey comes out first and the other two members of Gallus come out to the entrance with him. But only to leave once the competitor makes his way to the ring. Champion Pete Dunne makes his way to the ring with no interference from Gallus. There was a moment during this match where they bring up all the top tier wrestlers Dunne has defeated during his reign as champion. After they said that, I knew this was going to be it for Dunne. I was dead set on Gallus somehow, someway helping Coffey to win. But it never happened. What we got was a 30+ plus minute match that went back and forth with Coffey kicking out of Dunne’s finisher twice! I just wish Coffey would get a new finisher. He’s a big dude and that discuss clothesline he does just doesn’t have a “WOW!” factor to it. When he did connect with it during the match, I was never thinking, “Oh yeah, that’s it for Dunne”. Coffey took back to back nasty bumps there at the end of the match falling off the top turnbuckle and landing outside and the match finished with Dunne doing some finger manipulating causing Coffey to tap out. Not the most grand finale for 30+ minute match but I guess you do what you got to do when someone kicks out of your finisher twice. Still an incredible match though.
After the match was over, some new music came on and a new challenger came down to the ring by the name of ‘WALTER’. While staring down Dunne once in the ring, Coffey tried to get back in the ring but was only met with a big boot from WALTER. A little bit more of a stare down then WALTER walked away. This TakeOver was incredible from beginning to end. And I can’t wait for the aftermath in next NXT UK show to see what’s next.
Follow Brandon on Twitter at @therealdealbcox