The NXT UK roster shares their favorite moments!
We relived the first part of NXT UK’s history, but now we hear from the superstars themselves! What moments do they cherish most?
- 8/30/1982 – Madison Square Garden: Tiger Mask VS Dynamite Kid; Tiger Mask wins.
- 5/8/2019 – NXT UK Tag Team Championships: The Grizzled Young Veterans VS Kenny Williams & Noam Dar; The Grizzled Young Veterans win and retain the NXT UK Tag Team Championships.
- 10/3/2019 – Kay Lee Ray VS Tegan Nox; KLR wins.
- 12/25/13 – William Regal VS Antonio Cesaro; Cesaro wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Andy Shepherd welcomes us back to NXT UK.
While the WWE Universe loves watching the superstars compete, a question that often floats around is who do the superstars enjoy watching? Tonight, we find out as the top stars of NXT UK talk their favorite and most influential matches. And we start with the “proper British Heavyweight,” Dave Mastiff. Mastiff’s favorite match is Tiger Mask VS The Dynamite Kid from 1982, in Madison Square Garden. Mastiff sees Dynamite Kid as THE most influential wrestler of all time. You will see his moves in just about every match this generation, such as the snap suplex to the flying headbutt. But for Tiger Mask VS Dynamite Kid specifically, that was perhaps the first time any fan in America saw such a match. The aggression, the intensity and the pioneering style makes it a classic Mastiff could watch all day.
8/30/1982 – Madison Square Garden: Tiger Mask VS Dynamite Kid!
The WWE’s extensive catalog of footage brings this blast from the past before our eyes! Let’s all enjoy this instant classic that surely isn’t just Mastiff’s favorite alone.
The bell rings and Dynamite circles with Tiger. Or rather, Tiger goes all around Dynamite. Tiger gives a BIG leaping heel kick but Dynamite stays clear. Dynamite tries to rush Tiger but Tiger blocks and sweeps the legs! Tiger and Dynamite circle again as fans are fired up. Dynamite gets the wristlock but Tiger rolls, handsprings and wrenches. But Dynamite rolls, handsprings, and gets up and under! But Tiger lands on his feet! Things speed up now, and Dynamite elbows Tiger down. Dynamite runs but Tiger avoids the elbow drop. Tiger kicks, Dynamite blocks, but Tiger hits a spin back kick! Dynamite backs off and MSG is thunderous already!
Tiger and Dynamite circle and tie up, and Tiger headlocks. Tiger spins and spins and gets a drop toehold! Fans are shocked to see someone so fast. Tiger wrenches Dynamite’s legs but Dynamite gets the ropebreak. The ref helps Tiger untangle the legs and the two go again. Dynamite clubs away on Tiger’s back then drags him up for uppercuts. Tiger is on the ropes as Dynamite clubs away. Dynamite scoop slams Tiger, and leaps for a FLYING knee drop! Cover, TWO! Dynamite drags Tiger up and gut wrench suplexes! Cover, TWO! Dynamite drags Tiger up to snapmare into a chinlock. Tiger endures the grind so Dynamite shifts to a headscissor. Tiger keeps his shoulders up and then moves around. He hops and hops and pops free! Dynamite is just as shocked as the fans!
Tiger and Dynamite circle again and Dynamite kicks low. Dynamite headbutts and CHOPS Tiger down! Dynamite drags Tiger up to suplex high and hard! But he can’t make the cover, he has to shake out the cobwebs in his own head. Dynamite brings Tiger up, whips him to a corner, and then gut wrenches him on the return. But Tiger arm-drags out and then hits a rolling sobat! Dynamite ends up in a corner and Tiger runs in to tiger wall kick! And then back drop and dropkick Dynamite out of the ring! Tiger runs to use the Tiger Feint! Fans are thunderous for this amazing display! Dynamite catches his breath and returns, and circles with Tiger again. Dynamite stays in a corner and Tiger patiently waits. The two circle again, and Dynamite gets a takedown.
Dynamite wrenches the toehold but Tiger endures. Tiger keeps his shoulders off the mat, but Dynamite completes the deathlock. Dynamite forgets his shoulders are also in play, and he sits up at ONE. Tiger endures as Dynamite cranks harder on the legs. Dynamite lets him go to put him in a corner. Dynamite clubs away then whips, to hit the kitchen sink knee! Tiger goes down but fans rally up. Dynamite whips Tiger again, but Tiger sees the knee coming. Tiger blocks, but gets a BIG enziguri! Dynamite drags Tiger back up, scoops for a slam, then heads to the top rope! Fans fire up as Dynamite LEAPS, but his headbutt FLOPS! Tiger clears the cobwebs out of his head, and brings Dynamite up. Tiger suplexes and drops Dynamite, then goes to the top rope himself. MOONSAULT! Cover, Tiger Mask wins!
Winner: Tiger Mask, by pinfall
That came outta nowhere! Tiger Mask holds up his title belt, but it is clear why both men are the legends they are today!
5/8/2019 – NXT UK Tag Team Championships: The Grizzled Young Veterans VS Kenny Williams & Noam Dar!
Gibson takes a mic to speak, even as fans taunt, “If you hate Gibson, shoes~ off~!” Gibson has heard “from a very reliable source” that Amir is injured. So unfortunately, there will be no tag team title match tonight! Gibson’s dressed to compete and is just as upset as the fans on. So put the shoes back on, pick up your belongings, and head home. Fans do nothing of the sort. Gibson shouts that there will be NO fairy tale ending, Kenny won’t get his title shot because- Wait, here comes Kenny Williams!
Kenny has a mic of his own to tell Gibson & Drake that Amir is hurt. But the GYV know exactly what happened, don’t they? But there is STILL going to be an NXT UK Tag Team Championship match, because Kenny’s lucky enough to have other friends. It’s the Scottish Supernova, Noam Dar! It’s a double dose of Scotland’s own! Will this #LuckySupernovaInTheSky end the inaugural run of Mr. Mayhem & Liverpool’s Number One?
Glasgow sings and then cheer as Dar and Kenny go after both Grizzled Young Veterans! The fight is on and Glasgow is thunderous for the hometown heroes! Gibson & Drake are furious while the ref restores order. The bell rings and it’s just a brawl! The ref insists they go to 1v1 but the fight spills out of the ring. Gibson and Drake fight Dar and Williams respectively but not respectfully! Gibson and Dar go one way while Drake and Williams go the other way. Dar rocks Gibson while Drake rocks Williams. Dar bounces Gibson off the apron while Williams headbutts Drake back. Fans “RAR!” with Dar and fire up with Williams. Dar throws Gibson into barriers while Kenny CHOPS Drake.
Dar puts Gibson in the ring but Drake rams Kenny into barriers. Gibson gets up but gets a dropkick from Dar! Dar throat chops, headbutts and uppercuts Gibson to a corner! Glasgow is thunderous for their hometown boys, but NXT UK takes a break.
NXT UK returns as Drake clubs Dar on the back. Dar tries to bring Drake to the Scottish corner but Drake pushes back. Fans now taunt Gibson with “Gibson is a Helmet! Lalala~!” Drake clubs Dar but Dar spins out to sweep the legs! Dar hot tags Kenny! Kenny rallies on GYV with forearms! He focuses on Drake and whips, but Drake reverses, only for Kenny to hurdle and springboard! Kenny crossbodies and rains rights down on Drake! Glasgow fires up with Kenny as he goes corner to corner for a big forearm smash! Drake denies the bulldog but Kenny comes back to get it anyway! Kenny springboard kicks Gibson away then chops Drake off his feet! Kenny aims at Gibson and wrecks him with a dropkick! But Drake intercepts Kenny as he skins the cat! Only to get a tornado DDT counter! Cover, TWO!!
Kenny was close but he keeps his focus. Kenny drags Drake up to a fireman’s carry but Drake fights out. Gibson gets Drake out of the ring but Kenny triangle springboard Trust Falls! Glasgow cheers for “NXT! NXT!” for giving us all this match! Kenny gets Drake back in and climbs up top. Drake stands and Kenny leaps for a BIG flying back elbow! Cover, TWO!! Drake lives but Kenny keeps on him. Kenny drags Drake up while fans taunt Gibson, but Drake gets Kenny with a backbreaker! Kenny and Drake tag in Dar and Gibson! Dar fires off on Gibson! Gibson shoves and kicks Dar’s bad leg out! But Dar dodges the boot to sweep the legs! Dar has Gibson but Gibson spins, only for Dar to drop toehold to a kneebar! Gibson flails and shouts as he endures Champagne Super Kneebar!
Gibson reaches and tags out to Drake! Drake stomps Dar and Gibson is free. He hobbles and Drake drags Dar up, but Kenny drags Gibson out! Kenny runs, dodges and springboards off barriers to back elbow Gibson down! Dar slips out to drag Drake down into another kneebar! Now Drake screams and shouts as he endures! Dar twists and pulls but Gibson returns! Kenny grabs Gibson for an ankle lock! And he grape vines! Dual submissions have both Grizzled Young Veterans! Glasgow is thunderous, but Gibson crawls to attack Dar! But then Dar takes it out on Drake while Kenny kicks at Gibson! Everyone runs out of steam, but then Kenny stands for a second wind! Gibson and Drake endure all over again! But Gibson rolls and shoves Kenny onto Dar! Dar lets Drake go and now the four men slowly stand.
Gibson CHOPS Kenny, Dar BOOTS Gibson but Drake enziguris Dar! All four men are down but Glasgow is loving this! Kenny rolls out of the ring while Dar gets to a corner. Drake hobbles up and goes after Dar but Dar cradles! TWO, but Drake gets Dar’s bad leg! Drake wants the Crab and gets it! Dar endures the Half Crab and crawls, but Kenny saves him from tapping! Gibson drags Kenny out but Kenny elbows him away. Kenny BOOTS Drake off Dar! Dar crawls to his corner but so does Drake. Hot tags to Gibson and Kenny, and Kenny fires off hands. Gibson gives uppercuts in return, but Kenny rebounds for a lunatic lariat! Gibson flounders and Kenny storms over, only to get an enziguri to the arm.
Dar gets Kenny out of the way as Gibson hops up and leaps, Dar takes the Ticket to Ride! Kenny runs at Gibson, wheelbarrow facebuster! Cover, TWO!! Gibson lives and Kenny can’t believe it! But Glasgow knows “This is Awesome!” Dar and Kenny regroup and drag Gibson up. Dar takes aim but Drake drags him out against the post! Drake swings the bad leg into the post! Kenny is in shock but Gibson gives a thumbs-up. Fans tell Drake he’s an “Ass Face!” but Kenny says bring it! Kenny hits Drake then uppercuts Gibson! But Drake tags in as Kenny runs, and Gibson blocks the wheelbarrow. Gibson holds Kenny for the #GritYourTeeth Dropkick! Kenny is a rag doll as Gibson gives him Helter Skelter! Drake climbs up for a 450 splash! Cover, Grizzled Young Veterans win!
Winners: The Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall (still NXT UK Tag Team Champions)
Whether or not Gibson & Drake took out Amir Jordan before this match, they managed to survive Kenny and Dar in the match.
We know that Scotland eventually gets these titles through Gallus, but will the Grizzled Young Veterans SOON come back for them?
El Ligero is next to share his pick.
The Luchador of Leeds actually has a favorite from the NXT UK Women’s Division. That division has gone from strength to strength since day one. His choice is the meteoric rise of two stars ready to take over the whole show.
NXT UK shares a highlight reel of Storm VS Kay Lee Ray at TakeOver: Cardiff. The grudge grew so intense and it all came to a head in the match. KLR knew Toni too well, and used it all to her advantage. Cardiff will always be where #ToniTime stopped and the Scary Queen of Scots took her throne. But Ligero’s pick is actually from just after TakeOver: Cardiff. Wales’ own Tegan Nox made her in-ring return against KLR. This is a rivalry that dates back to long before their time in the WWE, and KLR alone has defined women’s wrestling in the UK. Both of them “absolutely tore the house down” in that NXT UK main event.
10/3/2019 – Kay Lee Ray VS Tegan Nox!
The new NXT UK Women’s Champion didn’t appreciate being overshadowed by the return of the girl with the Shiniest Wizard. But Tegan didn’t appreciate KLR trying to get an attitude, so now they’ll face of 1v1 here tonight! Will the comeback of Team Kick’s Cardiff kid come to an end? Or will she score big on the new champion?
The bell rings and KLR circles with Tegan. Fans rally for the hometown hero and Tegan smiles because she knows it annoys KLR. They tie up and go around, but KLR pulls hair! KLR pulls Tegan to a corner like that, then SLAPS Tegan as she lets up. KLR eggs Tegan on, Tegan SLAPS back! Tegan trips KLR and rains down rights, but KLR slips away. Tegan dares KLR to get back in but the ref keeps her from rushing out. KLR slips in but runs into an arm-drag, and then a hip toss. Tegan choke grips but KLR breaks free. Tegan ducks the punch to shove and CHOP KLR down! She puts KLR in a corner for another CHOP, then snapmares KLR and goes up top. Fans cheer as Tegan crossbodies! Cover, TWO! KLR bails out again, and NXT UK goes to break.
NXT UK returns and Tegan climbs up top now, but slowly. KLR stands, Tegan leaps, cannonball senton! Cover, TWO! KLR survives Tegan’s take on the Molly-Go-Round! Tegan is furious but fans are rallying up behind her. Tegan is up, takes aim, and runs, but her Shiniest Wizard misses! SUPERKICK from KLR! KLR underhooks and picks Tegan up, but Tegan sunset flips! Cover, TWO!! KLR is relieved but she gets a SUPERKICK from Tegan! Tegan covers, TWO!! KLR survives and Tegan is losing her cool. Tegan gets her bad leg moving while KLR rolls to a corner. Tegan gets up and goes at KLR with a corner to corner whip. KLR reverses, and uses the corner for the tornado DDT! Cover, TWO, but into a GUILLOTINE! Tegan is caught, gasping, flailing, but rolling!
The two roll together towards ropes, but KLR rolls Tegan away! KLR squeezes tight and thrashes and clubs but Tegan endures. Tegan powers up, even with a bad leg, and SPINEBUSTERS KLR! KLR springs up to get it back on!! Tegan is caught again, flails and reaches, and gets a ropebreak with a foot! KLR clubs away but lets go at 4 in frustration. Fans are fired up for Tegan as KLR drags her up. KLR throws slapping palm strikes at the ropes, then whips Tegan across the way. Tegan reverses and CHOKE SLAMS outta nowhere! Cover, TWO!! Tegan is beside herself, but she won’t stop. Tegan hobbles over and up to the top, but KLR trips her up! KLR goes after the leg again! The ref counts but KLR lets up at 4. She boots Tegan off the top and Tegan hits the mat!
KLR takes the time to brag and pose before dragging Tegan up. KLR underhooks, brings Tegan up, but Tegan slips out to hit a DESTROYER!! Cover, TWO!? KLR survives a Welsh Destroyer, but fans are fired up for Tegan even more! Tegan aims, KLR sits up, Shiniest Wizard!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Positioning is all that saves KLR! Tegan stomps away in anger, then clubs away all the same. KLR shelters herself under the bottom rope, but Tegan joins her on the apron. Tegan runs in, but KLR dodges and the knee hits post! KLR clobbers Tegan in the ring, then drags her up. Underhooks, Gory lift, Gory Bomb! Cover, KLR wins!
Winner: Kay Lee Ray, by pinfall
The champion survives her return to the ring, but a win is still a win.
We know now that KLR also survives a Triple Threat in Blackpool, and then completely devastates Toni Storm in their I Quit match. Will the Scary Queen of Scots ever be knocked off her throne?
Next week, NXT UK relives an instant classic!
Speaking of TakeOver: Cardiff, prepare to relive the epic battle of Walter VS Tyler Bate for the NXT UK Championship! And “through the eyes” of both the Ring General and Big Strong Boy themselves!
A-Kid is next to give his pick.
“William Regal, Antonio Cesaro,” an amazing technical, emotional and just brutal match for the early days of NXT. AK remembers Regal’s promo from before the match, about how he cannot beat Cesaro in his prime. But Regal vowed to do it anyway, for his honor. That alone was key here. In the end, it is about heart. “And if this is the end, I honestly can’t think of a more noble way to go than being beaten by the ultimate competitor.” Two of the best ever doing what they do best, just for us to enjoy. Words don’t do it justice.
12/25/13 – William Regal VS Antonio Cesaro!
What an incredible pick from the Spanish Ace! Christmas Day 2013, in the EARLY days of the black ‘n’ yellow brand, and introduced by the now late, great Howard Finkel. This itself was an NXT Rewind special, and Sir Regal vowed to use every last drop of venom he had to take on the Swiss Superman.
The bell rings and fans are strongly on Regal’s side. Regal and Cesaro tie up, Cesaro wrenches and wristlocks but Regal rolls and wrenches back. Regal hooks a leg but Cesaro wrangles him down. Cesaro tortures the fingers but Regal kips up and arm-drags! Cesaro still has the wrist and uses that to bring Regal back down. Regal rolls back and kips up again! Regal brings Cesaro to a knee and fans chant, “You Still Got It!” Cesaro endures the chinbar, he and Regal fight for wrist control back and forth, but Regal digs forearms in. The two go back and forth, and though NXT took a break back then, NXT UK skips right ahead.
Regal has Cesaro down on his knees in a straitjacket stretch. Cesaro endures but Regal bends him back in a straitjacket surfboard! Then he rolls Cesaro onto the mat. Cesaro fights his way up and powers out to arm-drag Regal away. Both men take a moment to catch their breath and get to their feet. Fans cheer, “This is Wrestling!” as the two circle again. Regal and Cesaro feel out the grapple, go with knuckle locks, and then go shoulder to shoulder. Regal pushes Cesaro back to then get a cravat. He snapmares Cesaro but Cesaro bridges up. Cesaro wants to snapmare but Regal resists. Cesaro still gets Regal up, holds him then, then slams him down! Cover, ONE! Cesaro pries the hold off, and fans rally up as they end up in a corner. Cesaro throws hands but Regal gives forearms back!
The ref counts and Regal backs off, but sneaks in mule kicks. Regal “apologizes” but Cesaro is up and CHOP BLOCKS! Cesaro stomps Regal then drags him to the apron. Cesaro SLAMS the leg on the apron! The ref reprimands but Cesaro keeps on the bad leg at the ropes. And again, while NXT took a break back then, NXT UK skips ahead to action.
Cesaro drags Regal up and throws European Uppercuts from all sides! Fans count all the way to 9, and then Cesaro adds some power to the tenth! Fans cheer that out of respect, but Cesaro drags Regal around. Regal kicks but Cesaro grabs both legs. Cesaro starts the SWISS SWING! Around and around they go, and the fans count to 10 before Cesaro sends Regal flying! Fans again have to cheer out of respect for that incredible feat. Cesaro kneels by Regal with a smirk. Regal reaches for Cesaro but Cesaro pulls on Regal’s ear! Cesaro brings Regal up and in, Gotch holds, but Regal back drops out! And drops a knee on the arm! Regal gets to ropes and flounders to a corner. Cesaro runs in but Regal boots him back!
Regal wrings Cesaro out, then jams the arm. Regal jams the other arm, making sure Cesaro doesn’t have either. Fans rally behind Regal and Regal drags Cesaro in for EuroUppers of his own. Regal uses a T-BONE SUPLEX to throw Cesaro! Fans rally again as Regal gets back to his feet. Regal aims from a corner, but his leg slows him down. Cesaro HEADBUTTS Regal! Regal KNEES Cesaro back! Regal shakes out his bad leg and hobbles to Cesaro. He drags Cesaro up by his ear and underhooks. Regal tries but Cesaro resists the suplex. Cesaro shovels Regal up, and bridges back for a modified Northern Lights! Cover, TWO as Regal tips over! Regal shifts from arms to the legs, and has them locked.
Regal reaches up for the arm, but Cesaro wriggles around. Cesaro gets the ropebreak! Regal lets off in frustration, but fans are still rallying. Cesaro DROPKICKS outta nowhere! Cesaro gets his arms back in place, then runs, to DOUBLE STOMP Regal’s HEAD!! Regal might be completely out! Cesaro stays back as the ref checks and Regal stirs. Cesaro almost doesn’t want to do this, but he hauls Regal up. Regal is a lot of dead weight, but Cesaro still gets him in place. Cesaro is conflicted, and he lets Regal fall to the mat. But Regal revives and starts clawing his way back up. Fans rally for Regal, but Cesaro finishes him off! NEUTRALIZER!! Cover, Cesaro wins!
Winner: Antonio Cesaro, by pinfall
The Swiss Superman got the fight of his life out of the British icon, and came out on top. And to show his respect, he helps Regal up the ramp, and even shakes his hand.
NXT UK ends on this epic flashback, and Andy Shepherd thanks Mastiff, Williams, Ligero and A-Kid for their amazing picks.
I came in expecting this NXT UK superstars pick episode to be solely about NXT UK, but I am pleasantly surprised to see it was more than that. In fact, this was a great episode because of those classic moments we got to see! I had never seen Tiger Mask VS Dynamite Kid, but it was incredible. And it is so clear where so much of today’s generation of wrestlers get their moves from just watching that. Also, I loved seeing Regal VS Cesaro. That was a match from both before I was doing coverage like this, and from before I was really watching NXT. I clearly remember Real Americans “We The People” Cesaro, but not that Christmas Day match with Regal. That was incredible stuff to see in the present.
The material from NXT UK was great to relive, too. Dar and Williams had their kayfabe fallout with each other shortly after that, which in retrospect seems like a shame. I would love to see more of Dar and Williams teaming together, but that moment in Glasgow was great. KLR VS Nox was a solid choice, and in another case of retrospect, I wish WWE had found a way to wait on a Team Kick break-up. Dakota and Nox were both in NXT UK for a minute, they should’ve been teaming together for a few weeks on-air, and who knows what else could’ve happened. And next week, a huge focus on probably my favorite match of all NXT UK at least, Walter VS Bate, man that’s going to be fun.
My Score: 8.4/10