Relive NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II’s Women’s Triple Threat!
NXT UK continues to look back at its Most Brilliant matches and moments! This time, the spotlight is on the NXT UK Women’s Division!
- 4/10/19 – NXT UK Women’s Championship: Toni Storm VS Jinny; Storm wins and retains the NXT UK Women’s Championship.
- 7/3/19 – Piper Niven VS Rhea Ripley; Niven wins.
- 1/12/20 – NXT UK Women’s Championship Triple Threat: Kay Lee Ray VS Toni Storm VS Piper Niven; KLR wins and retains the NXT UK Women’s Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Andy Shepherd again welcomes us to NXT UK.
The latest episode in this retrospective series takes a look at three good friends turned opponents, turned enemies.
It was the 2018 Mae Young Classic, and Toni Storm blitzed through the competition. From old foes to bright new stand outs, and even a living legend of Japanese Joshi wrestling, the Lightning from Down Under would be victorious in the finals against Io Shirai at WWE Evolution. And though she lost to Rhea Ripley in the NXT UK Women’s Championship Tournament, she would get her redemption at the original NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool! #ToniTime finally began, and would fight her way through those same familiar foes. The Spoiled Princess, Jinny, was a fierce competitor, and Toni’s first hurdle as a new and #ShinyShiny champion.
4/10/19 – NXT UK Women’s Championship: Toni Storm VS Jinny!
The two fire off right at the bell with furious hands! Jinny rocks Toni with a right then stomps her around the way! Toni hits back fast with palm strikes and a kick. Toni runs but Jinny blocks. Jinny swings but Toni dodges. Toni speeds up and redirects to dropkick Jinny down. Cover, TWO! Toni keeps on Jinny going after the legs and getting a Half Crab! Fans taunt the “Spoiled Princess!” but Jinny endures. Jinny claws towards ropes but Toni switches to a figure four STF! Jinny still claws her way forward and she gets the ropebreak. Toni lets go but with a little stomp at the legs. Jinny gets in the corner and Toni runs in but Jinny boots her back. Jinny runs but Toni flips her. Toni underhooks but Jinny escapes to dragon screw Toni down! Jinny rolls Toni over for her seated surfboard!
Toni endures now as Jinny pulls back. Fans rally up and Toni pries a hand free. Toni crawls for the ropes but Jinny pulls back on the other arm. Toni gets that arm free so Jinny lets go to drag her away. Jinny pulls Toni into a camel clutch and leans back! Toni endures but fans rally up, and Toni powers through to rolls Jinny into her own surfboard! Toni pulls Jinny back as hard as she can and starts rocking. Fans sing for Toni but Jinny pries out. Toni stomps Jinny but Jinny claws forward again. Jinny gets the ropebreak and Toni lets her go. Fans cheer as Toni backs off and Jinny gets to a corner. Toni goes in but Jinny bumps her into buckles. Jinny throws Toni to then huricanrana her to a corner!
Jinny runs in but Toni dodges. Toni runs back in, but into a buckle shot! Jinny drags Toni to a corner, TWO! Jinny grows frustrated so she ax kicks Toni down again and again. She drags Toni up and whips her for a forearm to the back. Jinny does it again to the other side, then again to a third side. Toni elbows back but walks into a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Toni survives but Jinny keeps on her with more ax kicks! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for “Toni, Toni, Toni! OI OI OI!” but Jinny pulls Toni back in a half camel clutch. Toni powers up and out to throw body shots. Toni spins and whips Jinny to a corner, but Jinny Japanese arm-drags her into buckles! Cover, TWO!
Jinny drags Toni up to stomp her back down, then wraps her up in a chinlock. Toni endures being thrashed around and fans rally up. Toni fights up but Jinny wrangles her back down. Jinny grinds but Toni reaches, only to get dragged into body scissors. Toni reaches and flails but Jinny holds on tight. Fans rally again and Toni gets out of the body scissors. Jinny spins her around to SLAP her! Jinny stands Toni for more slaps, but Toni catches her into a German Suplex! Toni holds onto the waistlock for a second German! Toni holds on still, but Jinny blocks the third! They roll through, Toni gets the third German after all!
Fans fire up with Toni as Jinny crawls to a corner. Toni runs in for a hip attack! She drags Jinny up for underhooks but Jinny blocks and powers Toni to a corner. Jinny rams her shoulder in then puts Toni’s legs on the ropes. Draping facebuster! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Toni’s foot touches the rope even as she’s upside-down! Jinny is furious and says Toni Time is over. Jinny underhooks Toni, but Jinny slips out for a HEADBUTT! Cover, TWO!! Jinny survives but both she and Toni are reeling. Fans rally again as both women head for each other. Toni forearms and Jinny responds, and now it’s a brawl. They go back and forth as fans sing for Toni, and Toni CHOPS Jinny. Jinny swings but Toni dodges. Jinny blocks the kick to throw her down for a knee!
Toni gets to a corner and goes up and over. Toni gets Jinny but Jinny standing switches only to get an elbow. Jinny headscissors but Toni blocks with strength! Toni powerbombs Jinny, then rolls her around for underhooks, Storm Zero!! Cover, Toni wins!
Winner: Toni Storm, by pinfall; still NXT UK Women’s Champion
The Storm weathers the Fierce Fashionista to stay on top! Toni denies Jinny her throne, but we know in the present that #ToniTime was already starting a countdown to the end.
NXT UK returns and profiles the rise of Kay Lee Ray.
The Lightning from Down Under needed a contender. KLR was ripping her way through the roster and up the ranks. But there was still the former champion, Rhea Ripley, and the newest dominator in Piper Niven! Piper took the fight to “the most dominant woman in NXT UK,” and they would all battle it out in the battle royal. KLR would win the battle and call her shot, but nothing was settled between the Aussie Nightmare and the Scottish Viper.
7/3/19 – Piper Niven VS Rhea Ripley!
Rhea storms to the ring and grabs Andy Shepherd’s mic. She tells Piper that they’ve been going back and forth for weeks now, and Rhea is sick of it! Rhea will not let Piper think she’s the most dominant woman. So instead of waiting for later, let’s do this right now! Fans love the sound of that, and Piper makes her way out! NXT UK opens with another match that’s been a long time coming! Piper gets in the ring and right in Rhea’s face! The two jaw and the ref hurries in to keep them back. The bell rings and it begins!
Rhea punches but Piper counters! Piper fires off forearms but Rhea kicks low. Rhea clubs away but Piper fights back with body shots. Rhea powers Piper to a corner, pulling hair. The ref counts but Rhea stomps until 4! Piper comes out with a crossbody! Piper drags Rhea up to whip then clothesline Rhea out! Rhea bumps barriers on her way down, but the ref checks. Rhea is fine to continue, and Piper waits. The ring count begins and climbs to 5 but Piper goes out to fetch Rhea. Piper drags Rhea up by her hair, but Rhea hotshots then drags out Piper. Rhea rams Piper into the apron edge! Piper is down while Rhea shakes the cobwebs out. Rhea stomps Piper then clubs her down. The count returns to 5 so Rhea refreshes it.
Rhea stomps Piper then clubs her against barriers. Piper hits back as the count is again at 5. Piper brings Rhea up but Rhea slips out to shove her into a post! The count reaches 7 but Rhea puts Piper in. Rhea covers, ONE! Rhea is furious so she stomps Piper. Rhea clubs and kicks Piper then drags her up to throw her. Piper ends up in a corner but Rhea stomps a mudhole. Fans duel and rally but Rhea lets up at 4. Rhea drags Piper up and throws big forearms. Piper fights from her knees and waistlocks to a roll-up! TWO, and Rhea clotheslines Piper back down! Fans still duel as Rhea puts Piper in body scissors. Rhea squeezes tight and then clubs away on Piper’s back. Piper refuses to quit and the fans refuse to stop dueling.
Piper works her way back up and elbows Rhea back. She gets free and Rhea staggers away, but comes back with a dropkick! Piper hits the mat then gets to a corner. Rhea gloats but Piper runs out to shotgun dropkick her down! Piper fires up and goes to the corner. Piper climbs as fans rally. Rhea trips Piper up! Piper hits buckles on the way down! Rhea covers, TWO! Piper still lives and Rhea grows frustrated. Rhea shoves Piper around then stomps her down. Rhea grabs the legs, laces them together, and lifts for the inverted cloverleaf! Piper props herself up but she still endures some of the leglock. She crawls to a ropebreak! Rhea lets go but the damage is done. Rhea grimaces as she kicks Piper. She slaps Piper all around then drags Piper up.
“You think you’re good?! Huh!?” Rhea is not impressed, and she SLAPS Piper against the ropes! She goes to whip but Piper holds on! Piper reverses the whip for a saido suplex! Both women are down but the fans fire up for “NXT! NXT!” Piper and Rhea stir and head for each other. They each grab the other but Piper reels Rhea in for a clothesline! Rhea stays up to return the favor! Piper stays up and clotheslines again, but so does Rhea. Back and forth they go, until Piper ducks to reel Rhea back out. But Rhea kick slow and pump handles, but Piper slips out to headbutt! Rhea falls down and into a corner, Piper runs in but misses. Piper dodges Rhea and Rhea gets post! Piper CANNONBALLS to Rhea’s back! But she’s not done there, she scoops Rhea for a Michinoku Driver! Cover, Piper wins!
Winner: Piper Niven, by pinfall
The dominant woman is the Viper, Piper Niven! Since then, Rhea has moved on to become the first and only woman to have held both NXT UK and prime NXT Women’s Championships, and is raring to go after Charlotte Flair again. Will Piper be able to match her rival’s resume in the near future?
But this is when Kay Lee Ray’s mind games began.
Having been Toni’s friend in the past, she knew everything about Toni, including what would push her buttons and fray her nerves. Toin couldn’t understand what happened to KLR. The woman who was the first to help someone is now the first person to hurt someone. And Toni was sick of it. But KLR says Toni should blame Toni why she has no friends, her family doesn’t talk to her, and her own father left! And that was when KLR sprang the real trap. She challenged Toni for the title at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff! And when that match finally happened, on the biggest night in NXT UK history to that point, the gamble paid off, and KLR ended #ToniTime.
NXT UK has more Hidden Gems!
Next week, we will see for the first time on air, matches involving the Grizzled Young Veterans, Nina Samuels, Matt Riddle, Finn Balor, The Street Profits, Rhea Ripley and Travis Banks! It will be a whole new level of #WorldsCollide with these matches!
NXT UK Prime Target: Blackpool II.
Piper Niven looks back at when she and KLR were friends. “If you’re in, I’m in. Wherever you go, I go.” That is how they were for the first part of their careers. It is why they traveled the world together, and why they both came to NXT UK. For those first few days, it was amazing. The three were reunited and it was amazing. But then as time went by, Piper could see the differences. Was it the competitive spirit? Was it someone wanting to be the alpha? Either way, her two friends were moving further and further apart. Toni notes that Piper has been like a sister to her. And so was KLR. They were all together, and it made Toni question who she could trust. “All I’ve got is me.” Piper should be happy that she’s having her first TakeOver match, and that it’s for the title against KLR and Toni. But she’s not because she doesn’t know who Toni and KLR have become. She doesn’t recognize those two strangers in the ring with her.
Nigel McGuinness says there’s a lot to be excited about for the Triple Threat. The former champion, Toni, lost because KLR got in her head. KLR pushed Toni too far. Piper says KLR is the worst for doing all that. KLR won’t stop, she’s just this “horrible, manipulative” person. KLR says she found a way of getting what she wants. And it’s not about looking out for others. It’s about looking out for her. Toni says the title was everything to her, and then it was taken away from someone she once trusted. Piper knows that ever since Toni lost, she’s not the same person anymore. Toni doesn’t want friends, she wants her title. Toni even asked Piper to step aside in the match! Piper said no, and a new rift was torn. KLR barely has to do anything this time. It shows how fragile Toni’s friendship really was.
Toni says she doesn’t have anything else. This does define her. The others don’t need this as much as she does. No one needs this as much as she does. Piper says it is like committing yourself to anything else. There will be hardships and sacrifices, but that is the test of how much you really want it. There are days when even Piper doesn’t want to do it. Piper’s darkest days were after she lost her best friend, who was an amazing wrestler and like a big brother. They spurred each other on. He’d check in on her every week. How much he wanted to be here and how she’s carrying on his dreams is what keeps her going. But the name plates don’t read “Toni Storm.” They read KLR. And they will NEVER read Piper Niven. At Blackpool, KLR vows to retain and cement her legacy on top of all the other broken dreams.
1/12/20 – NXT UK Women’s Championship Triple Threat: Kay Lee Ray VS Toni Storm VS Piper Niven!
Finally, we arrive at THE moment. This is NXT UK’s Most Brilliant, the night the brand took over Blackpool again, and pit three forces of nature against each other!
On video commentary, KLR says she’s going to let us in on something that not a lot of people know. The day after WarGames, just a couple months before this match, KLR went to Birmingham, Alabama for surgery. She knew that if she was going to retain her title in a Triple Threat, she needed to be at 100%. This puts things in a new perspective for how serious this match was for all three women!
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and before a bell rings, Toni DECKS KLR and stomps on her! We hear from Toni on video commentary now, and she says she wasn’t going to waste any time in this match. She would not wait around. Looking at what KLR put her through, it was more than just being the champion again. This was personal, real stuff that messed with her head. So naturally, she aimed right for KLR.
In the match, Piper pulls Toni off, this match needs to start. The bell rings and KLR bails out! So Piper scoops Storm, but Storm slips out and goes after KLR! KLR is ready and kicks Storm to then throw her into barriers! Piper builds speed to DIVE onto KLR! Fans fire up as Piper stands tall. Piper then CANNONBALLS into Toni at the barriers! And then CANNONBALLS into KLR at the steel steps! Piper took some damage from that one but she storms over to Toni. Piper puts Toni in but KLR trips Piper up! Piper hits apron then the floor, but Toni goes after KLR! KLR and Toni scrap, but Piper SENTONS onto them both! Cover on KLR, TWO!
Piper speaks here via video commentary to say that after seeing Toni go right after KLR, it made Piper angry. She felt like she was being pushed aside. Those two were just like children fighting over one toy. So she decided to get in there and show them this is her match, too, and not let anyone underestimate her again.
In the match, Toni bails out of the ring while fans rally back up. Piper looms over KLR and brings her up. KLR claws at Piper’s face! KLR puts Piper in a corner for a CHOP! KLR poses but Toni DECKS her again! Toni stomps KLR but Piper hurries over. Toni ROCKS Piper and then throws hands on KLR again. Toni underhooks but KLR resists. Piper CROSSBODIES Toni down! Piper goes to KLR but gets a SUPERKICK! KLR stomps Toni and chokes her against the ropes. KLR drags Toni up but Toni waistlocks to GERMAN SUPLEX! Toni fires up and goes after KLR in the corner. KLR SUPERKICKS back then uses ropes to tornado DDT! Cover on Toni, but Piper breaks it! KLR clubs Piper in frustration as fans rally up again. KLR paces about before stomping Toni in the corner. There’s no disqualifications but KLR still lets up to focus on Piper. KLR SLAPS Piper, but Piper hits back. KLR clubs Piper on the back then brings her around.
Piper resists the Gory Bomb to then scoop KLR. KLR slips out, shoves Piper into Toni, but Piper ROCKS KLR! Toni waistlocks but Piper fights the German Suplex. KLR SUPERKICKS Piper into Toni’s GERMAN! Toni swings on KLR but gets caught into a Gourd Buster! KLR grabs Piper up but Piper SAIDO SUPLEXES! All three women are down but Blackpool is fired up! The referee checks but all three are okay to continue. Fans rally and sing as the three slowly stir. KLR gets away so Piper and Toni glare at each other. They fire up and start brawling with big forearms! KLR knocks them into each other! KLR kicks Toni down then grinds her boots in again. KLR takes a moment to catch her breath while fans rally again. Another video message from KLR here as she says, “I’m not naive. All of us knew there was No Disqualifications.” Anyone could’ve made the next move, but only KLR was willing to do it. In the match,
Back in the match, KLR goes under the ring to bring out a chair! No disqualifications, remember? KLR brings the chair in while Piper and Toni stir. KLR grinds the chair’s edge into Toni’s head! And then uses the other end to choke Piper! Fans boo but KLR grins as she looms over Toni. KLR puts the chair down and drags Toni up. KLR puts the chair on Toni’s head like a brace! Fans boo as KLR grins, but Piper POUNCES KLR away! It’s here we hear from Piper again, and she says that while everything is fair in love and war, but KLR going to crush Toni like that, Piper just had to do something. She had to do something for her friend. Maybe Piper wasn’t as ready as she thought she was. If she let KLR crush Toni, Piper could’ve won. But what kind of champion would she be if she had to stand on a friend’s neck to get there?
Piper saves Toni but Toni has the chair now. Toni looks at Piper then at KLR. It’s here that Toni notes how having the chair felt. She was saved by Piper when no one had to, and so she just stared at Piper. Toni couldn’t do what KLR would do, either. And then there was a moment of the two being friends again, and KLR was the real enemy. Back in the match, KLR crawls away to the apron so Toni looks at Piper. Piper looks back and fans are divided. Piper dares Toni to do it! But then KLR stands up, and Toni BOOTS her! Piper throws KLR in but KLR flounders out. Toni DIVES onto KLR! Piper is on the apron, she CANNONBALLS onto KLR! Fans cheer as all three women are down again!
Toni stirs and heads for KLR to give headbutts. Fans rally up as Toni puts KLR in. Piper and Toni argues for a moment, KLR FLIES off the top rope! They all crash into the barriers! Fans shout “MAMMA MIA!” for Mauro since he’s in the States. We hear from KLR again, and she says that watching it back, that was the scariest moment. Her surgery helped her feel 100%, and she was not phased. Hearing the sound and thinking of what could’ve happened, it is very scary but she is very fortunate nothing bad happened. Back in the match, KLR puts Toni in and grits her teeth as she climbs back up. Toni gets up and gives KLR headbutts and forearms. Toni climbs up but Piper joins in! Piper has Toni in the powerbomb, to SIT-OUT BOMB! Cover, but KLR SWANTONS in to break it up! Piper gets KLR up, blocks the huricanrana, and BOMBS KLR now! Toni is out of the ring as Piper scoops and MICHINOKU DRIVERS KLR down!! Cover, TWO!! KLR still lives and fans are loving this!
The dueling begins again as Piper stalks after KLR. KLR crawls to the ropes but Piper drags her away. Piper brings KLR up, scoops again, but KLR slips out and rakes the eyes! Gory Especial, GORY BOMB!! Cover but Toni stops the ref!! The ref is upset but there are no disqualifications! We hear from Toni here, she knew she had to save Piper from the finish. But she was outside, so what could she do? She spotted the ref, and in a split second, she blocked his count. It was to keep the match alive. KLR DIVES to wipe Toni out! KLR drags Piper up, hops on, but Piper blocks the sunset flip to hit a DESTROYER of her own!! Toni returns to capitalize! KLR speaks now, saying this is a pivotal moment in the match. The Destroyer left them vulnerable, the fans are going nuts. By the time the ref is calling for the count, everyone was on their feet. And that is when KLR knew they all wanted her ot lose. So she didn’t want to win just to retain. She wanted to win to spite everyone else, and then enjoy the heat.
Back in the match, Toni stomps Piper, underhooks KLR, STORM ZERO!! Cover, but Piper breaks it in time!! Blackpool is thunderous for “NXT! NXT!” Toni, meanwhile, is furious, so she takes it out on KLR with stomps. Then Toni rains down angry rights on Piper! Fans still sing for Toni as she drags KLR back up, and she underhooks KLR. STORM DRIVER ONTO PIPER! Then Toni drags Piper up, to underhook Piper, but Piper powers up! Toni kicks her legs, Storm gets a modified Pedigree! Cover, TWO!! Piper survives but Toni heads up top. Toni aims and leaps, FROG SPLASH! SUPERKICK from KLR! KLR takes advantage and covers Piper, KLR WINS!
Winner: Kay Lee Ray, by pinfall; still NXT UK Women’s Champion
It was divide and conquer, and that is what she did! The Lethal Lass holds onto the title, having turned friends into enemies.
Piper speaks again, saying she didn’t realize how high the stakes were until it was over. She thought she could win the title and maybe then get her friends to be her friends again. But none of that happened. Piper lost, didn’t win the title, and lost both her friends. She doesn’t think there’s any coming back from this. KLR meanwhile says that she arrived that night. She not only retained, but she crushed the dreams of Toni and Piper. For anyone who has the audacity to doubt her, she crushed those dreams, too. Will the venom only spread the longer KLR holds the gold?
I didn’t expect this version of #MostBrilliant to be quite like this. We got more match replays than I expected, but it was good to relive the rise of Toni, Piper and KLR, as well as a few of the other women of the NXT UK Women’s Division. It was also a really great, in-depth look at the three as the real-life friends and how (at least in kayfabe) they were all turned against each other by the desire of the title and determination to be the best. And I was pleased to hear the commentary from the superstars involved, just like we got out of Tyler Bate and Walter for their Cardiff match.
KLR sharing that info about going to WWE’s favorite surgeons in Alabama was an enlightening revelation. And as KLR said herself, that Swanton to the outside was the scariest thing for everyone. But moving forward, there is still a lot of story for KLR and Piper to tell against each other after that I Quit match with KLR and Toni. If done right, I’m pretty sure Piper could win that title off KLR at the next UK TakeOver.
My Score: 8.1/10