The stars of NXT UK share their favorites!
NXT UK once again relives some of the greatest matches of the past! Will these Superstar Picks be among your favorites list?
- Great American Bash 2006 – WWE United States Championship: Finlay VS William Regal; Finlay wins and retains the WWE United States Championship.
- NXT UK 11/28/18 – NXT UK Women’s Championship Tournament Finals: Toni Storm VS Rhea Ripley; Ripley wins and becomes the inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion.
- SummerSlam 1992 – WWF Intercontinental Championship: Bret Hart VS The British Bulldog; The British Bulldog wins and becomes the new WWF Intercontinental Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Adam Shepherd welcomes us back to NXT UK.
Once again, the stage is given to the superstars to pick the matches that influenced their careers, but with a twist! It is a championship edition, where every match chosen has a title on the line! First up, the Thunderstorm, Sam Gradwell! Gradwell chooses William Regal VS Finlay from the Great American Bash! Both men’s careers are full of “absolute classics,” and any time they collided with each other, you just knew they’d smash each other’s heads in. And that was no different when the WWE United States Championship was on the line! But the reason Gradwell chose this match in particular is because it wasn’t the advertised match on the card. This was a surprise to the world, because it was supposed to be Bobby Lashley, but he had to be pulled from the match because of a liver condition.
Teddy Long was General Manager at the time, and he assured Lashley that the WWE was thinking of his long term health. “It’s the doctor’s orders, Bobby.” Long made the decision to then pit Finlay against long time friend and rival, William Regal. Gradwell being a huge fan of both men and knowing their history, this was going to be a proper scrap. That and the following torment from Hornswoggle, you’d have to have no soul not to be entertained. Sit back and enjoy, “ya bunch of yoghurts.”
Great American Bash 2006 – WWE United States Championship: William Regal VS Finlay!
Teddy Long promised the fans a championship match and that’s what’s gonna happen! He knows Finlay and Regal are great friends, but they are still going to go 1v1! Regal and Finlay didn’t want to but they have no choice. The match starts NOW!
JBL is furious on commentary but the fans are already loving this. Regal and Finlay circle but Regal wants to make sure Hornswoggle isn’t around. Regal goes looking, and there’s a green light from under the ring… The ring count climbs so Regal returns and circles with Finlay. Regal and Finlay agree, they shouldn’t do this. But then Finlay rolls Regal up! ONE, and Regal ROCKS Finlay with a haymaker! Finlay and Regal tie up, go around, and Finlay has Regal in a corner. Regal puts Finlay in another corner, and then the two spill out of the ring. The ref reprimands them as they go around the way with their collar and elbow. They even go up the steps to the apron! Finlay leads things back into the ring but Regal powers him to a corner. The ref counts but Regal ROCKS Finlay again!
Finlay and Regal tie up, Regal trips Finlay up and has a standing toehold. Finlay pops up and spins to throw Regal away! The fans cheer that creative escape but Regal checks his arm. Regal and Finlay tie up again. Finlay headlocks but Regal puts him on the ropes. The ref counts but Regal powers Finlay off, only for Finlay to run him over! Regal is up quick but Finlay headlocks. Regal powers Finlay off again then throws him out hard! Finlay hits th efloor but Regal puts him on the apron for European Uppercuts! But there’s Hornswoggle! The Leprechaun grabs Regal’s leg and uses the shillelagh! Regal runs away but Hornswoggle chases him with the shillelagh! Regal stands on the steps to look for Hornswoggle, but Hornswoggle appears behind him! Regal freaks out, runs into the ring and Finlay is after him with forearms and a lariat! Cover, TWO!
Finlay clamps onto Regal’s shoulders and brings him to his knees. Finlay drives in an elbow then throws a stiff EuroUpper! Regal kicks low and throws a EuroUpper back. It’s a EuroUpper brawl! Back and forth between the two, Finlay and Regal even keep going as they drop to their knees. Finlay pokes Regal in the eye! And rolls him up, TWO! Finlay keeps his cool as he looms over Regal. Finlay brings Regal up to bump him off buckles and headbutt him low. Finlay whips Regal corner to corner hard and Regal falls to the mat. The fans chant, “We Want Lashley!” but Regal kicks Finlay away. Finlay stomps Regal down, then brings Regal up to whip to a corner. Regal boots back then underhooks for a butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO!
Regal sees Hornswoggle and runs him off. But he gets caught under the apron! Hornswoggle is biting Regal’s fingers! Regal gets free but Finlay stomps the hands! Finlay headbutts low then slams the bad hand off buckles. Finlay wrenches and jams the fingers into the ropes! Regal kicks low then throws knees and EuroUppers. Regal goes to drop toehold but Finlay stays up. Regal kicks Finlay down and goes after him with a chinlock. Finlay sits up but Regal leans on the hold. Finlay endures as Regal grinds his face, and then kicks Regal off him! The fans jeer as Finlay throat chops. Finlay whips and CLOBBERS Regal, then drops a seated senton! Regal writhes but Finlay drags him out to the apron to SLAM him down! Regal flops off the apron and to the floor but Finlay brings him back up. Finlay RAMS Regal into the apron, then refreshes the count. Regal gets in and Finlay snapmares him to a chinlock.
Finlay leans on Regal now but fans rally up. Regal fights his way up and powers Finlay to a post. Finlay goes up and back but they both collide head to head! A standing count begins but Regal is up first. Regal stomps Finlay down and around and then stands on Finlay’s head. The ref counts, Regal drops to his knees to “plead” with the ref, but he’s still choking Finlay! The ref keeps counting so Regal lets off. Regal drags Finlay around to drop knees, then covers. TWO, but Regal tries again. TWO, so he tries again, ONE! Regal drags Finlay up to throw more EuroUppers! Regal whips and dropkicks Finlay down! Cover, TWO! Again, ONE! Regal grows frustrated and he scoops Finlay for an EXPLODER! Fans are divided as Regal runs to drop another knee! Cover, TWO!
Finlay is toughing it out but Regal brings him up to toss him out. Fans boo and jeer as Finlay flounders up. Regal grabs Finlay first to bump him off buckles! Finlay flops down but Regal leaps, into an apron skirt trap! Finlay fires off furious hands from all sides then headbutts! The ref reprimands and counts but Finlay stops at 4. Finlay wants to go back out after Regal but the ref keeps him in. Regal is stuck so Finlay goes out to throw haymakers and forearms! Finlay lets up at 4 again, but he just comes back for more. Regal finally gets free of the apron skirt and Finlay follows. Regal’s boot is missing and Finlay stomps that foot! Finlay throws hands in the corner but the ref tells him to back off. Finlay does, to come back and DECK Regal!
Finlay drags Regal up to whip him to the corner again. Regal dodges and Finlay POSTS himself! Regal rolls Finlay up, TWO!! Finlay barely escapes but Regal grabs the shillelagh! But Hornswoggle gives Finlay Regal’s boot! The ref takes the club away from Regal, but misses the BOOT SHOT! HIGH STACK, with the ROPES! Finlay wins!!
Winner: Finlay, by pinfall (still WWE United States Champion)
The Irishman who loves to fight did fight, but he may have had a wee bit of help. Hornswoggle takes the title belt from Finlay but Finlay takes it back and puts Hornswoggle back under the ring. We know in the present these two would go on to be infamous partners in crime, will we ever see either of them back in the WWE ring?
NXT UK hears from Noam Dar.
“I don’t really like to complain, it’s not something that I like doing often, and it certainly doesn’t come naturally to me. That being said, what I want is competition.” Dar’s abilities are not confined to the ring! He could beat Walter in a hot wing eating contest! Or beat Tyler Bate at Snakes ‘n’ Ladders. Tyler may not have the mental capacity for such a tough game but the pretty pictures help, and Dar will even give him time to read the rule book. Dar might even play cards with Jordan Devlin. Poker, Snap, Texas Hold ‘Em. But the point is, let’s find good, creative ways for Dar to win against these “dafties” and show that he’s the best. Thanks, bye.
NXT UK hears from Piper Niven.
We all know the Women’s Division has been stealing the spotlight. And none other than when there was the 8 Woman Tournament to crown THE NXT UK Women’s Champion. The Scottish Viper specifically chooses the finals. “This match is a war that shows exactly what the NXT UK Women’s Division is all about.” “Toni Storm and Rhea Ripley collide in a spectacular display of passion, determination, tenacity and valor, everything it takes to become a champion.”
NXT UK 11/28/18 – NXT UK Women’s Championship Tournament Finals: Toni Storm VS Rhea Ripley!
The Storm and the Riptide collide in a historic match we’ve been waiting weeks for! Both Aussies love to hit hard and rock ‘n’ roll, but only one will get the gold! Who went down in history as the first ever NXT UK Women’s Champion?
“Tonight, we make history.” The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Fans are on Toni’s side as they sing for her already. Toni and Rhea stare down, and Rhea talks trash. Rhea shoves Toni then strikes her pose. Toni fires off forearms! Toni fires off palm strikes and kicks then a boot! Rhea ends up in a corner, Toni hits her hip attack! Rhea slumps out of the ring but Toni takes aim. Toni builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit and Toni fires up! Rhea is reeling but Toni runs at her. Rhea dodges and Toni collides with the barriers! The ref counts as Rhea stomps a mudhole into Toni against the barriers. Rhea drags Toni up at 5 to shove her into the apron. She refreshes the count at 6 to then swiftly kick Toni in the back.
Toni is wincing and clutching her back as Rhea keeps on her. Rhea puts Toni on the apron then joins her. Rhea refreshes the count again, but Toni fights back with knees. Toni throws forearms and prepares a bomb, but Rhea back drops out! Toni hits the apron edge back first! The referee checks Toni, but Rhea leaves her behind. Toni refuses to quit, so she must beat the ring count now. The count climbs past 5, and Toni barely gets in at 9! Fans fire up for the heart of Toni, but Rhea keeps on her with a ground ‘n’ pound of forearms. Rhea stomps away, then drags Toni up by her hair. Rhea whips Toni hard into buckles, going after that bad back. She then rams her shoulder into Toni’s stomach, only stopping because of the count.
Rhea throws body shots and forearms, then puts Toni in a new corner. She throws forearms into Toni’s back, then gives another swift kick. Toni is barely able to stand, so Rhea throws her around again. Rhea keeps on Toni with a body scissor squeeze! Fans sing for Toni as she endures. Toni works against the scissors as fans rally up. Toni moves around and throws forearms over and over. Rhea shoves Toni away but Toni comes back with more forearms. But Rhea gets Toni with a shinbreaker! Then the inverted cloverleaf! Toni endures and fans rally up for her again. Rhea wrenches the legs while keeping Toni off the mat. Toni crawls her way and gets a ropebreak! Rhea drops Toni to then kick her in the back!
Rhea brings Toni up but Toni fires haymakers! Toni dodges and goes for a German Suplex, but her back won’t let her. Rhea breaks free to kick low. Rhea suplexes but Toni slips out, and manages a German! Toni holds on for another! Rhea fights out of the waistlock, but gets a headbutt, into the third! Bridging cover, TWO! Rhea survives but both women are down. Fans duel now as Toni stands. Toni runs at Rhea for the shining wizard! Rhea is in the corner again, Toni hits another hip attack! But she keeps going for meteora! Toni drags Rhea out for a cover, TWO! Toni keeps her cool while fans continue to sing. She kicks away on Rhea’s face, then runs, but into Rhea’s dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Rhea grows frustrated but the fans sing “Evolution!” in reference to both the Mae Young Classic Finals and the WWE Women’s (R)Evolution overall. Rhea drags Toni up and whips her into a corner. Toni goes up and over and sends Rhea into the post! Then Toni manages a rolling bodyscissor bridging cover, TWO! Toni’s back might have kept that from working out, but she won’t stop. She double underhooks but Rhea back drops her all the way out of the ring! Rhea sends Toni into the barriers again and again, then back into the ring. Cover, TWO! It was close and Rhea knows it. Rhea drags Toni up and wants the pumphandle, but Toni slips out! Toni manages the underhook, but her back gives out! Rhea gets her again, RIPTIDE! Cover, Rhea Ripley wins!!
Winner: Rhea Ripley, by pinfall; inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion
A shocking result but all the more historic! The Mae Young Classic winner fails to win this UK Women’s Tournament! Instead, the Mosh Pit Kid establishes herself as the first ever NXT UK Women’s Champion! Johnny Saint and WWE COO Triple H come in to congratulate Rhea and present her with the belt. The rest of the UK Division also stands on the stage to join the fans in the standing ovation. Rhea is very thankful to them for this opportunity and this honor, and we know in the present would go on to have a strong reign ironically ended by Toni Storm. Rhea has moved on for now but will she one day return to NXT UK?
Noam Dar… brushes his teeth.
The Scottish Supernova finishes his dental hygiene before telling us, “Look, I know I said I don’t really like to complain, but once you get into this head space, it’s kinda difficult to get out of it.” So Dar says the one word going through his head is “commitment.” Everyone else are having quiz nights, from family to pubs to just random things. That’s not commitment to Dar. Dar feels so bad for the person that first steps in the ring with him “after this period of divide.”
NXT UK hears from Aoife Valkyrie.
“Throughout the ages, ravens and crows have been symbols of change.” Do you hear them? They flock to her with a gift and a vision. They know the time draws near for the NXT UK Women’s Division “to undergo a transformation.” She has been watching for some long. But a goal without a plan is as useful as feathers are to a dead bird. She knows what she seeks, and her path is clear. Aoife is ready. #WitnessTheRise.
Noam Dar speaks again.
Again, he doesn’t like to complain, but he can’t help this one. What the WWE Universe wants is the same as what the Scottish Supernova wants, and that is to be deemed and recognized as an essential service. And the sooner Dar is essential, the quicker he can get back to the “2020 Galactic Conquest Tour,” and everything will be as the stars have so foretold. Thank you for listening.
Amir Jordan shares his pick!
The Bhangra Badboy takes us on a blast to the past to when SummerSlam came to Wimbley Stadium! 80 THOUSAND fans were live for the biggest wrestling event to hit the UK! And the main event was a family affair for THE Intercontinental Championship! Brothers-in-law vowed to bring the big fight to each other, and this match has gone down in history! Amir himself remembers the Hitman and the national hero, Davey Boy Smith, had everyone at home and in attendance on the edge of their seats. As an NXT UK star, there is no bigger pinnacle than main eventing Wimbley and putting on a classic like this.
SummerSlam 1992 – WWF Intercontinental Championship: Bret Hart VS The British Bulldog!
The European, British and Commonwealth Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Lennox Lewis, waves the Union Jack as he leads Davey Boy to the ring. The Canadian Bret Hart goes it alone because he has the title. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this historic battle begins!
The two icons stare down but Hart pushes first. Bulldog pushes back and the two circle. They tie up, Bulldog pushes Hart to a corner and the fans fire up. Hart comes back, circles with Bulldog and ties up again. Bulldog headlocks, Hart powers out and things speed up. Hart ducks under, hurdles up and over, but Bulldog blasts him out of the ring with that shoulder tackle! Bret has to take a moment to compose himself, and NXT UK goes to break.
NXT UK returns and Bulldog has Hart down with an armlock. Hart powers up and powers Bulldog to ropes to whip free. Things speed up again and Hart hits a kitchen sink knee! The fans immediately erupt with divided boos and cheers, but Hart soaks it all up. Hart stomps Bulldog then drops a leg. Hart drags Bulldog as the fans rally up and he wraps on a chinlock. Bulldog endures, fights his way up and elbows free. He runs but into Hart’s elbow! Hart takes his time dropping another elbow, then drags Bulldog up for an atomic drop! Bulldog is down but Hart brings him back up again. Hart whips but Bulldog slips around, only for his crucifix to be turned into a Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO, but Hart keeps on Bulldog with another chinlock. Bulldog breathes heavy but the fans rally up.
Bulldog fights his way up but Hart grinds the headlock. Bulldog powers out but Hart runs him over. Things speed up again, Bulldog hurdles and monkey flips Hart away! Bulldog brings Hart up for headbutts and a whip corner to corner. Hart hits buckles hard but Bulldog whips him the other way. Hart BOOTS Bulldog down and the fans are thunderous with their booing. Hart puts Bulldog in a corner and gives him a bulldog! Insult to injury perhaps! Hart climbs up top but Bulldog grabs him first, for a TOSS! Bulldog heads up top now, leaps, but the falling headbutt FLOPS! Hart lets Bulldog crash and burn but both men are down now. Hart crawls over and dribbles Bulldog’s head off the mat. The fans are at a fever pitch as Hart drags Bulldog up. Hart scoops, Bulldog slips out, but Hart sends Bulldog out of the ring hard!
Hart soaks up all the heat from the fans but leaves Bulldog to the mercy of the ring count. The count reaches 5 as Bulldog stands and goes around the way. Hart slingshots to PESCADO, and it ends up a sloppy neckbreaker kind of thing! Diana Hart, sister of Bret and wife of Davey Boy, just seems in shock watching them both crash like that. Hart drags Bulldog up to scoop and POST! Hart drags Bulldog back up and into the ring as the fans rally as hard as ever. He even mocks the fans for it! Hart brings Bulldog up to whip corner to corner hard, and Bulldog staggers into a clubbing forearm. Hart drags Bulldog up and headbutts him into a Russian Leg Sweep! Cover, TWO! Hart keeps his cool as he throws a European Uppercut! And another! Bulldog wobbles but stays on his feet as Hart throws haymakers. The dropkick drops Bulldog, but Hart brings him back up.
Hart whips and back drops Bulldog high and hard! Cover, TWO! Hart keeps on Bulldog with another chinlock but the crowd has not given up on their hero. Bulldog endures, fights his way up, but Hart reels him in for a snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Bulldog still has fight but Hart wraps another chinlock on. Bulldog slaps and claws at the hold but Hart brings him around for another headbutt. Hart uppercuts into a backslide! TWO, and Hart drops an elbow to drop Bulldog. Hart brings Bulldog up for a backbreaker! Hart goes to a corner, hops up top, and leaps for a BIG elbow drop! Cover, TWO!! Hart drags Bulldog up again to throws clubbing forearms. Hart pulls Bulldog around by his hair and throws him down by it! The fans boo hard as ever as Hart headbutts Bulldog and throws haymakers. Hart snapmares, chinlocks and leans on Bulldog again.
Bulldog endures so Hart brings him up for haymakers. Bulldog swings back but into a sleeper hold! Hart squeezes tight and Bulldog starts to fade! Bulldog drops to his knees, then to all fours. But he crawls to the ROPEBREAK! Hart holds on but lets go at 4 to stomp Bulldog at the ropes. Hart drags Bulldog up and whips again, to get the sleeper hold back! Bulldog is turning red as Hart leans on him. The fans rally as hard as they possibly can but Hart thrashes Bulldog around. The ref checks on Bulldog, the hand drops once. The hand drops twice. But Bulldog revives with the third! Bulldog has a second wind and he powers Hart back into buckles! Bulldog is free, but Hart grabs him again! Hart has the sleeper, leans on Bulldog, but Bulldog picks him up to ram him into buckles again!
Bulldog is free, finally breathes again, but turns into haymakers. It’s a brawl between brothers-in-law! Hart whips, Bulldog reverses and trophy lifts Hart, to drop him into the ropes! Hart saves himself from a worse tumble but he still took rope to a bad place. Bulldog drags Hart up to whip him into buckles then clobbers him with clotheslines! Bulldog rallies as the fans are electric! Cover, TWO!! Hart survives but Bulldog has more to give. Bulldog military presses and SLAMS Hart down! Cover, TWO!! Bulldog keeps going, and he suplexes Hart up and holds him there for a count of 10 before dropping him down! Cover, TWO!! Hart survives again but Bulldog is not losing his focus. Bulldog has Hart in a corner, whips him corner to corner HARD then covers, TWO! Bulldog flexes and signals his finisher. He brings Hart up, scoops him, and hits the RUNNING POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!?! Bulldog can’t believe Hart survived that!
Hart flounders to his feet but Bulldog pushes him over. Hart is on the apron, Bulldog drags him back up, and Bulldog suplexes Hart in. Hart slips out to waistlock, GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Both men are down, too exhausted to be frustrated. Hart brings Bulldog back up, tries to suplex back, but Bulldog blocks to hoist Hart up top! Bulldog climbs up to join Hart, brings him up again, SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!?!? Hart survives but both men are slow to stand. Bulldog brings Hart up, whips but Hart reverses, only for Bulldog to dodge, DOUBLE CLOTHESLINES! Both men take each other out and the fans have gone past electric to an unknown level of excitement!
Hart grabs Bulldog’s leg while down on the mat, and looks to be putting on the Sharpshooter from this position! Bulldog realizes just as Hart turns him over! Hart gets to his feet and pulls back on the hold! Bulldog endures, crawls, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Hart lets go and Diana is cheering her husband on. Hart throws hands then whips but Bulldog reverses. Hart sunset flips but Bulldog sits on it! BULLDOG WINS!!
Winner: The British Bulldog, by pinfall (NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion)
Absolutely incredible! The 80,355 fans in Wimbley give a standing ovation to their hero taking the title! Bulldog holds onto the Intercontinental Championship, but he looks at his brother-in-law sitting up. Bulldog goes over to Hart and offers his hand. Hart stands up and goes to leave but the fans boo. Hart stops at the ropes, considers the handshake, and sees his sister crying in the crowd. Bulldog still offers the handshake to show there is respect and no hard feelings. Hart takes the handshake, and even hugs Bulldog! The Hart Family is still united! In the present, Davey Boy Smith sadly passed away in 2002, but his memory lives on forever as truly one of the greats.
Next week is NXT UK’s Most Brilliant III: Tyler Bate VS Pete Dunne, TakeOver: Chicago!
5/20/17, an epic rematch from the inaugural United Kingdom Championship Tournament, a match more important than anyone realized at the time. William Regal, HBK and even the men in that match itself know this influenced the future of all of NXT. Be sure to tune in for this blast from the past as the Big Strong Boy and the Bruiserweight put it all on the line!
NXT UK wraps for the week.
Adam Shepherd thanks Sam Gradwell, Piper Niven and Amir Jordan for sharing their favorites, and hopes we tune in again when we relive more great moments in NXT UK History.
Another great retrospective episode with some great championship matches. I remember 2006 being big for Bobby Lashley so it really was a rather odd move to keep him out of the US Championship match. But at the same time, the crowd had strong Heel Heat on both Regal and Finlay and therefore had strong Face support for Lashley. But ignoring the audience wanting Lashley over what they got, what they got really was a great match between two wrestling greats. I also remember the days of Hornswoggle, and those were wacky. Lashley did become US Champion eventually, but who knows if he becomes world champion this Sunday at Backlash. Reliving Rhea VS Toni was great, and it really was a surprising turn of events back then. I did not expect Rhea to have that historic distinction, and that only added to how great it was for her to become prime NXT Women’s Champion a year later.
Noam Dar had hilarious promos throughout, and him name dropping Devlin among the others makes me want Dar VS Devlin even more than before. Those two could’ve been competing to be Cruiserweight Champion before COVID made everyone close everything down, but at this point they could be competing to determine a separate NXT UK Cruiserweight Champion while El Hijo del Fantasma now turned Santos Escobar competes to keep his interim/US NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Then one day, we get the UNDISPUTED Cruiserweight Champion when Worlds Collide again. And lastly, finally getting to see Hart VS Bulldog for myself was a great experience, a great bit of history, and honestly a moment where a crowd is so hot that I don’t think we’ll ever get anything like that again. A true tragedy that he died at just under the age of 40.
My Score: 8.5/10