Even more favorites of NXT UK Superstars!
The NXT UK retrospective keeps on rolling! Who shares their favorite matches in all of wrestling? Has your favorite been shared yet?
- 6/28/17 – NXT Women’s Championship Last Woman Standing Match: Asuka VS Nikki Cross; Asuka wins and retains the NXT Women’s Championship.
- 4/7/86 – WWF Tag Team Championships: The Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant VS The British Bulldogs w/ Lou Albano & Ozzy Osbourne; The British Bulldogs win and become the new WWF Tag Team Champions.
- 7/4/15 – NXT Championship: Kevin Owens VS Finn Balor; Balor wins and becomes the new NXT Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Andy Shepherd welcomes us back to the show.
It’s time to dig deep into the archives as the NXT UK superstars showcase matches that mean something special to them. And we start with the woman who feels she has the best taste in all of the WWE, Jinny! And her choice? Last Woman Standing, between “two of the most ruthless women in WWE History,” for the NXT Women’s Championship. Asuka and Nikki Cross made NXT history as they put everything into a match to walk away with the title. Jinny still questions both women’s fashion choices, but the desire and passion and the lengths they went to shows exactly what it means to be a champion. “This match in the years to come would be watched by so many.” When the future wrestlers watch this, they will learn exactly what the Women’s (R)Evolution was all about.
NXT Women’s Championship Last Woman Standing Match: Asuka VS Nikki Cross!
Back when the Empress of Tomorrow was building that historic undefeated streak and when the Loony Lass still had her SAnitY, they collided in a true test of who was the top female in NXT! Streak, title and history were all on the line to cap off this furious feud!
The two circle each other, rush each other and tie up, then break. Repeat, then they start swinging strikes but both women successfully dodge. Nikki powers Asuka to a corner and rams in her shoulder but Asuka clubs away on her back. Asuka and Nikki brawl against the ropes, Asuka unleashes kick after kick before pulling on Nikki’s hair. Asuka whips Nikki, Nikki reverses, crossbody then Nikki bounces Asuka’s head off the mat. Nikki backs off, Asuka gets up, Asuka ducks Nikki’s next attack to get running and hit a low kick! Asuka is fired up, so are the fans, Nikki rolls outside and Asuka gets running again. Asuka slides, Nikki traps her in the apron skirt a la Finlay! Nikki just clobbers and thrashes on Asuka, then backs off to let the champ rest limply in the apron skirt.
With Asuka stuck, Nikki brings out steel chairs from under the ring, one after the other until she has a nice pile of about half a dozen, and though NXT went to break, NXT UK keeps things going. Naturally, Nikki has brought Asuka towards those chairs. Nikki wants to suplex Asuka onto that chair pile, Asuka resists and turns it around, Asuka tries but Nikki resists. Nikki throws Asuka stiffly into steel steps! The ref starts the first ten count of the match, Asuka gets up so Nikki keeps on her by whipping, but she’s reversed and thrown into the other steel steps. A double count begins, Asuka is up first and then Nikki. Asuka bounces Nikki’s head off the top of the steps, clubs her on the back, then puts her in the ring. Asuka’s turn to find things under the ring, and brings out a trash can!
Asuka shoulders that can as she walks up the steps. Asuka tosses that can inside, the fans chant “E C Dub!” right up to Asuka ramming that trash can into Nikki’s ribs. Asuka puts the trash can over Nikki to trap her inside, and kicks the can like it’s her heavy bag! The can gets dented from those swift kicks, Asuka drums on top to keep it on then climbs up. Missile dropkick to the can! Asuka grins as she points at Nikki being counted. Asuka counts along, the count gets to 5, then 8 but Nikki stands up. So Asuka is right upon her with knees and a switchblade kick, then goes back under the ring for even more chairs. Asuka puts them in the ring, Nikki stops her part way, they tug-o-war over a chair but Nikki lets go to let Asuka bump into the barrier. Nikki gets to the apron, jumps down, but gets hit by a knee!
Asuka keeps gathering chairs as the ten count begins, Nikki gets up so Asuka kicks her back down. More chairs gathered, there’s about ten of them in the ring now, so Asuka gets Nikki back on the apron. The two brawl on that edge, Asuka gives forearm after forearm but Nikki ducks one to then grab Asuka and give her a reverse DDT to the apron! Asuka writhes in pain as Nikki sees her chair pile.
NXT UK skips ahead in the action to after Nikki headbutts Asuka in the stomach and goes for her swinging neckbreaker. Asuka spins through, so Nikki gives her stiff forearms across the chin. Nikki hits the swinging fisherman neckbreaker! Nikki grins as she looks at Asuka writhe and roll in pain. Nikki wants Asuka to get up, she does, so Nikki gives her another, and another, and ANOTHER swinging fisherman neckbreaker! The ten count begins and Nikki lounges by the ropes. Nikki already expects to have the title so she fetches the belt. Asuka beats the count just in time, Nikki rushes in wielding the belt as a weapon, roundhouse from Asuka knocks her down! Nikki is dazed as the count begins, Asuka shakes her head “No” as if to say the belt isn’t Nikki’s yet.
Asuka’s spinning heel kick rocks Nikki again, Nikki is once again dazed and another ten count begins. Asuka watches as Nikki slowly stirs, the Psycho Scot makes it to her feet and rubs it in Asuka’s face. Asuka rushes in, Nikki dumps her to the apron but Asuka fights back. Remember that chair pile Nikki made before? Asuka does. Asuka prepares to suplex Nikki out and onto them, but Nikki resists. Closer and closer Asuka gets, but a hotshot snaps her back. Nikki slips down, gets Asuka in position, powerbomb to the chairs!! The fans are losing their minds with that spot! Nikki lounges on the apron as the ten count begins on Asuka. Asuka finally stirs after 6, we get to 9 but Asuka stands up! Nikki is distraught over how close she was to a win.
The fans chant for Asuka, Nikki drags Asuka up the ramp, but Asuka turns things around and tries to give Nikki a German Suplex! Nikki resists, Asuka keeps trying, Nikki spins around but Asuka just attempts a Northern Lights, which Nikki resists. Nikki turns it around but Asuka knocks Nikki away, Nikki tumbles to the floor. Asuka fires up, flying hip attack knocks Nikki down! A ten count begins on Nikki, Nikki wills herself up with her obsession over Asuka and the title. The two continue as they get closer to the announce table, Nikki ducks and Asuka kicks a light stand, hurting her own foot! Nikki laughs at Asuka’s pain, a new ten count begins. Nikki stalks Asuka as the champ stands up, Nikki lifts Asuka onto guard railing… Hanging swinging neckbreaker!
Nikki again laughs at Asuka’s pain as a new ten count begins. The fans are fired up, they cheer for Asuka to get up, and somehow Asuka gets up before 10! Nikki is again distraught, she goes after Asuka but Asuka gives her a spinning backhand. So Nikki comes back with a ladder battering ram! Nikki stands over Asuka, she’s not satisfied. She brings Asuka to a table and bounces her head off it, then repositions the table! The fans anticipate what’s coming, Nikki sets that table up very close to the announce table. Asuka is bounced off the table again and Nikki stands that ladder up. Nikki stuns Asuka with another bounce off the desk before finishing up with the ladder. Nikki has it all lined up as she puts Asuka right on that table.
Nikki gives fierce clubbing hands to Asuka’s head, and then Nikki climbs! Asuka stirs and anchors Nikki but only for a moment. Asuka gets up and climbs, commentary clears out for their own safety. Asuka and Nikki brawl way up high, and the Empress is the one to Superplex Nikki, to the announce table!! The table explodes apart from the impact!! “HOLY SHIT!” echoes through the Full Sail Arena as a double ten count begins. Neither champion nor challenger stirs until after 6. Asuka stands, Nikki doesn’t, Asuka wins!!
Winner: Asuka (still NXT Women’s Champion)
Asuka is now the Undefeated Last Woman Standing! And we know now, that NO ONE was ready for Asuka in NXT! The Empress’ reign only ended because she left NXT for Raw and SmackDown! Will we ever see a force as unstoppable as this again?
Oliver Carter and Ashton Smith video chat.
The tag team reunites and Carter has a surprise. He has made matching ring gear for them! “Always Forward” and “Ready And Forward” read on the knee pads. Ashton’s only problem with it is that the colors are so loud! Didn’t they say black? What? Like everyone else? No way! They’re not being like everyone else! Rock orange and green, it’ll make them look good ‘n’ tasty. What? Tasty? Carter says he has a hidden talent, an eye for measurements. Okay, maybe they’re a bit baggy but… Smith doesn’t want to be wearing MC Hammer pants out there! Burn those! Carter is just joking, man. He got the measurements from Smith’s wife. Well that’s good. But it’s a good thing Carter called, Smith wanted to talk with him anyway. When this lockdown is over, it’s time to take the tag division by storm! And they’re going right for those tag titles!
NXT UK hears from Nina Samuels.
The Leading Lady has her pick, and it is all the way back at WrestleMania 2! The British Bulldogs became the first British wrestlers to compete on the Grandest Stage of Them All against the Dream Team for those tag team titles. Winning would mean they would be the first British wrestlers to hold gold in the WWE. Take your seats and witness the historic match that paved the way for superstars just like her.
WWF Tag Team Championships: The Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant VS The British Bulldogs w/ Lou Albano & Ozzy Osbourne!
Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine held the titles for 226 after winning them at a house show. But Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid were determined to make history on the biggest night of WWE’s calendar! And yes, they had the lead singer of Black Sabbath on their side. Watch history be made in Chicago’s Allstate Arena, back when it was the Rosemont Horizon!
The teams sort out and Davey Boy starts with Valentine. The circle, tie up, and DBS shoves Valentine right down! Valentine comes back with forearms and elbows but DBS throws them back. Valentine backs into the corner but comes back to tie up and go low. Valentine gets a takedown but DBS dodges the elbow drop. DBS wrenches an arm and yanks on it. Valentine endures as DBS wrenches again. Valentine whips DBS away, hip tosses him down, then runs but misses his ax handle! Tag to Dynamite Kid and he kicks and clubs away on Valentine. Dynamite bumps Valentine off buckles, covers, TWO! Dynamite drags Valentine up to a headlock but Valentine powers out. Things speed up and Dynamite blasts Valentine to a corner! Dynamite stomps away, then snap suplexes Valentine for an elbow drop!
Tag to DBS, he drags Valentine up for a suplex but Valentine blocks. Valentine suplexes but DBS fights out to suplex Valentine up and over! Cover, TWO! Valentine backs away to a corner and the ref has DBS stand down. Valentine bails out and Valiant coaches him up. DBS waits patiently while Captain Lou glares at Valiant. Valentine goes back into the ring, stays back, but doesn’t tag out. He and DBS tie up, Valentine puts DBS in the corner and throws forearms. Valentine whips, DBS reverses, but Valentine comes back with a clubbing forearm! Valentine grabs the legs and headbutts low! The ref reprimands Valentine but he tags out to Beefcake. Beefcake wrenches DBS’s arm, gets the wristlock, but DBS powers Beefcake up in the military press and slam!
Tag to Dynamite, Dynamite brings Beefcake up to whip and hit with a clothesline! Dynamite CHOPS, covers, TWO! Dynamite brings Beefcake up to small package, TWO! Dynamite feeds Beefcake to DBS’s boot, then DBS tags in. DBS has the fisherman, for the suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! Beefcake flounders up and DBS is on him with a facelock. DBS cranks on the hold as Beefcake reaches back. Valentine tags in, climbs up and CLUBS DBS with the ax handle! Valentine brings DBS up for a suplex then covers, TWO! Valentine sits DBS up to drive elbows in then clamp on a chinlock. DBS endures while Lou and Ozzy watch intensely. DBS gets up, reaches and Dynamite tags in! Dynamite and Valentine brawl with big forearms fast and furious!
Dynamite gets the edge, clobbers Valentine to a corner and throws shoulders in over and over. The ref counts, Dynamite lets up but clubs Valentine down again. Cover, TWO! Tag to DBS and he brings Valentine back over. Tag to Dynamite, double whip and double shoulders run Valentine over! Cover, TWO! Valentine waves to Valiant and Beefcake, and Beefcake runs in. They go after Dynamite together but the ref reprimands. Valentine whips, Dynamite sunset flips and covers, ONE! Valentine’s height advantage helps there, but Dynamite scoops Valentine for a backbreaker! Cover, but Beefcake breaks it up! The ref warns Beefcake but Dynamite drops knees on Valentine. Cover, TWO! Valentine sputters up to his feet but Dynamite throws haymakers.
Valentine forearms then runs to clobber Dynamite. Valentine brings Dynamite in, up, holds him, and PILEDRIVERS! Cover, TWO!! Dynamite survives and the fans are going wild! Valentine covers with wristlocks, TWO! Valentine puts the shoulder back down, TWO! Valentine tries his whole weight, but gets knees real low! Lou and Ozzy are going wild with the fans but Valentine still gets to a corner. Valentine climbs, but Dynamite throws him down! Dynamite crawls to a cover, DBS intercepts Beefcake, TWO! The four men brawl, Dynamite scoop slams Valentine! DBS uses Dynamite as a weapon, but Valentine gets away before that British Bulldog press slam could hit. Dynamite chases after but Valentine hits back.
Valentine stomps Dynamite down at the ropes, with big knees. Dynamite tags DBS and DBS throws hands on Valentine. DBS scoops Valentine for a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!! Valentine lives but DBS stays right on him. DBS suplexes high and hard, covers, TWO! Valentine survives again but DBS brings him back up to whip to a corner. Valentine reverses and POSTS DBS at the same time! Valentine stomps DBS then brings him up to a hammerlock. Tag to Beefcake and he hops up. Valentine holds DBS in place for Beefcake’s flying ax handle! Beefcake clubs DBS more then wrenches the arm to a hammerlock. DBS reaches back to Slice Bread, but Beefcake lets him drop! And then STOMPS him down! Beefcake fires up while the fans are riled up.
Beefcake brings DBS up, shoves him into the buckles, then tags Valentine in. Valentine climbs up to drop an ax handle of his own. Valentine stomps the bad arm, brings DBS up, and scoops him. Valentine hits a SHOULDER BREAKER! Cover, but Valentine lets up?! Valentine’s ego spares DBS, but DBS powers Valentine to the British Bulldog corner! But Valentine and Dynamite crash head to head! DBS covers, Beefcake stumbles, the Bulldogs win!!
Winners: The British Bulldogs, by pinfall (NEW WWF Tag Team Champions)
Beefcake and Valiant are so furious, they attack the referee! But that won’t change the result, the Bulldogs make history!
NXT UK hears from Ridge Holland.
“I’m from Yorkshire, England. And I’ve been dragged up most of my life, scratching and clawing.” It made him the man he is today, and he will show the world what Yorkshire grit is all about. When he tips his cap to you, don’t get it twisted. It isn’t a show of respect. It is Ridge Holland taking the brand by the throat. Ask the poor souls that are about to be scraped off the mat after he wipes his hands with them. To the “champions” of NXT, don’t look over your shoulder. He’ll stand right in front of you, and you will find what it is to be on the wrong side of a Holland style beating.
Next week’s Superstar Picks will be even more special!
Nikki Cross was featured tonight, but she’ll join fellow Scot and current WWE World Champion, Drew McIntyre, in sharing a favorite match of all time! As will NXT General Manager, William Regal!
NXT UK hears from Aoife Valkyrie.
“For my pick, I want to revisit the Beast in the East live event special, where Finn Balor took on Kevin Owens for the NXT Championship.” This was her favorite era of NXT. Kevin destroyed Sami Zayn to become champion, and was just hated by the fans. There is a point before the match where Kevin is given the bouquet of flowers per the Japanese tradition, and just THROWS it away. You can truly feel the hate coming from the audience. Then there was Finn Balor, who left Japan on top and returned as a hero to the fans who had followed his entire journey. Balor is a big reason why Aoife got into wrestling, and it was inspiring to watch a fellow Irishman fight for the top title in NXT, in WWE’s first ever live broadcast from Japan.
NXT Championship: Kevin Owens VS Finn Balor!
We are nearing the five year anniversary of this match! And the Prizefighter wasn’t just going up against The Prince. This was DEMON BALOR that was coming for the title! Witness the rise of one of the greatest NXT Champions ever!
The bell rings and Balor shotgun dropkicks Kevin right away! Then hurries up top! Kevin scrambles away, Balor adjusts, and crossbodies Kevin down! The fans are fired up already as Balor throws haymakers on Kevin. Balor puts Kevin in, follows, but Kevin hits back with stomps and chops! Japan chants for “NXT! NXT!” as Kevin whips. Balor dodges and comes back but Kevin counters the flying forearm with a big back elbow! Kevin whips Balor again, Balor reverses but Kevin holds ropes to deny the dropkick. Kevin bails out and shouts, “Screw this!” He wants to use Champion’s Advantage but Balor wrecks him with a dropkick! Kevin isn’t going to run away with the belt! Balor brings Kevin up and around to throw into barriers! Balor then gets space, runs in, and shotgun dropkicks down even harder!
The ring count climbs but Balor drags Kevin up and into the ring at 5 of 10. Balor follows at 6 and throws hands. Balor CHOPS Kevin in a corner, then throws more haymakers. Kevin kicks low, throws forearms, but Balor CHOPS back. Kevin knees low, whips, but Balor kicks him! And CHOPS! Balor throws forearms then whips, but Kevin reverses. Kevin catches Balor’s leap, swings him around, AIR RAID CRASH! Cover, TWO! The fans cheer but then boo as Kevin rains down rights and stomps Balor down. Kevin digs his foot in as the fans rally up for Balor. Kevin brings Balor up, CHOPS him in the corner, then stomps him down while talking trash. Balor chops, Kevin DECKS him. “That’s not gonna work with me, buddy.” Kevin throws haymakers and stomps, “And that’s why I’m the champ!” The fans boo but Kevin mocks them for it.
Kevin whips Balor into a corner hard! Balor hits the mat and Kevin bows. The fans boo as he bows more, so he goes back to stomping Balor. Kevin brings Balor up but Balor throws forearms! Balor runs, Kevin drops down then comes back to elbow Balor down. The fans boo again but Kevin just soaks it all in. Kevin covers, TWO! Kevin pulls on Balor’s face and the ref reprimands him, but Kevin wraps on a chinlock. The fans rally up, Balor endures and fights up. Kevin wrangles Balor back down and leans on the hold. Balor fights his way up, the fans rally harder, and Balor throws body shots! Keivn knees low, whips Balor to a corner, but Balor dodges! Balor shoulders in from the apron, but slingshots into a punch! Kevin goes out to drag Balor down and whip him into steel steps! Kevin leaves Balor behind as the ring count climbs.
Balor stirs at 4, rises at 6, flounders at 8, and gets in the ring at 9.5! Kevin drops a senton right on him! Cover, TWO! Balor grits his teeth and fans cheer, but Kevin whips him back out of the ring. Kevin wants the ring count to take Balor out, and Kevin counts along as it reaches 5. Balor stands at 6, hurries to the ring and gets in at 8. Kevin stomps Balor down again, brings him up for a snapmare, then runs to simply put on another chinlock. Kevin cranks on the hold and asks if the fans are impressed. It doesn’t matter to him if they’re not, because he doesn’t care about Japan. The fans rally up and Balor fights up to his feet. Kevin uses tights to yank Balor down! Balor endures again, fans rally harder and Balor fights back up. Balor throws body shots, Kevin ROCKS him with a right, and then Kevin mocks the fans.
Kevin whips, Balor reverses, Kevin sunset flips but Balor rolls through to basement dropkick! Both men are down and a standing count begins. Kevin and Balor rise, Balor BOOTS and forearms! Balor whips, CHOPS in the corner, then hops up to hit a flying forearm! Cover, TWO! The fans cheer as Balor fires up. Balor brings Kevin up, Kevin throws haymakers. Balor hits back and we have a brawl. Kevin dodges, runs and shoulder tackles! Kevin is mocking John Cena! Kevin gets Balor for the spin-out bomb! The fans boo as Kevin mocks “You Can’t See Me!” Kevin runs, Five Knuckle Shuffle! Balor stumbles up, Kevin fireman’s carries, but Balor slips out to trip Kevin for DOUBLE STOMPS! Both men are down again, but Balor sits up first. Kevin flounders to ropes, then the corner.
Fans rally and Balor runs in to CHOP! Balor whips Kevin corner to corner to CHOP again! Kevin reverses the third time, Balor goes up and over, Kevin has the fireman’s carry! Balor slips out, has the dragon sleeper, but Kevin snapmares to forearm! PELE!! Both men are down again and the fans are loving this! A standing count begins again, the fans cheer for Balor, and Balor gets up first at 7. Kevin storms over but is dumped out! Balor builds speed to FLY! Direct hit with the tope conjilo! Balor puts Kevin back in fast, heads to the corner and climbs up top. Japan chants for “NXT! NXT!” as Balor hits a DOUBLE STOMPS! Balor drags Kevin up with a dragon sleeper, BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!?! Kevin survives and Balor can’t believe it!
Balor heads back to the corner, climbs back up top, and leaps, but Kevin avoids the stomps to get a GERMAN SUPLEX! Balor is in the corner, Kevin CANNONBALLS in! Cover, TWO!! Balor lives but Kevin won’t stop! Kevin tucks Balor in, PACKAGE BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Balor shocks and frustrates Kevin but the fans are loving it! “This is Awesome!” but isn’t over yet! Balor gets up, shaking out the stars. Kevin seethes as he stalks up to Balor. Kevin brings Balor up, “You’re done!” He whips, Balor holds ropes and boots back! SLINGBLADE! Balor hurries to the corner, climbs up top, but Kevin anchors a foot! Balor clubs Kevin down but Kevin holds on to the other foot. Kevin headbutts Balor off the top, but Balor is on the apron to enziguri! Kevin goes down, Balor goes up!
Japan is thunderous for the COUP DE GRACE!! Cover, TWO!?! Balor can’t believe Kevin survives! Kevin rolls away but Balor grits his teeth. Balor brings Kevin up, bumps him off buckles and fires off furious hands! The ref counts, Balor lets up but comes back to put Kevin up top. Kevin headbutts back, but Balor keeps trying. Balor throws haymakers then hoists Kevin up top. Balor climbs to join Kevin and the fans fire up. Kevin fights back again and they brawl up top. Balor throws haymaker after haymaker, then brings Kevin up. Kevin holds onto ropes, throws body shots back, then hooks a leg! SUPER FISH- NO! Balor escapes and enziguris back! Kevin wobbles, Balor gets back up, but Kevin fireman’s carries! SUPER ROLLING SENTON!! Cover, TWO?!?! Balor lives and Kevin can’t believe it!
Kevin stomps Balor then heads to the corner. Kevin throws the demon wig away and climbs, to SWANTON onto knees!! Balor brings Kevin in, for 1916!! Cover, TWO!?!? Kevin survives again!? The fans are still on Balor’s side as he aims from a corner. Kevin stands, Balor runs, into a SUPERKICK! Kevin uses a SLEEPER SUPLEX, then covers, TWO! Balor clutches a leg but he is still in the fight. Kevin gets up, the fans rally, and he shouts, “You can’t beat me!” Kevin SLAPS Balor and the fans boo. Kevin slaps Balor more, but Balor slaps back! Kevin kicks, whips and pops Balor up, but Balor slips out to LARIAT! Balor aims, and shotgun dropkicks Kevin down! Balor goes again, hesitation dropkick! Kevin is in the drop zone, Balor goes up once more, and COUP DE GRACE!! Cover, Balor wins!!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall (NEW NXT Champion)
The Prizefighter goes down and the Prince takes his throne! We know now that Balor would reign for a historic 292 days, but even that would be outdone by Adam Cole’s 387 and counting. Balor missed his chance last night to become North American Champion and #1 contender in one move, but surely the Prince will come back around to challenge for gold soon enough.
An incredible episode for the retrospective! Three title matches, all classics, all great to relive. A little disappointed they cut the Last Woman Standing short in the middle there. Other episodes went over an hour, why not let this be one of those? Asuka VS Nikki Cross is such a good match, I would’ve let that thing play out completely to make this an even better Superstar Picks episode. British Bulldogs VS Dream Team was pretty good, definitely fitting of the era. And Kevin VS Balor is still a great match, even five years later. Balor’s championship opportunities always seem just out of reach now that he’s The Prince again, but much of that is global events getting in the way rather than management’s choice. As soon as things finally settle down, I’m sure Balor goes after Walter, goes after Cole, and one way or another becomes a historic champion in NXT once again.
My Score: 8.6/10