Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of the first ever NXT UK TakeOver!
Yes, tonight’s show is an historic one. After years of fighting for the spotlight, the UK talent under WWE’s umbrella have finally got a show to themselves. And tonight’s show is set to follow the same template as a regular TakeOver; five matches and a (roughly) three hour run-time.
The main event of Blackpool is Pete Dunne Vs. Joe Coffey for the WWE United Kingdom Championship. In case you’re unaware, Dunne is WWE’s longest-reigning WWE Champion, by a long way. The Englishman’s 600 day reign is at stake tonight as he faces the big Scotsman, Joe Coffey. While Coffey is something of a newcomer to NXT UK, he claims he is here to take the throne… well that was before Dunne twisted his fingers and told him he talked too much. Let us know if you think Dunne’s reign will continue, or if an upset will occur on the first TakeOver.
The other big match tonight is that of Rhea Ripley Vs. Toni Storm for the Women’s Championship. The first time these two met to decide the first-ever NXT UK Women’s Champion, few expected Ripley to walk out with the gold. That she did however, and she’s held the strap for 50 days. Tonight marks a huge test however, as the uber-popular Storm could very well beat her and take the title. Barring a DQ finish or something, a Storm win seems inevitable.
If those two matches did wet the appetite, perhaps a match to crown the first-ever NXT UK Tag Team Champions will satiate you? Moustache Mountain will face Grizzled Young Veterans to determine the first ever Champions, and it could very well steal the show. Any time Moustache Mountain steps inside a ring, you know you’re in for a great match and, no offense to Grizzled Young Veterans, but this seems like the night for Bate and Seven.
Also on tonight’s show is Travis Banks Vs. Jordan Devlin, and Dave Mastiff Vs. Eddie Dennis in a No Disqualifications Match. NXT TakeOver: Blackpool has a lot to live up to if it aims to rival its US compatriot, but the talent involved suggest tonight could be special. Remember to download the Ringside News app, follow us on Instagram, and enjoy the show!
NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool opens with a look back to the United Kingdom Tournament. The video package chronicles the rise of the UK talent in WWE and the beginning of NXT UK.
We go live to the Empress Ballroom, where Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph welcome us to the show. Our first match is a big one!
The match begins with Tyler Bate and Zack Gibson for their respective teams. The fans are signing and dancing like crazy already.
Gibson and Bate lock-up and the former takes the babyface down with a wristlock. Bate kips-up but gets slammed back down and held there. Bate gets to his feet and performs a headscissors takedown and holds Gibson between his manly thighs. Bate keeps the move applied as the fans sing, holding one shoe in the air.
Gibson reverses the pressure on Bate and holds him via the wrists, until Bate performs an impressive bridge to free himself. We get a staredown from both men. They lock-up again and Gibson forces Bate to the corner, where James Drake tags himself in. They make a move for Bate but he slides out of the ring, takes a moment before getting back inside, then tags in his partner Trent Seven.
Seven and Drake lock-up, with Seven taking charge and unleashing a stiff chop. Seven places Drake on his shoulders and tags Bate. Seven slams Drake, then Bate flips off the top rope, over Seven, with a tope to Drake. Bate whips Drake to the ropes but he gets pulled outside by his partner Gibson. The heels take a moment to regroup.
Back inside, Gibson and Bate resume their foray, with Bate slipping through his legs and performing a roll-up to no avail. Drake tags Gibson, but Bate knocks Drake from the ring and hits a Frankensteiner to Gibson. Trent Seven tags back in and goes to work on Gibson. He hits a nice crossbody for a two count. Trent gets Gibson on his shoulders but a rake of the eyes allows the heel to climb off and make the tag to Drake. Seven isn’t fazed though, as he unleashed hellacious chops to the chest of both Drake and Gibson. Drake is caught with a high hip toss, then makes the tag to Gibson. Seven knocks Gibson from the apron and Drake from the ring, then hits a suicide dive to Drake.
On the outside of the ring, Zack Gibson catches Seven with a nasty throat chop. They get Seven back in the ring and start isolating him from Bate. Drake hits a backbreaker for a two count, before applying a submission to ground him. Seven looks to make the tag but he’s tossed from the ring, then Drake and Gibson perform a double team move on the outside, with Gibson the legal man again.
Drake and Gibson keep Seven isolated from Bate with quick tags and keeping him grounded. Finally, Seven leaves the ring, but he’s chased by Drake. Seven chops Drake on the oustide and gets back in to try and make the tag but again he’s chopped down. Seven appears to have been busted open on his crown. He jumps but is caught by Gibson in mid-air, but it doesn’t matter because he manages to tag Bate anyway!
The crowd pop loud as Bate storms the ring and punches away on Gibson. Drake grabs Bate, but Bate takes him down with a back body drop. Bate knees Gibson in the face and hits a flying back elbow off the second rope. Bate gets Drake on his shoulders for an airplane spin, hitting Gibson in the face with Drake’s legs as he spins. Bate then puts Drake on top of Gibson and lifts them both up for an airplane spin! The crowd is loving this.
After he drops them, Gibson rolls out of the ring, and they stumble dizzy to the apron. Bate and Drake fight on the apron until Bate hits him with an exploder suplex off the apron onto Gibson! Bate then hits a standing shooting star press off the apron to the floor onto Gibson and Drake!
Bate gets Gibson back in the ring and looks for the Tyler Driver 97, but Gibson gets out. Seven tags in, and he hits Gibson with a Running Powerslam – much like their outfits tonight, that was in honour of The British Bulldog. Bate hits Drake with a suicide dive. Meanwhile in the ring, Seven hits Gibson with a reverse death valley driver, but Drake breaks it up. Drake and Bate tag in and exchange pin attempts. Bate hits a rolling kick to the head. Seven tags in, and Gibson attacks Bate. Drake hits Seven with a running dropkick. Gibson hits Seven with Helter Skelter, and Drake follows up with a 450 splash… but Seven kicks out! The crowd is going wild now!
Seven tries fights off Drake and Gibson, but Drake comes back with a step-up enzuigiri. Gibson applies Shankly Gates – which is the name of the gates outside of Liverpool FC’s stadium FYI. Drake stops Bate from breaking it up and applies Shankly Gates to him! Both men are down in the middle of the ring and Seven is very close to submitting, but Bate powers up and hits Drake with a death valley driver onto Gibson! All four men are down while the crowd chants, “UK.”
Bate and Drake are legally tagged in. Bate unloads on Drake with punches before hitting Gibson with a big uppercut. Bate then hits Drake and Gibson with a double rolling kick. Seven tags in, and his arm looks limp. Moustache Mountain hits a clothesline/dragon suplex on Drake, but he kicks out! Gibson grabs Bate’s feet and gets him in electric chair position at ringside. Drake then hits a suicide dive on Bate, who is still on Gibson’s shoulders! “Holy $hit!” from the fans. Seven tries for a suicide dive, but they stop him. Drake and Gibson hit the Ticket To Mayhem for the win!
Wow! I don’t think too many people saw that coming! Drake and Gibson are your first ever NXT UK Tag Team Champions!
Earlier today, Travis Banks, the Kiwi Buzzsaw, was arriving at his hotel when Jordan Devlin attacked him! Devlin beat Banks around the lobby of the hotel, throwing him into a wall and seemingly injuring his left knee. Banks was cleared by doctors but his knee is not 100%.
While Jordan Devlin is making his entrance, Travis Banks hits him with a suicide dive! Banks angrily punches away at him, but Devlin targets the injured knee and takes him down. This match has not started yet. Devlin hits a chop block and drags him to the ring steps. Devlin stomps the injured knee against the steel steps a few times. Officials check on Banks.
Devlin gets in the ring and says there’s a reason why you never bet against The Ace. Officials help Banks to the back. Devlin calls himself the greatest Irish wrestler alive. Johnny Saint talks with Sid Scala on the stage. Scala says they had a suspicion he might do this, so they had a backup plan. The lights go out…
The fans are understandably hyped to see Finn Balor in Blackpool. Finn and Devlin are both from Bray, Ireland, and in fact, Balor helped train Devlin!
The two square-up in the middle of the ring and Devlin slaps Balor in the face! So Balor responds with a right hand and a knee to the midsection. Balor hits a low dropkick to the head and gets the crowd going. Balor hits a Sling Blade and goes to the top rope. Devlin quickly rolls out of the ring to recover.
Devlin begins to walk up the ramp and just leave, but Balor leaps out of the ring, runs after, grabs him and throws him back into the ring. Devlin quickly rolls out of the ring again, so Balor hits him with a running forearm on the oustide. Balor gets Devlin in the ring. Devlin kicks the middle rope into Balor’s groin while he gets in the ring. Devlin knocks Balor off the apron and attacks him at ringside. Devlin drives him into the apron and gets him in the ring. Devlin takes Balor down and does a double stomp to the midsection before mocking his taunt. Devlin chokes him on the ropes. Balor reverses a whip. Devlin goes for a sunset flip, but Balor rolls through and dropkicks him in the face. Balor gets on the apron and hits a snap kick to the face. Balor goes to the top rope, but Devlin dropkicks him in the face to knock him to the floor.
Devlin doesn’t follow suit, he looks for the count-out. Balor is down but manages to slide in as the referee counts to 9! Devlin doesn’t waste any time though and punches away at Balor. Devlin sends Finn to the corner and begins chopping him. Balor turns the tables and hits a nasty chop to the chest. Balor connects with a second chop. The fans ask for another but Devlin kicks him and chops him, but again Balor turns him around and chops him right back. Devlin rakes the eyes before hitting a one-armed slam. Devlin follows up with a standing moonsault for a near fall.
Devlin tries for an abdominal stretch. Balor fights it, but Devlin soon locks it in. Balor gets out and connects with a hip toss. Balor then comes off the ropes and applies an abdominal stretch of his own. Balor sets up for Reverse Bloody Sunday, but Devlin fights out. Balor then takes him down with an overhead kick. Balor takes Devlin down with a running forearm and lands a double stomp to the midsection. Balor goes for Reverse Bloody Sunday, but Devlin knees him in the face. Balor fights back and finally connects with the Reverse Bloody Sunday, but Devlin kicks out.
Balor lines it up in the corner and connects with a Sling Blade, then goes for a running dropkick, but Devlin superkicks him mid-run! Devlin connects with a swinging back suplex for a near fall. The fans are getting into this in a big way. Devlin kicks Balor in the ribs and talks a little trash. Devlin continues to kick him in the ribs and talk trash. The crowd is loudly booing him. Balor finally blocks a kick, takes him down, and wildly stomps away at him. Devlin rolls out of the ring.
Balor hits a running kick to the face from the apron and gets Devlin in the ring. Balor goes to the top rope, but Devlin crotches him on the top rope. Devlin covers, but Balor somehow kicks up. Devlin goes for a top rope moonsault, but Balor gets the knees up. Balor hits the 1916 before dropkicking him into the corner. Balor goes to the top rope and hits the Coup de Grace for the win!
Finn celebrates his hard-fought win after the fact. The fans give a standing ovation. That was a great showcase for Devlin, while having Finn go over. Great stuff.
Now it’s time for tonight’s bad blood match! The giant fella Dave Mastiff recently ended the unbeaten streak of Eddie Dennis, and the latter has been angry ever since. Tonight they brawl with no rules!
The bell rings and the two foes run at each other and unleash blows. Dennis connects with a knee to the gut, but Mastiff responds with a crossbody. Dennis rolls to the outside and Mastiff follows.
Mastiff sends Dennis into the steel steps. Mastiff sends him back into the ring, before pulling apart the steel steps and tossing the bottom half inside the ring. Dennis slides out of the ring and, as Mastiff leans through the ropes to grab him, cracks Dave with a Kendo stick! Dennis then pulls up the protective padding around the ring but before he can do anything he heads back into the ring and whacks Mastiff with the Kendo stick again.
Dennis chokes Mastiff with the Kendo stick and mocks him. He swings for a headshot but Mastiff grabs it and headbutts Dennis! Mastiff then cracks Dennis with the stick a few times, before landing a nice powerbomb. Mastiff turns back to the steel steps and places them in the middle of the ring. He lifts Dennis onto his shoulders but the Welshman gets off. He shoves Mastiff to the ropes, where the big man looks for a crossbody but Dennis catches him! Dennis then lands a spin-out sideslam on the steel steps!
Dennis leaves the ring and grabs a steel chair, which he brings inside. He runs and swings but Mastiff ducks it. Mastiff lands a rolling fireman’s carry. Mastiff climbs the ropes but Dennis grabs him and hits a crucifix powerbomb for a near-fall! Dennis rolls from the ring, unsure of what to do next, but decides to bring a table into the ring. They fight onto the apron and Mastiff looks to powerbomb Dennis onto the exposed floor but the heel holds the ropes. Instead, Mastiff gets him on his shoulders and hits another rolling fireman’s carry! Followed by a splash on the exposed floorboards.
Mastiff gets Dennis in the ring and goes for a moonsault off the top rope, but Dennis rolls out of the way. Dennis hits the Neckstop Driver for a near fall! Dennis angrily hits him in the back with the chair and puts him on the middle rope. Dennis goes for a Crucifix Powerbomb through the table, but Mastiff gets out. Mastiff then lands a nasty German Suplex. Dennis is dazed and leaning on the table propped-up in the corner. Mastiff hits a running cannonball onto Dennis through the table in the corner! Mastiff pulls him out of the wreckage and pins him for the win.
Mastiff celebrates his win and leaves up the ramp, while Dennis is still down and out.
We get a trailer for Fighting With My Family, the movie produced by The Rock about Paige’s family.
Jazzy Gabert and Kay Lee Ray, former Mae Young Classic participants, are shown in the front row.
The theme songs for tonight’s show are ‘Doomsday’ by Architects, and ‘Fight Fire With Fire’, by The Prodigy.
The fans are singing for Toni Storm as we get ring introductions for both women. The bell rings and neither woman moves. Finally, Ripley charges but Storm avoids her kick and unleashes a flurry of punches. Ripley shoves her off and tosses her up for a flapjack.
Ripley rolls from the ring and Storm chases after. The Champion slides into the ring and right back out the other side. Storm slides in and hits a suicide dive to Rhea! Storm chops Rhea against the barricade, before sending her back inside. As Storm is getting in though, Ripley grabs her hair and pulls it over the ropes as the referee counts to five. Ripley then kicks Storm in the back, sending her crashing into the barricade – just like what happened in their first match, where Ripley injured Storm’s back.
Ripley gets Storm back in the ring and kicks her down in the corner. Ripley wraps her legs around Storms and tries to squeeze the life out. Toni manages to turn around and land some forearms to the Champion. Rhea quickly regains the momentum though as she punches Storm and hits a nice stalling suplex. Ripley lifts Storm and hits a body slam, followed by another, aiming to hurt the back, and scores a two count.
Ripley is kicked from behind and knocked shoulder-first into the ring post. Storm runs for a hip attack but Ripley avoids it and knocks Storm down with a dropkick. Ripley lands two leg drops for a two count, and Rhea is getting frustrated. Ripley tosses Storm across the ring with a biel, then another. Ripley comes running off of the ropes but Storm hits her with a nasty headbutt and both women go down.
They get to their feet and trade punches to the cheers and boos of the UK fans. They trade shots until they tire, then they find a second wind and go again as the fans cheer loudly. Storm grabs Ripley and hits a snap German suplex, holds on, and lands a second! Storm looks for Storm Zero but Ripley reverses. Rhea looks for Riptide but Storm switched her hips and landed on Rhea with a crossbody of sorts for a near-fall. Storm gets the Champion up and looks for Storm Zero again but this time Ripley flips her over. They trade pinfall attempts until Rhea grabs Storm and applies the inverted Texas Cloverleaf!
Storm rolls through and manages to apply an ankle lock to Ripley, who reaches the bottom rope! Ripley tries to regroup in the corner but Storm connects with a hip attack, followed by a German suplex with a bridge pin for a near-fall. Storm cries like a child and slaps the back of Rhea’s head – not sure how that’s a babyface thing to do – but Rhea knocks her away. Ripley lands the Riptide but Storm kicks out!
Ripley lifts Storm and hits two short-armed clotheslines that knock her loopy. She looks for a third but Storm reverses and hits Storm Zero… but Ripley kicks out! The fans give them an ovation, but they don’t seem as into this one as they have been the other matches. Ripley punches Storm and looks for the Riptide again but Storm lands behind her, pulls her hair, then hits Storm Zero for a second time…. and that’s all she wrote!
We see replays after the fact, while Toni Storm celebrates her huge win. That was a really good match and Rhea Ripley is phenomenal. The fans chant “You Deserve It!” at Storm, and we see Ripley sitting on the ramp, crying.
It’s main event time! We see Charlotte Flair in the front row, ready for the match.
The bell rings, and Coffey folds his arms, waiting for Dunne to make a move. They waste a while before finally locking up. Dunne wrenches the arm as the fans chant his name. Coffey escapes the hold and takes Dunne down. Coffey grabs an arm, but this time Dunne twists out, kips up a few times, and follows-up with a nasty forearm. Coffey doesn’t really sell it,instead just stares at Dunne.
They meet in the middle of the ring and have a test of strength. Dunne gets out and steps on one hand before getting the other. Dunne then twists his pinky and middle fingers. Dunne goes for a takedown, but Coffey blocks it. Dunne eventually takes him down and ties up the legs as well. Coffey eventually gets out and attempts a Boston Crab, but Dunne fights out. Coffey signals for a Discus Lariat, but Dunne avoids it. We’re at something of a stalemate and it’s very slow paced thus far.
They circle the ring and go for another test of strength. Coffey knees Dunne in the midsection and applies a side headlock before connecting with a European uppercut. Coffey then applies a nerve hold. Dunne quickly gets out, so Coffey takes him down. Dunne fights out and hits the ropes, taking Coffey out with an avalanche. Dunne applies a Regal Stretch, but Coffey manages to get to the bottom rope.
The Bruiserweight kicks the challenger right in the wrist. Coffey goes for a slam, but Dunne counters into a submission attempt. Coffey fights out and goes for a delayed vertical suplex. The Champion knees Joe in the head a few times and goes back to the submission attempt. Dunne can’t lock it in, so he goes for the other arm. Coffey finally gets out and hits a double underhook suplex for a near fall. Dunne and Joe trade punches before the latter throws him out of the ring – Dunne fell hard on the apron first though.
Coffey looks to whip the Champion into the steel steps, but Dunne jumps on them and backflips over him, followed by a step-up enzuigiri. Coffey pushes him back trying to throw him back into the ring. Dunne charges, but Coffey counters into a slam on the ramp!
Coffey gets Dunne back in the ring and catches his breath while the referee counts Dunne out. The Champion gets back in the ring, but Coffey attacks him before connecting with a backbreaker. Coffey immediately follows up with a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Coffey continues to punch away at Dunne. Coffey then applies a bear hug. Dunne tries to head-butt and forearm out, but Coffey keeps the hold applied. Dunne eventually slinks out of it and grabs his nose. Coffey gets out and hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall. Dunne eventually fights back and takes him down with a forearm. Dunne avoids Coffey charging and dropkicks him. Dunne counters out of a German Suplex and kicks him in the back of the head. Coffey rolls out of the ring to recover.
A “Bruiserweight” chant picks up again, and the pace is starting to as well. Dunne goes to the apron and then hits a moonsault block to the floor off the second turnbuckle! Dunne gets him in the ring and clutches at his lower back. Coffey quickly forearms him while he gets in the ring, but Dunne comes back with an X-Plex for a near fall. Dunne tries for a move, but Coffey comes back with a cross-body off the top rope. Coffey avalanches him twice before hitting a vicious powerbomb, but Dunne kicks out. Coffey twists him in a modified submission before turning it into a Boston Crab. The Champion nearly gets to the bottom rope, but Coffey stomps him in the back of the head. Dunne appears to be unconscious, but he suddenly comes to and gets a burst of strength to get to the bottom rope to break the hold.
Both men are down, and the crowd is applauding them on. Coffey grabs him, but the Bruiserweight twists his fingers. They trade wild head-butts before taking each other out with a final big head-butt. They’re both down again. Dunne gets to his feet and catches Coffey with a German Suplex, before applying the Koji Clutch. Coffey fights out of it and goes for a slam, but Dunne counters into an ankle lock. Coffey eventually breaks out and hits a German Suplex. Coffey gets to his feet and charges, but Dunne knees him. Coffey gets out of a Bitter End attempt and jumps off the top rope, but Dunne avoids it. Dunne connects with the Bitter End for a near fall! Dunne cannot believe it!
Coffey rolls to the floor. Dunne goes for a moonsault attempt, but Coffey gets on the apron and grabs him. Coffey hits a running head-butt that sends Dunne into the ringpost. Coffe then grabs the Champion and hits a sit-out powerbomb on the apron! Both men fall to the floor while the crowd chants, “Holy Sh!t!” The referee is counting them out, but they both get in at nine! McGuinness says he sees doubt in the Champion’s eyes for the first time ever. Coffey punches away at Dunne and stomps the head. Dunne comes back with kicks to the face. Dunne holds his arms and wildly stomps the face – much like Daniel Bryan. Dunne stomps the hands and kicks him in the head and gets very fired up, which in turn gets the fans going crazy.
Coffey comes back with a European uppercut. Dunne hits a step-up enzuigiri, but Coffey floors him with a Discus Clothesline. Coffey covers but Dunne kicks out at 2! Coffey gets to his feet and goes for a Discus Clothesline, but Dunne counters into an arm bar attempt. Dunne goes to snap the fingers, but Coffey powers him up and slams him into the corner. Coffey then climbs the turnbuckles, with Dunne still hanging around his waist, and throws him off!
Both men sit in opposite corners of the ring and stare at each other with disdain. They pull themselves up to their feet and get prepared to go back to war. The crowd is going wild. They charge and exchange wild punches. Dunne ducks a right hand and staggers Coffey with rights and lefts. Coffey soon manages to take him down and wildly punches away at Dunne’s head. Coffey pulls Dunne up for a Bitter End, but Dunne counters into a DDT. Dunne hits the Bitter End, but he’s too tired to make the pin right away. As Dunne swings over to pin, Coffey rolls away and to the apron.
Coffey gets on the apron and hits a Discus Lariat to Dunne inside the ring. Coffey pulls Dunne up and drives him head-first into the turnbuckle. Coffey pulls him to the top rope and yells that this is his Kingdom. They both try to stand on the top rope, but then Coffey and Dunne then fall off, former to the floor, latter to the ring mat! Not sure if that was intentional.
Dunne then goes outside and grabs Coffey. Coffey gives him a Discus Lariat on the floor, gets him in the ring, and looks for the Bitter End but ends up hitting a weird, modified version that didn’t look quite right. The crowd is chanting, “NXT.” Coffey goes to the top rope and pulls Dunne up in an attempt to perform the move they seemingly botched the first time. And, can’t believe this, they screwed it up again! Both men fell off but this time both went into the barricade below. There’s no way that was the intended move.
Both men roll back into the ring. Dunne ducks a Discus Clothesline and hits Coffey with one of his own. Dunne then connects with the Bitter End… but Coffey kicks out! Dunne quickly rolls on top of him and bends the fingers back for the submission!
That was such a disjointed, sloppy finish to an otherwise great match! Dunne celebrates his huge win over a very game Coffey.
WWE throws up the graphic like the show is over… but isn’t! Music kicks-in and out comes none other than Walter! His debut was said to be happening this evening and here he is! Walter makes his way down to the ring, where he and Dunne come face-to-face. Suddenly, Coffey reappears on the apron, and Walter kicks him off. And just like that, Coffey is literally booted from the title picture. Walter and Dunne stare some more before the challenger leaves the ring and Dunne poses with his belt.
That’s it for the first ever NXT UK TakeOver show! Let us know what you thought of it and be sure to come back tomorrow and everyday for all your wrestling news and results! Until then, safe travels!