NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool: A Brilliant Start to 2020

by Ian Goodwillie
Published: Last Updated on

NXT UK has been carving a respectable name for itself as it’s own brand over the past few years. Established in 2016, the weekly show started broadcasting on the WWE Network in 2018. Over its existence, NXT UK has put on some great pay-per-views but TakeOver: Blackpool II might have been its best.

The first TakeOver: Blackpool went down in the Empress Ballroom, as did the 2020 edition. WWE also held their 2017 United Kingdom Championship Tournament there. It’s become closely associated with NXT UK over the years. The crowds there are unreal.

Fortunately, the audience on Sunday got an outstanding card.

Trent Seven vs Eddie Dennis

The opening match pitted Eddie Dennis against Trent Seven. The buildup had been intense, with Dennis targeting Trent after being on the shelf for a few months. Apparently, his goal was to prove Trent’s career only exists because he rides the coat tails of Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate.

Eddie Dennis prepares Trent Seven for the Razor’s Edge at TakeOver: Blackpool II.

Naturally, that wasn’t the case.

Both Eddie Dennis and Trent Seven are incredibly talented performers, which they showed everyone watching. One incredible spot saw Dennis launching Trent over the top rope using the Razor’s Edge. He landed on a ringside staff member just trying to do his job.

The brilliance of the match was two seasoned craftsmen putting on an incredible show. It was the perfect way to start TakeOver: Blackpool II.

Kay Lee Ray vs Toni Storm vs Piper Niven

Despite Rhea Ripley heading to the US, the NXT UK Women’s Division continues to pick up steam. This Triple Threat match for Women’s Championship cemented them as some of the best in the business.

Kay Lee Ray wipes out the competition.

Kay Lee Ray, the current champion, defended her belt against Toni Storm, a former champion, and Piper Niven, a future champion. Animosity had been brewing between Niven and Storm for weeks over who deserved the shot, while Ray waited in the wings to pick up the pieces and the win. Which she did.

It was an incredibly intense match that showed the deep talent of all three competitors. Piper Niven threw caution to the wind on more than one occasion, taking impressive dives. Kay Lee Ray also looked amazing when she slapped the Gory Bomb on Niven.

Jordan Devlin vs Tyler Bate

A match up like this on the TakeOver: Blackpool II card guarantees a high octane bout that will be over the top. Jordan Devlin and Tyler Bate did not disappoint.

As the inaugural UK Champion, Bate has been in a position to put on some incredible matches over the past few years for NXT UK. Devlin has had more than a few stellar matches, himself. Their 22-minute match tore the roof off the Empress Ballroom.

Tyler Bate takes it to Jordan Devlin at TakeOver: Blackpool II.

Both Bate and Devlin pulled out their usual tricks as well as some new moves. No matter what they threw at each other, both men kept kicking out until Bate went off the top rope and finally got the three count.

On any other card, this match would have stolen the show. But NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II was stacked with amazing matches.

Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Ladder Match

Case in point.

There have been some incredible ladder matches to decide tag team championships over the years in WWE. Without question, the match at TakeOver: Blackpool II lived up to the pedigree. Mark Coffey and Wolfgang of Gallus defended their belts against Grizzled Young Veterans, Imperium’s Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel, and Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster.

Possibly the NXT UK match of the year.

This match was pure insanity. Gallus came out with the win but everyone involved put on a hell of a show. It reached a point where the audience in the Empress Ballroom didn’t know what to do. They just started chanting, “Please don’t die” over and over.

The most insane spot of the match may have happened by accident. Coffey and Wolfgang were each outside of the ring on their own tables with a very high ladder between them. It looked like the plan was for Andrews and Morgan to dive through each one respectively.

But one of the tables broke on its own, prematurely dumping Coffey on the ground. Calling an audible, Andrews and Morgan climbed the same side of the ladder, linked arms, and dove through Wolfgang together. The spot might not have been planned exactly that was but it was the biggest one of the night.

This NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II match was so good it might even be a contender for Match of the Year.

Joe Coffey vs Walter

Walter might be one of the most dominant wrestlers in all of WWE. Hopefully, a collision with Brock Lesnar is in the cards. Most fans would love to see Lesnar take a few of Walter’s brutal chops.

Walter flies off the top rope.

This run-in with Joe Coffey at TakeOver: Blackpool II had been building for a while. Most fans assume that Coffey’s coronation as champ will come someday. But would it be at the expense of Walter’s reign?

The short answer is no.

The Ring General retained his championship and continued his epic tenure at the top of NXT UK. But Joe Coffey did not go quietly. His performance was admirable, possibly taking Walter closer to his limit than anyone before him. They absolutely brutalized each other.

The brilliance of the match was that fans were fully drawn in. Walter’s victory was not inevitable. He had to earn it. Realistically, Coffey gave as good as he got all through the match. There were points you could genuinely believe that Coffey was going to walk away with the win, a sign of a well-booked bout.

Undisputed Era

While the Undisputed Era wasn’t on the card for NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II, they sure made their presence felt. After Walter’s win, the Era rushed the ring and laid a beating on Imperium.

Undisputed Era attacks Imperium at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II.

The attack was a buildup for the upcoming World’s Collide event that will pit NXT and NXT UK against each other. Unsurprisingly, Undisputed Era got what was possibly the biggest pop of the night. That makes sense for the biggest faction in all of WWE right now.

It was the perfect end to an outstanding pay-per-view.

1 comment

Ricky Fernandes da Conceição January 13, 2020 - 8:37 pm

That four-way tag team match was amazing. I’m pretty sure it will be on our list of best matches of 2020!


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