Finn Balor def. KEnny Williams
I'm curious whether this was taped with the intention of airing it on TV or if it was always meant to be a dark match. Either way, it was a quality contest and it was cool to see Williams hang with a top talent like Balor. Williams doesn't often get the credit he deserves for being so skilled, so I was glad he had as solid of a showing as he did here. It's unfortunate that Balor's feud with WALTER has been put on the back-burner for now because I was really looking forward to that matchup.
Rhea Ripley def. Nina Samuels
This took place during that period when Ripely was pulling double-duty on both NXT and NXT UK. I'm a big fan of hers, but not even she could get an exciting match out of Samuels, who bores me to tears. There wasn't anything technically wrong with this, but it also wasn't anything more than average, either. On the bright side, it did effectively hype Ripley's upcoming opportunity at the NXT Women's Championship next weekend at NXT TakeOver: In Your House.
Killian Dain def. Travis Banks
Banks can never seem to win whenever it matters most, so him losing to Dain here was hardly a surprise. This happened right before Dain returned to NXT and thus the crowd didn't have much of an incentive to care. Banks scored some offense, but Dain dominated a majority of the match before winning with relative ease. I don't know if I would call this a "gem," but seeing Dain in NXT UK was something different at least. It's where I figured he'd wind up post-SAnitY as opposed to NXT proper.
Matt Riddle and NXT Tag Team Champions The Street Profits def. Joseph Conners and NXT UK Tag Team Champions Grizzled Young Veterans
Street Profits were the NXT Tag Team Champions and Grizzled Young Veterans were the NXT UK Tag Team Champions when this was filmed last summer, which is why I've listed them as such in the headline. I had no idea Street Profits and Riddle worked an NXT UK TV taping at one point, so this was a treat, not to mention that Riddle and Street Profits are a trio I didn't know I needed in my life until now. I could have done without that boring middle portion, but the final stretch was fun and the crowd was into the action.
I've been digging these Hidden Gem editions of NXT UK and it looks like they might be a monthly thing. I'm all for that, especially since there is no timetable for when the brand can go back to filming original content (which is a bummer because it had some momentum going into TakeOver: Dublin). This was another enjoyable episode, even if I wouldn't consider any of the matches to be must-see necessarily.
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