NXT UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray def. Xia Brookside (Non-Title)
Ray is fresh off her Full Sail University debut on this week's NXT (even though this was taped weeks ago). She hasn't had a ton of matches so far as champion, but this served as a nice reminder as to how great she truly is. Meanwhile, Brookside can be one of the biggest babyfaces in WWE if she continues to grow as a performer at the rate she's going. She had a strong showing in defeat here and held her own against Ray. This was a very good opening match that left me wondering who will ultimately be the one to dethrone Ray as champ.
Travis Banks def. Ligero
The first match these two had on NXT UK a few weeks ago was excellent, so it should have come as no surprise that this was equally entertaining. Both of these guys are incredible athletes and seem to bring the best out of each other in the ring. Sadly, the finishes to their matches have been lame with this continuing that trend. Joseph Conners interfering was such a letdown, and he attacked Banks afterward as well. He said he's going to make life hell for everyone on the roster because of how he didn't become the first-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion. Am I supposed to care?
Tyler Bate def. Kassius Ohno
Bate is much higher up on the totem pole in NXT UK than Ohno, so I didn't expect this to be so competitive. However, I'm glad it was because it ended up being a blast. It was treated like a true main event that never felt dull and saw both Bate and Ohno put in an outstanding effort. The crowd was into it the entire time, which helped, and I loved the drama and sense of urgency they worked with. Ohon loses noting from a performance like this, while Bate bounces back following his loss to WALTER at TakeOver: Cardiff in August. It's been many months since we've had an NXT UK TV main event of this caliber, so I'd certainly recommend checking it out.
I've mentioned many times in the past how I'm a fan of the "less is more" approach, so you could probably imagine that I really enjoyed this show. All three matches (especially the main event) were given a ton of time and each of them delivered. There was some backstage stuff as well, including another video package for Piper Niven and the announcements that were getting Ridge Holland's debut next week as well as Alexander Wolfe vs. Ilja Dragunov. This was undoubtedly the strongest edition of NXT UK in some time. I just wish they could utilize this formula more often.
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