Ligero def. Mike Hitchman
I got my first glimpse of Ligero in this year's WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament and I was impressed by what I saw. He brings a unique Lucha-esque style of wrestling to the NXT UK brand and he had a nice little match here with Hitchman. Speaking of whom, he had plenty of aggression and fared well for himself, but he didn't do much to stand out as special in my eyes. This was a good way of kicking off the show.
Dakota Kai def. Killer Kelly
I was wondering why Kai has away from NXT TV in recent months. Perhaps it's because there simply isn't anything for her creatively at the moment, but it also could be due to her slowly becoming more of a fixture on the NXT UK brand. I hope she continues to appear on both brands because she was picking up real momentum in NXT's women's division earlier this year. Anyway, this was a solid match between her and Kelly, who had a strong showing in this year's Mae Young Classic. During a post-match promo, Kai staked her claim at the NXT UK Women's Championship, which I'm sure will be instituted soon.
Noam Dar Interrupted Zack Gibson
This was the case during the UK title tourney back in June as well, but I could never understand why Gibson receives so much damn heat from the audience. I mean, that's amazing and all, but I personally don't see what makes him such a hated heel aside from where he lives (which is apparently what UK fans take exception to). Nevertheless, his promo took aim at Dar, who emerged from the back and almost came to blows with Gibson before Johnny Saint ordered them to report to his office. It was later announced that they'll go one-on-one next week.
Ashton Smith def. Tucker
These are another two competitors from this year's UK title tournament. Although it seems to be a competent enough worker, Tucker comes across as generic to me as a character. Besides, it was pretty apparent that Smith would be the one showcased here based off the video package he received beforehand. He has a fun personality and he's a blast to watch in the ring, so I look forward to seeing him continue to develop in the future.
Tyler Bate def. Wolfgang
Bate never ceases to amaze me with what he can do. He's also incredibly over with the audience, so it should come as no surprise that he's being built around as one of the faces of the NXT UK brand. Meanwhile, I've never been the biggest Wolfgang fan, but he too can always be counted on for a quality performance. This was an entertaining main event with a great pace that closed out the evening on a high note. Nothing was at stake, but the commentators did mention how both men are looking to enter WWE United Kingdom Championship contention and now Bate is one step closer to doing so.
Episode 2 of NXT UK was just as effective as the pilot in establishing several fresh faces on the brand as well as reintroducing some familiar ones. They have an excellent crop of competitors to work with, and under the watchful eye of Triple H, NXT UK is bound to be an enjoyable watch each week. No one match from this show is worth going out of your way to see, but the entire hour flies by and the main event was especially a treat.
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