The U.K. title is on the line tonight down at Full Sail U! Tyler Bate defends against Trent Seven and we will get a medical update on Shinsuke Nakamura. The Authors of Pain are out to the ring and we are off
NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain (w/Paul Ellering) vs Garriston Spears & Lance Anoa’i
Rezar and Anoa’i start us off and Rezar is all over Anoa’i. He then pulls Spears in the ring and lays waste to him. Akam comes in and after a double fireman’s carry into the turnbuckles, a Last Chapter ends this one in a hurry, and I now fear for The Top Guys. After the match, AOP hits a Super Collider for good measure.
My Take: One word… SQUASH. The Top Guys have one hell of a mountain to climb if they want the titles for a 3rd time. I wish I could have seen more of Anoa’i.
The title match hype starts now with a highlight package focusing on the champ, Tyler Bate.
Billie Kay & Peyton Royce vs Liv Morgan & Ember Moon
After a quick update saying that Nakamura does not need surgery and a shot of him back in the ring training for a Roode rematch, we head back to the ring for some women’s tag action. Kay and Royce are out first, and Royce has a Riddler-like attire. Liv comes out and the lights go out for her partner’s entrance. Very nice pop once Ember’s music hits and we have a match. Kay and Ember start us off and the crowd perks up and give a very hearty “Let’s Go Ember”. Billie gets in some quick offense with a headlock and a shoulder block before eventually getting downed by a quick huracanrana from Ember. Billie stops Ember from going up top by pulling her tights which gives Riddler Royce a chance to interfere from the apron but she is rebuffed by Ember. Liv tries to enter the ring and get the ref’s attention to point that out, which gives Riddler Royce a second shot and they take down Ember. After a quick 1 count there’s a tag and here comes Riddler Royce. After some bullying in the corner, Ember eventually escapes with a suplex and gets the tag to Liv who is fired up. A bulldog and STO from Liv leads to Kay having to break up the pin attempt, and Kay knocks Moon off the apron with a big boot. Quick tag and Liv gets erased as Kay holds her up in order to get blasted by a knee from Riddler Royce and that’s a 3 count.
My Take: A quick tag match but it did it’s job, which was build Royce and Kay as well as keep Morgan and Moon active and near the title picture. I am becoming more and more impressed with Royce each week.
After a recap of last week’s Sanity vs Tye Dillinger, we get a promo from No Way Jose and Roderick Strong, who say that they basically stepped up for Tye last week because they respect him and are sick of Sanity. Pretty good promo to solidify that alliance.
Ciampa and Johnny Wrestling hit the ring to a very good pop and start off talking about their rise to the titles, and their fall. Johnny says they are far from finished and want a title rematch. AOP and Paul Ellering immediately hit the ramp and Paul says they can have it in 2 weeks and that they better make peace with their loved ones. Gargano and Ciampa then affirm their love for each other as Ellering asked for but then get jumped from behind by The Revival. Ciampa gets tossed outside and Johnny eats a Shatter Machine before AOP run down and chase The Top Guys off.
My Take: It looks like they are sticking with the hit and run jobs and I like it. I would much rather see The Revival frustrating AOP vs AOP beating the tar out of The Revival every week until the match. Having DIY in this segment actually made me realize that the tag division isn’t that deep nowadays on the Yellow Brand. I need to process that. It bugs me.
More title match hype as we now get a Trent Seven highlight package. And right after… A CHRIS HERO…. ugh, Kassius Ohno package! He says he’s been away for awhile but now he is back. Loads of clips from his earlier FCW and NXT runs. Once it ends, William Regal announces a triple threat match for next week with Liv Morgan, Ember Moon, and Peyton Royce vying for the chance to face Asuka the week after that.
WWE United Kingdom Title Match: Tyler Bate (C) vs Trent Seven
The Battle of Moustache Mountain rages on in the U.S. as the challenger enters first. Lots of waves and cheers as Tyler enters the ring. Official intros, a handshake, and the first defense of the U.K. title is underway. The two trade lockups and each breaks by stroking the other’s moustache. Tom Phillips announces Pete Dunne vs Mark Andrews next week on the show. A shoulder block contest ensues and Tyler loses. Nice suplex from Trent for a 1 count. Tyler quickly comes back with a dropkick and Seven takes a breather on the outside as the champ follows. Both men back inside the ring and Bate is in control as we go to break. Upon returning, Trent fights his way back up and eats some European uppercuts from Bate before attempting a backslide. Bate won’t give in and goes for one of his own but falters and Seven picks up a 2 count. Flying European uppercut from the middle turnbuckle from Bate forces Seven to roll out for another breather. The crowd gets going and convinces Bate to fly over the top and to the outside. Both men back in at 8 and Trent surprises Bate and plants him for a 2 count. Bate blocks the 7 Star Lariat and gets Seven up for an airplane spin, fades, then spins him some more. The slow pace picks up as Bate goes for a German suplex, Seven goes behind, hits a Dragon suplex, grabs Bate and powerbombs him, then waits until the ref counts 2 before he switches over into a single leg crab. Excellent sequence. The champ fights out and after a few kicks, nails Seven with Bang (his left hand) but turns his back and catches a massive 7 Star Lariat for his trouble. Bate somehow out at 2 and the crowd starts the “This is Awesome” chant as Seven slowly heads up top. Bate recovers to dropkick Seven and leave him stuck. After some work, Bate finally hits an Exploder from the top but only for a 2 count. Bate cannot believe it so he digs down in the bag for the Tyler Driver ’97, which Seven fights out of. Bate ends up coming off the ropes and hits a rolling wheel kick to set up the TD 97 and this time he hits it for the 3 count and his 1st successful defense. A handshake and hug between the two former partners closes out the show.
My Take: In my first review I said that I think putting the U.K. guys all over WWE TV will do great things for the title. I feel like someone was listening. What a solid match. The pace may have been a tad slow for some people that aren’t used to the British style, but boy did they make up for it. I’m also starting to think that the Full Sail crowds, like the tourney crowds, are perfect for this group/brand/division. The smaller, more intimate crowds seem to really bring out the best in these guys and I don’t know if I want to see them in massive Raw/SD arenas YET. Let’s really give it a chance to grow and see where it goes.
Another solid week of action from the Yellow Brand. This one had it all: a great wrestling match, Chris Hero, and The Revival! Next week brings us a #1 contender match and more U.K. action so the momentum should definitely continue. I think it’s a good thing that NXT is putting on some solid shows smack dab in the middle of Wrestlemania season. I expect Takeover: Orlando to be one of the biggest and best Takeovers ever. Well now I have to go and ponder the state of the tag division down there at the Yellow Brand so as always, you can reach me on Twitter at @dom_scurlock and I will see you guys next week!