POLLOCK'S REVIEW: NXT UK 10/24 feat. Fans revolting on Zack Gibson

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/10/24/pollocks-review-nxt-uk-10-24-feat-fans-revolting-on-zack-gibson/

Wednesday, October 24th

RESULTS: Ligero over Mike Hitchman, Dakota Kai over Killer Kelly, Ashton Smith over Tucker, Tyler Bate over Wolfgang

-This week’s show had a much different feel than the premiere episode last week. This show was a collection of showcase matches and felt like an exercise in introducing more talent and aiming them at the audience that is less familiar.

-The main event was a nice match, I wouldn’t say it was great or anything more than a good television main event. The audience was into almost everything on the show and got into Bate’s comedy at the start, overcoming the size of Wolfgang and into his finishing sequence of a rolling koppu kick and Tyler Driver ’97. I did like that the announcers adding importance to the win by stating it places Bate one step closer for another shot at the UK title and it wasn’t just a throwaway win.

-The best segment on the show featured Zack Gibson coming out and being berated throughout his promo by the crowd. They booed the entire promo and Gibson was great by encouraging the boos and powering through. The audience broke out into a “Shoes Off” song while removing their shoes and holding them in the air. Gibson was making excuses for losing to Pete Dunne at Royal Albert Hall and stating he won the tournament the night prior and wasn’t fresh. He ran down Noam Dar for losing to Dunne last week, even though Dar was fresh. This led to Dar coming out and they were stopped by General Manager Johnny Saint who scolded them and sent the two to the principal’s office. Great segment.

-Dakota Kai won a quick match over Killer Kelly with the Kaio Driver where she goes for a sunset flip and turns it into an inverted backstabber. Kai stated she heard a rumor of an NXT UK women’s title tournament and wants to be part of it. There is a great benefit for NXT talent to get more screen time on this show because of the one-hour format of NXT with so much talent under that brand.

-They have dropped the “El” in El Ligero but the audience still chanted, “El Ligero”. He is probably going to turn into a big fan favorite on this series and take on a Sami Zayn level of babyface role. He defeated the WILD BOAR Mike Hitchman with a tornado DDT off the ropes.

-Nigel McGuinness mentioned that Ashton Smith “had a contentious relationship with his family but they are now behind him as a wrestler” and that was a line that needed some further context instead of being a throwaway line.

-They promoted Zach Gibson vs. Noam Dar and Danny Burch in action for next week’s episode.

-Overall, I thought the Zack Gibson promo was great and would recommend that segment, but the rest was a collection of matches and was an average episode with little importance attached to the matches. I like having a mix of wrestling matches and non-wrestling segments on a television episode and at the beginning of this brand, I think they should lean heavily on personality pieces and interviews rather than rely on throwing out matches to fill out a show.

Usually I agree with John about most things, but I disagree about his recommended approach. I think WWE is doing exactly the right thing here by approaching it like NXT. A strong focus on the in ring work and using in ring to tell story. Look at Pete Dunne. We never really got much in the way of promo or personality pieces on Dunne and he became one of the most over guys. If the in ring storytelling is good, thats what will get the brand over. If this was main roster adjacent like say 205, I would agree. Just my 2 cents anyways.