Show: NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff
Location: Motorpoint Arena Cardiff in Cardiff, Wales
Date: Saturday August 31, 2019
Noam Dar vs. Travis Banks – Dar applied an ankle lock but Banks rolled through. Banks delivered a PK from the ring apron. Dar delivered a flying clothesline for a near fall. Banks delivered a running dropkick and followed with a bridging German Suplex but Dar kicked out. Dar delivered overhead kicks, went for a LeBell Lock but Banks rolled over for a near fall. Banks went for a Crossface but Dar grabbed the ropes. Dar delivered a Fisherman’s Buster for a near fall. Banks went for a Disaster Kick but Dar caught him and applied a Knee Bar but Banks broke free. Dar delivered a sliding lariat for a near fall. Banks delivered a Woo Dropkick and followed with a reverse double stomp for a near fall. There was a great sequence as Dar launched Banks who leaped off the barricade and delivered a Disaster Kick to Dar on the floor. Banks delivered a double stomp for a near fall. Banks delivered a Shining Wizard, went for Slice of Heaven but Dar kicked his leg from under him. Dar connected with Nova Roller for the win.
- WINNER: Noam Dar (***)
(Amin’s Analysis: It started slow but the intensity picked up as both Banks and Dar worked a very solid opening match on a stacked card.)
–Radzi Chinyanganya was shown backstage as he asked Cesaro about his open challenge. Cesaro mentioned he didn’t care who it was. Ilja Dragunov walked up to him and left.
Cesaro vs. Ilja Dragunov – Cesaro came out to a big reaction. Ilja delivered a Yakuza Kick as the match began. There were a great exchange of counters as Ilja to Cesaro to bring it as the crowd chanted “NXT.” Cesaro delivered an uppercut but Ilja countered with a bicycle kick and connected with a back senton for a near fall. Ilja charged but Cesaro dumped him to the floor. Cesaro delivered a backdrop suplex for a near fall. There was an awesome spot as Cesaro spun Ilja around 40 Times which got an enormous reaction. Cesaro applied a Crossface but Ilja countered into a rollup for a near fall. Ilja delivered a 619 clothesline. Ilja delivered a tope and followed with a Coast-to-Coast dropkick but Cesaro kicked out. There was a chop exchange. Cesaro delivered a Military Press into a knee strike for a near fall. Cesaro delivered a sliding uppercut but Ilja kicked out for a close near fall. Ilja delivered a rolling Death Valley Driver into the turnbuckle as the fans chanted “This is Awesome.” Ilja delivered a flying senton but Cesaro kicked out. Ilja charged but Cesaro countered by delivering a Popup Uppercut. Cesaro delivered the Neutralizer for the win.
[Post Match] Cesaro walked up the ramp but then headed back to the ring. Cesaro teased delivered an uppercut but stopped. Cesaro lifted Ilja up, shook his hand and embraced as the fans chanted “NXT.” This was good.
- WINNER: Cesaro (****)
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a terrific smash mouth match between two terrific wrestlers which you rarely see on WWE TV. There were some awesome sequences as Dragunov worked really hard and has great facial reactions. Cesaro was amazing as you can tell he enjoyed the moment as he was showcased as a megastar. But on RAW or SmackDown he’s positioned as just another wrestler which is a downer.)
Triple-Threat Match for the NXT UK Tag Team Titles: The Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson) vs. Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) vs. Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews – Andrews and Webster came out to a huge reaction. Webster delivered a hurricanrana to Coffey and a springboard dropkick to Gibson. Andrews delivered a reverse moonsault to Gibson as Webster followed by delivering a flying hurricanrana too Wolfgang. Andrews delivered a double backflip kick to Coffey and Wolfgang. There was a great sequence as Andrews and Webster delivered stereo Tope Con Hilo’s to Gallus and Grizzled Young Veterans on opposite sides which got a big pop as the fans chanted “NXT.” There was a great spot as Webster delivered a running knee to Wolfgang as Andrews delivered a Poison Hurricanrana for a near fall. Andrews delivered a Shooting Star Press to Gallus and Gibson on the floor. Andrews delivered a Stunt Dog Millionaire as Wesbter followed with a Swanton Bomb but Gibson kicked out for a close near fall. Gibson delivered Helpter Skelter as Drake followed with a 450 Splash but Andrews kicked out. Coffey delivered a Chokeslam to Drake as Wolfgang speared Andrews. Wolfgang launched Coffey who delivered a flying senton to everyone on the floor. Coffey delivered a jumping kick as Wolfgang followed with a Popup Powerslam to Andrews but Webster made the save. There was a crazy spot as Gallus went for a Slingshot but Andrews countered by delivering Yoshi Tonic to Coffey. Drake and Gibson delivered a combination tope/Doomsday Device to Wolfgang on the floor as the fans chanted “Holy Sh*t“ and “This is Awesome.” Andrews delivered a double Stunt Dog Millionaire to Drake and Gibson. Webster delivered a 450 Splash to Drake but Gibson pulled the referee to the floor. Drake and Gibson delivered Ticket to Mayhem to Andrews. Drake delivered a tope to Gallus on the floor. Gibson went for the cover but Andrews stopped him by delivering a Shooting Star Press. Webster pinned Gibson for the win which got a big reaction.
- WINNERS: Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews won the NXT UK Tag Team Titles (****1/4)
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a just a crazy match filled with huge high spots as every team delivered more than enough bang for your buck. This was so entertaining to watch as there were so many awesome sequences leading to the finish which was great. This was the right time to switch the titles as the fans were hanging onto every pin fall want to see Andrews and Webster win.)
Last Man Standing Match: Dave Mastiff vs. Joe Coffey – Coffey and Mastiff brawled on the entrance ramp as the match began. Mastiff rammed Coffey into the turnbuckle as the top rope came off. Mastiff delivered a release German suplex. Coffey attacked Mastiff with a Kendo Stick and then brought out a table. Mastiff whacked Coffey with a Cricket Bat. Coffey delivered a pounce as Mastiff went crashing through a table. Mastiff delivered a running cannonball as Coffey went crashing through a table. Mastiff whacked Coffey with a chair and then passed him another chair. Coffey and Mastiff charged with chairs in hand. Mastiff delivered a rolling senton on the announcers table but Coffey got up. They battled on a staging area as Mastiff yanked Coffey as both went crashing through a table. The referee began his count as Coffey got up at 9. Coffey kicked an equipment box at Mastiff’s leg and won the match.
- WINNER: Joe Coffey (**1/2)
(Amin’s Analysis: The finish was flat as the crowd didn’t expect that. But this was a wild big man brawl as there were some creative spots as both Coffey and Mastiff worked hard.)
–NXT superstar Tegan Nox was shown in the crowd looking very cute.
NXT UK Women’s Championship Match: Toni Storm vs. Kay Lee Ray – Kay stalled early as Toni responded by delivering a tope. Toni rammed Kay into the barricade. Kay applied an abdominal stretch and then delivered a face buster for a near fall. Kay delivered palm strikes. Toni delivered a Hook Kick. Toni delivered a release German suplex and followed with a sliding lariat. Kay blocked a Storm Zero, went for a Gory Bomb but Toni countered by delivering a Code Red for a near fall. Kay applied an inside cradle for a near fall. Toni delivered Storm Zero but Kay kicked out for a close near fall. Kay delivered a pair of Superkicks and connected with a Gory Bomb but Toni kicked out. They battled on the turnbuckle as Toni teased a Super Storm Zero but Kay blocked. Kay was standing on the turnbuckle as Toni delivered a middle rope Super German suplex. Kay placed her foot on the rope to force a break. Toni delivered a tope. Toni entered the ring but Kay caught him with a knee lift. Kay delivered a flying senton to Toni on the floor. Kay delivered a Gory Bomb to Toni into the turnbuckle. Kay delivered the third Gory Bomb of the match for the win.
- WINNER: Kay Lee Ray won the NXT UK Women’s Title (***1/4)
(Amin’s Analysis: The match was slow as they worked a deliberate pace leading to the bigger picture which was Kay getting into Toni’s head leading into the match. This was short but they had a solid match as Kay was great in the heel role. Toni’s a terrific wrestler, is a natural babyface and has awesome facial reactions. With Toni losing the title will be interesting to see if we see Storm on NXT with the show moving to USA.)
WWE United Kingdom Championship Match: WALTER vs. Tyler Bate – The fans sang for Bate when he came out and throughout the match. The match started with some nice mat wrestling. Bate and WALTER countered each other’s signature spots. Bate scoop slammed WALTER which got a big reaction. Bate delivered a hurricanrana, went for a tope but WALTER countered by delivering a chop. WALTER delivered an Apron Powerbomb. WALTER delivered a running boot and then Powerbombed Bate into the ring post. WWE officials came out to check on Bate. The match continued as WALTER applied a sleeper but Bate grabbed the ropes. WALTER applied a Crossface but Bate reached the ropes. WALTER went for an Apron Powerbomb but Bate countered by delivering an Exploder Suplex sending WALTER to the floor. Bate leaped off the apron but WALTER caught him with a chop. WALTER applied a Liontamer and then transitioned into a Crossface but Bate placed his foot on the ropes. The match picked up here as Bate delivered a suplex to WALTER which got a big pop. Bate delivered a Koppo Kick and followed with an Exploder Suplex. Bate delivered a standing Shooting Star Press for a near fall. WALTER delivered a Woo dropkick. Bate countered a Powerbomb into a Code Red but WALTER kicked out. There was a great spot as they battled on the turnbuckle as Bate snapped WALTER’s fingers which got a big pop. Bate delivered a Super Exploder Suplex but WALTER kicked out. The fans sang loudly sang for Bate. WALTER delivered an Exploder Suplex for a near fall. Bate deadlifted WALTER and delivered an Airplane Spin which got a big pop. Bate carried WALTER on his shoulders and delivered a Burning Hammer which got another big reaction. Bate went for a cover but WALTER rolled to the floor as the fans chanted “Fight Forever.” Bate delivered a tope and followed with a plancha. Bate delivered bridging German suplex but WALTER kicked out. Bate went for Tyler Driver 97 but WALTER countered by delivering a Northern Lights suplex for a near fall. There was a great spot as off the near fall, Bate maintained wrist control and delivered a Tyler Driver 97 but WALTER kicked out for an Awesome near fall. Bate delivered a flying Corkscrew senton for another near fall. Bate delivered strikes but WALTER responded with strikes and a big boot. WALTER applied a sleeper but Bate broke free by delivering an Electric Chair. WALTER applied an Goji Clutch but Bate tried to break free by leaping over the top rope. There was a Crazy spot as WALTER hung on and delivered a Sleeper Suplex to Bate on the ring apron as the fans chanted “Holy Sh*t.” WALTER delivered a Super Splash but Bate kicked out for a huge reaction. WALTER delivered a Powerbomb but Bate KICKED OUT AT ONE!!!! The finish came when WALTER ran at full speed and delivered a Clothesline from Hell for the win.
[Post Match] WALTER walked up the entrance ramp, held up the WWE United Kingdom Title and posed with the rest of Imperium (Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichern and Marcel Barthel.) Bate was still inside the ring as Pete Dunne and Trent Seven came out. The fans chanted for Bate as British Strong Style embraced which got a huge reaction. British Strong Style posed which got another big reaction as show came to a close.
- WINNER: WALTER retained the WWE United Kingdom Title (*****1/2)
(Amin’s Analysis: This was absolutely incredible to watch as this match went 42+ minutes but didn’t feel long because of the amazing story they told as the crowd was into it from the entrances. There was just so many awesome sequences, transitions and counters leading to the finish. They told a simple David vs. Goliath story but this totally worked because WALTER is simply amazing as he has such an incredible presence and brings realness into all his match. Bate was unreal in this match from showing the impact from all of WALTER’s offence to slowly mounting a comeback. Bate’s facial reaction were terrific as you can that he showed all the effort he had to put into making all his offence look believable. This has to be in contention for Match of the Year and in the running for the greatest WWE match of all-time. You can make the case that this topped the amazing Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano trilogy of matches. An unreal match that all wrestling fans should watch.)
[Overall Thoughts] This was a great show from opening to close as every match delivered something different. Bate/WALTER and Cesaro/Ilja Dragunov were my matches of the night. My big takeaway from this show is that TakeOver: events have the perfect formula with the right length and amount of matches. This was a great showing and showcase for the NXT UK talent. Will be interesting to see the next programs coming out of the show and if we will see this was a sendoff for both British Strong Style and Toni Storm with NXT moving to a live format. Overall, NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff gets a big thumbs up.
Image Credit – WWE