WWE decided to air a doubleheader of NXT UK on Halloween, but it remains to be seen if this is a one-time thing or if they do this on a regular basis now. My recap of the second episode will be posted later Thursday.
Noam Dar, Zack Gibson, and Mark Andrews continued to impress with Dar and Gibson having a very good main event match that went more than 20 minutes. The main stories on the doubleheader were Danny Burch being built up as the newest challenger for Pete Dunne's WWE UK title (they will face off next week), while the Coffey Bros. continue to be built up as monster heels, laying waste to Flash Morgan Webster, Mark Andrews and Travis Banks (who, it was implied, was attacked by the brothers in a backstage segment).
We also saw the regular NXT UK in-ring debuts of Trent Seven, Saxon Huxley, Flash Morgan Webster, Mark Coffey, Danny Burch, Sam Gradwell, Isla Dawn and of course, Jordan Devlin. Webster and Devlin both looked very good in their matches.
They have aired all the matches from the inaugural July 28th taping by now and all of the matches on the second part of the two show block were from July 29th. It looks like they will be finishing up with the matches taped there by episode six. If they keep the "four matches per week" formula, they have enough material for another 13 weeks after that, and they have two more tapings scheduled for November, so that should be good for another six episodes which will get us right into WrestleMania week.
WWE also holds a big tryout camp in Cologne on November 9th aimed at the German talent pool with lots of wXw stars attending, so hopefully we will find out more on the plans for an NXT Germany brand and also learn if, and how, NXT in the UK and Germany may interact in the future.
Episode 3 show recap:
The show opened with a graphic for our main event, Noam Dar vs. Zack Gibson, after the latter called out the former during his in-ring promo last week amidst nuclear heat with GM Johnny Saint making the match for tonight.
Trent Seven defeated Saxon Huxley in 5:10 with the Burning Hammer
Seven, the oldest member of British Strong Style at age 37 (well, 36 when this was taped), is an interesting character. An actor by trade (he even appeared in Transformers: The Last Knight), he started wrestling in 2008 and is part-owner of the Wolverhampton Fight Club: PRO promotion. He also bought his own ring in order to properly train and also is one of the trainers of Tyler Bate, who he's been teaming with as Moustache Mountain since late 2015.
He mostly wrestled for Fight Club: PRO early on, but also worked for CZW in the U.S. and Big Japan Pro Wrestling in 2012 and for wXw in Germany in 2011 and 2012. In 2015, he became a regular for ICW in Scotland and by 2016, he was a regular in ICW, PROGRESS, and RevPro. He made his WWE debut at the inaugural WWE UK title tournament in January of 2017, defended his ICW world title at WrestleMania Axxess the same year, and became a regular for WWE in the UK and on NXT. He and Bate won the NXT tag team titles at Royal Albert Hall on June 19th before losing it back to The Undisputed Era two days later in Orlando in a five star classic.
"Muscle Cat" Huxley started out in 2009 and trained under Brian Kendrick, Marty Jones, and Lance Storm and wrestled indies in the U.S. and all over Europe. He's also had matches in PROGRESS and Southside, is a regular for Megaslam Wrestling, and is the current champion for True Grit Wrestling.
Huxley had an on-screen promo, vowing that "the beast will emerge" and was in control early until Seven escaped and threw a few chops, but was eventually blocked. Seven feigned a chop and hit a quick DDT for a near fall. Saxon hit a nice looking Thesz Press for a takedown and was in control, eventually locking in a cobra clutch, which was more of a resthold than a proper submission attempt. Seven eventually countered out of it and hit his Seven Star Lariat, a snap dragon suplex and the Burning Hammer for the victory.
Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph talked about the Coffey Brothers and we saw a video showing their recent path of destruction. There also was another video plugging the November NXT UK tapings before Radzi Chinyanganya talked to Flash Morgan Webster who said his game plan was simple, his style was innovative, and the Coffeys had been a thorn in his side for a long time. He vowed that he would end that tonight, closing with "In Mod we trust".
Flash Morgan Webster defeated Mark Coffey (w/Joe Coffey) in 6:16 via crucifix pin
Webster, from Wales, is nicknamed "The MODfather of Professional Wrestling" for his love of that particular 60s fashion trend from the UK. He started in 2010 and is a regular for ATTACK! Pro, PROGRESS, RevPro, and Southside among others and also wrestled in PWG in 2017 and 2018 and for CHIKARA before that. He's held titles in ATTACK! Pro and RevPro and is the current Dragon Pro tag team Champion with fellow NXT UK wrestler "Wild Boar" Mike Hitchman as The 198.
Coffey from Scotland, the younger of the Coffey Brothers by about two years, was trained by Killian Dain and Finn Bálor and, together with his brother, attended the ZERO1 Dojo in Japan. Starting out in 2010, he is a regular for ICW and the current ICW Zero-G champion, a title he held twice before and is also a four-time former ICW tag team champion (with Jackie Polo) and wrestled for other smaller promotions throughout the UK.
Coffey started out with rough body shots before Webster broke out some lucha with arm drags and a huricanrana and hit a nice somersault senton. Mark came back with an uppercut after his brother distracted Webster and took over from there. Webster countered a corner whip into a beautiful twisting qebrada and a knee threw Coffey to ringside. When Joe got up on the apron, Webster jumped around the ring post into a huricanrana on Mark at the floor, which also looked amazing.
He later slipped on an enzuigiri attempt from the middle rope, but caught it nicely and hit the move once he was down on the mat. He attacked Joe who was on the apron again and then escaped a suplex attempt by Mark into a quick crucifix pin for the win. The brothers went on to attack him post-match, but Mark Andrews and Travis Banks came out for the save and the Coffeys fled from ringside.
We got short promos by Danny Burch and Sam Gradwell for their upcoming match. Burch asked "If you're not here to beat the man, what's the point of being here?" while Gradwell said he'd be the "Thunderstorm" and we saw clips of Pete Dunne attacking him back in early 2017 at the inaugural UK title tournament.
We got a short video for WWE Custom Tees, followed by a video about Jinny, a woman who probably wouldn't be caught that in any kind of WWE custom tee. They showed her in different outfits, strolling across the streets of London (I presume) and she said she'd teach people a lesson they'd never forget.
Danny Burch defeated Sam Gradwell in 4:05 with a draping DDT
Burch, from London, started out in 2003 as Martin Stone and trained at the FWA Academy under Mark Sloan. He quickly became a regular for IPW:UK where he held the world title on three occasions and started to appear for wXw in Germany by 2007 where he won the wXw Tag Team Championship with Doug Williams and was a regular until 2010. He wrestled all over Europe and the UK and also went to the U.S. for CHIKARA in 2008. In late 2011, he signed a developmental deal with WWE and started out in FCW and first appeared on NXT television in 2013.
By late April of 2014, he was released by WWE and wrestled briefly for Impact, but emerged again on NXT television in July of 2015, albeit without a contract. He was part of the WWE United Kingdom title tournament in early 2017 and is now both a member of the NXT UK roster and a regular on NXT on their Florida house show loop and television.
Gradwell started in 2009 and mostly wrestled for Grand Pro Wrestling out of Wigam, home of the famous Snake Pit, where he held a number of titles and is the current British Champion. He trained under Johnny Saint, Robbie Brookside, and Marty Jones. He appeared at the 2017 WWE UK title tournament, where he was brutally attacked by Pete Dunne before their match the next day.
These two started out with a slug fest and Gradwell dropped a headbutt on a prone Burch, who came back with a snap German suplex, but ate a Falcon Arrow for his troubles. Burch came back with a headbutt of his own after another stiff exchange and draped Gradwell on the top rope before hitting a DDT for the win.
Post-match, Burch was interviewed in the ring by Radzi Chinyanganya. He said it was amazing to be back in the UK and that he was a proud Englishman to chants of "UK, UK" which he said meant so much to him. He traveled the world for 15 years, was in the prime of his career and the best shape of his life, and wanted the attention of Pete Dunne now. He said, "I was British Strong Style while you were running around in your nappies with snot running down your nose" (well, technically Dunne was around 9 or 10 when Burch started, but the line got a great pop anyway). He closed by saying "I sit in a corner. Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough".
We saw Zack Gibson and Noam Dar prepare for their upcoming match, followed by a Susan G. Komen promo and Vic and Nigel throwing it to a Jordan Devlin video package where he said he was the highest property in sports entertainment and the most explosive and aggressive guy on the roster. He'll debut on the next episode. We also found out that Travis Banks would face Wolfgang on the next episode.
Zack Gibson defeated Noam Dar in 21:09 with Helter Skelter
These two almost got at it last week before Johnny Saint broke things up and ordered the match for this week. Dar was in control early and was mockingly teasing taking his shoes off (fans take their shoes off in protest of Gibson on a regular basis). We were told that there was some dispute between various regions of the UK with Gibson being from the working-class North and Cambridge, where this was taped, being more of a middle-class town.
The story of the match was Dar working over Gibson's left knee and ankle while Gibson worked Dar's left shoulder area. Dar started this with an Indian Deathlock, which Gibson escaped from and went for a shoulder lock and Dar had a hard time escaping that. He eventually did and they traded pin attempts. As they both were running the ropes, Dar swept Gibson's leg and followed it with a dropkick right onto Gibson's kneecap on the outside, using the barrier for leverage. Gibson came back with a brutal key lock driver, targeting Dar's shoulder and continued to work it over. Dar managed to kick Gibson off the middle rope, again hurting his knee and followed up with a Northern Lights suplex and a Fisherman's suplex for near falls.
Gibson hit a lung blower off the top and then went to ringside, picked Dar up from the apron, and powerbombed him on the ramp. Dar narrowly made it back into the ring at 9. Gibson went for the Shankly Gates, but Dar made the ropes. Dar went back to work the knee and hit a double foot stomp on Gibson's leg, which was draped over the bottom rope. Gibson went for another lung blower off the top, but Dar turned it into an ankle lock in mid-air. Gibson twisted out and grabbed Dar's ear. Dar went for another double foot stomp but missed, Gibson rammed him into the post and hit Helter Skelter for the win in a very good match.