I recently Tweeted that I had been spending some time catching up on recent episodes of NXT UK dating back to October. As a weekly wrestling show I never really watch it was interesting to tune in again after so long since I previously watched and there was a lot to take in.
Now, the show is very clearly lacking something and there is evidently room for improvement and growth, however, after watching so much of the show it has also become clear to me that NXT UK is very much an underrated weekly product. In today’s blog post I am going to be discussing what honestly think of the brand and its strengths and hopefully persuade more fans to tune in!
A Strong Tag Team Division
If you know me, you know that I am always criticizing the WW for their use of tag team competitors particularly on RAW on Smackdown and while NXT UK doesn’t have the biggest roster its tag division is strong and effective. A diverse set of characters include Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews connecting with a younger audience and very relatable, Wild Boar and Primate give fans a more edgy and rough team, newcomers Pretty Deadly are also a unique team growing in popularity adding to the mix.
We continue to see factions such as Imperium and Gallus used in an effective way and the booking of the tag, the division remains strong and if anything, have the most diverse and well-used tag division of any current WWE brand.
After watching three months’ worth of NXT UK product the tag work really has stood out as some of the best in the company today with consistent storylines and character building and every single team being used effectively unlike other rosters across the WWE.
Traditional British Wrestling
Something I have always liked about NXT UK is how strongly it sticks to Traditional British wrestling values and styles. From the Heritage Cup to the weekly references to British Wrestling history and talent, there is a real “home” feel to the weekly show and as a Britt, it makes it even more special to watch.
The points we just touched on and so many more contribute to making NXT UK feel completely different from any other show the WWE presents right now. The venue in which it is filmed, the design of the set and the feel of traditional British wrestling culture is completely unique and different to anything else not only in the WWE but the Wrestling scene today.
Small but Effective Women’s Division
The NXT UK women’s division is evidently very small but consists of popular names such as Piper Niven, Xia Brookside, Jinny and current champion Kay Lee Ray. As the weeks go by, we see the division grow with new names arriving on the scene and making an impact. Lengthy matches allow the characters of these up-and-coming stars to develop while mini storylines tying in with each weekly show allow matches to make sense and work well.
There is also a sense of a good mix of characters with varying likeable babyfaces as well as dominant heels that have an effect and leave fans entertained. Title matches have highlighted how strong the current champion is with stipulation matches again matching that of what we see from British Women’s wrestling in terms of a more hardcore style particularly between Piper and Ray who have plenty of history.
Losing names such as Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm has taken away some of the star power but as the numbers grow and more faces emerge things look positive and hopeful and if fans tune in to some of these weekly matches, they are sure to be left surprised.
Popular British Names Apart of the Roster
Again, the NXT UK roster isn’t very big at all but the names are growing, more signings are happening and the stars that are apart of the brand are most certainly popular names amongst the modern British Wrestling scene. ICW stands outs such as Kay Lee Ray, Gallus, and Piper Niven are amongst some of the biggest names on the brand but newcomer Rampage Brown has given NXT UK a big new buzz.
Multi-time champion and a star who has stood out across several British Wrestling companies his signing is a big deal and Rampage Brown is currently the favourite to potentially go on and dethrone dominant NXT UK Champion WALTER.
Brown’s presence is sure to be a big deal for NXT UK and I’m certainly excited to see what is coming up for one of the most dominant and powerful men on the roster. International stars also continue to make an impact on the brand with new signings making their way to the roster.
One thing that really stood out aside from the characters and the star power was the quality of matches. We already touched on the fact that the women’s division continues to provide almost weekly lengthy good quality matches both singles and tag team but that continues on to the male stars also.
The Heritage Cup tournament highlighted the strengths of the talent on the roster while also touching on the British wrestling culture. The unique set up of the matches and the quality was fantastic and a brilliant way to bring back NXT UK after months away from being on our screens.
We also see regular title matches that must be highlighted as some of the best in recent memory taking WALTER vs Ilja Dragunov as a prime example, a match that went down as one of my personal favourites of 2020 alongside Piper Niven vs Kay Lee Ray in their most recent collision which again was another standout for the women’s division in 2020.
As I mentioned in the intro, its clear that there is room for development and improvements when it comes to NXT UK but after watching for a few weeks now and catching up on months of content I have been pleasantly surprised and its also evident that the brand is massively underrated.
A roster full of different characters and wrestlers with different in-ring styles from powerhouses to technical stars to cruiserweight talents, there is so much talent and something for everyone to enjoy when it comes to NXT UK. The brand has a more edgy feel than anything else in the WWE right now and the British Wrestling culture is so strong it stands out from everything else on the scene today!