Thinking about diving into NXT UK’s third live special, the Jan. 12 WWE Network-streaming TakeOver: Backpool II, but haven’t been keeping up with Triple H’s transatlantic brand? Want to make sure you have some idea what’s going on before watching an event that could be mentioned on future episodes of the U.S.-based black-and-gold show, and will almost certainly impact Royal Rumble weekend’s World Collide?
Like Big Poppa Pump, we’re your hook up.
How can I watch?
There will be a 30 minute pre-show on all WWE’s online and social media outlets at 11:30 a.m. Eastern / 4:30 p.m. GMT. Here’s a link to the YouTube stream.
The five match main card is available as on the award-winning WWE Network for $9.99. It starts at noon Eastern, 5 p.m. local time.
What’s on the card? What do I need to know?
WALTER (c) vs. Joe Coffey for the United Kingdom championship
The story: Coffey’s Gallus stable (and Ilja Dragunov) spent the latter part of 2019 year beefing with WALTER & Imperium, sort of turning face in the process. This match was made during a negotiation General Manager Johnny Saint hoped would end the violence between the two groups.
The recent developments have felt a bit forced, but there’s a longer angle involving Coffey feeling disrespected by the way WALTER ignored him to focus on Pete Dunne when he debuted that adds a few more layers.
Anything besides the title on the line: They’ll need to do some heavy lifting here to convince anyone Coffey is winning (or that he should even be getting this main event spot). Both men could see their stock go up if they pull it off. If they don’t, The Ring General will still be golden, but Joe probably won’t get another chance at this level.
Piper Niven vs. Kay Lee Ray (c) vs. Toni Storm for the NXT UK Women’s title
The story: The champ won the belt from Storm in after a bitterly personal feud. Toni disappeared for a while after that, during which time Niven was built up and set opposite Ray. The former champ returning for revenge added her back to the mix.
All three wrestlers are friends who came up on the BritWres scene together, and the booking has played into that. Niven in particular has been left to wonder why Toni & Kay Lee are acting differently now than they did before becoming WWE Superstars.
Anything besides the title on the line: Not really, as Triple H & team seem high on all three. Storm has another big match coming up in a couple weeks, so it’ll be interesting to see if they want her Worlds Collide match with Rhea Ripley to be champion vs. champion (as was teased on the Jan. 8 NXT), or decide that doesn’t need two belts involved. Keeping the title with Ray or giving it to Niven will allow them to give a U.S. star a shot at the UK belt on Sat., Jan. 25 show in Houston.
Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) (c) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) vs. South Wales Subculture (vs. Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster) vs. Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) in ladder match for the NXT UK Tag Team championship
The story: Andrews & Webster won the belts from Gibson & Drake at TakeOver: Cardiff, then lost them to Coffey & Wolfgang. A likely #1 contender match between GYV and SWS was interrupted by a Gallus/Imperium brawl, which is where the current champs issues with with Barthel & Aichner come from.
Saint was set to make a title match between the Gallus & Imperium duos as part of the as part of the above mentioned negotiations, but Drake & Gibson tried to steal the belts. Mandrews & Flash stopped them. The GM was tired of the tomfoolery, so he and his assistant decided to hang the straps above the ring and let nature take its course.
Anything besides the title on the line: Not really. But if you’re looking for other things to consider, WALTER, Alexander Wolfe, Aichner & Barthel are in the main event of Worlds Collide with a quarter from across the pond who have a lot of gold.
Tyler Bate vs. Jordan Devlin
The story: Jealousy. Finn Bálor’s protégé “boycotted” Cardiff because Bate got the chance to take the UK title from WALTER instead of him. He’s been pissed off, and trying to mess with the first-ever UK champ ever since.
Anything besides a win on the line: Our collective pants. Tyler’s reputation as a TakeOver-stealer is well established, and this storyline has finally given Devlin an engaging character to go with his in-ring skill. Don’t be surprised if this is the one people are talking about on Monday.
Eddie Dennis vs. Trent Seven
The story: Since returning from injury, Dennis has been looking to establish himself as a threat by targeting the brand’s father figure. At least, that’s what it looks like. Eddie hasn’t really said much of anything.
Anything besides a win on the line: Before his injury, NXT UK tried to position the 6’ 6” Dennis as a “giant”, but it wasn’t really working. He’s got a lot riding on this. Win or lose, Seven is pretty well set as the lovable leader of WWE’s British babyfaces.
There you go. There’s more nuance to pretty much everything, but this is really all you need to be ready for TakeOver: Blackpool II. Well, this, and to expect some appearances by folks like Ripley, Undisputed ERA and Bálor to build excitement for Worlds Collide.
If you need more, the Prime Target special which debuted on the Network earlier this week is embedded above. It’s the usual excellent piece of business, and does a great selling the Coffey vs. WALTER match, in particular.
If this convinced you to watch the show, or even if it didn’t, join us in our live results post Sunday afternoon!