2020 was a weird year, one that we all would like to forget and put behind us as nearly the entire world was forced into a holding state of sorts.
WWE did its best to carry on with business as usual but NXT UK, governed by a different set of rules entirely, was forced to temporarily cease production in March of that year.
What would become the final NXT UK Takeover, although we didn’t know it yet, Takeover Blackpool II aired on 12th January 2020 and featured a stellar Triple Threat match for the NXT UK Women’s Championship.
Our competitors? Three former best friends with a lot to prove.
After securing a win over Jinny, the now Doudrop issued a challenge to the NXT UK Women’s champion by telling the champ that she was coming for the title. This would, of course, bring out the champion who, despite carrying a microphone, did not come out to talk and responded with a slap to the face. Piper Niven would respond in kind and send Kay Lee Ray on the retreat until…
The former NXT UK Women’s Champion would make her return and be gunning for the woman who took the title from her. The following week, Storm would be successful in her in-ring return to NXT UK and would attempt to address the crowd but Kay Lee Ray would jump her from behind. Niven would make the save but Storm was in no interest to be friends, her focus on one woman only.
Sitting atop all the chaos, still in the first months of what would be her historic reign as champion, was Kay Lee Ray. No matter the challenge, no matter who stood across from her, Ray never seem fazed and would combat her opponents with the same confidence and disregard for their or her own personal safety. This would be one of the biggest challenges of her entire reign.
The animosity was so high that Storm attacked Ray before the bell had even rung and Niven did her best to separate the two before Ray slipped outside but even after slipping free of Niven, Storm would target only Ray.
Eventually, Ray would introduce a steel chair to the match, her penchant for weapons only just beginning, and she would wrap Storm’s neck in the chair but Niven made the save. The friendship proving more important in that moment than taking out a competitor.
Storm would later return the favour when given the opportunity to strike Niven with the chair, she would ultimately throw the chair aside.
As is the norm in a triple threat match, alliances are briefly formed and Niven/Storm would focus their attacks on Ray but all good things must come to an end and the two quickly start squabbling. This granted the champion the moment she needed to take out both of her competitors with an insane dive off the top rope.
The beginning of the end would come as the three women exchanged finishers and hard hitting attacks in an impressive sequence. First, Ray would kick out after being hit by the Michinoku Driver and follow up with a Gory Bomb on Niven. Storm would block the pin by literally denying the referee the chance to bring his hand down for the 3 count.
Ray would take out Storm with a suicide dive and go for a second Gory Bomb but Niven would shock the crowd by hitting a Destroyer on the champion! A recovered Storm would capitalize with Storm Zero and the fans would be on their feet, confident a new champion was about to be crowned but Niven breaks up the pin.
The frustration is evident as Storm screams in the ring, the NXT UK crowd firmly behind her as ‘NXT’ chants break out. Storm would deliver a second Storm Zero to Ray, this time dropping her on the back of Niven. Giving in to desperation, Storm would climb the top rope and hit a frog splash on Niven but just as she gets in to position for the cover, she receives a super kick from Ray who quite literally steals the pin and the victory.
I promise this list will consist of more than just matches but this one was too good to not be somewhere in my Top Five Moments. If you haven’t seen much of NXT UK, please make this match one of the ones you do check out as it delivered on so many levels from the buildup, the history of the women involved and the action throughout. We had no idea at the time that this would be the final NXT UK Takeover event but it was the perfect final Takeover match for the women.
Top 5 Moments of NXT UK:
Number Five – A Champion is Crowned
Number Four – The Final Takeover
Number Three – Coming 31st August!
Number Two – Coming 1st September!
Number One – Coming 2nd September!
I hope you’re enjoying this trip down memory lane! Don’t forget to share your own favorite moments with me in the comments!