NXT TakeOver Blackpool started off with an incredible tag match between Moustache Mountain and the Grizzled Young Vets, but few could have anticipated how the United Kingdom brand would up the ante in the next match when Finn Balor showed up as a surprise opponent for Jordan Devlin.
Since debuting on WWE‘s NXT UK brand, Jordan Devlin has been one of the most disrespectful wrestlers on the planet, making it his goal to promote Ireland to all the United Kingdom fans on his path to one day defeating Pete Dunne, the longest-reigning champion of the modern era at 600+ days, for the United Kingdom Championship.
Devlin attacked his NXT TakeOver Blackpool opponent, Travis Banks, before the show started, injuring Banks’s knee. The dastardly Devlin did everything he could to make sure Banks didn’t show up to face him in Blackpool, and it worked.
But instead, Devlin had to face an even more difficult opponent, as the UK brand’s assistant GM brought out Finn Balor, who set the wrestling world on fire with his completely unexpected appearance at TakeOver: Blackpool.
The former NXT Champion took a disrespectful slap from Devlin, who was trained by Balor before becoming one of the world’s elite wrestlers in his own right, before taking the fight right to one of the United Kingdom brand’s best heels. Devlin’s heel tactics didn’t stop there, of course, as he used the ropes to his advantage, took cheapshots, and even stole some of Balor’s stomps.
Balor’s appearance at TakeOver Blackpool in this unexpected dream match set the already fiery crowd ablaze, and social media definitely starting paying even more attention to the excellent UK brand.
When Balor showed up at the UK Performance Center to usher in the new PC where UK’s best and brightest will be trained, few could have expected this battle between the two “dopplegangers”. But Triple H and the UK brand gave the fans something to really sink their teeth into, and this was truly a surprise that nobody saw coming, especially since fans were already plenty excited for a big-ticket battle between Banks and Devlin.
Anything can happen on WWE’s NXT UK brand or their TakeOver Specials, and it will be interesting to see if more big stars like Balor make future surprise appearances at UK TakeOver events. Even if this doesn’t happen again, my goodness was it worth it to see Balor and Devlin trading strikes, Balor hitting his former trainee with a sick slingblade, and Devlin hitting Finn with a standing moonsault (just to name a few things that happened).