After standing out again at NXT TakeOver: Blackpool on Saturday, Jordan Devlin showed the WWE Universe that he can be a huge star for this promotion.
It’s rarefied air when a student gets to match up with their teacher. It’s even more rare when said student shines in a hostile environment versus a coach or mentor. At WWE NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, Jordan Devlin was able to shine on a Worldwide platform against a man who many in the wrestling World compare him to.
But walking in to Blackpool, England for the premiere NXT UK: TakeOver event, Jordan Devlin was looking for retribution. Devlin impersonated Travis Banks during his match verses Tyson T-Bone on NXT UK television. Following the match, Banks was able to gain the upper hand on ‘The Irish Ace’ after he tried to start an altercation. So Devlin took it upon himself to ambush Banks in a hotel lobby hours before their sanctioned match was to take place.
Moments before the bell rang to open up their contest, Devlin was struck with a suicide dive to the floor by Banks. Looking to take out the leg which he concentrated in his malicious attack, he left Banks lying on the stairs holding his injured knee. One to gloat about his accomplishments, Devlin grabbed the microphone and proclaimed himself “The best Irish wrestler in the World.
Out stepped Johnny Saint and he relayed his contingency plan to Sid Scala, the UK brands assistant general manager. “The contingency plan” shocked the worldwide audience, as Devlin would be facing off with his mentor, Finn Balor.
11 minutes of back and forth action ensued between the Irishmen. Devlin was more than game to conquer this daunting task of taking on the inaugural WWE Universal champion. Both men exchanged vicious chops, stomps and aerial acrobatics. In the end, Balor would emerge victorious with his finishing maneuver, the Coup de Grace.
The last thing Devlin is going to do is hang his head in defeat. The hype train is following the 28-year-old, earning praise from WWE icon Shawn Michaels. Devlin already possesses an accomplished resume, he was the first Over The Top World heavyweight champion. He defeated fellow UK brand wrestler Mark Haskins in the finals to achieve OTT gold. He went on to defend the championship against the like of Tyler Bate, Haskins and Zach Sabre Jr. Newest NXT UK superstar WALTER would ultimately unseat Devlin as the OTT champion in August of 2018.
Immediately following the match on Saturday with Balor, Devlin proclaimed that he indeed would once again meet up with his mentor.
News flash: Jordan Devlin is one incredible talent, and he will be the first to tell you just how good he is. With a flare of intensity, cockiness and confidence, he will be at the forefront of the NXT United Kingdom movement. With WALTER being inserted into the UK championship picture following his arrival in the main event, Devlin will be pushed back one notch, which is perfectly acceptable in this situation.
Devlin will be allowed to pick his feud with Travis Banks back up since the match with Balor on Saturday was a one-off to draw some more mainstream coverage to the new UK brand. The match allowed Devlin to showcase his world-class ability against one of the best superstars in the WWE today and come out looking like a superstar even in a loss.
I truly believe Jordan Devlin is well on his way to becoming a huge star in WWE and will one day make his way to the main roster. Matches with accomplished WWE talent like Finn Balor don’t happen without reason; you have to be special in order to gain consideration for such a contest.
The fact that it was televised on the NXT UK brand’s first Takeover event makes it that much more satisfying for Jordan Devlin and his burgeoning career. What the immediate future holds for The Irish Ace is anyone’s guess. Yet what we can expect is an upward career trajectory for this young heel from Dublin and to never, ever bet against an ace.