On this week’s NXT UK, the Cruiserweight championship is put up in an open challenge, while Noam Dar takes the mic… with a big surprise on the end of it.
Jordan Devlin pinned Oliver Carter in 6:29 to retain the NXT Cruiserweight Championship (**½)
Isla Dawn pinned Xia Brookside in 5:24 (**)
Heritage Cup: A-Kid beat Tyler Bate by 2 falls to 1 at 2:04 of Round 6 to retain the Heritage Cup (***)
Once again it’s back to the BT Sport studios in London, with Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness on the call for a show that – at least in terms of what was advertised going in – was threatening to be very light on in-ring action.
Speaking of which, we open with Jordan Devlin in the ring, proclaiming NXT UK to be the home of the “real” Cruiserweight champion. He asks for a challenger… and we cut to Oliver Carter warming up backstage as Ashton Smith is giving him a pep talk.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Jordan Devlin (c) vs. Oliver Carter
Devlin clubs down Carter from the off, then yanks him by the wrist… but atrip into the corner allows Carter to backflip off of the Irishman en route to a crossbody for a speedy one count.
Carter goes for a sunset flip, then bridges up as he looked to powerbomb Devlin… but Jordan flips him into the ropes, giving his challenger a nasty landing. A stomp follows for a two-count, then a back elbow as Devlin looked to wear down Carter some more. There’s a slam and a snap legdrop for a two-count, then a neck crank that Carter eventually powered out of. Devlin takes too long to follow up and gets suplexed, as Carter finds a second wind, taking Devlin outside for a dive… following with a rear kick back inside for a two-count. A leaping headscissors takes Devlin off the top rope, with an elbow to the back of the head almost leading to the upset. There’s a uranage out of Carter, but he can’t make a cover… he manages to recover, but eats a reverse ‘rana from Devlin, before the Devlinside gets the win. This was a little flat, but the story of Carter having a bad neck from the off worked well. **½
Apparently A-Kid is going to be Noam Dar’s guest on the Supernova Sessions today.
At the UK PC, Jinny has a microphone stuck in her face. She talks about the attack by Piper Niven last week, and promises to get her own back.
We get footage of NXT UK’s media days, with the wrestlers around London. There’s shots of pumpkins, which tells you how old this was – Hallowe’en. Hey, there’s WALTER! NXT UK is back… but then you’d know that had you been watching since September.
Now we get the Supernova Sessions with Noam Dar. They’ve got a sofa and a folding chair as someone’s been to IKEA to furnish this… knock-off of Jeremy Kyle? He introduces “A Kid”, sorry, A-Kid, who brings the Heritage Cup with him… and some new music too. They poke fun about each other’s grasp of English, before Dar claimed to be A-Kid’s “sensei”. Yeah.
Dar’s got a gift… a new name for A-Kid. Yeah, they went down the “A-Man” road. A-Kid calls Tyler Bate his mentor, and of course, that brings out Tyler. Dar mocks the “Big Strong Boi” name, as this is the first time we’ve seen Tyler since lockdown. Bate suggests he’d have won the tournament had he been in it, and Dar eggs them on into having a match tonight. I mean, I’d promote it for next week, given their match earlier this year, but whatever works.
Earlier this week, The Hunt interrupt the Assistant to the Regional Manager. Eddie Dennis is with them to try and talk them into a tag title shot as the sun streamed through the office windows. Eddie’s working very well in this role as a mouthpiece, I must say.
Xia Brookside vs. Isla Dawn
Surprisingly this is only their second ever meeting.
We open with a lock-up as Dawn worked Brookside’s wrist early on. It’s reversed as they head to the mat, with Brookside grabbing a hammerlock, then an armbar as she frustrated Dawn. They maneuver around with Dawn working out of the armbar and into one of her own, but it’s escaped as Xia backflips in the ropes and lands a dropkick. Dawn kicks out Brookside’s knee then hits a knee strike as a chinlock wore down Brookside for just a one-count. Isla keeps going, keeping Brookside on the mat with another knee strike, before a Northern Lights-ish splex got a two-count. An armbar follows, but Brookside gets free and takes down Dawn with headscissors.
Xia gets more headscissors in, taking Dawn into the corner for running double knees to the back, following up with a baseball slide to the outside. Then randomly someone pops up in the aisle with luggage? They ignore it as Brookside goes back inside for a dropkick as Nina Samuels pops up on the screen to tell Brookside she’s only good enough to carry her bags. The distraction works as a back suplex from Dawn lands for the win… and I guess we can now add “distraction via luggage” as a new finish? **
Apropos of little, Pro Wrestling EVE’s Dann Read did an interview this week, with one of the many quotes saying that “wrestling for the sake of wrestling is shit.” At least they threw in a wrinkle here…
At the UK PC, Saxon Huxley is yelling… the Assistant to the Regional Manager checks a room and sees that Jack Starz and Levi Muir were laid out.
Next week: Gallus defend the NXT UK tag team titles against the Hunt. They then recap the Heritage Cup rules, because apparently the Heritage Cup is on the line in that main event they probably should have built!
Heritage Cup: Tyler Bate vs. A-Kid (c)
Hey, that new A-Kid music isn’t off-the-rack – unless they happened to find one with lyrics about “anonimo”…
Round 1: We open with a lock-up into the ropes from Bate, then a wristlock that A-Kid just rolled out of as he came in with a side headlock instead. It turned into a takedown on Bate, who tried to roll out into a pinning attempt, before an overhead wristlock put A-Kid down. The Spaniard bridges up and out with headscissors for a stand-off, then again as Bate escaped a standing toe hold. Bate goes for a full nelson and a cravat, but A-Kid escapes for a wristlock… there’s more countering around as the time runs out on the round.
Round 2: Bate seems to be a little more aggressive to start, as he looked for a knuckle lock, but ends up in a straitjacket instead. An attempt to escape’s countered, but it’s second time lucky for Bate, only for him to try and pull A-Kid down… and he backflips over to reverse the hold. Bate throws A-Kid off, but A-Kid stays on the ground to try and bait Bate into his guard… it works too as they grapple on the mat, before Tyler picked the leg and worked a toe hold. A-Kid pushes free, before another lock-up led to Tyler working the arm as the round ends.
Round 3: We open with another knuckle lock, but Bate rolls through for a wristlock, adding more torque on the shoulder. A-Kid pushes Tyler away into the corner, only to get caught as an Airplane Spin was teased, but A-Kid slips out with a wrist-clutch German suplex before Bate headed to the ropes. Tyler backflips out of a Northern lights, then caught A-Kid with a Northern Lights to score the first fall at 1:45 of the third round.
Round 4: A-Kid’s a fall down, but still seems tentative. A kick looked to rock Bate, who came back with uppercuts and a headlock/punch. Tyler shoots for a takedown, but got caught in a front facelock from A-Kid, which then turns into a suplex for a two-count before A-Kid got the back with a mounted rear naked choke… but Tyler stands up and backs into the corner to break the hold. A-Kid reapplies the hold, then maneuvers into a triangle armbar, but Bate holds firm and powerbombed his way free to end the round.
Round 5: Yet again we open with a knuckle lock as A-Kid turned the Test of Strength around… Bate bridges, and holds A-Kid’s weight, before a monkey flip was rolled through with A-Kid hitting a neat backflip DDT off the top rope to tie it up at 1-1 a minute into the round.
Round 6: A-Kid tests Bate with kicks to start, but a Koppo kick from Bate knocks A-Kid through the ropes and onto the apron. He brings the Spaniard back in with a suplex, but A-Kid knees his way free… before maneuvering back into a rear naked choke. An O’Connor roll from A-Kid gets a near-fall, before a kick knocked Bate down… but a dropkick misses. Bate goes for a rebound clothesline, only for A-Kid to catchim and roll him down for an omplata. That came to nought as we get some flash back-and-forth pins, with A-Kid snatching the win with 56 seconds left. They sold this like a big win for the mentee over the mentor, but given they dug that aspect of the story up and played it out in a little over half an hour… I’m not a fan of that kind of rush job.
Result: A-Kid beat Tyler Bate by 2 falls to 1 at 2:04 of Round 6 to retain the Heritage Cup (***)
Post-match, A-Kid celebrates as we see they’ve yet to etch his name on the trophy… there’s some conflicted looks from him before he shook hands with Tyler, as we go off the air with Tyler looking on somewhat proudly at A-Kid. That felt… odd?
With only one match “properly” announced, I was fearing the worst for this episode – thankfully, it more than beat those expectations. I really don’t get why you’d bring back a big star like Bate with no build – unless it’s some sort of attempt to build audience for the TV airing in the UK off of internet buzz? Still, for a rushed build, it was a solid main event, but I’d much rather they had done the Dar chat show segment last week to build for this.