On NXT UK this week, the Hunt look to dethrone Gallus and give themselves an early Christmas present.
Kay Lee Ray pinned Isla Dawn in 4:17 (**)
Jack Starz & Levi Muir pinned Saxon Huxley in 5:20 (**)
Rampage Brown pinned Josh Morrell in 3:12 (*½)
Mark Coffey & Wolfgang pinned Wild Boar & Primate in 7:58 to retain the NXT UK tag team championships (**¾)
It’s straight in with the titles as Nigel McGuinness and Andy Shepherd join us once again at the BT Sport studios in London…
Isla Dawn vs. Kay Lee Ray
We’re opening with a women’s match for a change, as Isla Dawn returned following her win last week. Unsurprisingly, Kay Lee Ray’s 2-0 over Isla in prior TV matches…
We open with a lock-up, as Kay Lee worked over Isla’s left arm and wrist. It turns into a hammerlock, but Dawn counters out with a wristlock, before an Irish whip was reversed, with Dawn landing a knee to the gut. A kick and a double knee drop squashes Ray for a two-count, but Kay Lee’s right back up with a clothesline and some stomps. A boot choke traps Dawn in the corner, but Ray misses a knee drop as Dawn tried to force her way back in with kicks. Dawn’s running knee traps Ray by the ropes, before a running Meteora almost got the upset, as did a Saito suplex, before she began to club away on the champion in the corner.
Kay Lee returns with a tornado DDT though for a two-count, then rolled into a Koji clutch from the kick-out, but Isla rolls to the rope to force a break. Dawn tries to follow up, but Ray gets back in with a Gory Bomb for the win. Brief, but decent enough for a TV match with the time they got. **
Post-match, Kay Lee brags about being the longest reigning women’s champion in all of WWE. Apparently she’s got no challenger because Piper Niven and Jinny are scrapping with each other instead, so she’ll be champion for a long time.
We get a profile piece on Ben Carter! They give us some talking heads and footage from the US indies. The talking heads put over Carter pretty big, noting he’s a trainee of Seth Rollins’ school… and we get some of Seth to flesh it all out. The Assistant to the Regional Manager gloats over Carter signing for NXT UK, and he’s coming soon. A lengthy segment to introduce someone brand new to WWE – that’s much better than just wheeling him out unannounced.
Now we see someone we’ve not seen in ages. Ilja Dragunov via a vignette, talking about how his match with WALTER “redefined violence,” but it was for nought because he lost. He needs to start all over again to find himself, as he takes out his contact lenses… and I guess this is the Ilja redemption story coming in the new year? Give me Ilja Dragunov wrecking fools and I’ll be a happy man…
Levi Muir & Jack Starz vs. Saxon Huxley
So this was built via an attack at the UK Performance Centre last week where (we’re meant to think) Saxon Huxley laid these guys out. So yeah, this is a handicap match!
Starz starts with Huxley, but Starz gets pushed away as Levi Muir wanted in instead. A lock-up sees Muir back Huxley away, but the tie-up’s broken as Levi then hit the ropes for shoulder tackles. He goes for a leapfrog, but Huxley swats Muir away, then positions him in the ropes for Muir to tag out…
Levi tries to slingshot in Starz, who’s caught… so Muir’s dropkick knocks them both down for a two-count before Starz began to go after Huxley like a terrier. A Thesz press knocks Jack down, with a neck crank and some punches wearing him down, but Starz powers up and elbows free, only for Huxley to toss him across the ring. Huxley knees Starz, then leaps outside for a running boot from the floor to the apron, which sent Starz rolling to the outside. There’s a clothesline for Muir too, before Starz gets rolled back inside for a standing gutwrench powerbomb that gets a near-fall. Huxley telegraphs and misses an elbow drop, allowing Starz time to tag out again.
Muir’s uppercuts have Huxley in the ropes, before he caught a second Thesz press and tried to slam Huxley… but it came to nought as he’s taken into the corners. Dropkicks take down Saxon, with a shoulder tackle from Starz looking to get him ahead… but Huxley just throws Starz onto the apron. A sunset flip looks to be locked, but Muir breaks Huxley’s grip on the rope, and Starz gets the win! I mean, the handicap match win makes sense, but way to kill that aura lads. **
Post-match, Saxon Huxley lays waste to the guys who just beat him, as Dave Mastiff jogs out to have a scrap. Should be easy for him, no?
“Earlier this week,” the Assistant to the Regional Manager is shown a video by Piper Niven. It’s security camera footage of her lifting weights, which had DRAMATIC MUSIC dubbed over it. As Niven goes for some water, someone wheeled in a box… she opens it to find that a chair in it, which had a note on it… it’s a contract for a match with Jinny in three weeks’ (January 7) in a number one contender’s match.
During the break, Dave Mastiff bumps into Rampage Brown backstage…
Then we see A-Kid in the ring with his Heritage Cup on a table. They still haven’t gotten around to engraving his name on it. He talks about it being an honour for him, and for Spain, and how he beat one of the best in the world last week in Tyler Bate. A-Kid wants to take the next step: to prove he is the best… he challenged WALTER, who just happened to be here to issue a retort. WALTER put over A-Kid some… but then tore into him for daring to “represent the heritage of this sport.” WALTER says he’ll end A-Kid’s fairytale… and then turned his back on A-Kid. You know what, that’s not that bad of a match on paper, but perhaps a little too quick to do after the Heritage Cup?
We’re back at the UK PC as Amir Jordan runs into Kenny Williams in the trainer’s room. Kenny’s hurt his knee, so Amir’s planned run at the tag titles is going to have to go on hold… but he’ll stay around to help mentor Amir as a singles wrestler in the meantime.
That’s ten different segments in 30 minutes, for those counting.
Make that eleven as we see the shadow of Trent Seven sitting down for a promo piece. They want to talk about the Heritage Cup, which Trent gets wistful over as his hopes of winning the tournament were dashed at the very last hurdle, in extra time. Trent questioned if he was mentally prepared to be a champion, as this came across like Trent was going to take time off to “fix stuff.” Leave the memories alone.
Josh Morrell vs. Rampage Brown
I predict a squash…
Rampage locks up and takes Morrell into the corner… but misses a chop as Josh gets out with a side headlock. He’s taken into the ropes, but slides under Rampage before he ran into a massive back body drop. A boot knocks Josh to the outside, but Rampage stays on top, taking him back inside for a slam and some elbow drops, before shoulder charges trapped Morrell in the corner. Morrell’s almost dismissively kicked at as Rampage had his fun, but Morrell leaps over a shoulder charge as Rampage hit the ring post. A dropkick and a standing corkscrew splash gets Josh… a one-count. That’ll show you for flipping.
Rampage’s shoulder looks to be a problem here as Morrell strikes back, but his ‘rana’s pushed off as Rampage whiffed on a clothesline. A second one lands, before he deadlifted Morrell up for a powerbomb… following up with a sitout powerbomb to complete your usual 3-minute squash. *½
The Assistant to the Regional Manager has some breaking news backstage. He’ll book WALTER vs. A-Kid for the NXT UK title in the New Year.
We’ll have a “special Christmas Eve episode” of NXT UK next week…
NXT UK Tag Team Championships: The Hunt (Primate & Wild Boar) vs. Gallus (Wolfgang & Mark Coffey) (c)
Primate jumps Wolfgang in the corner at the bell as the Hunt looked to dictate the pace from the off.
Wolfgang’s taken into the opposite corner as Wild Boar tagged in to start some double-teaming, before Wolfgang managed to fight free and take Boar into the Gallus corner, In comes Mark Coffey to slam Boar for barely a one-count, before Wolfgang came in to take Boar down with a headlock takedown. Coffey’s back to work the arm, then grab a front facelock as Eddie Dennis distracted on the apron. Some biting from Boar gets the challengers back in it, as he charges Coffey into the corner, then tagged in Primate for a double-team back body drop for a two-count. Primate targets the lower back with forearms and headbutts, before he lifted up Boar into a back senton on Coffey for a two-count.
A chinlock keeps Coffey down, before Boar sent him outside so Primate could hit a cheapshot. Coffey’s thrown back inside as a back senton from Boar gets some more two-counts. A missed charge from Boar sees him hit the turnbuckle, which allows the Scots back in as Coffey got to the corner to make the hot (?) tag to Wolfgang. Wolfgang goes wild, diving onto Boar off the ropes before hiptossing Primate to the outside. Wolfgang’s clearing house here as he hit a wacky swivelling suplex for a two-count on Boar, with Primate forced to make a save. Mark Coffey looks to recover things, but gets thrown out, as Primate distracts… allowing Eddie Dennis to get involved.
Things break down as Boar attacks Mark Coffey until Joe Coffey ran out to make the save, knocking Eddie into the ring steps. Out come Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster to knock the Hunt off the top rope, as Boar then gets put down with a double-team slam. VERY rushed at the end, as it seemed we needed a minute or so of Gallus celebrating at the end… and Pretty Deadly coming out to challenge next. Ah well. **¾
The show closes with Pretty Deadly staring down Gallus from the aisle, only to be attacked by Oliver Carter and Ashton Smith, who throw them into the ring as Gallus quickly dispatched of the pretty boys as we went to black. Next week, I guess we’ll have a clip show, but we’ll see!
This certainly was a very newsworthy – and busy – episode of NXT UK, with over a dozen segments packed into the hour-long show as prepared to round off a tumultuous 2020 and set up some big things for 2021. There’s been some encouraging signs on the show in recent weeks, but the mixture of intriguing moments and the flat 5-minute TV matches still needs some work if the brand is to catch people’s imaginations.