Meiko Satomura gets a NXT UK Women’s title shot on her second night in, as Kay Lee Ray’s the latest wrestler from north of the border to have their lengthy title run put in jeopardy.
Sam Gradwell defeated Ilja Dragunov via reversed decision in 8:06 (**½)
Amir Jordan & Kenny Williams pinned Oliver Carter & Ashton Smith in 8:09 (**)
Kay Lee Ray pinned Meiko Satomura in 16:40 to retain the NXT UK Women’s Championship (***¾)
We open with a video package for tonight’s title match – with talking heads such as Bayley, Sasha Banks, Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm. Cue titles, and yes, we’re back inside the BT Sport studio in London, with Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness on the call…
Ilja Dragunov vs. Sam Gradwell
This has been building for a few weeks, thanks to Gradwell’s verbal barbs.
Gradwell slaps Dragunov early, but Ilja responds with some takedowns as he caught Gradwell in a head-and-arm choke. It’s elbowed free, so Ilja sweeps the leg and threatens to punch out the Blackpool native… but Sam fights free and stomps away on Dragunov. Ilja counters by rolling up and wrapping around Gradwell’s arm ahead of a back-chop, with a leaping knee into the corner following. Dragunov blocks a slam and instead floats over Gradwell with a knee lift that looked to bloody his mouth… a second boot drops Gradwell once more, with a kneedrop off the middle rope keeping him down. Ilja heads back up top again, but Gradwell crotches him in the ropes then knocked the Russian down to the floor.
Ilja eventually gets back in, but gets dropped with a lariat for a delayed two-count, before an elbow in the ropes takes Dragunov down again for another two-count. A butterfly suplex is next for another Gradwell two-count, before Dragunov fought out of an armbar as Gradwell trash talked. Yeah, a headbutt will work. After that got golf claps, a swivelling lariat sees Ilja continue, before he battered Gradwell with knees to the gut. Chops follow to the back, but Gradwell returns the favour before he got ragdolled with a pair of German suplexes. Dragunov hops back on Gradwell to complete the hattrick, but Gradwell backs into the ropes and elbows free, only to get caught with an enziguiri.
Dragunov takes to the skies with a back senton off the top, before Gradwell dropped down to avoid a Torpedo Moscau. More chops to the back come, then a discus elbow as Gradwell looked for an upset win… but Danielson elbows from Dragunov pull down Gradwell ahead of the stoppage. **½
Post-match, Dragunov keeps going with the elbows before he went after the referee. I was expecting a reversed decision here (and that was confirmed after the show via social media), but Gradwell just smirks like a bad ‘un as he came to, while Dragunov broke down in tears on his way to the back.
Vignette time as we’ve got the former Metehan talking about a “lucky kid”. Family’s the most important thing in his life, as he says it’s not about how rich you are, it’s about how hard you fight for honour – and how far you’ll go to make people fear you. He’s not Metehan anymore… his new name is Teoman, and he’ll be here next week.
Backstage, Aleah James is having snacks with Xia Brookside. They want a cup of tea, so of course, here’s Nina Samuels to make them. For added comedy, Nina tries to lace Xia’s tea… but she takes the “other” one. Attempted poisonings!
Noam Dar’s here again to share love by reading reviews that haven’t been filtered. His guest is Tyler Bate… complete with a cardigan.
Dar asks Bate about his new spiritualistic approach, then talks about Bate’s past awards and accomplishments. Speaking in the past tense, curiously… he then brings up a bad joke about veganism, before he drops some broccoli that was a present. There’s even some spinach leaves as someone somewhere’s cackling. It’s not me, that’s for bloody sure. Dar then mentions how last Tyler was on the show, he challenged (and lost) to A-Kid… and how next week, Tyler’s facing Dave Mastiff. Bate’s apparently made the match next week under Heritage Cup rules, before he faked out attacking Dar. Hard skip.
“Earlier this week,” Ben Carter’s sparring with James Mason… then he’s asked a beige question halfway through. Ben’s thrilled to be learning the British style, and gets back to work.
Vignette time with Aleah James. They do a profile of her growing up, watching Mickie James and Melina as a young(er) ‘un, before talking about her training… parsing in footage with Dan Moloney before going to some older stuff from the Resistance Gallery. A refresh after some early losses?
More vignettes: Isla Dawn and the occult. She’s got an ouija board that promises chaos, and a high priestess? That may make more sense down the line…
Meiko Satomura’s doing push ups…
Kenny Williams & Amir Jordan vs. Ashton Smith & Oliver Carter
Big Singlet Smith, eh?
Carter and Williams start, with Williams rolling out of an early wristlock. A sunset flip from Carter gets a pin attempt in, as does a roll-up, before Carter evaded Williams’ offence. Williams picks Carter’s ankle, but Carter backflips out and tags in Singlet Smith, who charges through Williams and threw him down with a Judo throw. Amir Jordan tags in and subdues Smith with a side headlock… a dropkick staggers Smith, while a crossbody lands for a two-count. Jordan cranks in a chinlock that Smith tries to fight out of, eventually throwing Jordan into the corner as Carter tagged back in. They trade right hands before a see-saw sunset flip led to Smith coming in and slamming Jordan onto Carter’s boots, with a follow-up clothesline getting a two-count.
Carter’s back to hit a clothesline for a two-count, then a knee drop for another as Kenny Williams was looking decidedly off the pace with his attempts to break it up. Coincidental, I’m sure. A leg lariat keeps Jordan on the back foot, and when Amir fights back, he’s quickly cornered and cut-off. Jordan’s backslide gets a two-count before he dove out to tag in Williams who was clearing house, landing a springboard back elbow to Smith. An Irish whip’s blocked, before a second springboard back elbow as caught as Smith ends up eating a Code Red for a near-fall. Carter runs in for some Silly String, but Williams boots Carter and Smith off the apron before Jordan came in to help with stereo topes.
Smith’s thrown back inside as Jordan tagged in to hit a senton bomb after Williams’ wheelbarrow facebuster… but Carter makes the save and tagged back in… he’s back body dropped into a 450-splash for a near-fall as Williams makes the save. Smith gets dropkicked off the apron, then squashed with a plancha as roll-ups get near-falls… but Williams pulls out Carter’s leg as Jordan ends up snatching the win. This heated up at the end, but we’re all waiting for that turn, Kenny. **
Next week we’ve a mixed tag match with Jinny & Joseph Conners vs. Piper Niven and Jack Starz. We get a video package to show us how we got there, and gives us the so-bad-it’s-good tag team name of “Starz and Pipes”.
Backstage, Amir Jordan’s on cloud nine after that win. They’re stopped by the interviewer… Kenny Williams announces they’re taking on Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster next week, as Amir reckons they’re up for a title match soon. Yeah…
Also next week, under Heritage Cup Rules, Dave Mastiff vs. Tyler Bate… plus that mixed tag match.
Kay Lee Ray and Meiko Satomura… are… walking. They throw up a tale of the tape, as they talk as if this match had been built up to for months and not weeks.
NXT UK Women’s Championship: Meiko Satomura vs. Kay Lee Ray (c)
Last week, Gallus’ 510-day reign as NXT UK tag team champions came to an end – will Kay Lee Ray make it two weeks of successive Scottish defeats and lose her title at 551 days? These two have one prior meeting, with Kay Lee Ray beating Satomura at EVE’s WrestleQueendom back in May 2018.
Satomura takes Ray to ground early on, but gets thrown shoulder-first into the corner as the champion found an early target. Ray’s thrown outside as Satomura looked to frustrate, as they’re again doing the Brady Bunch gimmick of showing other women in the roster being photoshopped into the fake Thunderdome wall. That worked so well for the focus of the match last time they did this… Satomura connects with a strike and pulls Ray into a STF, but that ends in a rope break as Meiko began to throw kicks to Ray’s legs. Aoife Valkyrie’s actually in the studio watching on in her pose, while Kay Lee Ray tried to put away Satomura with a Koji clutch. Meiko rolls it up into a pinning attempt for a two-count, but Kay Lee kicks out and status on top of Satomura with a grounded abdominal stretch.
A kick to the throat keeps Meiko down ahead of some mid kicks, before Meiko returned with a spinning heel kick. Kay Lee’s drop down successfully trips Meiko as she takes things onto the apron, before a draping DDT from the apron to the floor laid out the challenger. They head back up onto the apron, where Kay Lee teases a Gory bomb onto the edge of the ring… but Meiko slips out and countered with a death valley driver instead. Kay Lee Ray rolls in to beat the count-out, but gets caught with the cartwheel knee. A Saito suplex gets blocked, but Meiko pulls the trigger anyway for a near-fall before Kay Lee Ray escaped a death valley driver. She returns with a tornado DDT out of the corner for a two-count, then wrapped Meiko up in another Koji clutch. Again, Meiko tries to beat Kay Lee with a roll-up, but Kay Lee kicks out and holds on as the ropes saves Satomura.
Ray heads up top for a senton bomb, but Satomura crotches her, then hits an overhead kick before a second death valley driver almost led to the title change. It’s Meiko’s turn to head up top, but she’s blocked as Ray heads up for a superplex… Satomura escapes and knocks her down, then goes back up top for a frog splash… but Ray gets the knees up as Meiko crashes and burns. From there, a superkick and a Gory Bomb from Kay Lee Ray lands, but she has to work to turn Satomura over as the delay means she only gets a near-fall. Ray drags Satomura towards the corner, but her knee’s causing her trouble as she climbs the ropes, looking for a senton bomb… but Satomura rolls away as Kay Lee crashes and burns now! The Scorpion Rising kick followed, but it’s blocked as Ray pulls her way back in for a Gory Bomb, only for Satomura to counter with a Code Red for a near-fall.
From there, another superkick from Ray’s countered with an overhead kick, before a roll-up and a Gory bomb lands for the win! Kay Lee Ray retains in a match that would have been talked up something major had this been in front of a crowd. What next for both women will be interesting – particularly given Satomura’s lost an early title challenge. ***¾
Big matches aside, this felt like a somewhat unfocused show, with vignettes simultaneously debuting the former Metehan, while also refreshing Isla Dawn and Aleah James. An off-week, but without a Takeover on the horizon – or even being spoken of – this is a show that could really do with a blockbuster special in the not too distant future.