Jack Starz challenges Tyler Bate for the NXT UK Heritage Cup on this week’s show.
Emilia McKenzie pinned Isla Dawn in 6:06 (*¾)
Tyler Bate beat Jack Starz by 2 fall to 1 at 1:20 of Round 4 to retain the NXT UK Heritage Cup (***¼)
Aoife Valkyrie pinned Mila Smidt in 3:43 (**)
Jordan Devlin submitted A-Kid in 15:20 (***¾)
We’re back at the BT Sport studios in London, with Nigel McGuinness and Andy Shepherd on the call…
Isla Dawn vs. Emilia McKenzie
A match set up via a pre-tape – this time, Isla messed with the lights while McKenzie was having an interview. This is a rematch from April, where Dawn beat McKenzie…
McKenzie charges at Dawn at the bell, but she’s quickly beaten down in the corner. McKenzie gets free and lands a dropkick after throwing Dawn into the corner, before a neckbreaker drew a two-count. Dawn elbows out of a waistlock, but takes a back suplex as commentary noted she was “in a trance.” Yep. Isla hangs up McKenzie in the ropes, then landed some running double knees for a near-fall, before an inside cradle saw Dawn add to her pinning attempts. McKenzie’s chucked to the outside, then met with a PK as Dawn continued to dominate.
Throwing McKenzie into the guard rails, Dawn takes too long following up with some knees into the railings, which allowed McKenzie to take over. A cutter back inside gives Emilia a near-fall, before a slingshot into a spear was cut off by a knee strike. Dawn adds to that with a backdrop driver, but McKenzie manages to land her spear seconds later for a near-fall. Another head kick from Dawn has McKenzie flat out on the mat… but rather than go for a cover Isla goes all voodoo on us. Give us the Papa Shango black goo or give us death. A cross armbar nearly backfires for McKenzie, but she shrugs off the Sportz Entertainment with a German suplex, before a diving knee strike gets the win. So-so match, but sadly the paranormal gubbins has made it across the pond. *¾
We’ve clips from the triple-threat match last week, and WALTER’s successive beatdown of Ilja Dragunov…
Then Mark Coffey and Wolfgang play rock, paper, scissors. They’re interrupted and interviewed about their friendly rivalry, before Coffey walked off to ask for a match with someone. They’re wacky, jolly souls, apparently.
Heritage Cup: Jack Starz vs. Tyler Bate (c)
…because they ain’t giving Jack Starz another main event so soon, I guess? Perhaps they just don’t want to lose someone from his match to America again, after Piper Niven left the territory.
Round 1: Starz fakes out Bate early on, but he’s caught in a wristlock that he quickly rolled out of. Bate traps Starz in a Courting hold as Starz went for a wristlock of his own, keeping hold of it before he rolled Starz down to the mat. Eventually, Starz goes for headscissors, but Bate blocks it and threw Starz back down, keeping the hold on before Starz pushed free. He holds onto the ropes to avoid a Bate dropkick, then dove in on a Superman body press for a near-fall, before Bate caught him with a dropkick as we had a pair of two-counts to run out the round.
Round 2: Starz is the aggressor to start, throwing uppercuts before some World of Sport stylings from Bate led to a prawn hold for the first fall at 36 seconds of the second round.
Round 3: Bate starts with a cravat, but Starz gets free and hits some shoulder blocks to take down Tyler. A big back body drop propels Bate skyward, but Starz misses a splash in the corner. He recovers with a butterfly suplex for a two-count, before Tyler popped up Starz for an airplane spin. Starz escapes and returns with one of his own, dropping Bate with a pop up uppercut afterwards for a two-count… before he ran into a backslide as Bate went for a pin, but Starz sits down on a Magistral cradle at 2:03 of the round to tie it up. Yep, it’s another 2-1 result.
Round 4: Bate’s caught in a Boston crab to start the round… but Bate manages to spin his way free. He caught Starz with bop/bang, then a rebound lariat, before a Koppo kick dropped Starz ahead of the Tyler Driver for the win. This was decent, if not template stuff for the Heritage Cup, but Tyler flicking the switch and just opting to put away Starz after the equalising fall was particularly enjoyable. ***¼
Mark Coffey wanders out to the ring after the match. Christ, he took that long to make his way there? Wolfgang’s in lukewarm pursuit, as I guess Coffey’s next for a Heritage Cup shot after he snuck in a dig at Bate. I thought they had to go through Supernova Sessions for a title shot?
At the UK PC, Pretty Deadly’s doing a photo shoot with their belts. The Assistant to the General Manager interrupts as Pretty Deadly do WWE speak, which leads to Mark Andrews vs. Lewis Howley next week – if Andrews wins, Subculture get a title shot.
Meiko Satomura’s out next, for the first time since she beat Kay Lee Ray for the NXT UK Women’s title. She’s happy to be NXT UK Women’s champion, as NXT UK is now her home… and she’s interrupted by Nina Samuels, who’d not been seen since she was cleaning toilets for Xia Brookside. Nina sarcastically congratulates Meiko, and says that we apparently need… more… Nina. She’s attacked from behind by Amale, who chucks Samuels into the barrier, then the ring steps as Meiko almost laughed this off.
Amale then hit the ring and called her shot. Meiko just waffles her with a forearm and agreed to a title match. Hey, it’s a different name in the title picture, so I’m not about to complain.
“After the show last week,” Rampage is interrupted backstage by Joe Coffey… who must want another shot at Rampage because Ilja winning “settled nothing.”
Another vignette for Blair Davenport. We hear her voice, and it is the former Bea Priestley, who tells us she’s given up friends and family “to master what I do.”
Mila Smidt vs. Valkyrie
Debuting in a pre-tape last week, we’re working with a blank slate with Smidt… who got the already-in-the-ring treatment.
Smidt starts by going for Valkyrie’s leg, but she’s rolled down for a one-count as Valkyrie tried to keep the newcomer at bay. Valkyrie stays on top, working the arm before she was shot into the ropes… and came back with a dropkick. An arm drag and an armbar has Smidt at bay, but she takes Valkyrie into the corner for a break.
A back elbow from Valkyrie rocks Smidt, who returned with a belly-to-belly suplex for a two-count, before Valkyrie cartwheeled out of a monkey flip. Valkyrie strikes back with kicks and palm strikes, but gets caught with a bridging Kanuki suplex for a near-fall from the debutant, as Jinny appeared in the aisle to watch and distract. Valkyrie’s kicks eventually drop Smidt, before Valkyrie went up top for the Peripeteia for the win. Way too short, but Smidt looked good on her debut. **
Post-match, Valkyrie stared down Jinny and I guess that’ll be her next feud before she inches back into title contention.
Kenny Williams vignette time, with some nice cinematic filtering in London’s Docklands. He compares himself to a cockroach – being the scum of the earth, but it’s usually what lasts the longest. Next week, Williams faces Nathan Frazer.
“Earlier today,” Eddie Dennis interrupts a Trent Seven interview. Eddie mocks Trent for “always being the bridesmaid, but never the bride,” which you could say mirrors some of Eddie’s indy run. Trent brings up how he injured Eddie last time they met, which has Eddie backing off… but we get this match anyway for next week.
Jordan Devlin vs. A-Kid
This was set up a few weeks back when A-Kid invaded Devlin’s dressing room. He didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition, clearly.
This was A-Kid’s first match since losing the Heritage Cup, and he’s on the defensive early on as Devlin took him to the mat in an overhead wristlock. Some headscissors get A-Kid free as the pair hit a stand-off. A-Kid looks to sting Devlin with kicks, before he picked the leg to keep the Irishman on the mat, diving in with a side headlock before he’s pushed off into the corner. A springboard armdrag gives way to see-saw pins, then a series of monkey flip as A-Kid eventually crashed and burned after Devlin pushed him off the top rope to the floor.
Devlin slams A-Kid on the floor, then met the Spaniard with an elbow drop back inside for a two-count. Back suplexes keep it up, as did a neck crank, before A-Kid found a way back in with a big dropkick. He takes Devlin into the corner, then yanked the arm over his shoulder, before another armdrag and dropkick rocked Devlin. A-Kid picks the leg again, but this time turns it into a Fisherman suplex for a two-count. A guillotine’s next from A-Kid, but that’s escaped as Devlin walked into a Northern lights suplex… but got the knees up on a standing moonsault. Devlin retaliates with a uranage, but his standing moonsault lands into a triangle armbar, but A-Kid rolled them towards the ropes for an inadvertent break.
A-Kid tries to stay on Devlin, but he’s thrown off in a sleeperhold attempt. Second time’s the charm, but A-Kid couldn’t keep his grip on Devlin’s head, and ends up running into a Spanish fly. Something something shoot style? Devlin can’t go for the pin though as A-Kid caught him with an omoplata, but Devlin gets a foot to the rope to stop it before it could be locked in fully. The pair trade strikes, but Devlin looks to wilt first, with a Superman punch dropping him for a near-fall. A-Kid kicks out Devlin’s arm before a snap German suplex kept the Spaniard ahead… which gets rolled together, before Devlin sent himself outside following a headbutt… but gets caught with a tope.
Devlin snaps the bottom rope into A-Kid’s face to stop him getting back into the ring, then moved the ring steps… but an Irish whip into the steps was reversed. Devlin leaps over the steps, then dropkicked them into A-Kid, before breaking the count-out so he could drop A-Kid knees first on the steps. Back inside, Devlin looks for a Devlinside, but A-Kid counters into a Code Red… he can’t follow up, and another shot at a dropkick’s caught and turned into a Cloverleaf. The ropes save A-Kid, but Devlin pulled him away from the ropes, only to get rolled into an omoplata… but A-Kid couldn’t fully lock it in, as Devlin counters back by folding A-Kid’s knee back on himself for the submission. This turned into a cracking match, although Devlin doing the heroic come-from-behind performance sure was odd until he tried to snap every single ligament in A-Kid’s knee for the finish. ***¾
This was (mostly) a pretty good show in terms of fresh faces getting a shot, with the women’s division in particular having a solid debut from Mila Smidt, while Amale forcing herself into title contention keeps things fresh. That being said, I do wonder what timelines the show has for returning in front of fans, and how that show looks, particularly since the UK indy scene is now slowly starting to open up…