SubCulture have another crack at the NXT UK tag titles this week, as they take on Pretty Deadly.
Nina Samuels pinned Laura di Matteo in 6:09 (*¾)
Joseph Conners pinned Tristan Archer in 6:01 (**¼)
Sam Stoker & Lewis Howley pinned Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster to retain the NXT UK Tag Team Championship in 15:46 (***¼)
With a reported-legitimate injury having led to the postponement of WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov (which had been hyped for a few weeks), this isn’t the show some were expecting. Even though they announced the cancellation last week! They recap that here, revealing WALTER’s broken his left hand, and announce the tag title match is our new main event instead.
We’re at the BT Sport Studios in London, with Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness on the call… but first, the assistant to the regional manager hammers home WALTER/Dragunov 2 is off. He’s even less specific than Andy was at the top of the show. We get comments from William Regal, Triple H and Shawn Michaels in Florida, who reveal that WALTER vs. Dragunov for the NXT UK title will take place… at NXT Takeover 36 next month. What, you thought fans in Britain would be allowed to see it live? That is annoying as hell…
Vignette time with Symbiosis. Looks like T-Bone and Primate are taking on Moustache Mountain, as Eddie Dennis is pissed that Trent Seven keeps trying to end his career.
Laura di Matteo vs. Nina Samuels
Laura’s still looking for her first win, and since Nina’s getting a new introduction, I think she’ll be waiting a little while… especially since Nina’s now done cleaning loos.
Samuels works the arm of di Matteo early, but di Matteo countered… only to get grounded in a hammerlock. A wristlock from di Matteo’s cartwheeled out of, as Samuels then put the boots to di Matteo, following up with some hair pulling and a bow and arrow hold. Elbows keep di Matteo in the corner, ahead of the Mr. Perfect neck flip and a chinlock, but di Matteo elbows out… and gets slammed back down. Samuels goes for a full nelson, but almost lost to a roll-up as di Matteo found a second wind, scoring with another roll-up, before Samuels took di Matteo back to the corner. They trade palm strikes, but a flying ‘rana from di Matteo and a clothesline gets her ahead, but a swinging DDT’s caught as Nina came back with swinging backbreakers.
A dropkick in the ropes leaves di Matteo helpless, and from there it’s the matter of a shoulderbreaker-like Go 2 Sleep that gets the win for Nina. Laura’s still looking for a win, but it’s going to take some convincing that they’re doing anything with Nina. *¾
Teoman promo time. He tells us his brotherhood with Rohan Raja is out of respect, and it’s up to us to choose whether to respect or fear the two of them. “Family is always growing”, said Teoman, as they pull back to reveal an empty chair…
Backstage, Blair Davenport interrupts Xia Brookside’s promo and tells her “you’re only here because of Daddy’s last name.” That’s a feud.
Dar’s back after a break, as is his canned laughter. His guests? Jinny and Joseph Conners, who don’t like the look of the set. So much so, Jinny doesn’t take a seat.
She’s given a cushion as Dar fancies himself as a male model. The line “take a little feel” sounds wrong… as Dar then went on to take jabs at the Conners/Jinny relationship. They play B-roll of Jinny and Joseph “living the high life” as Dar tried to hit on Jinny. She takes over the segment to challenge Aoife Valkyrie, and even uses the “little girl” line that’s her catchphrase of sorts. Conners golf claps, as the pair leave the set… and for once, this segment doesn’t lead to a Heritage Cup match being booked.
Backstage, Pretty Deadly are doing push-ups.
Rampage Brown gets a vignette, recapping his history with Joe Coffey,
Tristan Archer vs. Joseph Conners
It’s the NXT UK debut of Archer… but not his WWE debut, if you count his match in the Cruiserweight Classic (as Clement Petiot, back before he was more familiar with tattoo needles!)
Archer got the “already in the ring” treatment, and not-his-wXw music. I guess they want to save it for Ashton Smith again. Meanwhile, Conners’ entrance video no longer showcases self-doubt… but is a little like Doom. The video game. Bloody hell, they actually plug wXw on the Network, as a wristlock took Archer down… but he’s right back with a double-leg takedown that ends in the ropes. A waistlock and headlock follow from the Frenchman, as does a shoulder block, before he took Conners into the corner.
Conners’ baseball slide and a snap backbreaker turns it around, before a roll-up chinlock snapped back at Archer’s neck. A clothesline’s good for a two-count, while kneedrops in the ropes drew another two-count, before Archer got caught with a boot to the head. That’s not enough for a cover, so Conners rolls up Archer again for a one-count, before Archer fought back with some body blows into the corner. Archer goes for a suplex, but gets caught in the throat… he shrugs it off and heads up top, dropping down as Conners went for him, before as springboard Codebreaker almost got the win. More pinning attempts from Archer nearly nicks it, before a Falcon arrow gave Conners another scare… but La Terreur (Go 2 Sleep) is escaped, as Conners rolled in for a short DDT, then a hangman’s neckbreaker – dubbed The Hierarchy – for the win. I mean, if I came into this blind, I’d have thought Archer was the signed and pushed talent here, such was the display, but this was a decent enough TV match. **¼
After the match, Aoife Valkyrie’s standing where they keep the NXT UK Heritage Cup at ringside. She stares at Jinny, then hopped the rail to give her a feather as they did their poses at each other in the aisle. Like how normal humans act.
Backstage, Jordan Devlin comes out of the assistant to the regional manager’s office. He’s asked about the iron man match challenge, and says that there’s no way A-Kid’s knee is 100%… so he’ll finish the job in their match.
“Earlier this week,” Dave Mastiff is working a massage gun when he’s interrupted by Jack Starz. Jack thanks Mastiff for his support, but Dave suggests there’s a match in the works between the two. Of course there is.
Trent Seven and Tyler Bate are interviewed about the challenge from Eddie Dennis. Tyler mentions “those monkeys.” Hey, only Primate has a simian-like name. That tag match is next week…
NXT UK Tag Team Championship: SubCulture (Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews) vs. Pretty Deadly (Sam Stoker & Lewis Howley) (c)
In the run-up, commentary hyped up Webster and Andrews’ past tag title run, as they’d be the first ever two-time tag champions if they won here.
Stoker and Webster start us off, locking up into the ropes where Webster threw a cheapshot. A series of atomic drops from Stoker stops Webster, before a back suplex was countered for a quick two-count. Webster pulls a neck flip before all four men hit the ring. Tags bring in Andrews and Howley, but Howley gets a little too cocksure and ends up eating a ‘rana from Andrews. Howley recovers to push away Andrews, then threw him to the outside before bringing Webster in for some double-teaming. Andrews is back quickly, landing a crossbody to the champions, who were sent scurrying to the outside.
A distraction from Dani Luna on the floor allowed Andrews to strike, before a satellite crossbody back inside gets a two-count on Howley. Stoker’s back in to hit a snap DDT on Andrews, before a chinbar grounded the Welshman, who was kept isolated for a spell in the champion’s corner. Stoker stands on Andrews’ head on the apron, despite Dani Luna’s protestations, before Andrews’ attempt to make the tag out was cut-off by Howley. A double-team legdrop/splash from the champions gets Stoker another two-count, while Howley kept the upper hand after he returned to the fray. Andrews struggles in a chinlock, but fights free… only to get charged back into the corner. Stoker’s back, but takes a chinbreaker before a wheelbarrow on Howley led to Andrews finally tagging out.
Webster clears house, clotheslining Stoker ahead of a dropkick… there’s a dropkick to Howley too ahead of an Angel’s Wings on Stoker for a near-fall. Webster escapes a German suplex from Stoker… then got popped up into a ‘rana on Howley as the champions looked to be stuttering, getting thrown to the outside ahead of topes con giro. Back inside, Webster comes close with a moonsault press on Howley, before the Eton Rifles (Destino) was blocked and turned into Snake Eyes. Howley misses a follow-up bot, but gets headbutted before Stoker had some of the same as Andrews tagged back in for an assisted Code Red that almost won it. Webster’s back for a senton bomb, but that misses… and he’s right in the hands of the champions, who hit a NICE propelled Codebreaker that led to another near-fall. That should have had a replay…
Webster again escapes to tag in Andrews, who misses a blind tag out from Stoker as a double-team Fireman’s carry gutbuster, then a lawndart/uppercut combo almost led to the successful defence. Commentary’s getting shoutier, so we’re near the end of things, and with Andrews hitting a Stundog Millionaire, Webster tags in to hit a bicycle knee to propel a reverse ‘rana that almost won it, with Howley narrowly breaking things up in time.
On the outside, a swinging DDT off the ring steps from Andrews drops Howley, while Stoker and Webster trade pinning attempts… a diving knee from Webster hits, so Andrews tagged back in to hit the Fall To Pieces shooting star press… except Howley pulls Stoker to safety. Webster makes a give, but gets caught and tossed onto the guard rails, while Howley grabbed the tag titles and swung at Andrews. The ref caught it and didn’t call for a DQ… and while he returned the titles, Pretty Deadly get the win with a Hart Attack neckbreaker. This was decent by the end, but the question as to “who’s next” will surely resurface after this win. ***¼
So, I was half right about them wanting to do WALTER/Ilja in front of fans… just, not fans in the UK. It’s almost like NXT UK is a distant priority (certainly going by the outdated renders for the match graphics on social media for one!), and as such will be the last brand to swap the non-synced Thunderdome-like screens for real humans. Without the big match on deck, this became a segment-filled show with a lot of stuff being thrown your way.