Ilja Dragunov defends his NXT UK title against Rampage Brown while Xia Brookside gets her shot at Meiko Satomura’s Women’s title this week.
Meiko Satomura pinned Xia Brookside in 7:58 to retain the NXT UK Women’s Championship (**¾)
Saxon Huxley pinned Kenny Williams in 8:14 (**¾)
Ilja Dragunov defeated Rampage Brown via referee stoppage in 8:49 to retain the NXT UK Championship (**½)
Once we get past the opening hype video, we’re back at the BT Sport studio in London as Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness remain on commentary.
NXT UK Women’s Championship: Xia Brookside vs. Meiko Satomura (c)
Xia got this shot by, err, having her dad pester management for it.
Brookside seemed hesitant before the bell, almost over-awed, and was controlled in the early going with a waistlock that Xia backed out of. A kick takes Xia down, as Meiko worked the wrist only for Brookside to flip free in the ropes and reverse the hold. Satomura takes it to the mat, looking to work a toe hold, before some headscissors on the mat were floated out of. Satomura backed the challenger into the ropes after she got a little too cocky, but a kick from Xia opened things up as she tried to kick Meiko’s leg out of her leg. Stomps keep Meiko down, but Meiko kicked out before a one-count and returned with some mid kicks of her own.
A slam has Xia on the mat in preparation for a cross armbar, but Brookside gets to the rope to force a break, before she kicked the champion away. A running neckbreaker finally gets Xia a two-count, but another slam drops Brookside as the champion was intent on not giving her any space. Brookside sidesteps a spinning heel kick and returns with a Codebreaker for a two-count, before a head kick dazed Brookside ahead of a death valley driver. A Scorpio Rising kick followed, and that’s the win. A decent match, but the story here was that Xia just wasn’t in Satomura’s league and that’ll likely be the start of a new arc. **¾
Charlie Dempsey and Rohan Raja are in some apartment suite, heading out onto a balcony overlooking somewhere near Canary Wharf. Charlie says his legacy and heritage is important to him, and said that he thought Raja and Teoman “could use a helping hand.” Teoman’s not there, but Raja welcomes Dempsey to “die Familia.” A good segment to formally establish the trademarked-trio’s name…
Backstage, Emilia McKenzie’s got a towel for Meiko Satomura… who tells us she’s going back to Japan for a break. Blair Davenport walks in to challenge McKenzie for a title match, then continued to forebode a future match with Meiko.
Saxon Huxley vs. Kenny Williams
A rematch from two weeks ago…
Williams tries to throw his jacket at Huxley at the bell, but the distraction comes as Huxley went to stomp on it. Like a cockroach. Because Kenny’s meant to be one. Do you get it? An eye rake to Huxley is shrugged off as Kenny’s charged down, before a crossbody in the ropes and some forearms led to Williams being sent outside. Huxley chases after him to hit a clothesline on the floor, before a boot through the ropes led to another attack in the ropes as Huxley picks up a two-count.
Huxley’s uranage backbreaker dumps Williams as he went to choke away on him, throwing the Scotsman into the mat, then into the corner ahead of some splashes. A second one misses as Huxley sent himself to the outside, where Williams joins him for some stomps by the guard rails. Returning to the ring, Williams chops out Huxley’s knee ahead of a seated splash to the back for a two-count, before some crossface punches saw Huxley throw Williams aside. Going back to the knee puts Kenny ahead, but Huxley again throws Williams aside ahead of a chokebreaker as commentary keeps up the cockroach comparisons. Body blows to Williams follow in the corner, as do some short-arm clotheslines, before a thrown slam had Kenny down.
A backbreaker follows for a two-count, before Huxley dragged Williams towards the corner for a big boot. Huxley heads up top for an elbow drop, but that misses as a sliding DDT from Williams nearly ends it… and then we get a distraction from Subculture’s music. Kenny falls for it, as Huxley ends up winning with the Fireman’s carry spinebuster. Not a fan of the distraction finish because it makes your guys look like idiots, but this was a good match before then. **¾
Sha Samuels is taking bets on the next Heritage Cup contender. I’ll have a tenner on Doink. Sam Gradwell takes offence at being at the bottom of the list, and challenges Sha to a match at odds of 4000/1… Sha takes the penny bet, and apparently forty quid is a hefty pay-out. Are they not paying them much?
Next week: Blair Davenport vs. Emilia McKenzie… plus Moustache Mountain vs. Pretty Deadly for the NXT UK tag titles. We get a recap package of how Moustache Mountain got there before Pretty Deadly mock their challengers as “not good enough” via a sit-down promo. Trent and Tyler of course rebut it, recalling themselves winning the NXT (proper) tag titles some three and a half years ago at Royal Albert Hall…
It’s a suspiciously-hard sell from Trent Seven, who seems to be using this as redemption for himself…
NXT UK Championship: Rampage Brown vs. Ilja Dragunov (c)
This was Rampage’s second shot at the title this year, having come up short to WALTER on that weird WrestleMania swing where WALTER was live and on tape within 48 hours…
We open with a lock-up as Rampage tried to bully Dragunov from the off, only for the champion to sting him with a chop early. Dragunov’s backed into the corner as Rampage returned the favour with a forearm, but Ilja struck back, then clamped on a side headlock, clinging onto it as Rampage tries to power out. Eventually Rampage did so, but runs back into a headlock takedown before Rampage hit back with a Saito suplex. On the outside, Rampage posts Dragunov, twice, only for Ilja to try and return with a suplex… but his back gives way as Rampage retained the momentum, grabbing a bear hug. Ilja fought out, but gets headbutted, then got whipped hard into the corner for good measure.
Rampage’s controlling the pace, with even the ropes hurting Dragunov as he was forced to try and elbow out of a Doctor bomb before he Herc’d up Rampage with a back body drop. A suplex attempt is instantly stopped as Ilja instead fires away elbows and a slap, before another crack at a suplex was broken. Dragunov instead hits an enziguiri to take down Brown after a right hand briefly connected… and after replays, we’re back with the referee stopping the match. They replay the enziguiri, suggesting that Dragunov’s toe KO’d Brown – and we end the show awkwardly with Dragunov celebrating as we go off the air. The match was on course to being pretty good, but the stoppage came before they could hit any kind of gear. **½
This show felt a little cursed in some respects – the NXT UK title match didn’t feel like it’d been overly hyped, and unfortunately, now we know why. Add in that this show didn’t do some of its characters any favours, and sadly it’s a show that was a penalty kick that went well, well off target. Distraction finishes almost always feel cheap, and with them blowing off three title matches in two weeks, early Christmas presents for NXT UK mean we’ll be getting coal in our stockings for a while.