We’ve another best-of clip show on NXT UK this week, featuring recaps of the tag title and NXT UK title scene from 2021.
From February 2021 – Lewis Howley & Sam Stoker pinned Mark Coffey & Wolfgang in 15:03 to win the NXT UK Tag Team Championships (**½)
From June 2021 – Ilja Dragunov pinned Rampage Brown & Joe Coffey in 16:15 (****)
We’ve got another Best-of clip show as 2022 is less than 30 hours away (for me, anyway)… and this week, Pretty Deadly are hosting the clip show in front of a huge TV that’s got their entrance video on loop.
Someone hands Lewis and Sam drinks, as they pitch to the vignette from back in February that preceded their tag title match against Gallus. That’s our first match this week…
NXT UK Tag Team Championship: Pretty Deadly (Sam Stoker & Lewis Howley) vs. Gallus (Wolfgang & Mark Coffey) (c)
Pretty Deadly won that four-way elimination match to get this shot….
Stoker and Coffey start us off, but a pushed-off lock-up gets us genuine golf claps. Howley tags in, as does Wolfgang, as commentary brings up their past meeting in July 2019 back when Pretty Deadly were squash match opponents. Howley’s isolated in the Gallus corner, with Coffey working the arm before Pretty Deadly bailed to the outside. Back inside, Coffey charges down Howley but ran into a hiptoss… then dished out one of his own for a two-count. Wolfgang runs in, but Stoker pulls Howley away from a charge as Wolfgang hit the corner. Some double-teaming’s snuffed out though as Howley makes a save as we hit a… West Side Story stand-off?
Stoker tries to beat Wolfgang to the punch, but just gets thrown aside, then into the corner as the Scots dominated. A knee to the back knocks Wolfgang to the outside, but Coffey stops Pretty Deadly from capitalising… so they leave their double-teaming until they hit the ring, with a double-team backbreaker almost getting Howley the win. Quick tags from the challengers help them isolate Wolfgang, who was kept away from a tag… but he manages to find a way back in with a splash off the middle rope to flatten Howley. Stoker tags in and tries to stop Wolfgang, but eventually Wolfgang tags out as both of Pretty Deadly failed to stop him… and here’s the babyface comeback from Coffey.
Suplexes toss around Stoker and Howley, before a bulldog off the middle rope nearly got Coffey the win. Stoker’s back in and gets similar treatment, but a blind tag from Stoker stops Coffey from getting a pin… Howley’s legal and gets a near-fall from a double-team gutbuster, before Wolfgang tagged back in to slingshot Howley into Coffey for a Samoan drop. A moonsault off the middle rope gets Wolfgang a two-count as Stoker breaks the cover. Stoker’s chokeslammed onto the apron, but Howley nearly shocks Wolfgang with a roll-up… only to get met with a spear for a near-fall of Wolfgang’s own. Again, Stoker tries to intervene, and saves Howley from some double-teaming as Stoker then suckered Wolfgang into a Benny Hill chase… Howley capitalises by knocking Wolfgang over the rails and into the abyss, leaving Coffey on his lonesome.
Howley runs outside to get the tag titles, but misses a belt shot… Stoker hits a flying DDT onto the belt, laying out Coffey before a Hart Attack neckbreaker gets the win. Shouting on commentary doesn’t make this a good match, lads – and while the closing stretch was fine, there was a LOT of filler to get through before there. **½
Back with Pretty Deadly, they’re talking about some of their non-wrestling highlights – including a bunch of interviews, doing stuff for Magic Mike Live, before we go to a video package of Moustache Mountain earning their shot at the tag titles. Complete with the Trent Seven “what do we do if I lose?” schtick.
They show clips of Pretty Deadly losing the tag titles earlier this month… and we’re now moving to the NXT UK title scene for the second half of the recap show.
We get Happy New Year messages from Dave Mastiff, (whose resolution is to smile more), Jack Starz (who promises to win the tag titles in 2022), Ashton Smith (who makes no new resolutions), Saxon Huxley, Primate, and A-Kid.
Next week: Meiko Satomura defends the NXT UK Women’s title vs. Blair Davenport… so we get a video package for that… plus Symbiosis vs. Ashton Smith & Oliver Carter for a shot at the NXT UK tag titles.
Ilja Dragunov wishes us a happy new year, as does Oliver Carter (who isn’t on the slopes this week), Rohan Raja (who wants to destroy the roster in 2022), Sam Gradwell (who wants to become an exorcist next year). Nathan Frazer chimes in too, as he wants to be “the guy” on the roster, while Amale chips in too…
Pretty Deadly’s back to take a look at the NXT UK title scene and pitch to a video package on WALTER’s reign as champion. We’re then taken to the triple-threat match from June 2021 to set-up WALTER’s challenger…
Ilja Dragunov vs. Joe Coffey vs. Rampage Brown
Dragunov tries to take a shot early, but Coffey threw him away and propelled Rampage with a back body drop as this one broke down in the opening seconds. Nigel makes a rather unflattering comparison, calling this match “banger racing” as Rampage dumped Dragunov with a slam… then went back to Coffey with chops, only to get caught with an overhead belly-to-belly. Dragunov tries to go for Rampage in an armbar, but instead rolled him down for some crucifix elbows before Rampage threw Ilja into a German suplex by Coffey… so Coffey and Rampage could go at it again. A dropkick from Rampage stops that, but Coffey’s back with a double leg takedown that turned into a Boston crab… which Dragunov broke with some elbow smashes, chops and a front kick.
Coffey has to defend a knuckle lock as Dragunov chopped the neck… punches to the liver looked to weaken it, before Rampage came in with a double clothesline. A double suplex from Rampage followed, but he gets lifted to the outside by Coffey… who gets thrown down by Dragunov, whose backfists led to a teardrop German suplex. Coffey kicks out at two as Dragunov slowly made his way up top… and gets caught by the Scotsman… only for Rampage to roll in and land a Samoan drop on Coffey. Ilja flies onto Coffey too, then Matrix’d away from Rampage… only for Coffey to grab Ilja’s leg so Rampage could hit a spinebuster on Ilja onto Coffey.
Rampage gets a two-count on Coffey after that, then obliterated Ilja with chops and forearms. Dragunov headbutts a clothesline, then hits some of his own… but gets booted by Rampage ahead of landing a Konstantin-Spezial lariat. Ilja heads back up top and hits a dropkick to Rampage… but then got pounced into the corner by Coffey as the action didn’t let up. Coffey lands a double-jump plancha to Dragunov and Rampage on the floor, then threw Ilja back inside for a missile dropkick. The pair throw right hands until Ilja landed an enziguiri… Coffey and Dragunov have a stare-off and another slugfest that led to both men getting knocked down.
Dragunov tries to charge at Coffey with a Torpedo Moscau, but ran into a discus lariat… only for Brown to charge himself and Coffey outside to avoid any pin from happening. Instead, Coffey and Brown charge at each other until Rampage hit a slam on the floor, before he returned to Dragunov. Ilja outfoxed Rampage, taking him down with rolling German suplexes. A mounted sleeperhold’s avoided as we look to get a Human Centipede of German suplexes, which leads to This_Is_Awesome.mp3 being played. Sans any British accent. Coffey’s able to fight back with an Electric Chair drop as whistle.mp3 in the crowd is played yet again, before a Torpedo Moscau from Ilja caught Coffey. Rampage capitalises with a Doctor Bomb, but Dragunov breaks up the pin, then slipped out of a Doctor Bomb to hit a springboard Torpedo Moscau out of the corner for the win. This one massively won me over, a real all-guns-blazing battle. ****
WALTER walks down to the ring afterwards, belt in hand in his new Imperium-branded clobber. They turn up the ringside mics for their chat, but WALTER just slaps Dragunov before pulling him into a rear naked choke as the Russian was left in a familiar spot – out cold on the mat at the hands of WALTER. Of course, they didn’t do the match in the UK, and instead moved it to the final NXT Takeover show in August.
We’re back with Stoker and Howley to wrap it up as they pitch to clips of that match from Takeover 36 in August, which Ilja of course won in what was probably the best NXT UK match of the year. Which took place in Florida… and then that bleeds into the promo battle with Jordan Devlin as we’ll be getting Dragunov vs. Devlin in 2022.
Kenny Williams delivers a Happy New Year message, as does Sha Samuels (I want his tracksuit/onesie by the way…), Xia Brookside, Wolfgang, Eddie Dennis (who used his message to build up the Symbiosis match next week), and Nina Samuels also chip in… and then Pretty Deadly wrap up the show in turtlenecks…
Airing matches in full rather limited the ground they could go over on the recap shows both this and last week – and didn’t really do the job you’d have hoped. There’s a lot of ground from 2021 that was left untouched in these two best-ofs…