Sam Gradwell gets his hands on Kenny Williams on this week’s episode of NXT UK.
Sam Gradwell pinned Kenny Williams in 3:54 (**½)
Emilia McKenzie pinned Angel Hayze in 4:57 (**½)
Stevie Turner pinned Myla Grace in 4:34 (**¼)
Jordan Devlin pinned Wolfgang in 13:40 (**½)
We’re back at the empty BT Sport Studios in London as NXT UK has a few more weeks behind closed doors. Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness, as ever, are on commentary.
Sam Gradwell vs. Kenny Williams
…except Kenny Williams hobbles out on crutches, claiming he’s got a knee injury. The assistant to the regional manager pops up on the video screen to shoot down Kenny’s “doctor’s note,” and we get going. That felt incredibly rushed.
Williams grabs Gradwell by the mohawk, so Sam grabbed an hear as he got free, before an eye rakes frees Williams from a slam. A chop block to the knee sets up for a rebound lariat from Williams, who began to target the lower back of Gradwell, stomping him by the ropes before Gradwell caught him through the ropes.
Forearms and a back body drop have Gradwell ahead, as does a release butterfly suplex, before a STO nearly won it. Williams pulls Gradwell into the ropes, then baited him in… but the SummerSlam 92 finish is eventually spotted as Gradwell sat down on a sunset flip to nick the win. Under four minutes, this was good but insanely rushed from top to tail. **½
Post-match, Williams jabs Gradwell with the stolen crutch before he got some scissors out of a toolbox from under the ring. The Faceless are still around, eh? Williams trims the mohawk, and given that Kenny’s been growing his hair out, I’d wager he’s ending up bald by the end of this feud.
Backstage, Gallus are laughing at clips of them last week… Wolfgang storms in, upset after being attacked last week, and walks out. The Coffeys leave too with the TV still going.
Xia Brookside’s happy to be here and get interviewed. She’s acting all bratty because everyone’s raving over Amale, and I guess that’s a set-up for another match.
They recap Jack Starz asking Dave Mastiff for a leather vest… so now we’ve got wacky vignettes. First up, Jack’s got to do free squats for an hour to show he’s in peak condition. Except Dave forgets and two hours later he’s reminded…. Challenge two is an eating contest, which involves eating a load of Weetabix. Dry. Finally, Jack’s got to show courage, but he backs out of streaking through the PC. These montage vignettes are getting more frequent…
Backstage, Sam Gradwell’s on the warpath for Kenny Williams and is kicking down doors.
Angel Hayze vs. Emilia McKenzie
It’s been nearly three months since McKenzie’s had a match around these parts…
She locks up with the current ICW Women’s champion to start, grabbing a side headlock, but Hayze gets free and tries some flash pins before scoring a hiptoss for a two-count. A front suplex is blocked as McKenzie came back with a shoulder block for a two-count, then tried to crank Hayze’s head off with a side chinlock.
Hayze got free and hit some uppercuts, then a back elbow into the corner, before a Slingblade nearly caused the upset. McKenzie returns with a deadlift back suplex for a near-fall, before she got rolled down for a Hayze superkick. A second wheelbarrow from Hayze ends in a wheelbarrow facebuster, and that’s your lot. More even than I expected, but it doesn’t seem to be leading to much. **½
They air a “WWE.com exclusive” here as Andy Shepherd interviews Nathan Frazer, who’s happy to have won last week. They talk about the WALTER/Günther match, before Frazer straight up called out Ilja Dragunov for a title shot. That could be good, even if there’s seemingly little shot of Frazer winning…
We’re at die Familie’s gaff for another arty vignette… Charlie Dempsey’s walking up to a window so he can stare out of it moodily. Teoman’s unhappy that he lost last week, but declared that he’d not be a loser as long as the family wins. Dempsey says the loss will make the family closer, and that’s a promise.
Myla Grace vs. Stevie Turner
Like McKenzie, this was Turner’s first match here in three months… and they note that Turner’s not won since her unsuccessful shot at Meiko Satomura’s title last summer.
Grace gets taken to the corner from the off before she worked an overhead wristlock on Turner… then a regular one after a hair pull. Turner takes things back to the corners, but gets rolled up for a two-count as Myla stayed in it, only to run into a Thesz press.
Turner eats a kick to the head from there, then gets pulled into a chinlock before a running knee lift dropped her for a near-fall. We’re back to the chinlock from Turner, but Grace breaks the hold as she fought back, leading to a short-arm clothesline and some regular ones too. A 619 as Turner was in the ropes followed, then a tornado DDT for a near-fall, only for Turner to hit a kick and the Side Effect for the win. Again, more even than I expected, but this served to only break Turner’s long losing run. **¼
Backstage, the assistant to the regional manager says he’ll be “celebrating Meiko Satomura” next week. Angle alert.
Moustache Mountain are looking forward to their NXT UK tag title defence next week. Tyler’s looking more and more like Trent these days. Of course, they’re facing Ashton Smith & Oliver Carter after they won that contender’s tournament, and they’re pretty confident going into the match.
Also next week: Xia Brookside vs. Amale…
Jordan Devlin vs. Wolfgang
Commentary’s trying to compare Devlin to Patrick Bateman/American Psycho…
We start with Wolfgang grabbing a chinbar as we’ve another plug for the Saudi show… Wolfgang goes to the arm, but Devlin elbows his way free before he got bulled down and to the outside by the Scot. A brief brawl ends with Devlin being thrown back inside for a suplex as it’s back to the arm.
Devlin low bridges Wolfgang to the outside, having been sent onto the apron, before an Asai moonsault was caught… Devlin pushes free and posts the Scot instead, before we returned to the ring, as it was his turn to go for the arm. An armbar has Nigel McGuinness go well overboard, as Devlin then whipped Wolfgang down to the mat by the arm. Wolfgang blocks Devlin and manages to hit a press slam – despite it aggravating the arm in the process – before a springboard moonsault got blocked. Devlin goes back to the arm, with a cross armbreaker forcing Wolfgang into the ropes as he pulled his way outside. An apron PK keeps Wolfgang on the floor, before a slingshot corkscrew splash waited for Wolfgang back inside.
Kicks from Devlin pepper Wolfgang, who retaliated by slingshotting Devlin over the ropes to the outside. Devlin rolls back in as Wolfgang took his time to recover, greeting the Irishman with right hands and a back body drop, before a single axehandle smash off the top and a back senton squashed Devlin.
Devlin leaps over a spear as Wolfgang crashed into the buckles, before a headbutt from Devlin connected. A slingshot cutter from the apron back in nearly wins it, as Devlin tries to push on… only to get caught with a spear. Wolfgang leaps up top, only to get caught with a one-man Spanish Fly as they try to make things flashy, before a 450 splash from Devlin got the win. This match did less than nothing for me. I’m not a fan of Gallus as an act, and the deliberate pace of that had me double-checking to see if my feed was buffering. Technically fine, but this entire outing bored me between the bells. **½
This show’s really lacking something without a crowd, and they’re trying new things to make up for it. Problem is, the show’s roster generally is starting to feel stale, with little elevation or freshness.