Roderick Strong headed over the pond as this week’s NXT UK had some influence from the Diamond Mine.
Oliver Carter pinned Tyler Bate in 10:07 (***)
Emilia McKenzie pinned Nina Samuels in 8:44 (**¾)
Aleah James pinned Stevie Turner in 4:10 (**¼)
Roderick Strong pinned Wolfgang in 9:51 (**¾)
We’re back at the BT Sport Studios in London… and there’s human being in the crowd again. More than they had before, and they’re falling in line with England’s covid rules, so no masks or distancing…
Tyler Bate vs. Oliver Carter
This was set up last week when Bate and Seven went back on their promise of a tag title rematch, by telling Oliver Carter and Ashton Smith they “needed to prove themselves.”
There’s a few fans “whoop”’ing along to what was Ashton Smith’s old music, but that subsides (thankfully) as we open with wristlocks and reversals. Those break down into flash pinning attempts, with both men picking up two-counts before clotheslines and dropkicks led to a standoff.
Carter slows things down with an armbar, but Tyler gets free… only to get caught with some twisting headscissors and another armdrag as Carter tried to assert himself. A single-leg lariat gets a near-fall, before a dropkick from Bate propelled Carter to the outside. Back inside, Bate wears down Carter with a waistlock, but that’s broken up as a clothesline and a dropkick had Carter back it. Bate ducks a step-up kick in the corner, but couldn’t avoid a missile dropkick that nearly ended the match. A scissor kick from Carter lands for a near-fall (and the old whistle.mp3 crowd noise… yep, they’re keeping the soundboard crowd). Carter’s gamengiri lands, but his missile dropkick did not, leading to an awkward stomp-like landing that allowed Bate back in, hitting an Exploder and a running shooting star press for a near-fall.
Bate rolls back the years with an Airplane Spin, leading to a gutbuster and an abdominal stretch as he tried to keep the wind out of his opponent. Carter hobbles towards the ropes, but Bate countered out with an Octopus stretch, but the ropes save the day as we keep going. Carter back body drops out of a Tyler Driver, but Tyler lands on his feet… only to get rocked with a superkick.
Carter pushes on with a uranage backbreaker for a near-fall, then a PK before the pair traded rolling Koppo kicks. They get a little fancy with springboards, allowing Bate to hit a clothesline, before the Tyler Driver was countered with a ‘rana to almost get the three-count. Stumbling out of the corner, Carter runs into Bate’s knee, as Trent and Ashton get into a pantomime fight on the outside… it distracts Tyler, who ends up falling to a backslide, as the one of you who had “first ever NXT UK champion loses clean to Oliver Carter” gets to tick your bingo square! A really good TV match, although the pantomime stuff was a little too cartoony for my tastes. ***
A-Kid’s backstage interviewed about his “upcoming match” with Die Familie, but he walks in on Saxon Huxley ranting and raving during a photo shoot. A-Kid stops it and goes up to Huxley, asking him to be his tag partner before he heads off to Florida. Of course, Saxon says yes.
Cinematic vignette time as Wild Boar’s threatening to put Eddie Dennis through the same hell he’s been through. We’re getting Boar against Symbiosis then, if that wasn’t clear last week!
Nina Samuels vs. Emilia McKenzie
This was set up with a wacky segment in the UK PC kitchen last week… and there’s a section of the crowd who are really into Nina.
Opening with a tie-up, McKenzie worked a waistlock that Samuels countered out of, only to be rolled up for an early two-count. Wristlocks follow as Samuels and McKenzie traded those, with Nina taking things to the mat before McKenzie’s search for a pin ended in the ropes. After the break, Nina’s a little more tentative, but still took a series of armdrags and a ‘rana. A back body drop from Samuels chucks McKenzie across the ring as Nina stayed on her with some forearms and hair’mares. Samuels takes down McKenzie for some elbows and a chinbar, before she switched things up into a front facelock.
McKenzie tries to fight free, throwing Samuels away with another back body drop before she mounted a clothesline-laden comeback. A back suplex is good for a two-count, before Samuels dropkicked McKenzie into the ropes for another two-count. Nina followed up with a Dragon sleeper, but McKenzie slipped out and tried a roll-up, then a German suplex to take Samuels to the outside. A tope followed as Nina couldn’t get out of the way, but Samuels was able to throw McKenzie off the top rope on her return… then come close with a big boot. Samuels misses a moonsault off the top, then ate a spear from McKenzie for the win. A good TV match, but there’ll be those who suggest McKenzie going 50-50 isn’t a good sign. **¾
Nigel shouts over a video package announcing Roderick Strong’s arrival, before we cut to Mark Coffey leaving the assistant to the regional manager’s office. He’s jovial, because he’s gotten himself a Heritage Cup match, and his brother Joe didn’t exactly look thrilled at that.
We’ve a video for Kenny Williams, who’s gloating over cutting Sam Gradwell’s mohican a few weeks back. He’s not too bothered about having a new enemy, but was jarred by referee Joey Tofino closing a locker.
Back to the assistant to the regional manager, who’d invited Symbiosis to his office. Eddie Dennis is told that Wild Boar wants a match with him, but Eddie tries to beg off, saying he’s a manager these days. Instead, Eddie offers up anyone else from Symbiosis, and that planned match seems to be changing…
Aleah James vs. Stevie Turner
This was Aleah’s first match on the show since November…
We again open with wristlocks, giving way to a side headlock from Turner that turned into a shoulder tackle as she came off the ropes. A leapfrog and a dropkick puts James in it, before she Matrix’d past a clothesline and scored with headscissors for a two-count. Turner returns with a Thesz Press, then some kicks to the head, before James fought out of a chinlock. Another boot cuts off Aleah’s comeback for a near-fall, before a jawbreaker and some leaping forearms gave James another opening. Out of nowhere, a Side Effect nearly wins it for Turner, before an O’Connor roll saw James snatch the win. **¼
They play another Roderick Strong hype video… he’s up next.
But first, Sha Samuels is taking bets for the winner of Noam Dar vs. Mark Coffey in two weeks for the Heritage Cup. Someone calls Sha to put a bet on Mark, at odds of 1690-1? Someone’s making money…
Isla Dawn’s in the woods again with the flowers she stole from Meiko… they flash back to their prior meeting, which was Meiko’s NXT UK debut, with Isla saying that she’s changed massively from that match, and apparently all those trinkets she’s stolen and returned are going to be what she needs to win the title. They face off next week…
Wolfgang vs. Roderick Strong
No prizes if you guessed that Roderick Strong’s arrival would get a decent reaction from the live crowd.
We open with a lock-up into the corner as Wolfgang looked to bully Strong from the off. Strong was looking to play stick and run, but Wolfgang’s able to subdue him with a side headlock as the crowd called for Malcolm Bivens to be here. A dropkick from Wolfgang has Strong down, before Wolfgang went to work on the arm. An arm lift keeps Strong on the back foot, but Strong sweeps the leg and grounded Wolfgang with a chinlock. Wolfgang gets free and began to overpower Strong, throwing him into the corner and to the outside, but Wolfgang’s caught out as a back suplex from Strong dropped him across the barriers.
Back inside, Wolfgang fought back, but Strong grounds the Scot again with a chinlock, which gets punched free. An Irish whip sees Strong thrown into the corner, before he missed a step-up knee as Wolfgang pounced, taking Strong down with some more right hands. A crossbody from Wolfgang squashes Strong in the corner ahead of a double sledge off the top. A suplex from Wolfgang has Strong back in the corner, but Strong leaps over a spear, then hit a leaping knee… and all of a sudden, that’s it. This match was alright, but it did less than nothing for me – Wolfgang having large spells of dominance only to lose to a flash KO is weird, but anything can happen, eh? **¾
After the match Strong took the mic and called out a “big money fight” – calling out Ilja Dragunov to close out the show.
With a live crowd, the show felt a little more lively, but this was a solid table-setting episode of the usual tapings arc, as we wait for the title matches that are coming down the track.