The Heritage Cup is on the line on this week’s NXT UK, as Noam Dar defends against Mark Coffey.
Xia Brookside pinned Amale in 5:51 (**¾)
Trent Seven pinned Ashton Smith in 8:50 (***¼)
Tate Mayfairs defeated Kenny Williams via count-out in 5:43 (**¼)
Heritage Cup Rules: Noam Dar beats Mark Coffey by 2 falls to 1 in 1:46 of Round 5 to retain the NXT UK Heritage Cup (***¼)
Unlike last year, this isn’t part of WWE’s WrestleMania festivities (remember when NXT UK Prelude sandwiched between the two-night Takeover, giving us that oddity of WALTER defending the NXT UK title on two different nights in two different continents? Ahem…). We’ve no intro video, as we open with the titles… Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness once again are on the call from London’s BT Sport Studios.
Amale vs. Xia Brookside
The last few weeks, Xia Brookside had been talking about her dad getting her help… this week, she’s still throwing a strop because she got booed.
Brookside laid into Amale at the bell, but ended up getting charged down then met with a bodyslam off the ropes, A rolling senton and a low dropkick sent Xia into the ropes, with Amale following up with a butterfly suplex for a two-count. A push-down stomp out of the corner got Xia back in it, as did a series of stomps by the ropes. Some running knees to the back of Amale in the corner get a two-count, while a kick to the back’s good for just a one-count as Brookside’s temper started to fray. She followed that up with a camel clutch, which Amale managed to escape.
An exchange of forearms led to Amale hitting a series of clotheslines, then a running knee to the side of a doubled-over Brookside, while a Northern Lights suplex nearly won it. Brookside returns with a roll-up as she sought a Boston crab, but Amale powered out… then returned with another knee. Amale stopped herself from hitting a face-washing kick into the corner, but chases Brookside to the outside, booting her by the rails, before a “fan” in the crowd pulled Amale into the railings, then clotheslined her. The “fan” hid – it’s Lizzy Evo, for those who follow the British indies – before Xia beat Amale with the Broken Wings. Not much to this one, but it finally progresses the Xia storyline. **¾
We’ve split-screen footage of Trent Seven and Ashton Smith warming up…
Then there’s a vignette of Isla Dawn with the NXT UK Women’s title belt… she puts a candelabra next to it as she spoke of her “plan” to break the “unbreakable bond” Meiko Satomura had with the title. Isla’s holding the title ransom…
Another video as we’ve got Ilja Dragunov hyping his NXT UK title match with Roderick Strong next week, while Amale, Nathan Frazer, Emilia McKenzie, A-Kid, Moustache Mountain and Jordan Devlin chipped in. Trent’s quip about how he’d love to buy a ticket for this was a little close to the bone, considering the brand’s seemingly nowhere near touring…
Trent Seven vs. Ashton Smith
Oliver Carter beat Tyler Bate two weeks ago… so this is your obvious follow-up.
Opening with a lock-up, Smith took Trent into the ropes before he responded to a side headlock by pushing off and charging down Trent. A crossbody gives Trent an opening, as did a hiptoss and a slam, while the Hogan legdrop nearly ended this one early. Chops from Trent chase Smith around the ring as a suplex drove Smith down for a two-count as the tag champion pushed on. Smith breaks a cobra clutch as he began to fight back, landing a powerslam off the ropes, then some Snake Eyes and a shoulder tackle, gaining himself a two-count there. A Fireman’s carry takedown keeps Smith ahead, as did a whip into the corner, which led to Trent getting lifted up top… but he fought free and went for another crossbody… which Smith caught.
Trent’s hauled up into a suplex from that, but he fought free and went for a superplex of his own… sending Smith flying for a near-fall. Trent baits Smith into the ropes, forcing the referee to call for a break… Trent capitalises with a snap Dragon suplex and an Emerald Fusion for a near-fall as his wiley tactics didn’t quite pay off. A Seven Star lariat’s kicked away as Smith instead hit one of his own for a near-fall, before Trent sat down on a sunset flip attempt. He used the ropes, much to Tyler’s chagrin… Trent lets go and nearly gets pinned, before he got the win with a handful of tights. Tyler was conflicted at that at the end, and I do wonder… is that split getting teased again? ***¼
It’s Noam Dar and Mark Coffey’s time for a split-screen warm-up…
Then we’re with A-Kid backstage, talking about his future… which includes a match with Teoman soon. It sounds like this’ll be A-Kid’s last hurrah on the show…
Then we have a black and white vignette with Wild Boar, who’s got his eyes on Eddie Dennis. Holding a crutch, Boar threatens to go through all of Eddie’s puppets until he sees him in the ring. But not before Boar chucks some bins around.
“During the break,” Carter and Smith argue with Tyler and Trent backstage over that finish… the assistant to the regional manager steps up to intervene, saying that they’ll discuss what’ll happen in his office next week. Buy your ticket now! Trent tries to explain his actions by saying he can’t afford to lose the title…
Tate Mayfairs vs. Kenny Williams
It’s a NXT UK debut for Mayfairs, who’s mastered the art of SEO…
Williams clobbers Tate at the start, stomping a mudhole into him in the corner. Some clubbing shots wear Tate down, as did a headbutt to the midsection, before a sunset flip gave Mayfairs a near-fall. He pushes on with a floatover out of the corner, only for Williams to chop block his knee out. Mayfairs’ leg is worked over from there, as he’s then punched in the head and swatted with a right hand for a near-fall. A double armbar from Williams tries to force the stoppage, but Mayfairs powers out, then tried his luck with a roll-up… getting a near-fall ahead of an uppercut that knocked Williams onto the apron.
Kenny comes back with a Dragon screw through the ropes as he then kicked Tate outside. A slam on the floor’s next, but Kenny doesn’t take the count-out win. Instead, he rolled Tate back inside so he could go for a snapmare driver… planting Tate, only to break up his own pin at two. Tate’s tossed outside again… but he crawls under the ring for… reasons. Williams tries to pull him out, but had issues… then pulled up the ring apron and found Sam Gradwell was hiding under the ring. Kenny reacts like he saw a ghost as Gradwell threw Tate back inside, then played keepaway as Williams ended up losing via count-out. Again not much of a match, but one they played as an upset because of the interference… **¼
Wolfgang’s outside the Gallus locker room… they’re ready for the main event, but so are die Familie, who rock up. Charlie Dempsey’s annoyed that Gallus have a monopoly on the Heritage Cup right now, and that seems to lead to Dempsey vs. Wolfgang soon.
Andy Shepherd hosts a sit-down interview with Ilja Dragunov and Roderick Strong. There’s a weird swing in picture quality between the different angles they use, as they build this one up as a sporting contest, with Strong seeing a lot of himself in Ilja. Strong calls Ilja the biggest test he’s had, as he’s got eyes on that NXT UK title…
NXT UK Heritage Cup: Mark Coffey vs. Noam Dar (c)
We’re up to Dar’s fourth defence as he faces the last member of Gallus here…
Round 1: Things head to the mat early, as Dar grabbed a side headlock on Coffey, who responded by powering up and into the ropes for a break. An attempted swing on the break’s ducked by Dar, who then took a swig of whatever’s in Sha Samuels’ flask… so he could spray it at Joe Coffey at ringside. Dar takes this lightly as he tied up Coffey in a Tequila Sunrise as we headed into the final seconds, then an armbar as the buzzer went.
Round 2: They’re certainly overdoing Dar taking things lightly here, as we start with the pair again exchanging holds on the mat. A chinbar from Dar leads to wristlocks, before Coffey broke free and punched out Dar… who then caught out Coffey with a cradle at 1:10 of the round to pull ahead.
Round 3: Joe Coffey’s coaching his brother to start… Mark decks Dar to start, then got a near-fall as he tried to get the rapid equaliser. A back body drop-like throw has Dar on the back foot, before a pratfall attempt from Dar ended up with him taking a uranage-like slam for a near-fall. Sha pulls Dar out of the ring… then ate a baseball slide as Coffey continued to steam ahead, taking things back inside as a forearm and a leaping enziguiri tied things up at 1:34 of the round. Yep, it’ll end 2-1 again.
Round 4: Dar’s still on the mat to start the round, but it’s a ruse as he tried to charge at Coffey to snatch the win with a roll-up. It didn’t quite work out though, as Coffey returned with a back suplex into the corner, before Coffey caught him in the corner, taking out the leg. A running kick traps Coffey by the ropes, only for Mark to return with a clothesline out of nowhere. An attempted suplex ends with Dar kicking out the knee again, with the pair then trading forearms before a missed enziguiri from Coffey saw him pulled into a Champagne Super Knee Bar to end the round.
Round 5: The pair keep swinging for the fences to start the round, but an O’Connor roll from Coffey backfired as a back elbow nearly won the match for Dar. Coffey sits down as Dar tried to sneak in a Champagne Super Knee Bar, getting a near-fall, before a Gator lock from Coffey nearly ended in the ropes. He lets go to drag Dar away, then reapplied it as Sha Samuels popped up on the apron to create a distraction. We get the Benny Hill chase as Joe took him into the ring and decked him, buying Dar enough time to hit a Nova Roller to win at 1:46 of the round. That’s Dar having swept the board against Gallus, albeit with some questionable interference, and given Sha’s interferences, I doubt this is all over… ***¼
This felt a little like those “eh” NXT UK shows with all the scattergun segments that watered down what happened in the ring. It certainly felt like they had way too many videos between matches. Perhaps a touch too quick. It’s just a shame they didn’t want to make this “officially” part of Mania weekend again…