The Americans are coming… NXT 2.0’s Von Wagner makes his UK debut as Ilja Dragunov prepares for his next NXT UK title defence.

Quick Results
Mark Andrews & Wild Boar pinned T-Bone & Primate in 7:26 (**¼)
Xia Brookside pinned Angel Hayze in 5:05 (**)
Von Wagner pinned Saxon Huxley in 4:04 (*½)

We’re back in the BT Sport Studios in London for the start of a new set of tapings… Nigel McGuinness is there live with Andy Shepherd for the first time in over two years (since the Coventry tapings just before the pandemic). There’s a few more bodies in the BT studios than before… and they’ve switched the “hard camera” position so we’re staring at the column of screens, rather than the big video wall.

Symbiosis (T-Bone & Primate) vs. Wild Boar & Mark Andrews
Mark Andrews had the full SubCulture entrance for his first match since last November…

We’ve a jump start and a scrap before the bell, with Wild Boar chasing Eddie Dennis to the back as we officially open with T-Bone and Andrews. A missed kick catches T-Bone in the ropes for a 619, before a dropkick to the leg forced T-Bone to tag out. Primate has a similar fate, eating an overhead kick as Wild Boar came in… just as Eddie Dennis returned to ringside. A slam from Boar leaves Primate down as Andrews came in for a wheelbarrow’d back senton, with Boar’s own back senton adding a two-count to proceedings. T-Bone’s back in, blocking a satellite DDT and countering with a fallaway slam, while Primate returned for a back suplex.

A double-team stomp keeps Andrews down, as he was starting to get desperate for a tag… but Boar distracts T-Bone, who recovered with a flapjack. T-Bone cheapshots Boar off the apron, then tagged out to Primate, who misses a springboard back in as Andrews fought his way back in, eventually making the tag out to Boar. Boar’s a house afire with clotheslines, before a leaping sit-down splash on Primate and a hammerlock’d clothesline led to a pinning attempt. T-Bone fails to break it up, then got taken outside as Boar’s shoulder charge into the corner, then a half-and-half out of it nearly won the match.

Eddie Dennis pops up on the apron with the dog collar, which distracts Boar enough to eat a Primate spear… Andrews is knocked off the apron too as T-Bone tagged in to go for a slam, but Boar thwarts it with a German suplex, before a cannonball and an Andrews shooting star press finished it off. A so-so squash as we’re all waiting for the big pay-off… **¼

Post-match, Boar chases Eddie Dennis through the crowd with the dog collar and chain…

We’ve a video package of Robert Stone (not in the UK) bigging up Von Wagner, including him dispatching Jacket Time (or at least, one half of them) from NXT 2.0.

“Earlier this week,” Trent Seven emerges from his car, wearing his tag title belt. The interviewer brings up the “nefarious means” Trent and Tyler won the match last week, but Trent laughs it off as I clock their matching sweaters. Trent wants new challengers, as the pair then enter the PC…

During the break, the assistant to the regional manager’s interview is interrupted by Eddie Dennis running from Wild Boar. Eddie’s forced to wrestle in a dog collar match with Symbiosis banned from ringside, just as Boar chases him away!

Angel Hayze vs. Xia Brookside
Hayze got the “already in the ring” treatment. Uh-oh. We get dubbed in boos for Xia, unless there was just one really loud guy among the non-reacting crowd…

Xia works Hayze’s arm early on, before Hayze countered the wristlock in kind. Hayze keeps the wristlock on, at least until she’s taken to the ropes… but she recovers with a diving knee for a two-count as an upset loomed. At least until Brookside scored a push-down stomp out of the corner. Brookside wraps Hayze’s arms in the ropes, before she stomped on Hayze’s back by the ropes. A camel clutch follows, which Brookside reapplied as Hayze tried to fight free, before she opted to pull the hair a little. Back in the hold, Hayze elbows free, then threw some forearms before a Slingblade nearly got the win.

Eliza Alexander pops on the apron as Hayze looked to win with an O’Connor roll… the distraction led to Hayze knocking Alexander off the apron, only to get rolled up by Brookside for the win. **

After the match, Alexander and Brookside attacked Hayze until Amale made the save.

“Earlier this week,” A-Kid interrupts Charlie Dempsey as he’s doing the ol’ Iron Sheik Persian club workout. A-Kid wants to settle his differences with Dempsey, so I guess we’re getting a match.

Backstage, the assistant to the regional manager is with a photo of Johnny Saint, introducing Damon Kemp to NXT UK. He’s been on 205 Live and NXT Level Up… of course he’s interrupted by the real life Johnny Saint, who shakes his hand…

Saxon Huxley vs. Von Wagner
This was set up when Huxley took offence to Wagner refusing to sign autographs last week, calling him a “big stupid man.”

This was Wagner’s NXT UK debut, who was given the “look at the size of him” treatment. Uh oh. Huxley’s backed into the ropes to start, before the pair trade forearms. A leaping knee from Wagner has Huxley down for some elbow drops, as a butterfly suplex took Huxley into the corner. Shoulder charges keep Huxley there, while a short-arm clothesline lands for a two-count. We get “UK” chants, for some reason, as a sleeperhold’s fought out of… then reapplied as Huxley finally broke free. Huxley’s boot and clotheslines have Wagner down to a knee, then to the mat for an elbow drop, before a flying clothesline nearly won it for Saxon.

Huxley goes for a slam, but Wagner slips out… only to get caught with a leaping Thesz Press as a Fireman’s carry followed. Except Wagner escapes, then caught Huxley with a death valley driver for the win. Yep. Expect more of this from the NXT 2.0 folks… *½

Just a mini-rant here, as NXT UK approaches 200 shows. How many times has this show brought in new blood rather than elevate from below? This is just more of the same…

Post-match, Wagner said that Saxon was the first of many to fall in NXT UK…

Earlier this week, Gallus had a press conference for reasons. Wolfgang wanted to tell everyone that Gallus were united and fine, while the Coffey boys pushed that same agenda. Joe reckoned that they were starving for success, as we end with a handshake among all three to close out the press conference that had, err, no questions.

Video package time for a debuting wrestler: Tiger Turan. He’ll debut next week. I’ve no idea who’s under the mask…

Another video package now, as we recap the Meiko Satomura/Isla Dawn feud – they meet next week in a rematch for the NXT UK Women’s title, in a World of Darkness match. I wish that was a blindfold match.

MORE VIDEO PACKAGES. This time for Lash Legend. She’s going to be on the show next week, as part of the Supernova Sessions.

The assistant to the regional manager and Johnny Saint are in the ring for the contract signing main event. You know the drill here. Jordan Devlin and Ilja Dragunov are introduced, with Devlin wearing a shirt that could very easily have been handled by a toddler with finger paints. If that’s style, then no, I don’t know it. Ilja’s got new music again, not the marching band theme he’s had dubbed in recently… Bless Ilja, he still tries to conduct the crowd to this new theme.

Devlin claims that he’s “this brand” as the crowd mocked him with “who are ya?” chants. Dragunov said that his nightmare was to see Devlin as NXT UK champion, so he’s going to make sure it doesn’t happen. Of course, Devlin vows to leave the 200th episode of NXT UK with the title, so Ilja raises the stakes – whoever loses the match is gone from NXT UK. That got instant “bye bye, Devlin” chants, as the Irishman accepts… they put pen to paper on it, and that’s this week’s show over in under 50 minutes, once we’ve had the obligatory scrap in the ring, ending with Ilja propping the table up in the corner, only for Devlin to headbutt Dragunov and put him through the table with a Devlinside.

You were always going to worry when the one thing announced – and pushed – for the show was a contract signing. Three short matches, way too many video packages, and perhaps a worrying sign over the future of the show when you’re getting folks off of NXT 2.0 making light work of the established names on the roster.