Card Subject to Change was the mantra on this week’s NXT UK…
Oliver Carter pinned Rohan Raja in 5:25 (**¾)
Sha Samuels pinned Bodhi Hayward in 4:43 (***)
Isla Dawn vs. Blair Davenport ended in a no-contest in 7:15 (**)
There’s no intro video as we hit the credits and return to the BT Sport Studios in London as we’ve had Sarray vs. Meiko Satomura advertised for the NXT UK Women’s title… Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary.
Ilja Dragunov comes out to the ring first… on crutches. Commentary doesn’t initially acknowledge that, or the walking boot as he hopped up the ring steps and into the ring. Dragunov tells us that he suffered an injury against Wolfgang – a severe ankle injury, which came during a spot when Wolfgang chucked Dragunov into the corner. That spot’s replayed, as Dragunov tells us that NXT UK has only ever had fighting champions… and since he can’t fight, he can’t be champion. Ilja made a point of saying he didn’t know how long he needed to recover, then refused to draw on any sympathy from his past or injury, saying he regretted nothing.
Dragunov vowed to come back, noting nobody beats him but himself… and so with Ilja leaving the belt in the ring, that’s the NXT UK title vacated. The second one to be vacated in a matter of months.
From that we crash to a Chase U segment, with Bodhi Hayward and Thea Hail alongside Andre Chase doing some sightseeing… and looking at a lot of bird crap. There’s “one more teachable moment left,” and that’s Chase U having a match… teleporting to the NXT UK PC in Enfield, and a homeless-looking Sha Samuels.
Bodhi tries to give Sha a pep talk, but he doesn’t give a toss about Chase University, and tore a strip off of Bodhi. God bless Sha for leaning into this.
We’ve a Clash at the Castle advert. The over/under on NXT UK names on that show I feel is going to start at around 0.5…
Backstage, Johnny Saint and the assistant to the regional manager are asked about the vacated title… they already have a plan – an eight-man tournament to crowd a new champion, which’ll be revealed later tonight.
Oliver Carter vs. Rohan Raja
Carter’s already beat Teoman, so the feud against die Familie continues here…
Carter lays into Raja with chops and forearms to start, before Carter slid into the corner to counter a reversed Irish whip. A dropkick and a clothesline takes Raja outside, but there’s a turnaround as Raja took over, putting the boots to Carter as they head back inside. An arm wringer and an Irish whip sees Carter bounce off the buckles for a near-fall, following up with an abdominal stretch.
A reversal sees Raja go on the defensive, but he fights free and landed a back cracker in return for a near-fall. Raja catches Carter’s floatover, but Carter’s able to do something to get back on top before he landed some forearms and a swinging lariat. A Quebrada keeps Carter ahead, but Raja elbows back before he accidentally launched Carter into Teoman and Charlie Dempsey with a back body drop. Raja tries to capitalise, but Carter knocked him back ahead of a spinning heel kick into the corner… and just like that, that’s the win out of nowhere. **¾
Teoman and Dempsey swarm Carter after the match, with a half crab from Dempsey being broken up.
“Earlier today,” Thea Hail’s bragging about the universities she turned down to go to Chase U when Eliza Alexander rocked up. She’s getting fed up of “you Americans coming over here,” (AHEM) and called out Hail for a match. Hail didn’t care until Alexander threatened to talk bad about Chase U, which seems like a cult based on this segment…
Backstage, die Familie celebrate until the interviewer pointed out that Rohan Raja just lost. Teoman takes over as Sam Gradwell rocks up in the background as he’s roaming the halls, and we know how this goes.
Bodhi Hayward vs. Sha Samuels
Andre Chase and Thea Hail were out with Bodhi, and caught on pretty quickly with the crowd… while Sha came out with a knapsack containing what was left of his belongings. Oh, and a flat cap, begging for donations. Awesome.
Hayward throws Sha down on his stained and torn vest, before the effects of Sha apparently not washing put Bodhi off. I guess the showers are out of use at the PC? Sha fought back, throwing Bodhi head-first into the corner ahead of some elbows and a pit stop. Sha’s leapt over as he ran into a hiptoss, while a clothesline made him bail to the outside… where Hail and her megaphone scared Sha. Hanging Bodhi in the ropes gives Sha an opening though, ahead of a volley kick… which misses. Knee connect though, as did a slam and some elbow drops as the crowd got behind the Chase U lot.
Bodhi caught Sha in the turnbuckles, eventually catching Sha’s leap off the middle rope and turning it into a slam. A three point stance and chop blocks to the front of the knee are followed up by a shoulder tackle and a standing frog splash for a near-fall, before Sha sidestepped a charge into the corner… then snatched the win with a spinebuster. A good day for Sha, as he leaves with the winner’s purse… ***
Backstage, Oliver Carter’s seen coming out of the trainer’s room when the assistant to the regional manager tells him he’s in the NXT UK title tournament… with his first round match next week. That doesn’t faze Carter…
They recap what we saw half an hour ago with Ilja Dragunov relinquishing the NXT UK title, in case you have a bad memory. They even recap the title tournament announcement, in case your memory isn’t quite that bad, then announce the first round of the tournament: Trent Seven vs. Wolfgang, Oliver Carter vs. Charlie Dempsey… those will be next week. In two weeks, it’ll be Joe Coffey vs. Mark Andrews, and Kenny Williams vs. Tyler Bate.
They give a big intro for the NXT UK Women’s title main event, but Blair Davenport interrupts proceedings, mic in hand. Apparently “Satomura and Sarray experienced something unexpected… me.” The assistant to the regional manager’s out to try and tell Blair to get to the back, but Davenport’s mad that she’s been ignored.
Davenport blamed Satomura for breaking her ankle (which Blair did while giving a stomp off the apron), and costing her the title. Amale interrupts… then Eliza Alexander as we’re playing “no, I’m the number one contender.” Isla Dawn’s managed to teleport into the ring, in her gear, and tells Blair that she’s not beaten her… so we have a match. Get the hell out of here with this phantom bait and switch.
Blair Davenport vs. Isla Dawn
This is for a shot at Meiko Satomura’s title apparently. Poor Sarray losing out here.
Dawn worked over Davenport’s leg early on, taking her to the corner for a boot choke, buti Davenport’s able to get free and stomp a mudhole to Dawn in another corner. Blair’s whip’s reversed, but Dawn vaults onto the apron and caught Davenport in between the ropes for a near-fall. A head kick from Dawn’s good for a near-fall, before Davenport fought out of a Saito suplex attempt. An inside cradle took Davenport back down for a two-count as the crowd struggled to get behind either of the two baddies. We’ve charitable claps as Dawn kept her chinbar on, but Davenport’s small package nearly won it.
The pair trade right hands, but it’s Davenport who pulled ahead with a snapmare and a low dropkick to the back for a near-fall. Another head kick from Dawn led to a back suplex for another two-count, before Blair’s trip up top saw her get pulled down into the buckles. Davenport’s back up but can’t avoid a Meteora, but Eliza Alexander’s out to pull Isla Dawn out of the ring to break the pin, and apparently ONE BIT OF INTERFERENCE led to the match being thrown out. Holy hell, this show. Amale’s out to attack Isla Dawn, as referees and trainers come out to try and separate the four as the show came to an end. **
Most people know this is a taped show… so the bait and switch felt more than a little egregious. Especially when we have a phantom attack to get out of it, not even a shot of Meiko on the floor somewhere to cover this. I’d say “rock bottom,” but that doesn’t even begin to cover the creative mess that this show’s fallen into – outside of the in-ring this week, which was pretty decent.