We’ve got the first two matches in the tournament to crown a new NXT UK Champion on this week’s show…
NXT UK Championship Tournament First Round: Oliver Carter pinned Charlie Dempsey in 9:11 (***)
Eliza Alexander pinned Thea Hail in 4:12 (**)
Sam Gradwell pinned Teoman in 5:42 (**¾)
NXT UK Championship Tournament First Round: Trent Seven pinned Wolfgang in 8:55 (***)
We’re back at the BT Sport studios as the show looks to rebound from a critical panning last week – not just from me, Cagematch weren’t huge fans either. By the way… the entire NXT UK title tournament is in the can, and it speaks VOLUMES that they weren’t somehow able to get the tournament final onto next month’s Cardiff show. Not even in a pre-show or anything like that. Seems like quite an oversight if this wasn’t a locked tab on a spreadsheet, to keep the Nick Khan joke going…
Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary…
NXT UK Championship Tournament First Round: Oliver Carter vs. Charlie Dempsey
We’ve got the old soundboard crowd in for Carter’s entrance, as they make a point of him having wrestled “last week”, and comes in with a knee injury as a result. Both Carter and Dempsey get picture-in-picture promos during their entrances…
Carter jumps Dempsey from behind to start things, as the pair start off trading uppercuts and elbows. A kick to the knee from Dempsey looked to blunt things, but Carter clotheslines him over the top to the outside before he scored with a plancha. Back inside, Carter’s cannonballed into the corner by Dempsey, who pounces on that left leg, snapping it back before working a toe hold on the mat. Dempsey tries a half crab, but instead ties up the legs before Carter fought free with chops. Carter tries for a springboard, but his knees gave out in the ropes… and Carter goes right back to that left leg. Another deathlock snaps back on the knees, leading to a Northern Lights suplex from Dempsey for a near-fall, before a knee bar was kicked away by Carter.
Dempsey remains in control as commentary suggested a possible stoppage… but Carter fought away a Stretch Muffler, only to miss an enziguiri as Dempsey went back to the knee. A trapped-leg Dragon suplex nearly put Carter away, before Carter rolled out of a Fujiwara armbar and connected with leaping forearms. The knee again gives out though, only for Carter to land a uranage for a near-fall. Carter swings for a superkick, but again the knee gave out, allowing Dempsey to go for another half crab… it’s kicked away as Carter’s Koppo kick bought him more time. A running kick’s stopped as the knee gave out again, while a Dragon screw yanked Carter to the mat ahead of a half crab… which Carter rolled out of and stole a win with a roll-up. A decent win, even if the Dempsey stuff felt way too one-sided with the commentary consistently questioning the referee. ***
“After last week,” we see Blair Davenport, Amale, Isla Dawn and Eliza Alexander screaming in the corridors as they’re eventually separated.
Earlier, Tyler Bate arrives with his suitcase. He’s apparently early so he can watch Trent Seven’s match, but he’s approached by the assistant to the regional manager, who begs him not to interfere in the match tonight.
Eliza Alexander vs. Thea Hail
This was set up on a backstage a segment last week… and there’s no Xia Brookside joining Eliza this week? And my word, the contrasting reactions for Chase U…
Alexander catches Hail with elbows in the ropes to start, before Hail’s headscissors nearly ended badly for her. Hail’s wheelbarrow armdrag follows, then a dropkick, before a second wheelbarrow ended with Hail getting charged into the ropes. A hair mare from Alexander took Hail across the ring, before Thea’s roll-up nearly nicked a win. Hail’s suplexed then pulled into a modified camel clutch, before breaking free to mount a comeback. Clotheslines, enziguri and a physics-bending neckbreaker gets a near-fall, before a standing moonsault ended in Alexander’s knees… while a diving knee seconds later put Hail away. Decent for the time they had… **
Backstage, Nina Samuels interrupts an interview with Amale… Nina quizzes Amale on her loss to Amale a few weeks back, which led to Amale challenging anyone to a match so she can get back in title contention.
Chase U segment time… Eddie Dennis walks in, fuming at there being two people around here with educational gimmicks or backgrounds. Wrestling’s answer to Ofqual is upset at Chase’s teachings, so they bicker before Chase suggested that Eddie Dennis take someone under his wing… Saxon Huxley.
Teoman vs. Sam Gradwell
Another one set up via a backstage segment… there’s no Charlie Dempsey, since he wrestled earlier tonight.
Gradwell’s side headlock gets fought out of by Teoman, only for Gradwell to go back in with a slam. Teoman goes for the eyes as Gradwell’s taken to the ropes, but a switcheroo led to Gradwell clotheslining Teoman to the outside before Rohan Raja provided a distraction to give Teoman time to recover. A leg sweep drops Gradwell onto the side of the ring, with Teoman charging him into the apron from there. Teoman adds a cobra clutch from there, but Gradwell pushes free to faceplant Teoman… who goes back to the eyes again.
Teoman feigns an ankle injury to distract the ref, which allowed Rohan Raja to pull Gradwell into the ropes. A sliding elbow gets a near-fall for Teoman, as commentary made a point of calling out die Familie’s recent slump in form. The Evil Eye’s next, but Gradwell rolled free before he scored with a back body drop. Elbow smashes from Gradwell and a suplex keep him ahead, before Rohan Raja was caught interfering as he hung Gradwell on the ropes. Not a DQ, just an ejection… but it’s not to matter as Gradwell kneed his way out of the Evil Eye, cracking Teoman in the head before a Samoan driver got the win. Decent for the time, but this was very much a Match Built In A Week That Went Five Minutes (and change). **¾
Backstage, the assistant to the regional manager’s finally gotten around to congratulating Mark Coffey on winning the Heritage Cup. Noam Dar was waiting at the door to interrupt, given how quickly he barges in asking for a rematch…
Next week: tournament matches with Mark Andrews vs. Joe Coffey in the first round, plus Kenny Williams vs. Tyler Bate.
NXT UK Championship Tournament First Round: Wolfgang vs. Trent Seven
The apparently-soon-to-be-Florida-bound Wolfgang got the crowd singing along to the Gallus theme. Wonder if that’ll happen in the PC? In the pre-recorded comments, Trent claimed he got rid of Tyler Bate so he could get opportunities like this. I don’t think he’d have lost his place to (say) Saxon Huxley, would he?
Trent backs into the ropes to start as Wolfgang went for a lock-up… Wolfgang ducks a chop, then charged down Trent before Trent escaped a slam off the ropes. A hiptoss has Trent down, then an armdrag as Wolfgang targeted Trent’s left arm. An arm lift helps drop Seven to the mat, before an arm wringer ended with Trent leaning into the ropes… before he snuck around the referee to cheapshot Wolfgang. We’ve a quick dropkick in response from Wolfgang, who’s then sent to the outside… but he pulls Trent out with him and sent him into the crowd barriers.
Wolfgang leaps onto the barriers, but got pulled down as he teased a dive… back inside, Trent clubbed away on Wolfgang’s back before stretching him. A DDT eventually takes Wolfgang back down after he tried to fight back, but it’s good for only a near-fall. A back suplex from Wolfgang buys him time, as did a double sledge off the top, then a bodyslam, before a diving back senton nearly won the match for the Scotsman. Trent escaped a Caber Toss and hit his half-and-half suplex in return, only to eat the Caber Toss seconds later for a near-fall. A clothesline keeps Trent down, before a gutbuster added another near-fall as this Wolfgang was getting near-falls without feeling like it was close to a win.
Wolfgang’s caught on the top rope with a chop, but he fought off a superplex to instead come down with a senton bomb. Trent got his knees up to block though, then came back with a Birming Hammer to score the win. ***
Trent Seven takes on Oliver Carter in the semis…
There was no bait and switch this week, but that weird sense that’s looming over NXT UK these days is well and truly still there. Big 2000 WCW vibes…