Ilja Dragunov made his eagerly-awaited NXT UK debut this week as the build for WALTER/Dunne 2 continued.
We’re still in Glasgow’s intu Braehead Arena, with Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph on commentary.
Piper Niven vs. Jamie Hayter
Hayter got the rare “already in the ring” treatment, but she starts on the upper hand, grabbing hold of Niven with a chin bar that she wrestled away before Hayter slapped the Scotswoman. The response? A Glasgae kiss… and a running crossbody. Hayter’s left marooned in the corner for a cannonball, before a Michinoku driver led to the win. Well, poor Jamie was just a warm body here for the opening squash.
Earlier today, Media Glen asks Toni Storm for a retort to Nina Samuels’ comments last week. Toni’s mad at Nina for bringing her family into it, and vows that she’ll lose control of things. Yep, Toni’s putting her title on the line, even if it’s giving Nina her “fifteen minutes of fame”.
Backstage, Sid Scala arrives and is immediately pestered for a comment on WALTER vs. Pete Dunne 2. He’s interrupted by Kassius Ohno, who calls him “Savvy Sid” (woof) before he tried to politic his way into the top contender’s tournament. He’ll get an answer next week…
Ligero vs. Jordan Devlin
By way of appearing on 205 Live in London, Ligero is your Mansoor Award winner this week. I think that’ll be the last time we get that for a few weeks…
Ligero’s bust out a classic cape for this, but he’s got his work cut out as Jordan Devlin looks to get another shot at the title. Devlin started by going for Ligero’s wrist, before he clubbed down the Leeds native. Ligero mounts a comeback, propelling Devlin into the sky with a monkey flip before sending him outside with a dropkick… as a plancha took Devlin down on the floor. Back in the ring, forearms from Ligero were thwarted as Devlin rolled into him, then decided to do a Jay White by tossing Ligero between the guard rails and ring apron. A backbreaker followed in the ring again since the tables turned, and it’s all Devlin from there, as he roughed up Ligero in the ropes. The masked man fights back with a spin kick, but a running knee misses as Devlin returned fire with the Air Jordan combination for a near-fall.
A grounded abdominal stretch keeps Ligero in trouble, before Ligero countered a backbreaker with a crossbody block. The second Ligero comeback sees him land a forearm in the corner before he headed up top for a missile dropkick for a near-fall. Another leap off the top is aborted as Ligero uses a lucha roll-up for a near-fall. He follows that up with a superkick, then a Mexican Wave splash off the top… but Devlin gets his knees up and rolled up Ligero for yet another two-count. A moonsault from Devlin ends in Ligero’s feet, prompting the Irishman to spill out of the ring from the impact. Ligero rolls Devlin back in and tees up for the C4L, but Devlin shoved him into the ropes, only to get caught with a powerbomb as the upset almost came off once more.
Another Mexican Wave follows, this time connecting for a near-fall, before another C4L was stopped as Devlin snapped back with the Devlinside for the win. A fun, back-and-forth contest – and one that you’d hope would elevate Ligero in defeat. ***½
Post-match, Radzi interviews Devlin… but Jordan takes the mic and declares himself the number one contender by default. “Whether you’re a joker or a king, you’ll still fall short to the ace”. Unless you’re playing aces low, that is…
We get a vignette for WALTER, who tells us that he feels no pressure because he’s in charge. WALTER also tells us he agreed to the rematch because he appreciated Dunne issuing the challenge.
Ilja Dragunov is getting psyched… he debuts next. But first, Media Glen interviews Trent Seven and Tyler Bate about WALTER vs. Dunne 2 next week. They say Pete’ll regain the belts, then change the subject about their rematch for the tag titles that… still hasn’t happened. Wait until we get a new Takeover, then it’ll happen.
Jack Starz vs. Ilja Dragunov
Poor Jack. He’s always offered up for murders against wXw’s finest. Ilja gets the generic Soviet theme PROGRESS used originally, which so doesn’t fit, but what can you do? Dragunov starts by taking Starz into the corner for some back elbows and stomps, before he ran into a big boot from Starz, who mounted a comeback with uppercuts. Except Ilja laughs it off, and instead takes Starz down with a swivelling lariat.
Starz tries to throw Ilja outside, but he lands on the apron before flipping back into the ring for a lariat. Ilja seemed to tee up for a Torpedo Moscau, but Starz hits a dropkick before a chinbar is fought out of by Ilja… who chops him back down. There’s a back senton too, as Ilja then set up – and landed – the Torpedo Moscau for the win. A by the numbers squash, but nowhere near as energetic as you’d expect. Ilja will win the crowd over in time, but they really need to change the slow-mo Soviet song. **¼
Backstage, Radzi interviews Mark Andrews and Noam Dar… who are having a rematch after their last outing against each other ended with both men leaving on stretchers. They’ve healed now, and they want to make sure their next outing has a definitive ending.
Killer Kelly vs. Xia Brookside
A second women’s match, eh? And a return for Killer Kelly? I smell a rat…
There’s audible chants for Kelly, which is a nice surprise given her level here so far, as we start with Kelly wrestling Brookside down with a wristlock. Xia flips up and tries to counter back in kind, but Kelly maintains control and puts the Liverpudlian back on the mat. A headlock takedown keeps Xia down, but she counters out with headscissors… which Kelly flips out of to escape as they shared a handshake. Oh, there’s the proverbial rat I smelled. Jinny’s music hits, as she makes her way down to the ring… stopping to introduce the debuting Jazzy Gabert.
The former Alpha Female’s here in NXT UK, complete with a shiny gold cape as Killer Kelly bails. Poor Xia Brookside’s thrown to the German wolf that is Jazzy, who puts her away with a Dominator. Yeah, the match was just background noise, as no decision was ever announced.
We’re told via Twitter that Toni Storm will defend against Nina Samuels in two weeks’ time. I’d have been shocked, but WWE literally announced that match before the tapings.
Dave Mastiff vs. Wolfgang
Winner joins Joe Coffey and Jordan Devlin in the four-way to decide a new number one contender.
The two hosses start with shoulder tackles, before a leapfrog from Wolfgang was caught and turned into a slam by Mastiff, who was back in his Vader gear for this one. Wolfgang tries to make a comeback with a full nelson, but Mastiff escapes and lands a back senton to flatten the Scotsman. The tables turn again as Wolfgang heads into the corner with a crossbody, then off the top with a double sledge before he took down Mastiff with a fireman’s carry. It’s back up top for Wolfie, who was getting cheered in his native Scotland… but he misses the Howling and ends up getting squashed by another crossbody from Mastiff. From there, Mastiff takes him into the corner with a release German suplex, ahead of a cannonball, and that was more decisive than I expected. That’s Wolfgang well and truly slotted, in his homeland of all places! **¼
Radzi’s back in the ring afterwards, but the Coffey Brothers rush out to attack Mastiff as Gallus triple-team the winner. The Coffeys hold Mastiff down as Wolfgang lands the Howling, as the show ended with another video package, building up WALTER/Dunne 2… which is next week.
After last week’s exceedingly good show, NXT UK this week felt like they were cramming in a lot more into the time. Debuts for Ilja Dragunov and Jazzy Gabert came across with varying levels of impact, while it felt like everything else was just running on the spot until the big rematch next week.