Date: January 28, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andy Shepherd
It’s time to find some new #1 contenders for the Tag Team Titles, which is probably a good idea given how long Gallus has held the titles. Things have kind of paused a bit around here, but the elimination match feels like a big deal and NXT UK has done more with less before. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Jordan Devlin for a chat. He talks about issuing an open challenge and wanting to be the best wrestler ever under 205lbs. Cue Trent Seven to say he thinks Devlin needs a challenger so he’ll get under 205 and come for the title. Devlin says come see him after losing a lot of weight so Seven drops him in a hurry. This was really quick.
Kay Lee Ray wants the best in the world….and WWE has officially signed Japanese legend Meiko Satomura. Yeah I’d think that works.
Ben Carter vs. Sam Gradwell
Hold on though as Gradwell has something to say. He talks about how impressive it is that Carter made it here but being from Jersey isn’t all that impressive. Jersey is a place with more cows than people and it doesn’t even make an atlas. Oh and he doesn’t like Carter’s P.E. shorts. Gradwell works on the arm to start but Carter flips out and hits a dropkick for a break. Some flips out of the corner set up another dropkick to put Gradwell on the apron but he’s right back in with a shot to the head.
Gradwell forearms him in the back of the head for three straight near falls and we hit the chinlock. Carter jawbreaks his way to freedom though and makes the comeback with some running forearms. A superkick puts Gradwell on the floor and there’s a quick dive to send Gradwell back inside. Gradwell heads to the other side of the floor and gets taken down by a running flip dive. Back in and Gradwell gets two off an STO but Carter is back up with a standing Lionsault into a Nightmare on Helm Street. The frog splash finishes Gradwell at 7:18.
Rating: C. I like Gradwell more every time I see him but this was all about getting Carter back up after he lost the title match in his debut. Carter is clearly someone they see a lot in and it makes sense to give him a win over someone as intense as Gradwell. It might not have been a classic, but at least they did everything right.
Noam Dar gives Sha Samuels some advice we can’t hear.
Sha Samuels vs. Josh Morrell
Samuels powers him into the corner to start and gives him a pat on the cheek, only to get armbarred down. Morrell flips out of a wristlock so Samuels hits him in the face. There’s a running forearm to drop Morrell again and there’s a backdrop to keep him in trouble. Morrell is able to avoid an elbow and a charge in the corner before dropkicking Samuels’ knee out. A standing corkscrew moonsault gets two on Samuels but he avoids a crossbody. Samuels grabs a spinebuster into a seated cobra clutch for the tap at 5:13.
Rating: C-. Samuels is an interesting case as he isn’t exactly the most thrilling guy but you can tell that he has been around for a long time and knows how to do his thing rather well. That’s all you need in some cases and if he becomes a bigger deal, great. Otherwise, you have a perfectly acceptable midcarder.
Ilja Dragunov isn’t sure what happened against Jack Starz. Sam Gradwell walks by and Dragunov doesn’t look happy.
Rampage Brown is happy with his time in NXT UK so far. Gallus comes up and a match with Joe Coffey is teased.
Pretty Deadly vs. Mark Andrews/Flash Morgan Webster vs. Ashton Smith/Oliver Carter vs. The Hunt
Elimination rules, no seconds at ringside, and the winners get a future Tag Team Title shot. Sam Stoker immediately tags in Smith so Andrews can grab a rollup for two. Webster comes in to get two off a sunset flip so it’s off to Carter, who gets taken down with a hurricanrana. Gallus is watching (with popcorn) as Carter suplexes Andrews for two. Lewis Hawley is tagged in but can’t tag out immediately, meaning Carter can clothesline him. The Hunt comes in for stereo German suplexes on Pretty Deadly and everything breaks down.
We settle down to Primate suplexing Smith for two and then slamming him hard. Wild Boar spears Carter off the apron to break up the tag possibilities but Smith gets over to Webster to pick up the pace. Webster and Andrews hit stereo dropkicks to put Pretty Deadly on the floor but Smith tags himself in. That means the Tower of Doom brings down Stoker and Smith for the huge crash.
Carter uses Smith’s back as a springboard to moonsault onto the pile at ringside but the camera moves so fast that it didn’t seem to end well. Back in and Smith hits a Falcon Arrow for two on Hawley, followed by Carter superkicking Primate out of the air. Everyone is down for a bit and Gallus is rather pleased. Primate comes in to go after Smith in the corner but gets caught in an electric chair with Carter adding a springboard cutter for the elimination at 11:59.
Hawley uses the distraction to jump Carter from behind but Smith gets the tag and starts cleaning house. It’s quickly back to Carter, who hits a pop up 450 for two on Stoker. A quick tag brings in Andrews for a sitout bulldog and it’s a poisonrana with a running knee at the same time (French Toast At 2am for the best named move I’ve heard in years.) to get rid of Smith and Carter at 15:14.
We settle down to Hawley elbowing Webster in the corner but a quick crawl through the legs allows Andrews to come in and strike away. A double Pele kick gets two and Stoker breaks up a cover off a hurricanrana to Hawley. Back up and Hawley kicks out Andrews’ knee so it’s a one legged giant swing into a half crab from Stoker. The Figure four goes on so Webster shoves Hawley into the hold for the break.
Stundog Millionaire connects with Stoker to give Webster two and Andrews hits a slingshot hurricanrana to take Hawley out on the floor. Webster’s top rope flip dive takes both of them out but the melee lets Eddie Dennis sneak in with a chair to Andrews’ knee. Back in and a Hart Attack (neckbreaker instead of a clothesline) finishes Andrews at 22:14 to give Pretty Deadly the title shot.
Rating: B+. This was all action throughout and it was a heck of a match as a result. Pretty Deadly were the fairly obvious winners but that didn’t make for a boring match. I really liked this with Smith and Carter getting a great rub out of the thing, with that electric chair cutter looking great. It was Pretty Deadly’s match, but at least everyone else looked good in the process.
Gallus comes out for the staredown to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. The main event carried this thing and that’s all the show needed. Carter did well in the opener and Samuels is someone who could do fine in the midcard. Throw in a long and action packed main event and you have a rather nice evening. Also, it’s another case of not having the big names around and still having a good show. That’s more than a lot of promotions can say.
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