Date: November 18, 2021
Location: BT Sports Studios, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andy Shepherd
We’re back in England and on the way to a bunch of big TV matches since there has not been any mention of a Takeover in forever around here. The big story at the moment is the upcoming Rampage Brown vs. Ilja Dragunov United Kingdom Title match, which is coming at some point in the future. Let’s get to it.
A-Kid vs. Sam Gradwell
They go with the grappling to start with A-Kid taking him down with the headlock takeover. That’s reversed into an armbar but A-Kid flips out and grabs a cravate. Gradwell can’t flip his way out so he goes with a knee brace to the eyes to escape instead. We’re off to a face pull on A-Kid, followed by a heck of a running elbow to the face. There’s an overhead belly to belly for two and Gradwell is getting cocky. The Boston crab goes on but A-Kid slips out and kicks him in the head.
A high crossbody gets two on Gradwell and it’s a double knockdown for a breather. Back up and Gradwell gets pulled down into an omoplata, which is muscled up into a suplex for another break. One heck of a discus forearm puts A-Kid on the floor and a suplex sends him flying again. That’s good for nine so Gradwell hits him in the face for two more. The frustrated Gradwell hits him in the face but A-Kid pulls him into a cross armbreaker for the tap at 10:43.
Rating: B-. The more I watch A-Kid, the more impressed I am. He’s one of those guys who can make anything look smooth and that is always fun to watch. Change his name to something that sounds a bit more impressive and they’ve got something. Gradwell is someone who has all kinds of charisma and somehow stays popular despite not winning much of anything. I could go with the latter changing, but that doesn’t seem likely.
Gradwell looks frustrated and A-Kid looks impressed.
We look back at Rampage Brown wrecking Flash Morgan Webster last week. Webster is on the shelf with a shoulder injury and it’s not clear how long he’ll be out of action.
Ilja Dragunov is ready for his title match with Rampage Brown. Yes Brown is a monster, but Dragunov embraces the pain. Legends are written about the people who make the monsters fall, so long live the Czar. The title match is in two weeks.
Aleah James vs. Nina Samuels
Samuels pats her on the head to start and gets headlocked for her condescending efforts. They trade wristlocks until James snaps off a hurricanrana. Samuels runs her over though and stands on James’ hair, which is not exactly that nice. Three straight backbreakers keep James in trouble and Samuels cranks on the leg so hard that James kicks herself in the back of the head. That’s enough to make James fight back up with some clotheslines and a dropkick but Samuels plants her with a reverse suplex. Back up and James grabs a quick small package for the surprise pin at 4:53.
Rating: C-. James is someone who could be brought up through the women’s division in a hurry and it seems that might be what is on WWE’s minds at the moment. Samuels continues to be one of the established stars who doesn’t actually go anywhere, but who still has enough status that beating her means something. It’s not a great match, but it could moves James forward and that’s what matters.
Sam Gradwell is mad but Noam Dar and Sha Samuels interrupt with their Heritage Cup victory celebration.
Aleah James is very happy with her win but Isla Dawn attacks her and steals something from her gear.
Saxon Huxley vs. Kenny Williams
Huxley throws him around to start so Williams grabs a less than successful headlock. That earns Williams a grab by the throat and some rams into the mat but Williams gets smart by going after the leg. Williams ties the leg in the rope for a running kick before cranking on both arms at once. Back up and Huxley sends him into the corner, setting up a running big boot to the face. A running crossbody against the ropes rocks Williams again so he crawls under the ring and slides back out to post Huxley from behind. Back in and Bad Luck finishes Huxley at 5:53.
Rating: C-. Another not so great match with the rather charismatic Huxley losing to Williams, who is quite the villain. That being said, Williams is currently going by the name The Cockroach and I’m not sure how much of a future that leaves him. He has done well on his own though so maybe he can keep moving forward well enough.
Xia Brookside doesn’t like being told that she is late for training but she has a note from her dad.
Mark Andrews is happy with his win over someone as great as Nathan Frazer. Jordan Devlin comes in and tells him to start acting like more of an ace.
Teoman/Rohan Raja vs. Gallus
Joe Coffey is here with Gallus. Wolfgang throws Raja into the corner to start and it’s Mark coming in for an armdrag into an armbar. A shot to the face allows the tag off to Teoman, who gets armdragged as well. Gallus cleans house with monkey flips to the floor but Teoman ties Mark up in the apron to hammer away.
The villains take over and start the alternating stomps, including a variety to the shoulder. The chinlock doesn’t last long so Teoman runs Mark over for two instead. There’s a kick to the arm to keep Mark down and Wolfgang gets knocked off the apron. Mark doesn’t seem to mind though as he ax handles Teoman down and brings Wolfgang back in to clean house.
Everything breaks down and an enziguri into a Backstabber gets two on Wolfgang. An assisted DDT gets the same but Wolfgang hits a double clothesline. The assisted powerslam is loaded up but here is Charlie Dempsey of all people to jump Joe Coffey. The distraction lets Raja hit a jumping Downward Spiral to finish Wolfgang at 9:31.
Rating: C+. There’s something about Teoman that gets my attention and I like the option of having Dempsey join in. Raja might not exactly be a star but he is a good enough choice for a third wheel. Gallus is going to be fine as they are long since established as stars, so it isn’t like this is some big devastating loss. The Dempsey stuff has my attention though and that’s a good sign for Teoman/Raja.
Post match Dempsey, Teoman and Raja lay waste to Gallus to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. You can kind of tell when the tapings are wrapping up as there isn’t much left to go with on this show. The main event angle was good, but it’s all about waiting for the big stuff to come in the future weeks. I’m looking forward to some of these things, but they need a fresh taping to breathe a bit more life into the show after this one. The good thing is that I fully believe that NXT UK can pull that off, which is very nice to see after so many other shows have no such luck.
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