Date: August 11, 2022
Location: BT Sports Studio, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andy Shepherd
We’re in a new world around here as the United Kingdom Title is vacant and that means it is time for a tournament to crown a new one. Other than that, we have the usual issues to deal with, likely meaning an NXT guest star and some stuff in the pretty decent women’s division. Let’s get to it.
We recap Ilja Dragunov getting injured and the need for a title tournament.
United Kingdom Title Tournament First Round: Oliver Carter vs. Charlie Dempsey
The rest of Die Familie is here with Dempsey and Carter is coming in with a banged up knee. Both of them get inset promos promising to win. Carter isn’t having any of this Die Familie posing before the bell and jumps Dempsey to start fast. A clothesline puts Dempsey on the floor and there’s the slingshot dive, with the knee holding up well enough. Back in and Dempsey sends him hard into the corner so the leg hits the ropes.
Dempsey takes him down by the leg for some rather painful looking cranking. Carter fights up and tries a springboard, only to hurt his leg again. Of course Dempsey is fine with going after an injured limb, setting up a northern lights suplex for two. Carter kicks out of a kneebar attempt so Dempsey ties up the leg again and fires off some forearms to the chest.
A leg trap dragon suplex gets two on Carter but that’s escaped as well. Some forearms stagger Dempsey to start Carter’s comeback but his knee gives out again. A Rock Bottom gives Carter two so he tries the superkick, only to have his knee fail one more time. Another dragon screw legwhip sets up a half crab….which Carter reverses into a cradle for the pin at 9:11.
Rating: C+. Carter has come a long way and it is nice to see him getting a chance like this. He has no chance of winning the title but he got a win here and gets to keep going for one more match. It’s also weird seeing Dempsey get pinned, but he is the kind of guy who is going to be able to have a spot for as long as he wants as there is always room for a technical star.
After last week’s #1 contenders main event ended in a mess, Blair Davenport, Eliza Alexander, Amale and Isla Dawn had to be separated.
Tyler Bate is ready to be United Kingdom Champion again.
Eliza Alexander vs. Thea Hail
Alexander fires off forearms to start but gets flipped into the corner for her efforts. Back up and Hail hits a quick dropkick but gets sent hard into the corner. There’s a hair toss to start working on the hair and a camel clutch to work on Hail’s…..camels? Hail powers up and hits an enziguri but a standing moonsault hits raised knees. Alexander hits a running kick to the face for the pin at 4:14.
Rating: C-. Hail has a lot of energy and her charisma in the Chase U segments are great, but the matches aren’t quite clicking yet. It’s also a little weird to see her lose here when she’s treated as something of a project, especially to Xia Brookside’s enforcer. Not much of a match, with something of an odd result.
Amale is immediately interrupted by Nina Samuels, who calls Amale no hope to the French whatsoever. Amale rants in French before switching to English to say she’ll go through anyone to become champion, including Samuels.
Andre Chase finishes explaining why we don’t have a U in the word “color” but Eddie Dennis comes in to besmirch this university. Chase: “WHO THE F*** DO YOU THINK YOU ARE???” This is a TEACHABLE MOMENT and somehow Dennis gets a match with….Saxton Huxley? Dennis vs. Chase is as obvious of a path as you can get around here.
Teoman vs. Sam Gradwell
Rohan Raja is here with Teoman. Gradwell grinds away on a headlock to start but Teoman is back with a slap to the face. This goes as well as expected as Gradwell punches him in the face a few times, followed by a clothesline out to the floor. A Raja distraction lets Teoman sweep the leg on the apron though and we hit the chinlock back inside.
Gradwell powers up and tosses him away, with Teoman coming up holding his ankle. Even Gradwell doesn’t buy this but Raja grabs him from behind for a neck snap across the top. Teoman’s sliding forearm gets two so Gradwell fights up and slugs away. Raja gets caught pulling Gradwell off the ropes though and that’s an ejection. The distraction lets Gradwell hit a Samoan driver for the pin at 5:45.
Rating: C. Commentary was putting over how far Gradwell has come and that is absolutely right. He has gone from little more than another person without much of a personality to being the one who stands up to evildoers. That is the kind of spot that could serve him well as he is intense enough to make it work, which is exactly what he is doing.
Mark Coffey is in Sid Scala’s office when Noam Dar comes in, saying they need to talk. Dar wants a rematch and that’s fine with Coffey, who tells Scala to make a rubber match. Scala will get on that.
United Kingdom Title Tournament First Round: Wolfgang vs. Trent Seven
They take their time to start until Wolfgang shoulders him down. An armdrag into an armbar has Seven in more trouble, followed by some shoulders driven into his shoulders. Wolfgang runs him over again and they head outside with Seven being whipped into the barricade. Seven cuts off a dive from the barricade though and the beating is on back inside.
We hit the chinlock with a knee in Wolfgang’s back until he powers up, only to have his ribs give out. The ribs are fine enough for a release German suplex, setting up a basement shoulder for a double breather. A suplex into a cutter gives Wolfgang two and a fireman’s carry gutbuster gets the same. Wolfgang knocks him off the top but the Howling only hits raised knees. The Birminghammer finishes for Seven at 8:56.
Rating: C+. Nice stuff here, as Seven gets a win to continue his run. He isn’t likely to win the title either but he is in a better spot than Wolfgang, who just lost his title shot. The match was good enough too, with Wolfgang getting to dominate until Seven caught him in the end.
Overall Rating: C+. The good thing about having a tournament is that you can have a good idea of how long it is going to run. Odds are this one is going to last for probably a month, which should give us some nice action and drama. Other than that, we had the usual nice show with a bit of everything mixed in. In other words, it was your run of the mill NXT UK.
Oliver Carter b. Charlie Dempsey – Rollup
Eliza Alexander b. Thea Hail – Running kick to the face
Sam Gradwell b. Teoman – Samoan driver
Trent Seven b. Wolfgang – Birminghammer
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