3/25 NXT UK TV REPORT: Sam Gradwell vs. Ilja Dragunov, Starz vs. Connors, more

BY CHAD KOENIG, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

NXT UK TV REPORT (EP. 140)
MARCH 25, 2021
STREAMED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY CHAD KOENIG, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness

-SPRNVA 11 Sessions opens the show with a Trent Seven interview to promote their match for the Heritage Cup in two weeks. Noam Dar poked at Seven and called him a failure after his loss last week to Jordan Devlin. He continued to mockingly ask what Seven’ training routine has been to get in the condition he is in (with appropriate piped in talk show boos and cheers). Dar mentions that he has been employed by WWE for five years and called him an outsider because he was only here for four, even though he built the NXT UK brand. Sha Samuels came out and said that he has Dar’s back. Seven responded by saying he will get Mustache Mountain back together in two weeks to face them.

-Joseph Connors and Jinny come in from backstage. Sid Scala told them that Johnny Saint ordered Jinny and Piper Niven to stay away from ringside in the opening match tonight.

-A video package on Walter and Rampage Brown played.

(1) JACK STARZ vs. JOSEPH CONNORS

After exchanging and countering each other’s holds, Connors took Starz down while holding in a wrist lock. Starz reversed his way out and quickly brought him to the mat where they shared a few roll-through pinfall attempts until a couple of uppercuts and a dropkick sent him out of the ring. Starz went over the ring for the dive before rolling him back in, followed by a cross body for two.

Connors kicked away from a toe and ankle hold before they brought the fight to the corner where we saw the momentum change for Connors. Starz attempted to fight back before hitting a backbreaker, followed by a few pinfall attempts after a neck-snapping maneuver while Starz was on his stomach. A lariat followed for two.

Both went blow for blow after they went back to their feet. Starz worked the lower back before a lateral press that earned him another pinfall attempt. They exchange reversals for a minute before Connors connected with a DDT and a Hangman’s neckbreaker for the win.

WINNER: Connors at 6:53

(Koenig’s Analysis: Some fine classic wrestling here. The result was expected and it gave Connors a needed win. Not a whole lot here apart from that. Two veterans having a good, sound match.)

-Pretty Deadly announce that they will be defending their titles next week against Kenny Williams and Amir Jordan.

-Starz walks backstage and apologizes to Niven for the loss. She said not to worry and that they will work out together tomorrow. They had with a fist bump and hug.

(2) DANNY JONES & JOSH MORRELL vs. PRIMATE & T-BONE (with Eddie Dennis)

Morrell and T-Bone start the match and Morrell was rag-dolled from the bell. Tag was made to Primate, and they double teamed before Primate suplexed him back into their corner. Tag made again and they continued the brutality. Jones tagged in after Morrell was tossed into his corner. Jones got zero offense in and the beating continued. T-Bone tagged in again and went in to work on Jones’ back. A near fall followed.

Primate got another tag in and scored a two count after more double teaming ensued. Jones countered a move to make the tag back to Morrell, who went to the top tope and missed a dropkick. He connected with a dropkick after, however, to get their first near fall. Morell hit the ropes and Primate leveled him with a lariat. The torture continued for Morrell, who was tossed across the ring before a pinfall attempt. Morrell got sent out side and Primate beat him down while the ref was distracted. He sent Morrell back in for T-Bone to get a two and a half.

Morrell attempted to fight back and was able to wiggle his way to Jones. Jones came in strong but was quickly slammed to the mat after a tag to Primate, who went to the top and ended the match with a flying headbutt.

WINNER: Primate & T-Bone at 6:27

(Koenig’s Analysis: I was impressed by how well T-Bone and Primate worked with each other, as he will be filling in while Boar recovers. I hope that when he comes back they keep this a three-man operation. They were impressive and intimidating. This was a good squash match to showcase them.)

Jordan & Williams are interviewed while working out in the ring. They seem like everything is fine between them, even thought their breakup is inevitable. I can see that happening during their match next week.

(3) ALEAH JAMES vs. ISLA DAWN

They exchange wrist locks at the bell while commentary are selling Dawn’s character as someone who practices Wicca. James got a roll up for a one count here before sending Dawn to the corner and splashing her. Dawn moved for the second splash before starting with some heavier aggression, getting herself a near fall. She pounded James on the mat, but she countered with a roll up. Dawn connected with a Saito suplex and hooked her arms behind her back for a unique submission. James wormed out and ricocheted with a dropkick to the belly of Dawn, which was followed by a two count. James then went up to the top and landed a cross body for two.

Dawn’s frustration grew here as she put James in the corner and kicked her multiple times. She lifted her up for a series of punches. Dawn connected with an impressive snapdragon suplex that she bridged into a pinfall for the win.

WINNER: Dawn at 4:18

(Koenig’s Analysis: Great job by these two women. Dawn’s new character is becoming impressively aggressive. I loved her pin at the end. The snap was sharp and looked incredible. These two have been improving greatly and I thank Satomura for that.)

-Nina Samuels shown smiling backstage as her month of being Brookside’s servant comes to an end. Brookside says she has one more task left and that she has to clean the men’s bathroom (for some reason Brookside has authority to do that). It showed Samuels cleaning a toilet before the scene faded out. I am glad this is over and I really feel we had a double turn here, unintentionally. Brookside has been bratty and I actually have sympathy for Samuels. I’m curious how this will play out going forward. Also, I have no idea how Samuels had a large piece of toilet paper in her hair.

Isla Dawn shown backstage doing some type of ritual after her match when Kay Lee Ray walked by. She said that if Dawn did more oof that early on that maybe she would be the champion. Ray walked away and Dawn licked her lips before they showed Dawn’s ghastly image over herself at a pagan table.

(4) SAM GRADWELL vs. ILJA DRAGUNOV – No Disqualification Match

As soon as Dragunov stepped in the ring, Gradwell threw a jacket in his face. The bell rang and Gradwell got a two count in after the jacket throw. They fought around the ring before Gradwell got sent outside. Gradwell pulled out a chair as Dragunov slid out and knocked him into the barricade. Dragunov grabbed the chair, but dropped it to kick him prior to sending him back in. More fighting followed before Dragunov went to the top and executed a coast to coast that sent him back out of the ring. As Dragunov ran at him, Gradwell whacked him with a ring bell. As he lie in pain, Gradwell started whipping him with an electric cable, and slammed him onto the outside mat. Gradwell tossed him, and a chair, into the ring.

Dragunov fought back when he came back into the ring, but Gradwell got a near fall in after suplexing him onto the chair. As Dragunov was lying there, Gradwell removed two turnbuckles. He attempted to slam his face into them, but Dragunov reversed and brought him back to the mat. He went up to the top and of course, Gradwell followed. Dragunov pancaked Gradwell face first from the top. As he steadied himself on the ropes, Gradwell leveled him and knocked him onto the ropes and into the barricade. Gradwell followed and the two battled out of the ring.

Dragunov removed the top step and held it over Gradwell as he pleaded for him not to hit him, all the while apologizing. As Dragunov put the step down, Gradwell pulled out a chair and rammed it into him. He swung the chair and Dragunov dodged it like he was in “The Matrix”. He grabbed Gradwell for a pair of Germans out of the ring. Gradwell begged Dragunov to stop, but he laid in a series of loud, vicious chops. As Gradwell lay on the mat, he pleaded to Dragunov that he too has a son and told him to stop. He apologized before kicking out his leg and slamming Dragunov onto the steps. Dragunov screamed as if he were just shot (He is so good at selling). Gradwell rolled him back in and went for a pin but he kicked out.

Gradwell piled up the chairs in the middle of the ring as Dragunov writhed in pain. He hoisted him onto his shoulders, but Dragunov slid down and smashed Gradwell into the exposed corner. He rolled over on top of the bed of chair and went to the top rope for a senton, but Gradwell moved and went into the pile of metal back first. Gradwell went for a pin but he kicked out just in time. As Dragunov crawled to a corner, Gradwell followed. He chopped at his face and told Dragunov to look at him. Dragunov started to snap and jumped on top of Gradwell, punching him into the pile of chair and laying in chair shots on his back. Dragunov slammed him on the chairs and laid in enough punches to the face to knock Gradwell out, forcing the ref to call for the bell.

WINNER: Dragunov at 14:47

(Koenig’s Analysis: A hell of a fight. These two, as expected, laid their stuff in hard. The story told was fantastic and the beating was brutal. Dragunov sold this match so well and progressed the story that Dragunov is completely unhinged and dangerous. A fantastic battle and a rare no DQ match where the action was primarily kept in the ring.)

-NEXT WEEK: Pretty Deadly vs. Kenny Williams and Amir Jordan.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S NXT UK REPORT: 3/18 NXT UK TV REPORT: Devlin vs. Seven, Frazer vs. Smith, Meiko Satomura in action, more

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