SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT UK TV REPORT
MAY 27, 2021
STREAMED ON WWE NETWORK VIA PEACOCK
REPORT BY JOHN GONZALEZ, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness
Broadcast from BT Sports Arena, London
(1) NATHAN FRAZER vs. SHA SAMUELS w/Noam Dar
Footage is shown of Sha Samuels using interference to help Noam Dar secure an earlier victory against Nathan Frazer.
Frazer uses his quickness to get in some early chops that Samuels brushes off. Samuels uses his size advantage to get Frazer to the corner and delivers some punches, but Frazer uses his athleticism to flip out and uses more quick strikes to send Samuels into the turnbuckle.
Frazer gets to the top rope, but a distraction from Dar allows Samuels to recover and toss Frazer more than halfway across the ring. Samuels loses his trademark suspenders in the process, but is able to follow up with a headlock to grind the match to a pace more well suited for him. He follows up with some elbows to Frazer and is coached by Dar to hit a Butcher Slam, which turned out to be just a regular body slam.
Samuels again applies a headlock, this time while fish-hooking Frazer. That seemed to fire Frazer up and fight back until Samuels hits a big body block. Samuels begins taunting Frazer as he continues to beat him down with boots and knees. Samuels calls Frazer a one trick pony, which really fired up Frazer. Frazer takes to the air and hits a side slam. Dar again distracts Frazer and gives an opening for Samuels to fake an eye poke. Dar tries to intervene physically but is punched by Frazer. Dar foolishly tries to get into the ring but is cut off by the referee and promptly tossed from ringside. Samuels takes advantage of everything going on and gets a roll up, but Frazer kicks out and ends up hitting a big flip to the outside. Frazer goes to the top and takes to the air again, only to be caught and planted by Samuels for a near fall. Samuels tries to sink in the Butchers Hook submission, but Frazer reverses, grounds Samuels, and manages to get to the top rope for a high impact Frog Splash that earns him the victory.
WINNER: Nathan Frazer (9:06)
(Gonzalez’s Analysis: A good win for Frazer, who was able to overcome a bigger, more experienced and cagier opponent and interference from Dar, who has nearly become the personification of annoyance. Frazer’s in ring ability is unquestioned, but he is in definite need of some more character development, as even his name change from Ben Carter wasn’t examined with more depth.)
-Backstage, Tyler Bate is preparing for his Heritage Cup Match with A-Kid while getting advice from mentor and Heritage Cup Finalist Trent Seven.
-Backstage footage is shown of Dani Luna exiting after being eliminated in the No. 1 Contenders Gauntlet Match. Jinny, awaiting her entry with Joseph Connors mock her for being eliminated, but Luna is joined by her Subculture teammate Flash Morgan Webster. In a taped segment, Jinny and Connors again talk down Subculture and call them lower class, while they themselves are the higher class, and that, they trust.
(Gonzalez’s Analysis: It should be fun to see Subculture work in the ring together. Jinny and Connors are natural choices for opponents in a classic upper class vs counter-culture dynamic.)
-Noam Dar is stopped backstage after being booted from ringside. He is upset by the unfair treatment he has been receiving, but he says he can remain cool, calm, and collected. He says he will take out his frustrations on Ilja Dragunov next week.
(2) ASHTON SMITH vs. TEOMAN
Ashton Smith makes his entrance in quite hideous new gear as footage is shown of his interaction with Teoman from last week where Teoman seems to imply that Smith and Oliver Carter are “not family.” Teoman makes his entrance. Footage is shown of Teoman’s previous win against Rohan Raju where Teoman deliberately injured Raju’s arm. Nigel informs the audience that Raju is out of action due to the injury.
They lock up and Smith has a clear power advantage, tossing the smaller Teoman around. Smith goes for an early pin attempt off a shoulder toss and Teoman heads outside to regroup. Teoman is able to catch Smith in the ring skirt as he gave chase and beats him down. Back in the ring, Teoman tries some joint manipulation and starts to target Smith’s right arm, smashing it against the ring post. Teoman tries to lock Smith into his Crossface submission but Smith powers out and hits a Suplex with his good arm. They trade offense, but Smith is clearly hampered by his injured arm. He is able to hit a big clothesline for a two-count. Teoman reverses a move and grounds Smith to finally apply the Crossface. Smith tries to fight out, but his arm is too injured and he taps.
WINNER: Teoman (6:39)
-After the match, Teoman taunts Smith with his eye-for-an-eye pose. He walks away as Smith is helped up but turns around and blindsides Smith, locking in the Crossface once again. Oliver Carter comes out of nowhere to save his partner and sends Teoman running. Teoman yells that they are not family from the entrance stage.
(Gonzalez’s Analysis: Teoman is becoming someone its hard to take your eyes off of. He seems slightly crazed and capable of anything in the ring and it was good to see him get a convincing win against a bigger and stronger opponent. One would have to assume Teoman will match up against the returning Oliver Carter in the near future.)
-The cameraman runs into Ilja Dragunov walking around backstage and he’s asked about his upcoming match with Noam Dar. Dragunov said Dar tried to manipulate the truth during the Supernova Sessions, but the only truth he knows for Dar is violence.
-Jack Starz is on the phone as Pretty Deadly show up to tease him. Starz stands up for himself and tells Pretty Deadly that they are a joke. Jack says he’d love to take out Pretty Deadly, but they say Starz has to earn a match with them, and to find a friend. They walk off laughing at the prospect of Starz trying to find a friend to tag with him.
(3) ANDY WILD vs. KENNY WILLIAMS
A short video is shown of Kenny Williams shaving his beard off, signifying a new look, new attitude, and new chapter for him in NXT UK. His opponent is Andy Wild, who has a Trent Seven build to him. Wild uses his size and power to gain momentum until Williams rakes his eyes. Williams follows up with a chop block on Wild’s knee, then hits a quick kick to the leg and finally a Dragon Screw Leg Whip. The commentators say Williams is showing the tenacity of a pitbull.
Wild is able to take short advantage off a miss from Williams, but is kicked again in his knee. He’s able to grab a hold of Williams to perform a Belly to Belly Suplex for a two count. Wild tries to follow up with a German Suplex, but Williams hits a mule kick to the knee and finishes Wild with his Headlock Driver finisher.
WINNER: Kenny Williams (4:05)
(Gonzalez’s Analysis: An easy win for Williams, who now looks to be employing a win by any means necessary strategy. Williams has a bit of an advantage of being an established name in NXT UK. An assumption can be made that he could be in line as a challenger to Tyler Bate’s newly won Heritage Cup as Williams is both established to the brand, but a mid-card heel with a new look and attitude.)
-A promo video is shown hyping up the Kay Lee Ray vs. Meiko Satomura NXT UK Women’s Championship match happening in two weeks. KLR talks about how being nice and showing respect got her absolutely nowhere. She said she respects Satomura after their first match, but being the Forever Champion is more important to her than respect. Footage is shown of her attacking Satomura after a mutual bow. Satomora says KLR is despicable and that she must be prepared for their match.
-Footage is shown from the February 2021 match between Rampage Brown and Joe Coffey. They will have a rematch soon.
(4) TRENT SEVEN vs. SAM GRADWELL
Trent Seven makes his entrance for his main event match against Sam Gradwell. The commentary team mentions how Seven has shown a lot of improvement since getting into the best shape of his life. Sam Gradwell makes his entrance as the commentators speak of the divergent journeys both men had in NXT UK. They comment that while Seven has seen much success and is regarded as a founding father of the brand, Gradwell has had to endure two years of setbacks due to injury and rehab. They note that both men debuted on NXT UK on the same night.
Seven hits an early slam and leg drop for a two count. Gradwell answers back with an STO and keeps Seven on the ground with boots and knees to the body. A hard forearm drops Seven to one knee and Gradwell follows up with a Butterfly Suplex for a two count. Gradwell goes to full mount and does some ground and pound on Seven.
Gradwell keeps up the aggression by grinding his knuckles into Seven’s jaw while trash talking and accusing Seven of forgetting about him. Gradwell applied a chokehold and hold it for a while, draining Seven of energy and oxygen. Seven is able to hit some desperation chops and a DDT that gets him a two count. Seven adds a Half and Half and Emerald Flowsion for another near fall.
Seven sends Gradwell to the outside and hits a between the ropes Suicide Dive, but is slow to capitalize. Seven gets Gradwell back in the ring and climbs to the top rope. He attempts a Corkscrew, but misses and hurts his knee. Gradwell notices the injured leg and puts Seven in a deep One-Legged Boston Crab.Seven slips the leg and is able to return the favor by putting Gradwell’s previously injured and braced knee in a Half Crab. Gradwell is able to escape and send Seven to the outside, and capitalizes by hitting an uppercut from the apron. Both men beat the 10 count and fight each other to the top rope, where Seven is able to hit a SUperplex for another two count. The camera cuts close on the handprint impression on Gradwell’s chest from Seven’s chops. Seven goes for the Seven Stars Lariat, but Gradwell ducks it and lands a big forearm shot for a near fall.
Gradwell doesn’t let up and hits more forearms and elbows to the back of Seven’s neck. Gradwell hits a Sit Out Slam for another two count. Gradwell goes to the top for a Diving Headbutt, but Seven picks the boots up and nails Gradwell with the Seven Stars Lariat, but only gets a close 2 count. They begin jawing at each other and hitting punches and chops, with Gradwell repeating “I was there too” until Seven is able to lock in and execute the Birminghammer for the victory. Seven poses from the middle turnbuckle in celebration as a dejected Gradwell walks off in the background.
(Gonzalez’s Analysis: Not a stellar main event, but you know you will always get a Strong Style match from Trent Seven. I had Gradwell taking the victory, so I was surprised to see Seven win clean, but this makes two main event victories for Mustache Mountain in two weeks, so they are certainly asserting their dominance on the brand.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, this was a bit of a lackluster, come down show in comparison to last week. The goal of pushing forward newer faces to the brand was accomplished, but I’ll look forward to when we see a little more direction for where things are going beyond rematches and short, random feuds. Most crucially, this episode did not have a single women’s match, which is a disappointing shame, as the women’s roster is loaded with talent and potential and needs to be further built up. Right now, it seems that Kay Lee Ray and Meiko Satomura are far outpacing their peers.