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NXT UK TV REPORT
JUNE 17, 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
-Footage aired from last week’s NXT UK Women’s Championship match where The Final Boss Meiko Satomura became the new Champion after ending the 649 day reign of Kay Lee Ray.
(1) WOLFGANG vs. SAM GRADWELL
Sam Gradwell came in with mic in and and ran off a ‘3 Little Pigs’ promo assuring the “Big Bad Wolfie” that he was made of bricks and no matter how desperate he was to impress Mark ‘Coughdrop’, it would be Gradwell winning. Nigel spoke that Muhammad Ali would use his mouth to get into the heads of opponents and win the fight before it even started.
They locked up, with Wolfgang hitting a shoulder block to take down Gradwell. The Commentary Team spoke about Wolfgang breaking into NXT UK at the same time as Superstars like Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, and Toni Storm, and how he wanted to be mentioned alongside them as pillars of NXT UK.
Gradwell got Wolfgang into a headlock, but Wolfgang was able to get out and responded with a clothesline and a corner crossbody splash. Gradwell took advantage of Wolfgang on the apron and sent him tumbling to the floor, following up with a clothesline from the apron. Gradwell seized on Wolfgang’s shoulder and applied a submission hold, but Wolfgang muscled out of it and hit another crossbody splash and a double axe handle from the top, punctuating with a reverse suplex that earned a Two Count.
Gradwell recovered to continue to attack the shoulder and managed a takedown, but could not follow up with a cover, saying “I think I broke my rib”. Gradwell paint brushed Wolfgang, firing him up but also baiting, allowing Gradwell to land some punches. Wolfgang was able to catch a leaping Gradwell, who then raked the eyes and pulled his arms over the top rope to attack the throat. As Gradwell seemed to be taking control, Wolfgang used the ropes to front flip back into the ring and hit Gradwell with a big spear to earn the pinfall win.
Wolfgang stared down at Gradwell and howled in victory as blood trickled from his eyebrow.
WINNER: Wolfgang in 6:18.
-Backstage, Kenny Williams was shown preparing for his match. He said the NXT UK audience saw what he did to somebody he used to like, referring to Amir Jordan, so imagine what he would do to somebody he doesn’t. He said the best part about everybody thinking he’s a scumbag is that he can now stop acting like he’s not one. [c]
-NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez, Xia Brookside, Dakota Kai, Ember Moon, and Beth Phoenix were shown praising the new NXT UK Women’s Champion Meiko Satomura, highlighting her years of experience and accomplishments and how she is now a Champion in WWE. NXT UK Superstar Amale congratulated the new champ, but showed anger that Satomura took her spot in the No. 1 Contender’s Gauntlet Match and that she will break Satomura. Gonzalez commented that she would look forward to a brand vs brand, Champion vs. Champion match with Satomura.
-Dani Luna and Flash Morgan Webster were getting hyped up by their Subculture Teammate Mark Andrews as Joseph Conners and Jinny approached to antagonize them. NXT UK Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly walked through and said they were looking forward to being on commentary during the Mixed Tag Match.
(Gonzalez’ Analysis: While nothing remarkably special happened in the match, it was nice to see NXT UK OG Wolfgang get the win. Gradwell, much like Conners, have arguments in that they were also competitors in the Inaugural NXT UK Championship Tournament, but have nowhere near the exposure or acclaim than others who have gone on to more prominence. The brand is in desperate need of character refinement. The tease of a brand vs brand, champion vs champion was far more noteworthy, as I was a big fan of the work done in the Worlds Collide brand battles.)
(2) DANNY JONES vs. KENNY WILLIAMS
Welsh Superstar Danny Jones had a height advantage, but did not appear to be much larger than Kenny Williams. The competitors traded headlocks as the commentary team mentioned how Amir Jordan recently had surgery due to the injuries given to him by Williams. Danny Jones gained an early advantage with a takedown. Williams responded with a punch and used Jones’ arm to pull him throat first into the ropes. Williams followed up with a body drop and used the ropes for an assisted punch and kick combo for a Two Count.
Williams put the boots to Jones and put him in some painful stretches. Jones fought out and hit an enziguri and corner throw, then wasted no motion by following with a knee to the corner and a clothesline for a Two Count of his own. Williams snuck in an eye poke, chopped Jones down by the knee, and picked up the win with his Bad Luck Headlock Driver.
WINNERS: Kenny Williams in 4:12.
-A Triple Threat Match between Rampage Brown, Joe Coffey, and Ilja Dragunov was advertised for next week. The three competitors sat down in a Table for Three-like setting, except the room was darkened. Coffey and Brown acknowledged each others’ toughness before mutually asking Dragunov why he inserted himself in their business. Dragunov answers that he, respectfully, believes Brown and Coffey are treating NXT UK as their playground and that it’s not an environment for other wrestlers. Brown cuts him off and says they all had tough upbringings and they share similarities. Coffey interjects and asks Dragunov if he left a little bit of himself in the ring after his loss to Walter, and if they should expect the violence Dragunov has been known for. Dragunov states that he is violence as the conversation devolved into all men arguing over each other, with Coffey seemingly having the last word. [c]
-Mark Coffey was at the UK Performance Center being interviewed. He said that he and Wolfgang are looking to impress as singles competitors and Wolfgang’s earlier win had him one up. He said he would be looking for an opponent of his own and confronted Sha Samuels as he worked on his crossword puzzle. Coffey shouted “East” at Samuels and goaded him into a match, with Samuels storming off to find General Manager Johnny Saint. Coffey said “that was easy” and reiterated his objective to match Wolfgang’s win.
-Noam Dar introduced the audience to the next episode of the Supernova Sessions, and said that after five years in the making, he finally had an official WWE T-Shirt. He introduced his guest Jordan Devlin and complemented Devlin’s style sense in comparison to past guests. They noticed each other’s designer clothes and Dar gifted Devlin his new shirt. Dar said Devlin did well representing the UK in the US, and Devlin said he was happy to be back because America sucked. Dar agreed and brought up that Devlin lost the NXT Cruiserweight Championship unfairly and that it was stolen from “them”. Devlin agreed and threatened that Santos Escobar will need to have his head on a swivel when he returns to the US Dar offered his assistance.
Dar stated he wanted to provide Devlin with a platform and gave him the gift of time. Devlin stood up and spoke directly to the camera, stating the NXT UK Roster breathed a collective sigh of relief when he left the UK, but now that he has returned, he is not hard to find (“Just look for the biggest dressing room”) and that anyone who wishes to test themselves against the Ace was welcome to do so. Dar ended the Sessions by hawking his new merchandise.
(Gonzalez’ Analysis: Williams earned another enhancement win that, while quick, still showed some vulnerability and a need to continually resort to shorthanded tactics. If he can use creative ways to win matches, I could see some fun to his character, but the Bad Luck finisher does look good too. The triple threat table for 3 was in dire need of a moderator as no narrative for the match was clearly established and no superstar took the lead in the segment, so nothing more was done to sell the match other than it should be hard hitting and violent. A partnership with Dar and Devlin could be interesting, but Dar has already befriended Sha Samuels through the Supernova Sessions with no clear outcomes. So, for now, the Session only served to put Devlin over as a threat to the roster and to push Dar’s merch.)
-A clip of Teoman attacking Ashton Smith several weeks ago to hype his match with Oliver Carter next week. [c]
-Dave Mastiff was being interviewed in the UK Performance Center. He said his training and recovery were going well, but was distracted by the sparring between Tyler Bate and Jack Starz in the ring behind them. Mastiff approached both men and said they were training well. Bate agreed and said that Starz has come a long way. Bate then offered Starz an opportunity for an NXT UK Heritage Cup Match. Starz was taken aback and said it was an amazing offer, but he felt he must earn the opportunity. Bate assured him that he had earned it and that the offer would still stand. Bate left and Mastiff questioned why Starz would not take the opportunity. He offered his own reassurance that Starz had earned the match and advised him to not throw away opportunities and go for it, leaving Starz in the ring to question his position.
(3) NATHAN FRAZER vs. ROHAN RAJA
The commentary team called Frazer the Prodigy of Professional Wrestling as he made his way to the ring. A pre-taped interview of Rohan Raja was shown. He spoke about being out of action due to injury, but as an NXT UK Superstar, he was very well taken care of and was ready to make his ascent to the top.
The competitors sparred to the mat with Raja attempting to keep the high flying Frazer grounded as much as possible. Frazer utilized his speed to take Raja down with a sling blade. He missed a springboard, allowing Raja to hit a spinning side slam for a Two Count. Raja followed up with a hard Irish Whip to the turnbuckle.Frazer again used his quickness to earn a Two Count of his own off a quick roll up. Raja recovered and sent Frazer head first to the turnbuckle. Frazer went back to a speed-based attack and ran the ropes at super speed, hitting a cross body. Frazer followed up with a neckbreaker and went for a moonsault; Raja rolled away, but Frazer found his footing and hit a follow-up standing moonsault for another Two Count. Raja recovered and hit a pop-up powerbomb for a Two Count. Frazer followed up with a spinning suplex for another Two Count.
Raja kicked Frazer, but Frazer fought back by turning and flipping off the rope into a reverse DDT, but could not follow with a cover. Frazer went to the outside and hit Raja with a forearm shot and climbed to the top rope. Raja attempted to cut him off, but Frazer head butted him back down to the mat and landed the Frog Splash for the victory.
WINNER: Nathan Frazer in 6:50.
-As Frazer extended his hand to Raja, an eye logo was shown on the tron at the entrance area. The commentary team concluded it was the Eye of Teoman and questioned who he had his eye on as both competitors expressed confusion.
-Jordan Devlin blew off an interview as he entered his spacious dressing room. He found A-Kid in there helping himself to a cup of coffee. Devlin told him to take his bag and his Heritage Cup out of his room before mockingly remembering that A-Kid lost the Cup. A-Kid acknowledged losing the Cup, but told Devlin if he wanted him out of the room , to make him leave, prompting Devlin to storm off in pursuit of Assistant to the General Manager Sid Scala. [c]
(Gonzalez’ Take: It’s nice to see plucky wrestlers like Jack Starz get opportunities. He is capable of putting on good matches and someone with the talent of Tyler Bate can certainly tell a great story within the confines of a British Rounds Match. The Frazer and Raja match was just there. Frazer is certainly talented and he is receiving a push based on the wins he gets, but he and Rohan Raja would also benefit from further character development. The fact that Teoman stole the story of the segment just with an eye logo expresses the gap in the draw of the characters. A match pitting Devlin and A-Kid could be awesome. They fought before with Devlin going over on a younger version of A-Kid, but A-Kid has made tremendous strides and this could shape up to be a fun feud or a great one-off match.)
(4) SUBCULTURE (Dani Luna & Flash Morgan Webster) vs. JINNY & JOSEPH CONNERS – Mixed Tag Team Match
Flash Morgan Webster and Joseph Conners started the match as NXT UK Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly joined in on commentary. The men went back and forth until Conners landed a knee drop. Webster recovered and took control, tagging in Dani Luna and forcing Jinny into the match. Jinny went to work on Luna’s arm, but Luna relied on her powerlifting background to put Jinny down. Conners rushed in, but Webster cut him off with a kick as Subculture sent their opponents to the outside.
Luna gets Jinny on her shoulders, but an alert Conners grabbed her leg to help her down. Pretty Deadly chimed in and mentioned that the team of Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster own the shortest NXT UK Tag Team Title Reign and Pretty Deadly’s own reign has tripled that of the Subculture duo.
Jinny put Luna in an Iron Octopus submission, but Luna powered out again, hit a suplex, and tagged in Webster. Webster and Conners entered, landed strikes and a second rope moonsault. Morgan added a kick and tagged Luna in. Luna assisted Morgan in hitting a flip to the outside onto Conners. Luna attacked Jinny with gut wrench throws, followed by a snap suplex and a clothesline for a Two Count. Jinny slapped Webster across the face. Luna returned the favor and attacked Conners and tossed him out of the ring, but Jinny seized the moment and hit a DDT on Luna. Conners got the tag and dumped Webster on his head for a Two Count. Conners went for a roll up and sent Webster to the ropes, allowing Jinny to kick him. Conners got in another cover for a Two Count and a frustrated Luna began stalking Jinny around the ring. She chased Jinny back into the ring and, as the referee worked to regain control of the match. Conners set Webster up for a superplex, but Luna took advantage of the confusion in the ring and threw Conners down with a single arm power bomb. Luna pump kicked Jinny to take her out of the match and Webster landed a 450 Splash to earn Subculture the victory.
WINNERS: Subculture (Dani Luna & Flash Morgan Webster) in 8:10.
-Mark Andrews joined his teammates in the ring to celebrate. Pretty Deadly commended Subculture’s victory, but held their belts up in response as the respective teams stared each other down to close the show.
FINAL THOUGHTS: An entertaining main event with Luna really standing out. Subculture has the potential to be a very effective and entertaining trio with more focus. I like that they’re already establishing that their team has some interchangeability and Andrews and Webster are already an established tag team. The crossroads the brand finds themselves at for me is they have clear distinctions between established NXT UK Superstars and up-and-comers without the characterization that their more established peers have. It seems that everyone is spinning their wheels. Even next week’s triple threat match has no implications or stakes behind it. For a brand that has hardly ever struggled with the in-ring product, it’s time to build up the creative storytelling to invest the live crowds when they inevitably start performing live.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S NXT UK REPORT: 6/10 NXT UK TV REPORT: Meiko Satomura vs. Kay Lee Ray for the NXT UK Women’s Championship, Devlin vs. Huxley, more