NXT UK – November 21, 2019

NXT UK
Date: November 21, 2019
Location: Bonus Arena, Hull, England
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Nigel McGuinness

Things are picking up around here with the suddenly united forces of Gallus and Ilja Dragunov vs. Imperium. For the first time since the promotion started, it feels like something other than British Strong Style is at the forefront and that is a very good feeling as you can only ride those (great and incredibly talented) guys for so long. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Trent Seven vs. Kona Reeves

Dang it why couldn’t Reeves get held up at customs? During his entrance, Reeves talks about how he is here to teach the UK fans something because it is NXT’s crooked tooth cousin. Reeves rants about how Seven is out of date and not a superstar, even with his moustache. Seven backdrops him at the bell and starts in with the chops.

A trip to the floor lets Reeves tie him in the ring skirt though and forearms to the back have Seven in trouble. Some quick suplexes get Seven out of trouble and it’s the suicide dive to take Reeves down again. The corkscrew Swanton misses though but the Seven Star Lariat connects….for two. That’s enough for Seven who goes big with the Birminghammer for the pin at 3:25.

Rating: C-. Seven has grown on me a lot as he has his own style instead of being Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate’s old friend. If nothing else, anyone who calls a move the Birminghammer has to be worth something. Reeves on the other hand….I just can’t get into him whatsoever, but WWE seems to have caught onto the problem and keeping him as a jobber like this is acceptable.

Post match Seven goes to celebrate with the fans but runs into the returning Eddie Dennis, which seems to shake Seven a bit.

Ilja Dragunov talks about how Alexander Wolfe trained him in Germany but Wolfe made all of the decisions. Now he is trying to do the same thing here by making Dragunov feel like nothing. Tonight, it’s time to show him who is in charge of Dragunov’s future.

Takeover: Blackpool II is on January 12 and it’s already sold out.

Jack Starz vs. A-Kid

Feeling out process to start with Starz rolling his way out of an early wristlock. Kid snapmares him down and gets an early two so Starz has to slip out of a headlock. That’s fine with Kid, who flips back into a leglock before cranking on both arms at the same time. Starz grabs the leg and spins into some cranking as they stay pretty close to the mat. A triangle choke has Starz in more trouble until a powerbomb gets him loose. Kid tries a backslide for two but pulls Starz down into the Rings of Saturn for the tap at 4:07.

Rating: C. Starz is a good choice for a jobber to the stars as he’s getting in a little more offense than he has before. You can’t just have people lose over and over again and expect it to mean anything so a match like this is a good idea. A-Kid had to sweat a bit here and that is better than running through Starz like he’s not even there.

Jinny says Rhea Ripley ran away to America rather than face her. Now it’s Piper Niven as the Superstar of the Month and she actually thinks she is championship material. Jinny really is championship material and Piper can try to overthrow the queen.

Here are the Grizzled Young Veterans for a chat and the shoes are off before their music ends. They would be the NXT Tag Team Champions if not for a horrible decision, but like other great tag team, they can bounce back. Not too long ago they had Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews beaten but Gallus and Imperium messed everything up.

So what is going to happen to those teams? Absolutely nothing of course and every day that they don’t hold the NXT UK Tag Team Titles, the titles depreciate in value. Gibson talks about a stadium and gets shouted at by the fans. There is a statue of a man at that stadium which says “he made the people happy”. Well NXT UK needs to make the people happy by letting them have another title shot at Takeover: Blackpool II.

Jordan Devlin shows us a highlight reel of himself and how inspirational he is. Then there is A Kid who is endorsed by Tyler Bate. That won’t be enough, so maybe the kid should face Devlin next week.

Oliver Carter vs. Ridge Holland

Holland is the former rugby player who wrestled under his name Luke Menzies. The much bigger Menzies throws him around to start with a hiptoss sending Carter to the apron. Carter is right back with a running hip attack to the back of the head but a crossbody is countered into an overhead belly to belly. Another suplex makes it even worse and there’s a cobra clutch so Holland can swing him around a bit. Carter tries a comeback but gets Pounced down. A headbutt sets up something like a scoop brainbuster (Northern Grit) for the pin on Carter at 4:04.

Rating: C-. Carter was trying here but Holland looked rather impressive here with a lot of power on display. The rugby background gives him enough of a moveset for a good foundation and the rest of it should go well for him. I could go for more of his stuff and that’s an encouraging sign.

Post match Ashton Smith comes out to check on Carter and glare at Holland.

We look at Joseph Conners costing Ligero a loss to Travis Banks last week.

Banks didn’t like it, Ligero didn’t like it, Conners is glad he left a good impression. Someone please explain Conners to me. Anything positive anywhere?

Smith tries to encourage Carter when Noam Dar comes up to mock them. Dar vs. Smith is set up for next week.

Next week: Piper Niven vs. Jinny.

Ilja Dragunov vs. Alexander Wolfe

They go to the mat grappling to start and get up to do it some more without so much as a quick break. The referee breaks it up and the threat of a left hand has Wolfe backing off. Dragunov says bring it on before hitting a crossbody and falling out side off the kickout. Wolfe sends him into the barricade but takes too much time going after a camera cord, allowing Dragunov to miss a 619.

Back in and the kick to the ropes sets up the low blow puts Dragunov down for a bit longer this time. He fights out of a neck crank so Wolfe knees him in the face to really rock Dragunov this time. Some shots to the face put Dragunov outside, where Wolfe can throw a chair down. The chinlock goes on again but Dragunov fights up and drives him into the corner.

They slug it out with Dragunov chopping away at the neck and nailing a jumping enziguri. Dragunov goes up and knees off a superplex attempt, setting up a middle rope knee for two more. A running knee has Wolfe in more trouble and he gets bridged into a German suplex. Wolfe rolls away before Dragunov can come off the top so it’s Coast to Coast into the leg. Wolfe’s knee is fine enough to hit a suplex of his own, plus a top rope superplex for a bonus.

The kickout frustrates Wolfe again so he slaps Dragunov in the face while saying he had a chance. They slap it out until it’s a slugout. Dragunov gets the better of it and hits the 61Line to knock Wolfe silly. He has to deal with the invading Imperium though and Torpedo Moscow is countered into a DDT. That and a sitout powerbomb are enough to finish Dragunov at 16:45.

Rating: B. The more I see of Dragunov the more I like him. He has that warrior presence and you could picture him getting to the top of the card in a hurry. Wolfe was a good choice for an opponent here and the ending protected Dragunov thanks to the interference. Pretty sweet match, with Dragunov looking like a star.

Post match the group beatdown is on until Gallus makes the save. Joe Coffey grabs at Walter’s title as the teams glare at each other to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. The main event helped a good bit but it wasn’t enough to bring up the rest of the show. Everything else was fine enough, but there was nothing that you really needed to see. That made the main event angle better due to feeling more important, though the show being a little longer didn’t help things. Not a bad show, but the main event is the only thing that has much value.

Results

Trent Seven b. Kona Reeves – Birminghammer

A-Kid b. Jack Starz – Rings of Saturn

Ridge Holland b. Oliver Carter – Northern Grit

Alexander Wolfe b. Ilja Dragunov – Sitout powerbomb

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