Date: January 14, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andy Shepherd
It’s title week here as Walter will be defending the United Kingdom Title against Heritage Cup holder A Kid. This isn’t the kind of match that they can do very often but for a one off special, we could be in for something very good. Other than that, it can probably be anyone’s guess around here. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of A Kid winning the Heritage Cup and wanting the best, so he challenged Walter for the UK Title. Walter finds this to be rather stupid.
Joe Coffey vs. Ed Harvey
Harvey is better known as Sha Samuels. Harvey tells him to bring it and catches Coffey’s running crossbody. With that not working, Coffey hits him in the face and nails a clothesline to the floor. Hold on though as Harvey grabs the mic and says he isn’t here to be Ed Harvey, because everyone knows he is Sha Samuels. Well that’s a different way to go. Back in and Samuels hammers away with forearms before starting on the arm.
Coffey’s rollup gets two but Samuels kicks him into the corner. There’s a kick to Coffey’s back and we hit the chinlock. Coffey fights up and hits a backdrop, followed by an overhead belly to belly. The slugout goes to Coffey but Samuels pulls Coffey’s spinning middle rope crossbody out of the air. Coffey flips out of a sleeper and the high crossbody gives him two. Samuels is sent hard into the corner and All The Best For The Bells finishes for Coffey at 6:40.
Rating: C+. Now that’s how you debut someone, as these two beat the heck out of each other and Samuels looked like a player in a hurry. This was all about two big guys hitting each other hard for a few minutes until one of them couldn’t get up. It’s no classic, but it was a nice debut and the mid-match name change was a pretty cool was to go. Samuels is certainly a name in British wrestling so this was a smart signing for NXT UK.
Pretty Deadly interrupted Sid Scala earlier today and were placed in a four way elimination match for the #1 contendership. In two weeks, they face Ashton Carter/Oliver Smith, the Hunt and Flash Morgan Webster/Mark Andrews. Nice job of giving them a bit of a challenge before what should be an obvious win.
Rampage Brown was lifting earlier when Dave Mastiff showed up to lift the same weight and say that Brown needed a challenge. Brown seems intrigued.
Sam Gradwell vs. Tyler Bate
Gradwell rants about Bate becoming a yogurt living freak during his entrance. Bate shrugs off an armbar attempt and takes him down into a rollup for two. A running crossbody gets the same and there’s an armdrag into an armbar to put Gradwell down for a bit. That’s broken up and Gradwell hammers away, with a big right hand getting two.
The nerve hold goes on for a bit before Gradwell just rips at his face for a change. Bate’s sunset flip is broken up with a grab of the ear but Bate slugs away. A suplex sends Gradwell flying and the running shooting star press gets two. The Tyler Driver 97 is broken up and Gradwell blasts him with a clothesline. Bate shrugs it off and hits the Tyler Driver 97 for the pin at 7:23.
Rating: C. I’m curious about where this stuff with Bate is going and he has altered his in-ring style just enough that you know something has changed. That is a difficult, as well as risky, change to make but Bate is talented enough to make it work. Gradwell has impressed me a bit as well, as he gets your attention and feels a bit out there, unlike some wrestlers where they tell you how out there they are and leave it at that.
Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter are told about the four way #1 contenders match and seem rather pleased.
Ilja Dragunov comes up to Jack Starz and issues a friendly challenge, which Starz happily accepts.
Here are Jinny and Joseph Conners for a chat. Jinny brags about being the new #1 contender and says that Conners deserves a bit of credit. Why are they working together? In short, because Jinny has money. Anyway, Jinny is going to become champion next week so here’s Kay Lee Ray to interrupt. They argue over which of the two is championship material, with Jinny saying she will reign next week.
Eddie Dennis talks about his issues with Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews, who now have to deal with the Hunt. Dennis seems to like the sound of that and the Hunt agrees.
United Kingdom Title: Walter vs. A Kid
Only Walter’s title is on the line so we’re under regular rules. Kid circles around and tries some kicks at the leg but Walter takes him down by the leg instead. Back up and Kid manages to drive him into the corner for a chop and things get a bit more serious. A headlock takeover has Kid down again but he headlocks his way to freedom. More kicks to the leg have Walter limping a bit and Kid pops in a few shots to the chest as well.
Walter’s arm is tied over the rope as some frustration is setting in. Kid actually kicks him down and hits a few kicks to the face, which make Walter growl at him. The huge chop cuts Kid off but the leg gives out and Walter falls as well. Walter slaps on a crossface before switching to a neck crank as the size is giving Kid trouble. Kid tries to fight back so Walter lays him on the top and hits a loud chop. The sleeper on the rope is countered into a dragon screw legwhip over the apron and Walter is down again.
More strikes to the back just make Walter hit him in the face before a shotgun dropkick just crushes Kid. The powerbomb (with Walter only bridging with one leg) connects for two and Walter tells him to bring it. The big chop is countered into a Crossface but Walter takes him outside for an apron powerbomb. Back in and Walter’s sleeper doesn’t work so he just blasts Kid with a pair of clotheslines to retain at 13:51.
Rating: B. This was an interesting change of pace as Walter’s matches have a tendency to be hard hitting, violent tests of endurance but this was much slower paced with Kid trying to cut him down. It worked very well as Walter was getting frustrated at someone who wrestled a more traditional match. Kid looked very good here despite the huge size difference and it’s not like losing to Walter is going to hurt anything.
Walter gives Kid a respectful look to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. The main event is what matters here and it continues to give me hope that Jordan Devlin is the one to take the title off of Walter. That is a direction they could go and it should work well if they go there. The rest of the show was just ok for the most part, but Walter in the ring is enough to make this mean something. They built up a bit for the future as well, meaning the classic NXT formula continues.
Joe Coffey b. Sha Samuels – All The Best For The Bells
Tyler Bate b. Sam Gradwell – Tyler Driver 97
Walter b. A Kid – Lariat
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