NXT UK – July 1, 2021

NXT UK
Date: July 1, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Andy Shepherd, Nigel McGuinness

We have a pretty stacked card this week with Jordan Devlin vs. A-Kid and Tyler Bate defending the Heritage Cup against Jack Starz. This is a good example of what NXT UK does well, as they have built those matches up to feel important rather than throwing big names out there and having them do whatever. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Emilia McKenzie vs. Isla Dawn

McKenzie charges straight at her but Dawn hammers her down. That doesn’t seem to bother McKenzie, who is back with a swinging neckbreaker into a suplex. Dawn gets in some stomping and a forearm to the back of the neck gets two. What might have been a botched suplex is turned into a small package to give Dawn two more and McKenzie is sent outside.

A whip into the barricade has McKenzie in more trouble but she comes back in with an enziguri and a cutter. McKenzie’s spear only hits knee though and a Saito suplex plants her. A second spear connects with Dawn, who is right back with a superkick. Dawn takes a bit too much time being all freaky though and McKenzie takes her down, setting up a running knee for the pin at 6:07.

Rating: D+. Not much to see with this one and that shouldn’t be a huge surprise. This was a pretty low level women’s match and Dawn isn’t someone who is going to win very often. McKenzie has a long way to go but at least she has started off well enough. WWE might be able to do something with her and it isn’t like her matches have been terrible. For someone who is still getting started around here, this worked well enough.

Post match Dawn looks up and talks to someone.

We look back at Walter attacking Ilja Dragunov after last week’s main event.

Gallus is happy with their friendly rivalry, though Mark Coffey goes off to ask about a match. Everything is cool.

Heritage Cup: Tyler Bate vs. Jack Starz

Bate is defending and has Trent Seven as his second. Round one begins with a feeling out process into a rather early standoff. Bate goes for the wrist and pulls on an armbar to settle things down a bit Starz fights up into an armbar of his own. That’s countered into a fairly fast paced series of near falls until Bate hits a dropkick for two as the round ends. Round two begins on the mat again…and Bate rolls him up for the pin at 37 seconds of the round (4:10 total).

Round three begins with Bate grabbing a cravate but Starz shoves him away and hits a running elbow. Starz suplexes him out of the corner for two and grabs his own airplane spin into a pop up uppercut for two. Bate tries la majistral but Starz sits down on it to tie things up at 2:39 of the round (6:50 total). Round four begins with Bate trying a rolling Liger kick but Starz reverses into a Boston crab. That’s reversed with a flip though and now the Liger kick connects. The Tyler Driver 98 retains Bate’s title at 1:21 of the round (8:44 total).

Rating: C+. They had me thinking of an old low level Ric Flair NWA World Title defense here, as Flair gave up enough to make you think a miracle might happen but then everything got back to normal. Starz was never going to win here but it was a fine example of looking good in defeat. That seemed to be what Bate had in mind when he made the challenge, so well done on setting things up and then making them work.

Post match, Wolfgang and Mark Coffey come out for some mock praise.

Pretty Deadly is having a photo shoot when Sid Scala interrupts. The champs don’t like being interrupted but Scala has news: next week it’s Lewis Howley vs. Mark Andrews. If Andrews wins, Subculture gets a title shot. Short and to the point here.

Here is Women’s Champion Meiko Satomura for a chat. The title is one of the few things she had never accomplished but now NXT UK is her home. Cue Nina Samuels to congratulate her on the, but now Satomura needs a win over a star to establish her reign. Amele runs in to jump Samuels and say she wants a title shot. Satomura may be the final boss, but Amele doesn’t play games. That’s fine with Satomura, who knocks her down and grants the title match.

After last week’s triple threat, Joe Coffey sat down next to Rampage Brown and respect seems to be shown.

Blair Davenport is here and as all but already known, it’s Bea Priestly.

Mila Smidt vs. Aoife Valkyrie

Smidt seems to have an amateur background and stays low to the mat to start. They trade takedowns until Valkyrie starts in on the arm. A running dropkick sets up another armbar as we hear about Smidt training for the Olympics. Valkyrie strikes away until Smidt suplexes her down for two. Cue Jinny to watch as Valkyrie kicks Smidt down, setting up the top rope ax kick for the pin at 3:41.

Rating: C. This was a double shot as Valkyrie gets back on track with an impressive outing, which Smidt also got her first chance to shine. Valkyrie winning isn’t a surprise but they did a nice job of making you buy Smidt having a tiny chance. Smidt’s amateur background can get her pretty far and this kind of a match suggests she is going to get at least one chance.

Post match, Valkyrie stars Jinny down.

An intense looking Kenny Williams is ready for Nathan Frazer next week.

Trent Seven is answering questions when Eddie Dennis interrupts. Dennis asks how it feels to always be a bridesmaid but never a bride. Seven reminds him of the Burning Hammer through a table to destroy Dennis’ shoulder, which gets him to back off.

Jordan Devlin vs. A-Kid

Devlin takes him down by the arm to start until Kid reverses into a headscissors. They continue the reverses on the mat until Kid’s near fall gives us a standoff. Kid flips over him a few times and tries what looks to be a monkey flip, only to be shoved off the top and down to the floor in a nasty crash. That’s almost enough for a countout so Devlin grabs a belly to back suplex for two more.

We hit the neck crank for a bit before Devlin drops down onto Kid’s banged up back. Kid comes back up with a dropkick but Devlin snaps off a cutter for a double knockdown. A fisherman’s suplex gives Kid two and he grabs a guillotine to put Devlin in real trouble. That’s escaped with a suplex and an exchange of rollups gets two each. A triangle choke puts Devlin in trouble again, with a rope grab getting him out of trouble this time.

Devlin snaps off a Spanish Fly but Kid pulls him into the modified Rings of Saturn. Another rope grab breaks it up and they slug it out with Devlin getting dropped for two more. Some rolling German suplexes rock Devlin, who comes back with a headbutt to knock himself outside. Kid hits a dive to drop him again but Devlin snaps the rope into his face for a clever counter.

Devlin drops him knee first onto the steps but the Devlin Side is countered into a sunset bomb. A half crab goes back to the knee and they go into an exchange of submission attempt until Devlin BENDS KID’S LEG AROUND for the tap at 15:23. Kid was laying face down on the mat and Devlin pressed the leg so far that it bent around so that it was laying on the mat, foot up.

Rating: B. The ending alone makes this worth seeing (assuming you don’t have a weak stomach) but this was a heck of a technical showdown for the most part. They were trading holds back and forth until Devlin had to cheat with the steps. Devlin has cooled off a bit in recent weeks and this is the kind of win that could bring him back a bit. Now it’s Kid needing a win, which is weird after a nice title reign.

Medics come out to check on Kid immediately as Devlin celebrates to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. The long main event is the boost that the show needed as it was only so good going into it. Just like NXT though, one of the best things to be said about NXT UK is they know how to make something out of not much. They didn’t have the top names featured this week and the show worked anyway. That’s a good sign for the show and it is a sign we have seen a lot more than once now. NXT UK is on solid footing and that’s more than most shows can say these days.

Results

Emilia McKenzie b. Isla Dawn – Running knee

Tyler Bate b. Jack Starz 2-1

Aoife Valkyrie b. Mila Smidt – Top rope ax kick

Jordan Devlin b. A-Kid – Knee crank

 

 

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