NXT UK – August 26, 2021

Date: August 26, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Andy Shepherd, Nigel McGuinness

We are officially in a new era around here, as Ilja Dragunov FINALLY defeated Walter to become the new United Kingdom Champion. The title change ends Walter’s reign at nearly 900 days, meaning it is time for something new around here. I’m not sure what that is, but it is almost hard to believe that the title change happened. Let’s get to it.

We open with a look at the title change, like it could be anything else.

Opening sequence.

Jinny vs. Aoife Valkyrie

No DQ and Joseph Conners will be locked in a shark cage. Jinny jumps Valkyrie from behind to start but Valkyrie fights back and sends Conners into the cage. A hard whip sends Jinny into the barricade as the beating is starting before prior to the bell. We get inside to officially start the match and Jinny low bridges Valkyrie back to the floor. Some chair shots keep Valkyrie in trouble but she avoids the big chair shot, which hits the steps by mistake.

They go over the barricade with Jinny in even more trouble as Valkyrie starts in on her leg. Now it’s over into the tech area, where Valkyrie hits her with a laptop and trashcan, the latter of which is not the most fashionable. Back to ringside and an ax handle off the barricade rocks Jinny again and it’s time for the table (Conners: “REFEREE!!! TELL HER TO STOP!”).

Jinny manages a whip into the barricade of her own but she can’t quite kick her off the apron and through the table. Valkyrie kicks her onto the table but misses the apron ax kick. Back in and Jinny gets two off a Liger Kick and it’s time for the big right hands to the face. Jinny grabs a chair but the Valkyrie saves her leg from being Pillmanized. Valkyrie goes up top and, after cutting Jinny off, plants her with a sunset bomb. The bad leg gives out, though it’s fine enough to kick a chair into Jinny’s face. Valkyrie unloads on her with the chair and a pumphandle driver onto said chair is enough to finish Jinny at 14:29.

Rating: B-. This was a violent one and Valkyrie looks like a killer with the win. That’s what they have been needing to get out of Valkyrie for a long time now as she has seemed ready to move up to the next level. Beating Jinny might not be the greatest accomplishment, but it is the way that Valkyrie won that made it feel important.

Amale interrupts Emilia McKenzie’s interview to challenge Meiko Satomura to a title match. McKenzie gets between them and Amale is willing to take her down to get the title shot. Simple and to the point here.

Ilja Dragunov talks about how he gave everything he had and worked so hard to become NXT UK Champion. Good luck to anyone who wants to take the title from him and long live the Czar. This was a quick promo and not exactly the big first appearance as champion that was hyped up.

Heritage Cup #1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Oliver Carter vs. Kenny Williams

Ashton Smith is here with Carter. Round one begins with Williams shouldering him down and putting on a quickly broken chinlock. Carter hammers back with shots to the ribs and then the face, setting up an armdrag into an armbar. That’s broken up as well but Carter is right back with another armbar. They trade rollups for two each until Carter misses a kick to the face to end the round with Williams hiding in the ropes.

Round two begins Carter charging into some forearms to the back to put him in trouble for a change. Williams hammers away on the mat and stomps Carter down in the corner as this is a completely dominant round so far. Carter fights back but gets rolled up to give Williams the pin at 2:17 of the round (5:50 overall).

Round three begins with Williams trying to bail to the floor to start a chase but Carter is right back up with a spinwheel kick in the corner for two. Carter is right back with a kick to the face into the ax kick to tie things up at 1:36 of the round (8:04 total). Round four begins with Carter hitting some clotheslines into a springboard moonsault press for two.

Williams takes the leg out but Carter is back with a small package for two. The superkick attempt fails as Carter’s leg gives out though and Williams goes for the turnbuckle pad. That’s enough to distract the dimwitted referee so Williams can get in a metal water bottle shot to the head for the pin at 1:43 of the round (10:17) for the win.

Rating: C. Not the greatest Heritage Cup match but they have done a good job of turning the idea into something that works rather well most of the time. That’s what we had here, as both guys were doing their thing well enough and I was curious about where the match was going. Williams winning is the right call by a mile here though, as he has seemed to be on the list of possible breakout stars for a long time now.

Nina Samuels goes in to see Sid Scala for a match and gets…Blair Davenport next week. Screaming is hard after Samuels leaves the office.

Isla Dawn finds a box in the woods and buries Dani Luna’s hair. She seems to be starting a collection.

Teoman and Nathan Fraser are ready for their Heritage Cup tournament match next week. That has me curious.

Rampage Brown vs. Joe Coffey

Submission or knockout only to win. Ring announcer: “The following contest is a knockout or submission match, where you can only win by knocking your opponent out or making him submit.” Well what else did they think the name meant? They go with the grappling against the ropes to start until Brown goes with a shot to the face. Back up and they hit the crisscross until Coffey hits a dropkick. A lockup sees them go the mat and then out to the floor for an exchange of shoulders.

Coffey gets the better of things by knocking Brown outside, setting up a dropkick from the apron. Brown gets sent into the barricade but backdrops Coffey back over for the big crash. Back in and it’s time for the required slugout with Brown starting in on the arm and hand. Coffey blocks an armbar and flips him over but can’t get the Boston crab. Another armbar is countered into the Boston crab to put Brown in trouble but Brown makes the rope (which shouldn’t count but that’s never going to be fixed).

The turnbuckle pad is taken off but Coffey manages a German suplex to put both of them down. Another German suplex drops Brown, though it leaves Coffey holding the bad hand. Coffey can’t drop him onto the turnbuckle but he can hit an electric chair to send Brown rolling outside. That’s fine with Brown, who gets in another shot tot he hand to take over again. The bad shoulder is rammed into the post and there’s a t-bone suplex back inside. An overhead belly to belly gives Coffey another breather and it’s time to slug it out from their knees.

Brown snaps off a powerslam for another double knockdown, allowing Coffey to get up again. A double springboard moonsault of all things drops Brown but he tries a second time, allowing Brown to catch him on top. That means a super backdrop driver to plant Coffey HARD but Brown can’t follow up.

They wind up sitting down back to back and saying they are going to finish this. The big slugout is on until Coffey punches him down. Coffey hits his running headbutt into the corner and All The Best For The Bells connects. It’s not a knockout though and Brown comes back with his swinging Rock Bottom. The Doctor Bomb knocks Coffey silly and Brown unloads with shots to the face until the referee says Coffey is out at 19:52.

Rating: B. This was a heck of a hoss fight and that is entirely what they were going for here. You take two big guys and let them beat the heck out of each other for nearly twenty minutes. What else do you need from a match like this? If nothing else, seeing Brown win was a little bit of a surprise but it is nice to set up someone else, perhaps as a challenger for Dragunov.

Respect seems to be shown post match as Coffey is checked on to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. Another good show here, even if it felt like the Dragunov promo was probably added into this after the show was taped. It’s not a bad thing, but it also doesn’t exactly make things feel modern. That being said, this was another rather good show, as you have a good opener, a fine middle match and a hard hitting main event. I liked my hour and ten minutes here so at least things seem to be staying good around here.


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