Date: January 27, 2022
Location: BT Sports Studios, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andy Shepherd
It’s time for a big title fight but things are a bit different this time. Ilja Dragunov will be putting the United Kingdom Title on the line against Jordan Devlin but the match will be in the empty arena. I’m not completely sure why that is going to be the case, though the match sounds like it has some serious potential. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at the title match. Like it could or should be anything else.
Die Familie vs. Gallus
Joe Coffey and Teoman slug it out to start until Teoman is taken into the Gallus corner. Mark Coffey comes in for a chinlock, which is broken up without much effort. That means Mark can go up top, where a quick distraction lets Raja pull him down and take over. Teoman comes in and gets driven into the corner but comes right back with some arm cranking.
Now it’s Dempsey getting a chance with a front facelock and a rather nasty arm crank. Raja’s forearm gets two as the fans try to stay behind Gallus. Mark kicks Raja away and Teoman’s save isn’t enough to prevent the tag off to Wolfgang. Something like a powerslam gives Wolfgang two but he has to block Raja’s Backstabber. The hot tag brings in Joe to clean house and a crossbody gets two on Raja. Dempsey’s full nelson is broken up and a high/low takes him down for two. Everything breaks down and Teoman chop blocks Wolfgang, allowing Dempsey to grab an STF for the tap at 11:20.
Rating: B-. That’s a big win for Familie and that is a great thing to see for one of their first matches as a trio. Beating Gallus still means something as they are the big group around here these days. Dempsey continues to look like a dangerous man and Teoman/Raja work well together as this went rather well for everyone involved.
Video on Ashton Smith/Oliver Carter vs. Jack Starz/Dave Mastiff, which is being presented as a battle of experience.
Jinny vs. Amale
Jinny grabs a headlock to start but gets headlock takeovered down. Back up and Jinny gets dropped again, only to kick her way out of trouble. The armbar goes on to put Amale down for a change and Jinny rakes the arm to make it worse. Some hard knees to the ribs rock Amale again and it’s off to the Octopus. That’s broken up with some power, meaning some clotheslines and a hard whip into the corner to rock Jinny for a change. A suplex gets two but Jinny elbows her in the head. Some big shots to the head put Jinny down and it’s a rollup with feet on the ropes to finish Amale at 6:37.
Rating: C. I’m not sure what to make of these two but the feud seems like it will continue. Jinny is someone who is one of the bigger heels around here but she doesn’t quite have that extra something to make her feel like a big threat. Amale seems like someone they want to push and it wouldn’t surprise me to see her get a big win in a rematch.
Video on Meiko Satomura vs. Blair Davenport before their Japanese street fight next week.
Nathan Fraser is happy with his performance against Gunther (Or is it Walter around here?) when Die Familie interrupts to toast their own win.
United Kingdom Title: Jordan Devlin vs. Ilja Dragunov
Dragunov is defending and this is an anything goes empty arena match where falls count anywhere. Devlin jumps him during the Big Match Intros but Dragunov wants to fight. That means some German suplexes but Devlin kicks him low to get out. Dragunov gets tied in the ropes so Devlin can slap away and grab a chair. Instead of, you know, using the chair, Devlin goes to grab a screwdriver, with the extra time allowing Dragunov to fight out and chop away on the floor.
A hard clothesline drops Devlin and another chop against the barricade makes it worse. Dragunov’s eye starts messing up though (thanks to Devlin jumping him before the bell) and Devlin whips him into the steps. A big running charge sends Devlin through the barricade though and Dragunov whips him through some chairs. There’s a suplex onto some chairs for two and it’s time to go back into the tech area.
Dragunov misses a charge and puts himself through a table though and Devlin rams him head first into an anvil case. Back up and Dragunov puts him on top of said case so Devlin moonsaults right back off for a double knockdown. They head back to ringside and Devlin pulls out a table. That takes too long though and it’s Dragunov getting in a shot of his own, meaning the table is sent inside.
Devlin chairs him down but gets elbowed HARD in the head, setting up a slam onto the chair for two. Dragunov goes up top but gets chaired in the knee to bring him back down. The Devlin Slide is countered into a fireman’s carry though and it’s a Death Valley Driver through the table in the corner.
Torpedo Moscow can’t launch because of the eye, with Devlin telling him to do it for his son. Another headbutt gives Devlin two so he pulls out some zip ties to basically handcuff Dragunov. Since he can’t just get to the point, Devlin tries a Conchairto on the steps but Dragunov slips away and hits Torpedo Moscow off the steps to retain at 21:46.
Rating: B. It’s a good, hard hitting brawl but this didn’t feel like a first match. I’m not sure why they started with something like this, though it also felt like the blowoff match between them. That’s a weird way to go and I would have liked to see what they could have done with a regular match instead of a brawl. Still though, it felt like a big main event and Dragunov winning with his hands tied back was impressive.
Overall Rating: B. The main event is going to get the most attention but there was a lot going on here that was worth seeing. NXT UK continues to fly under WWE’s radar and it’s a very good show most of the time. I’m not sure who is next for Dragunov, but he could be holding the title for a pretty long time to come. Throw in some other good stories and this was a very nice show.
Die Familie b. Gallus – STF to Wolfgang
Jinny b. Amale – Rollup with feet on the ropes
Ilja Dragunov b. Jordan Devlin – Torpedo Moscow
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