NXT UK – March 31, 2022

NXT UK
Date: March 31, 2022
Location: BT Sports Studios, London, England
Commentators: Andy Shepherd, Nigel McGuinness

Last week saw a title match as Meiko Satomura successfully defended the Women’s Title against Isla Dawn, only to have Dawn steal the title belt after the match was over. Odds are that is going to be continuing in some way, but we also need to get closer to Roderick Strong challenging Ilja Dragunov for the United Kingdom Title. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Amale vs. Xia Brookside

Brookside gets punchy to start but Amale counters her crossbody with a slam. A fall away slam gets two but Brookside kicks her down out of the corner. Some rather bratty stomping on Amale’s back keeps her in trouble and Brookside fires off the shoulders to the back in the corner. The running knees to the back give Brookside a slow two and we hit the camel clutch.

Amale escapes and starts striking away, setting up a northern lights suplex for two. The Hopebreaker is blocked but so is Brookside’s Boston crab attempt. Instead Brookside bails to the floor so Amale can hit a running boot against the barricade. With Brookside thrown back in, a mystery blonde clotheslines Amale on the floor, leaving Brookside to hit the Broken Wings for the pin at 5:57.

Rating: C. Brookside cheating to win makes sense, though it’s almost weird to see Amale lose. She has cooled off a bit but it is clear that she has moved up the ladder more than a few steps. This is probably going to be the start of a longer story between them and Brookside having some muscle behind her makes it even more interesting.

Post match the blonde gets in the ring to pose and then leave with Brookside.

We get a creepy video with Isla Dawn singing about how she has something that belongs to Meiko Satomura. The bond between Meiko and her title is quite strong, but Dawn wants something from her. Either do what she asks….or else.

Video on Roderick Strong vs. Ilja Dragunov, with various wrestlers talking about how great it should be. A lot of them want a shot at the winner.

Trent Seven vs. Ashton Smith

Tyler Bate and Oliver Carter are here too. They fight over the lockup to start with Smith driving him up against the wall. Smith sends him into the ropes but gets crossbodied down. A hiptoss into a legdrop gives Seven two and a suplex gets the same. The chinlock doesn’t last long as Smith is back up with a face first drop on the country and a running shoulder. Smith starts in on the arm before loading up a superplex.

That’s broken up with some shots to the ribs so Seven tries a high crossbody, which is pulled out of the air in a nice power display. Seven is muscled up into a suplex for two but is fine enough to catch Smith on top. That means Seven can hit a superplex for two of his own and it’s time to slug it out.

The referee tries to break it up so Seven gets in a cheap shot, setting up a dragon suplex (Smith bounced off that thing). The suplex slam gets two but Smith goes after the arm to break up the Seven Star Lariat. Smith hits his own Seven Star for two and frustration is setting in. They go to the pinfall reversal sequence and Seven grabs the trunks for the pin at 8:52. Bate sees the cheating and is absolutely NOT cool with it.

Rating: C+. What matters here is they have me wanting to see what they are going to do with the title match. Seven is almost full on evil and that is going to either cause Bate to come with him or the two of them to lose the titles. It’s giving me Sting/Lex Luger from the Nitro era vibes and that means there are more than a few directions this thing could go. Nice match too, which is almost a bonus at this point.

Post match Bate applauds Seven but still looks annoyed. Smith and Carter aren’t happy either.

A-Kid is back and this place will always be special to him. He isn’t letting Teoman get away with what he has been doing lately.

Wild Boar, looking a bit crazy, is carrying a crutch and promises that he can handle anything that Eddie Dennis throws at him. Then he throws a bunch of stuff.

Oliver Carter and Ashton Smith aren’t happy with the cheating. Moustache Mountain comes in, with Trent Seven saying that was a win. The argument is on until Sid Scala comes in to say they’re going to figure this out in his office….next week. Seven tells Tyler Bate that a win is a win.

Tate Mayfairs vs. Kenny Williams

Williams stomps him into the corner to start and rakes a boot across the eyes. Mayfairs fights back but Williams takes his leg out without much effort. A rake to the back lefts Williams get two, complete with a knee on Mayfairs’ face. The double arm crank goes on, with Williams sitting on his back for some extra….I guess pain?

Mayfairs fights out and starts striking away, including a kind of step up right hand. Williams knocks him outside but doesn’t want a countout, instead throwing Mayfairs back inside for Bad Luck. That’s good for two, with Williams pulling him up instead of getting the pin (oh dear). Mayfairs is sent outside for a crawl underneath the ring, but Sam Gradwell pops out. Gradwell scares Williams off and throws Mayfairs inside for the countout win at 5:45.

Rating: C. I’m kind of over the slip on a banana peel finish to these squash matches but that is what we got here again. Gradwell wanting to dismantle Williams makes sense and it should make for a good fight, though this was a long way to get to an annoying loss for Williams. Mayfairs doesn’t seem like someone they are pushing, as he is another guy in trunks who happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Wolfgang is ready for Mark Coffey to win the Heritage Cup. Die Familie comes in and asks why Gallus always gets to represent heritage. Mark vs. Charlie Dempsey seems to be set up.

We get a face to face showdown between Ilja Dragunov and Roderick Strong. Dragunov knows of Strong’s reputation and says he feels the same way about wanting to push things to the next level. Strong sees a lot of himself in Dragunov for the same reasons. He knows Dragunov is the next real challenge and wants to add the title to his resume.

Dragunov accused Strong of not respecting him and says he became a new man when he won the title. Strong says Dragunov is living in the moment and doesn’t know what it feels like to lose. Nothing hurts Strong more than saying “I was” and Dragunov will feel that after their title match. They get in each others’ faces and Dragunov promises to stand his ground. Intense stuff here, which is where Dragunov excels.

Heritage Cup Title: Noam Dar vs. Mark Coffey

Dar is defending and has Sha Samuels in his corner, with Joe Coffey in Mark’s corner. Round one begins with the two of them taking their time before exchanging some wristlocks. Dar takes him down with a headlock before having to duck a right hand. Hold on though as Samuels gives Dar a shot from his flask, with the contents then being thrown into Joe’s face. Dar trips the frustrated Mark and gets in some laughs from the corner.

With that not having much staying power, Dar ties him up with something like the Tequila Sunrise. Some arm cranking wraps up round one, with Nigel being VERY pleased. Round two begins with Dar going right back to the arm, including countering a chinlock attempt into an arm crank. With the technical stuff not working, Coffey hits him in the face, only to charge into a small package to give Dar the first fall at 1:10 of the round and 4:41 overall.

Round three begins with Coffey hitting him in the face again for an early two and muscling Dar up for a backdrop. A German suplex gets two more so Samuels pulls Dar outside, only to get dropped by Mark. Back in and an enziguri ties us up at a fall apiece at 1:34 of the round and 6:44 overall.

Round four begins with Samuels begging the referee to give Dar more time, allowing Dar to kick Mark in the head for two. Some more kicks rock Mark but he manages a belly to back suplex out of the corner for a breather. Dar catches him on top and hits a running kick to the face, only to get knocked down hard for his efforts. They slug it out with Mark getting the better of things until he misses a jumping kick and hurts his leg again. Dar grabs the kneebar but time runs out to save Mark.

After the corner men nearly get into it (papers are torn up and thrown), round five begins with another forearm off. Dar hits a spinning elbow to the face but gets rolled up for a fast two. Something like a Tazmission crossface has Dar in a lot of trouble but Mark has to drag him away from Samuel’s attempted interference. Samuels offers another distraction so Mark lets go and Joe gets in the ring to glare. The distraction lets Dar hit the Nova Roller for the retaining pin at 1:47 of the round and 12:44.

Rating: B-. Dar cheating to retain has become a Bingo card entry as it seems almost like a guarantee whenever he puts the title on the line. Now he has run through all of Gallus and I’m not sure who is next, but I could see him holding the title for awhile to come. The fans still don’t like him, but it would be nice to see him do something a bit different, just to shake things up a bit.

Gallus shakes their heads to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. There wasn’t anything great on this show, but they did a good job of making me want to see where some of the stories were going. That is one of the things that NXT UK does as well as anyone else these days, especially when a lot of the star power wasn’t here this week. Pretty good show here, though far from a classic.

 

 

 

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