By Laurence Gibbons, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@Gibbonsgob)
NXT UK TV
Taped in London, England at BT Sport Studios
Streamed February 18, 2021 on WWE Network
This week’s NXT UK kicked off with the broadcast team of Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness refreshing us of the rules of the Heritage Cup… Sha Samuels made his entrance. A-Kid entered carrying the Heritage Cup…
1. A-Kid vs. Sha Samuels in a British Rounds Rules match for the NXT UK Heritage Cup. Samuels had the better of the first round focusing on headlock takedowns. He locked in the Butcher’s Hook to win the round in 02:35.
A-Kid came out full guns blazing for the second round but Samuels countered to stay on top. Samuels was in control for most of the round until A-Kid held a sleeper that forced Samules to retreat to the outside. The Spaniard failed to get Samuels back in the ring before the end of the round.
A-Kid hit a jumping kick to even the score and win the third round in 01:53.
A-Kid was fully in control for most of the fourth round but Samuels finished on top. He had A-Kid in the Butcher’s Hook as the round ended.
Samuels nearly scored the win with a close two count from a spinebuster. A-Kid locked in the arm bar submission to win the fifth round in 01:47.
A-Kid defeated Sha Samuels (two rounds to one) in 12:16 to retain the NXT UK Heritage Cup.
Gibbons’ Opinion: Both guys looked fantastic in this match. It told a great story of A-Kid’s passion helping him overcome the powerful onslaught from Samuels. Going into the match, I was sure A-Kid would win, but as it went on I actually thought Samuels could get the victory. So many of WWE’s matches fail to keep you guessing like this one did.
A hype package for the night’s main event between Rampage Brown and Joe Coffey was shown. It recapped their rivalry in independent promotion Progress Wrestling and included soundbites from William Regal, Drew McIntyre and Sheamus… A promo video ran for Walter and his now record-breaking UK Championship reign…
Ben Carter made his entrance whilst a promo he cut earlier in the day aired…
2. Josh Morrell vs. Ben Carter.Both men showed off impressive gymnastic counters during the early period of the match. Carter matched the speed and agility of Morrell, but proved to have the edge by also working a number of submissions. Morrell locked Carter in the surfboard submission until the “The Prodigy of Pro-Wrestling” impressively reversed it. Carter eventually hit a Frogsplash for the victory.
Ben Carter defeated Josh Morrell in 6:24.
Gibbons’ Opinion: Morrell looked almost as good in the ring as Carter. I enjoyed this match as it was a very evenly-weighted affair. However, the commentary team made sure to constantly remind us that Carter had been trained by Seth Rollins, just in case there was any doubt who should win. Josh Morrell sure does get a lot of TV time, which I hope makes him happy because he seems like one of a list of NXT UK wrestlers who will never get a win.
Sid Scala hosted a press conference for the NXT UK Women’s Championship match between Kay Lee Ray and Meiko Satomura. Speaking in Japanese and English, Satomura said Kay Lee Ray couldn’t call herself a champion until she beats her. KLR agreed to be the best she needed to beat ‘the best in the world’ but she also boasted about being the longest-reigning women’s champion. Adding, she was confident about retaining the title during their match in two week’s time…
A video recap of the rivalry between Nina Samuels and Xia Brookside aired… Tyler Bate cut a promo outside the PC about the importance of connecting with nature…
Aleah James made her entrance. Dani Luna’s entrance was also shown whilst the broadcast team mentioned her powerlifting background.
3. Aleah James vs. Dani Luna. Luna started the match on top, matching James’ speedy offense with a range of stiff powerful moves. James went for a springboard crossbody but was caught by Luna, who hit the sit-down powerbomb for the win.
Dani Luna defeated Aleah James in 3:32.
Gibbons’ Opinion: Again, a decent showing for both competitors. James was speedy and athletic throughout as she tried to find a way past Luna’s power. It is ridiculous how good she is, bearing in mind she signed with NXT UK after having only 30 matches. She’s definitely a future star. Luna, on the other hand, is a star now. She legitimately looks like she could beat anyone up she wanted to. This was a great opportunity for her to show how strong and powerful she is. I’d love to see her dominate the rest of the roster and set up a title match with KLR – or Satomura – as soon as possible.
Jinny and Joseph Conners cut a video promo on Piper Niven claiming her time was almost up and that they would continue to build their dynasty at her expense… There was a hype package for the NXT UK Tag Team Championship match between Pretty Deadly and Gallus, which is set to take place next week…
The broadcast team talked us through the tale of the tape as Joe Coffey made his way into the BT Sports Studio. Shepherd reminded us that Rampage Brown was undefeated as he made his entrance…
4. Joe Coffey vs. Rampage Brown. The two massive bulls locked horns as both looked to gain the upper hand of the bout. The contest remained even with both men hitting hard with heavy strikes. Coffey took control of the contest with a straitjacket chin lock, punctuated with forearm strikes. Brown turned the tide of the fight when he hit a massive clothesline just as Coffey was winding up for the Best of the Bells .
Coffey sent Brown to the outside with a Glasgow Send-Off. Coffey went for another Glasgow Send-Off on the outside but Brown dodged out the way and he punched the steps. Back in the ring, Brown worked the injured arm and hit the Dr Bomb on “The Iron King” to score a massive victory.
Rampage Brown defeated Joe Coffey in 11:16.
Brown and Coffey shook hands as the broadcast ended…
Gibbons’ Opinion: This was a massive win for Rampage Brown and exactly what needed to happen to set him up as a credible potential challenger for Walter’s NXT UK Championship. It was a really physical and evenly-weighted contest with Coffey inadvertently hitting the steps being the deciding moment.
I’d like to see Brown continue to dominate over the next few weeks and then call out Walter. I’m not sure where Coffey goes from here. He’s already lost title matches against Walter and the previous champion Pete Dunne. Maybe he’ll have to wait until we see a new champion to be back in the title picture, but that could be in another two years.
On the whole, this was a really well put together wrestling show. Everyone got a good showing in their matches and came out of it better than they went in. We now have huge title matches to look forward to for the next two successive weeks and plenty of storylines to watch develop. NXT UK is putting together a really strong and deep roster of talent that are all fighting to be taken seriously.