By Laurence Gibbons, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@Gibbonsgob)
NXT UK TV
Taped in London, England at BT Sport Studios
Streamed May 20, 2021 on WWE Network and Peacock
NXT UK began with a hype package for the Heritage Cup Championship main event between A-Kid and Tyler Bate… Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness were the broadcast team…
1. Rampage Brown vs. Wolfgang. The two big brawlers locked up to kick off the action. They traded forearms and dropkicks to prove they were athletic as well as powerful. It was an even match until Wolfgang sent Brown into the ring post. The Scot then targeted Brown’s damaged ribs. He locked on a submission to cause more pain to Brown’s midsection.
Wolfgang scored a close two count when he hit a middle-rope splash onto the back of Brown. Wolfgang got another close fall from a spear. He went for a second spear but Brown countered it with a kick to the head. Brown sent Wolfgang into the ring post in the corner and hit the Dr Bomb for the win.
Rampage Brown defeated Wolfgang in 6:20.
Gibbons’ Opinion: This match was set when Rampage Brown tried to challenge Joe Coffey, but Wolfgang said he’d fight him instead. This victory over Coffey’s Gallus teammate should now clear the path for the match Brown wanted. It is a good use of Gallus to make people go through the stable to get to Joe Coffey. Many people think of the British style as just being smaller, technical grapplers – which it is – but there’s always been a history of big, physical lads battering each other. That’s what we got here. It was a fun opener.
In the training room, Ashton Smith was talking about being a father when Teoman interrupted him and said how important family was. He asked how Oliver Carter was, and said the two were family…
A vignette aired for Aoife Valkyrie in which she spoke about taking flight again after her recent loss… Amale made her entrance whilst we saw a recap of her attack on Xia Brookside, a few weeks ago. Xia Brookside made her entrance…
2. Amale vs. Xia Brookside. An antagonized Brookside went straight for Amale to start the match. Brookside worked the shoulder of Amale. Amale slipped out of the ring and sent Brookside into the barricade. Back in the ring, “The French Hope” scored a two count from a scoop slam.
Amale hit Brookside with a stiff knee in the corner. Amale then sent Brookside from pillar to post. Brookside used her speed to dodge Amale’s offense and hit a neckbreaker which scored a close fall. Amale hit her spinebuster on Brookside for the victory.
Amale defeated Xia Brookside in 4:42.
Gibbons’ Opinion: This was a pretty decent match. Brookside works well as the plucky underdog with something to prove. She brought a good aggression into this match as you’d expect after Amale’s unprovoked attack. Amale looked powerful and was good for the win.
Backstage, Nathan Frazer confronted Sha Samuels and challenged him to a fight in retaliation to his interference that led to his defeat to Noam Dar, last week…
Noam Dar’s Supernova Sessions with guest Ilja Dragunov took place. Dar welcomed Dragunov and said he wanted to help him relax and get to the bottom of the problems within his mind. Dar said he would continue to suffer if he held onto the anger within. Dragunov admitted that he has felt pain since his loss to Walter, last year. Dar presented him with ‘Lenny The Therapy Dog’. Dragunov said Dar’s position in NXT UK was as a funny clown in the circus. Whereas his position in NXT UK was to cause pain. Dar said he wasn’t a clown and that he’d prove it in the ring.
Gibbons’ Opinion: This was an enjoyable segment. Dar and Dragunov had decent chemistry together. The head-to-head benefitted from Samuels not being involved as it kept the focus on Dar and Dragunov. We can presume they will go head-to-head in the ring soon.
Sam Gradwell stormed into Sid Scala’s office and said he wanted payback for Trent Seven’s ‘assault’ on him… Scala announced that Dar vs. Dragunov and Rampage Brown vs. Joe Coffey would both take place in two weeks’ time…
3. A-Kid vs. Tyler Bate (w/ Trent Seven) in a Heritage Cup Championship match.
Round 1: This was a mesmerizing round in which both men seemed to have an answer for every move. They fluidly transitioned from move to move. A-Kid gained the upper hand with a wrist lock to see out the clock.
Round 2: A-Kid took Bate down with a headlock. Bate worked out of the headlock but A-Kid worked the wrist. Bate wriggled free. Bate locked the head scissors on but A-kid reversed out into a double arm lock. Bate flipped out. The round ended with neither man truly managing to gain the upper hand.
Round 3: Two minutes into the round, A-Kid hit the first strike of the match. Bate hit back so hard it sent A-Kid through the ropes. A-kid came back into the ring and Bate hit a kick. Both men went tumbling over the top rope and the clock ran down.
Round 4: Bate came flying out with a massive forearm. A-Kid socred the first close two count from a Fisherman suplex. He came close again from a backslide. Bate started the Airplane spin but A-Kid rolled off the shoulders and locked on the sleeper.
A-Kid went for a dive from the top rope but Bate countered with the uppercut. A-Kid locked on the guillotine. Bate reversed it into a brainbuster and went for the pin but the clock ran out.
Round 5: Bate took down A-Kid and tried to force his shoulders to the mat. Bate hit the Tyler Driver 97 but it only scored a two. Bate missed the corkscrew from the top rope and A-Kid locked on the armbar. A-Kid struggled to pull the second arm into the submission. Bate held on and the round ended.
Round 6: A-Kid went for the knee strike but Bate dived out the way. Bate hit the springboard clothesline and went for the Tyler Driver but A-Kid reversed it into a huracanrana. A-Kid hit the kick and went for the pin but Bate reversed it into the deep-bridge pin to score the fall and win the title.
Tyler Bate defeated A-Kid in 15:57 to win the Heritage Cup Championship
Gibbons’ Opinion: This was an absolute technical masterclass. It started slowly and built into a whirlwind of a finish. There were no strikes or slams in the first two and a half rounds. Just a lot of fluid transitions and submissions. This meant when they started to strike it really packed a punch. It is good for the Heritage Cup to change hands so it can be established as something people can fight for and not just a giant cup A-Kid won once.
I said during my Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio review of last week’s show that I felt A-Kid needed a loss. It will help with any feelings that he’s being rammed down our throats. Also, Bate probably needed this win. It was a long time ago that he was the inaugural United Kingdom Champion. That title has progressed since he held it and this win will go a little way to show that Bate has too.
On the whole, this was a super NXT UK. It really had the feel of an old-school British wrestling show – starting with the big lads and ending with a technical British Rounds match. The women’s match was a modern day addition that we may not have got in the Golden Age of British wrestling, so that’s great. My weekly audio review will be available for members on Friday.