By Laurence Gibbons, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@Gibbonsgob)
NXT UK TV
Taped in London, England at BT Sport Studios
Streamed May 27, 2021 on WWE Network and Peacock
Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness were the broadcast team… NXT UK kicked off with Nathan Frazer making his entrance. Sha Samuels made his entrance…
1. Nathan Frazer vs. Sha Samuels (w/Noam Dar). Samuels swung at Frazer but couldn’t connect as the Jersey native dodged out the way. Samuels struggled to get hold of Frazer with the latter seeming to have a speedy counter for everything.
With Frazer on the top rope, Dar distracted him allowing Samuels to throw him to the mat. Samuels hit a massive kick to the back and locked on the sleeper. He followed this up with a succession of elbow drops. Samuels obliged Dar’s request to hit Frazer with a Butcher Slam. “The East End Butcher” slowly picked away at the body of Frazer.
When Samuels called Frazer a ‘one-trick pony’, Frazer rallied. Dar went for the interference but Frazer hit him with an elbow. The referee threw Dar out.
Samuels went for the cheap roll-up but only scored a two-count. Frazer sent him to the outside and hit the senton over the top rope. Frazer hit the springboard backflip neckbreaker, followed by the Frogsplash for the win.
Nathan Frazer defeated Sha Samuels in 9:04.
Gibbons’ Opinion: This match reflects NXT UK as being a place where actions have consequences. Which is good for any wrestling show. Samuels cost Frazer a win, a few weeks ago, and here he was out looking for revenge. It didn’t look like he would get it for most of the match as Samuels physically dominated him. I particularly enjoyed Dar at ringside requesting Samuels perform certain moves on Frazer. Dar getting thrown out was influential and allowed Frazer to come to life and get the win. A really solid opener.
Joseph Conners and Jinny cut a promo on Flash Morgan Webster and Subculture, calling them lower class and saying that the higher class always wins…
Backstage, Dar questioned why he was thrown out when he had only done two things wrong and thought he had another chance to break the rules. He said Dragunov would pay for this next week…
Ashton Smith made his entrance, whilst we saw a recap of Teoman calling his bond with Oliver Carter into question. Teoman entered the BT Sports Studio…
2. Ashton Smith vs. Teoman. The two locked up to start the contest. Smith controlled the start of the match but when he went for a baseball slide Teoman trapped him under the ring apron. Teoman rained down a flurry of strikes to his trapped opponent.
Teoman wrapped the elbow of Smith into the ring post. “The Babo” looked for the crossface but Smith battled out and hit a massive suplex. Smith locked on the head and arm clutch but Teoman fought out. Smith hit a big gut-wrench suplex and some forearm smashes. Teoman fought back and locked on the crossface for the victory.
Teoman defeated Ashton Smith in 6:39.
Teoman put the crossface back on after the bell, forcing Oliver Carter to come out and make the save…
Gibbons’ Opinion: I enjoy how Teoman looks to pick apart his opponents by taking their arms out to set up his finish. His crossface is being presented as a genuine threat that can cause serious injury. Smith looked decent here and Carter coming out at the end means this new feud may continue into another match. It was an entertaining match to remind us both these men are on the roster.
Ilja Dragunov cut a promo backstage in response to Dar… Jack Starz was interrupted when he was talking to Piper Niven on the phone by Pretty Deadly. Startz said he was sick of the Tag Team champs and challenged them to a match. Pretty Deadly said he’d need to find a friend first… A cleanly-shaved Williams made his entrance…
3. Andy Wild vs. Kenny Williams. Wiliams locked the armbar on Andy Wild to welcome him to NXT UK. Williams racked the eyes of Wild and landed multiple shots to the back of the debuting superstar. Williams continued to work the back and legs of Wild.
Wild landed a few strikes but Williams took out his leg. Wild scored a two-count from a belly-to-belly suplex. Williams again targeted the leg and then hit his finish for the win.
Kenny Williams defeated Andy Wild in 4:00.
Gibbons’ Opinion: This was fine. It was nice to see Williams with a slightly new look after ridding NXT UK of Amir Jordan. Wild looked decent enough as fodder for Williams. Wild has recently completed some training with NXT UK and this appears to be his reward. He has a couple of matches on the WWE Network as part of ICW.
A hype package aired for the NXT UK Women’s Championship match between Kay Lee Ray and Meiko Satomura, recapping their history so far. The match will take place in a fortnight. A hype package also played for Rampage Brown vs. Joe Coffey… Trent Seven made his entrance. Sam Gradwell’s entrance was also shown…
3. Trent Seven vs. Sam Gradwell. Gradwell screamed that he was a ‘founding father too’ at Seven before the two locked up. Gradwell worked the wrist lock. Seven hit a crossbody and a body slam. The match swayed evenly back and forth between both men. Lots of strikes and slams.
Gradwell hit a butterfly suplex and began to take control of proceedings. “The Thunderstorm” put Seven in the rear-naked chinlock. Seven struggled to escape. Seven eventually wriggled free and hit a massive chop and DDT to get back into the match.
Seven dived through the middle rope and hit Gradwell on the outside. Seven missed the dive from the top rope, allowing Gradwell back into the bout. Gradwell locked the single-leg crab on but Seven reversed it into a crab of his own. Gradwell rolled and kicked Seven to the outside. Gradwell hit the diving forearm from the apron on Seven. Gradwell went to the top rope but Seven leaped up and hit the superplex, scoring a close two from the resulting pin.
Gradwell hit a couple of big suplexes but couldn’t get the win. Seven hit the Seven Star Lariat but Gradwell kicked out. Seven chopped Gradwell and hit the Burning Hammer for the win.
Trent Seven defeated Sam Gradwell in 14:07.
Gibbons’ Opinion: This match had had a decent build, boosted by the charisma of both Seven and Gradwell. Two men wrestling because one resents the other is an age-old story. But Gradwell resenting Seven because he is held in higher esteem than him, despite the two signing their contracts on the same day, has felt fresh and unique.
This match did a great job in presenting the two men as equals. I’ve raved and raved about Gradwell. He’s so entertaining on the mic and is looking better and better in the ring. It was a really physical match that felt like it could go either way. Seven getting the win is good for him as it shows he is worthy of plaudits. It was a decent main event on an enjoyable show.
There are lots of big matches in the coming couple of weeks which will distract us from the lack of Walter. I’d like to see the big Austrian back soon but maybe we will have to wait for a live show, or showpiece episode ahead of SummerSlam. My audio review of NXT UK will be available exclusively to Dot Net Members on Friday morning.