By Laurence Gibbons, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@Gibbonsgob)
NXT UK TV
Taped in London, England at BT Sport Studios
Streamed July 15, 2021 on WWE Network and Peacock
NXT UK began with Triple H hyping up next week’s rematch between United Kingdom Champion Walter and Ilja Dragunov…
This led to the Walter and Dragunov press conference, hosted by Sid Scala. Both competitors sat on either side of Scala with their national flags behind them. Scala took questions from the journalists. Alex McCarthy from TalkSport asked if Walter felt his title was under threat.
Walter said Dragunov was a fantastic athlete but that he lacked the mental ability to beat him. Ace from BBC 1xtra asked what Dragunov had learned since his defeat to Walter in their first match in October 2020. Dragunov admitted that he had lost control of his mind since the defeat but that he had since found himself.
Eventually, Dragunov claimed Walter was arrogant which provoked Walter to get angry and belittle him. Dragunov appeared to be on the verge of tears. Dragunov said he lost his respect for Walter because of the way he beat him in their previous encounter Dragunov added that he hated Walter and held him responsible for the mental issues he had suffered since their last match. Both men squared up and spoke in their native tongues to each other…
Gibbons’ Opinion: This was a unique way to build final hype before a title match. It felt very similar to a boxing press conference. Dragunov blaming Walter for his nine-month battle with his mind since their encounter added an extra layer to this match.
A vignette aired for Subculture to promote their NXT UK Tag Team Championship match next week against Pretty Deadly… Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness were the broadcast team…
Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter made their entrance whilst a recap package played detailing their rivalry with Teoman so far. Teoman and Rohan Raja made their entrance whilst a promo from earlier in the day aired…
1. Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter vs. Teoman and Rohan Raja. Smith came raging out the corner and took Teoman down with a shoulder block. He sent Teoman into the ropes and hit him with a jumping knee strike. Teoman went to whip Smith but he lifted “The Babo” up and hit a vertical suplex. Teoman tagged out and Raja demanded Carter. Raja took control of Carter and brought him to the corner. Teoman and Raja exploited quick tags to keep Carter down.
Carter looked like he was about to eventually tag out but Teoman hit him with a forearm and looked to lock on the crossface. Carter riggled free and got the tag to Smith. Smith took down Teoman and then the interfering Raja. Smith hit the vertical suplex on Teoman but only got a two. Teoman tagged in Raja and the two hit a couple of double team moves in quick succession.
Smith lifted Raja onto his shoulders and Carter hit the cutter but Teoman dragged him from the ring before they could get the pin. Smith hit the senton over the top rope to the outside on both men. Back in the ring, Carter attempted a springboard but Teoman pulled his leg from the outside. Raja hit the slam and tagged in Teoman, who locked on the crossface for the win.
Teoman and Rohan Raja defeated Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter in 8:54.
Gibbons’ Opinion: Teoman and Raja looked really good together. They have a similar look and wore matching gear. Aesthetics aside, they worked like a team that had been working together for years. It was a solid opening bout.
Backstage, A-Kid was limping on crutches and requested a 30-minute Iron Man match with Jordan Devlin to get his own back when his leg was healed. Sid Scala said he would take the request to Johnny Saint…
Aoife Valkyrie cut a promo on Jinny saying she had picked a war with the wrong person. Pretty Deadly cut a backstage promo on Subculture saying they run the tag division and that Webster and Andrews were the past…
Amale made her entrance. NXT UK Women’s Champion Meiko Satomura entered the BT Sports Studio…
2. Meiko Satomura vs. Amale for the NXT UK Women’s Championship. The two locked up. Satomura scored a quick kick to the leg of Amale and followed it with a headlock takedown. Satomura put the leg lock on Amale until “The French Hope” grabbed the champion’s hair forcing her to break the lock. Amale failed to take advantage of this as Satomura took her back to the mat and put her in an abdominal stretch. Satomura transitioned from a wrist lock punctuated by three kicks to a leg sweep. She hit a rapid succession of kicks to the chest of Amale. Amale kicked out at two from the resulting pin.
Amale hit a knee strike and sent Satomura to the corner. Amale hit the hip attack in the corner and a swinging neckbreaker but only kept Satomura down for a two count. Amale hit the ropes but was met with another kick from Satomura. Satomura hit a few strikes but Amale hit her finisher The Heartbreaker. It only kept the champ down for two. Satomura hit a DDT and then Scorpio Rising for the win.
Meiko Satomura defeated Amale in 7:14 to retain the NXT UK Women’s Championship.
Gibbons’ Opinion: Amale took a lot of punishment which will help us to take her more seriously in the future. I’d like to see anyone that Satomura defeats show an improvement after the match. This loss could be the start of a push for Amale. The question now is who is next for Satomura? I’d imagine someone else will call her out soon. It’ll only be a matter of time before she tangles with Blair Davenport, I imagine.
We got the news that there had been an altercation between Walter and Ilja Dragunov backstage and that Walter had suffered a hand injury. This injury will result in the match being postponed…
Mark Coffey made his entrance. Tyler Bate made his entrance, proudly holding the Heritage Cup aloft…
3. Tyler Bate (w/Trent Seven) vs. Mark Coffey (w/Wolfgang) in a Heritage Rules Match for the Heritage Cup Championship.
Round One: Coffey put the wrist lock on Bate. The “Big Strong Boy” rolled and flipped until he finally found a way out of the hold. Coffey locked the hold back on and took Bate to the mat. Bate again acrobatically found a way out. Coffey caught Bate off the ropes and hit an arm-drag takedown but Bate rolled into a headlock. Coffey lifted him out of the ring and the round ended.
Round Two: Coffey put Bate in the hammerlock. Bate reversed it into a wrist lock. Coffey put the hammerlock back on but Bate started running forcing Coffey to run with him. Bate rolled and sent Coffey through the ropes to the outside. Coffey came back into the ring and Bate rolled him up to score the first fall.
Round Three: Coffey put the headlock on but Bate hit a couple of strikes to the body. Coffey sent Bate into the ropes and caught him as he attempted the springboard. Coffey scored a close fall from a Russian leg sweep. Coffey hit Bate as he attempted something off the top rope. Coffey hit the forearm to the jaw to win the round.
Round Four: Coffey sent Bate to the corner. Bate reversed and hit some stiff strikes. Coffey struggled to get a hold of Bate and he evaded his grasps. Bate hit the exploder suplex and the standing shooting star press. Bate put the helicopter spin on Coffey until Coffey hit an elbow to break it up. There was a nasty clash of heads which left both men on the mat as the round ended.
Round Five: Coffey missed a spinning keg. Bate hit Bop and Bang, then the Rebound Lariat. He followed this with the rolling axe kick and Tyler driver 97 for the win.
Tyler Bate defeated Mark Coffey two rounds to one in 10:15 to retain the NXT UK Heritage Cup Championship.
After the bell, Bate offered the hand and Coffey shook it…
Gibbons’ Opinion: This was a cracking match. The first round involved the typical feeling-out period we get in Heritage Rules matches. From round two, it burst into life and flew by. Lots to enjoy in this regardless of what style of wrestling you like. It looks like we will get Wolfgang vs. Tyler Bate next as he is still in his game of one-upmanship with his Gallus stablemate Coffey.
The big story from this week is Walter and Dragunov being postponed. The excitement had built really nicely for Walter vs. Dragunov II, but this will add further flames to the fire. Hopefully, this delay will last long enough for them to be able to have the match in front of fans. I feel like this build is heading in the direction of Dragunov being the one that defeats Walter.