Welcome back to NXT UK. The go-home show for TakeOver: Cardiff saw the tag team scene go mad as the Grizzled Young Veterans be themselves, Ilja Dragunov try to rebound from the Kassius Ohno loss and a new debut potentially ruined by Joseph Conners. Plus, we get Jordan Devlin vs Kenny Williams which should excite you. Let’s get into it, shall we?

Ilja Dragunov defeated Tyson T-Bone via Torpedo Moscow

This was an odd match to watch. Obviously, Dragunov was going to win here as he had a loss to avenge but when it came to it seeing him struggle against someone as low ranking as Tyson T-Bone was just weird. The first half of the match was very T-Bone orientated as he levelled Dragunov with a right hand. Predictably, Dragunov bounced back and hit all his greatest hits before finishing the match with the Torpedo Moscow. I was hoping we’d see Dragunov in a title scene but right now it seems that NXT UK creative are happy to have him spinning his wheels in the mid-card. He had a great match against Ohno, when do we get a rematch? That is what his NXT UK tenure needs right now, something more monumental than this.

Joseph Conners defeated Oliver Carter via Don’t Look Down

So, Oliver Carter was an unknown to me and seemed to be a relative unknown to the audience too. That being said, his debut was actually pretty impressive. He was energetic, innovative and utilised an impressive range of strikes. He seemed to have a lot to prove and Joseph Conners seemed content to let him show off then break him. The pair meshed well and Conners came back to slow down his much faster opponent. The pair traded well, got technical and then Conners got the upset by knocking Carter out with the Don’t Look Down DDT. This was a lot of fun to watch and a part of me hopes to see more of Carter in the near future.

Jordan Devlin defeated Kenny Williams via Devil Inside

Now normally I’m not really a fan of Kenny Williams but here he killed it. He started off strong but a trip into the barricade aggravated his sternum turning it into a bullseye. Devlin was merciless in targeting that area and trash talking as he did so. It was an onslaught for Williams until a kick woke him up and the match got a lot more even. From there it was a mix of counters, power moves and kick-outs as we saw Spanish Flies, Wheelbarrow Facebusters, Cabradas and more as the two went all out to kill each other. In the end, Devlin won hitting the Devil Inside to put the final nail in the coffin of Williams. This was the right outcome as Williams continues learning from losses but just failing to win the big one. Hopefully when TakeOver is all said and done, we’ll see the champion attempt to bet against this Ace as he is on a roll right now.

Tag Team Brawl

Last but not least was a mix up between the Tag Team Title match contenders as the Grizzled Young Veterans came to the ring, incredibly pissed off about the situation they find themselves in. Gibson lambasted the teams and the decision to make it a “4 on 2” handicap match. His vitriol brought out Gallus and Webster and Andrews and a brawl ensued. The Vets got knocked down by the Welsh lads then Gallus attacked them. It ended with flying and closed the show on a chaotic note ahead of a very huge TakeOver.

So, there you have it, another episode of NXT UK reviewed. It was a fun, if slightly confusing show that had its highs and its lows but mostly featured excellent matches and that odd Dragunov match. TakeOver felt like a big deal and the individual build-up to feuds after the event is done, were nicely handled. Now before we close up, let’s have one last look at the card:

  • UK Championship Match: WALTER vs Tyler Bate
  • NXT UK Women’s Title Match: Toni Storm vs Kay Lee Ray 
  • Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the NXT UK Tag Team Titles: Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) vs Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) vs Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews
  • Last Man Standing Match: Joe Coffey vs Dave Mastiff 
  • Travis Banks vs Noam Dar
  • Cesaro Appearance
    In an interview shown on this week’s episode, Cesaro promised he would be at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff and promises to get physical to find out what the big deal is. I honestly hope he gets given a match here where he can show off for an appreciative crowd. Or, since Ohno is also on the brand, we get a Kings of Wrestling reunion.

 [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAIrADMI0Do]

All images courtesy of wwe.com

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