Welcome back to NXT UK. This was going to be a big week as we’d finally find out who was going to be the next challenger for WALTER’s United Kingdom title. This would be decided in a star-filled 20 man battle royal. Alongside this, we’d see Xia Brookside take on Amale and Dani Luna team with Piper Niven to take on the villain super team of Jinny and Kay Lee Ray. Who would get their big win and who would be the next contender for big bad WALTER? Let’s find out, shall we?

Jinny & Kay Lee Ray defeated Dani Luna & Piper Niven via Dirty Bomb

The show started with a battle between good and evil. Piper Niven had taken umbrage with Kay Lee Ray’s treatment of the women’s division and wanted to teach her a lesson. Kay Lee Ray wanted to break Niven’s title dreams. Jinny and Dani Luna just so happened to be caught in the middle but stood to benefit should their team win. Niven had to play peacekeeper instantly as Luna wanted to tear Ray’s head off. Since Niven was starting the match, Ray bailed and left Jinny to deal with her. Niven did the same so Jinny and Luna started things. Luna ran straight at Ray and forearmed Jinny but was dragged into the corner by Ray. She shook this off and rained down blows on Jinny but a knee to the gut stopped her. Luna caught Jinny off the ropes and threw her with a Fallaway Slam then kicked an interfering Ray’s face off. She threw Jinny into the ropes and caught her with a backbreaker. She went to tag in Niven but Ray dragged her off the apron. Luna gave chase but Jinny clipped her with a rolling Kappu kick as she made her way back into the ring. Niven unintentionally distracted the ref so both Jinny and Ray beat down Luna in the corner. A tag was made and it was Ray’s turn to beat down Luna. After some grounded forearms, she tagged in Jinny again then scratched her nails down Luna’s arm and locked in an Octopus. Luna escaped and fought out a guillotine to make the tag to Niven. Niven clubbed down Jinny and planted her with a Fisherman Buster. She hit a low crossbody for two and caught Jinny’s comeback into a buckle bomb and cannonball. She looked for a Vader Bomb but Ray distracted her and Jinny faceplanted her on the top turnbuckle. Jinny escaped and Ray started a slugfest with Niven. Luna tagged herself in and dropped Ray with a German Suplex then stomped a mudhole in the corner. Niven took out Jinny but this left Luna open to a meeting with the turnbuckle courtesy of Ray. She took Niven out of the ring and Jinny threw her into the steps. Luna tried to roll up Ray but was launched into a forearm from Jinny and the Dirty bomb for a three count. Kay Lee Ray has once again snuffed out the flame of Dani Luna and got to stick it to Piper Niven. This was fun for what it was and it was good to see Jinny get a win.

Xia Brookside defeated Amale via Broken Wings

Next up was a battle between French Hope and WxW women’s Champ, Amale and the bright and bubbly Xia Brookside. This would be an excellent chance for either woman to showcase their skills and score some much-needed points on the win board. Brookside had been away, working at the performance centre so it was expected that she’d have a few new tricks up her sleeve. The pair locked up with Amale going for a wrist lock and Xia escaping into a crossbody. Xia barred an arm, digging an elbow in at the same time but Amale escaped and drove Xia’s shoulder into the mat. Sensing blood in the water, Amale went straight after the injured shoulder. She had Xia locked in a chin bar then transitioned into a Hammerlock. Xia escaped with a snap mare and hit a Jawbreaker. She hit Amale with a Hurricanrana and drove her into the corner with double knees. She then finished a stunned Amale with Broken Wings for the three-count. This was a great return for Xia but I still wonder what exactly the plans are for Amale. She seems like a big catch but they have done nothing with her.

Ilja Dragunov won the 20-man Battle Royal to become the new number one contender for the NXT UK title

Last but not least was the main event. Twenty men would take to the ring but only one would survive, leaving a mountain of eliminations behind them to claim a shot at WALTER’s title. It was anyone’s guess who would win as the names in the match ranged from jobber to superstar. Anyone could pull off a shock win here. Once all twenty men were in the three big lads, Kassius Ohno, Ridge Holland, and Dave Mastiff found themselves circled. Ohno tried to back out and coerce everyone else but found everyone going off on him instead. He was thrown out as the first elimination 30 seconds into the match. Saxon Huxley got the next elimination by throwing out Kenny Williams. Flash Morgan Webster went next at the hands of Joe Coffey then Saxon Huxley at the hands of Amir Jordan (a moment of silence from the RISE Faithful.) A Kid avoided elimination by landing on Huxley then Travis Banks eliminated Tyson T-Bone. Banks was eliminated next followed by Amir Jordan at the hands of Dave Mastiff and Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter were eliminated by Ridge Holland. Mastiff then killed Ligero and Holland was eliminated because of a distraction from Joseph Conners who should really have been in this match. Moustache Mountain hit dual Airplane spins on Devlin and A Kid then Seven nail Bate with his own moves. He hesitated too long and Coffey eliminated him for it. Devlin got the next elimination using his head (literally) to eliminate A Kid. Devlin went on a tear until Noam Dar eliminated him from behind. He worked with everyone else in the ring to eliminate Dave Mastiff then smashed Bate in the back of the head. Bate then eliminated him with a Kappu kick. It was final-four time as Tyler Bate, Ilja Dragunov, Alexander Wolfe and Joe Coffey left. Coffey was the first eliminated as Wolfe threw Dragunov at him. Bate and Dragunov worked together to eliminate Wolfe, leaving those two to duke it out for the contender spot. As you can imagine that was incredibly hard-hitting with Dragunov getting the win with Torpedo Moscow to a hanging Bate. Ilja Dragunov will be the next fighter to face WALTER. He is definitely going to put on a barn burner when that happens.

So, there you have it, another episode of NXT UK reviewed for your reading pleasure. I had my doubts about this episode going in but I was won over by the starting bout and main event. The opening bout was an excellent tag bout that saw everyone shine and the main event took up over half the episode but avoided dragging and offered plenty of drama. Dragunov is an excellent choice for number one contender and I cannot wait to see him in the ring with WALTER. Whenever that may be. Currently, I don’t know what’s next for NXT UK but I hope they somehow keep this momentum going.

All images courtesy of WWE – Video courtesy of WWE YouTube

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