It’s that time of the week again. NXT UK is upon us and, this time, it didn’t half deliver. The action came thick and fast as matches happened, debuts happened and big announcements were made for the future. There were two big qualifiers for the NXT UK Title contenders Fatal Four Way, the debut of a particular indie darling and an unexpected face to shake up the women’s division. Let’s get into it.
Piper Niven defeated Jamie Hayter via Michinoku Driver
The first five minutes of NXT UK were dedicated to Piper Niven squashing her opponent, current Oedo Tai member, Jamie Hayter. Jamie threw some barbs as Niven got in the ring but bar a Fish Hooking submission and a slap got no offence in whatsoever. Niven fought out of the submission and locked in her own submission but ended up seeing red after Hayter slapped her. From there it was a headbutt, a running Crossbody and the Michinoku Driver to end the match. There’s not a whole lot to talk about her, Niven keeps impressing with her wins and the story is building to an eventual clash with Rhea Ripley. It’s only a matter of time now.
Jordan Devlin defeated Ligero via Devil Inside
Match 2 was the first of two qualifiers for the number one contender’s Fatal Four Way. It was the Irish Ace taking on the Leeds Luchador in a battle of wits, technique and stamina as both men were battered and bruised by the end of it. It started with technique but we ended up getting Splashes, submissions, Suplexes and more. Momentum shifted continuously at first as Ligero and Devlin traded holds and pin attempts until Devlin started smashing Ligero into the barricade and the ring apron. From there it was a case of working the ribs and Ligero making a comeback. Once said comeback did happen, there were multiple times it looked like the end of the road for Devlin as he kicked out of everything thrown his way. He also played a trump card by reversing a Tornado DDT attempt into a Devil Inside Suplex. This means Devlin is the second entrant in the Fatal Four Way taking on Joe Coffey and whoever would win the Wolfgang/Mastiff match later in the show.
He was also sure to cut a promo after the match claiming how he didn’t need a qualifier match as he was already the number one contender. He is the second former challenger to make it into the qualifier as both he and Coffey challenge Pete Dunne for the belt when he still held it.
Ilja Dragunov defeated Jack Starz via Torpedo Moscow
For all those worried, fear not, WWE have not messed with Ilja Dragunov. He is every bit the intense (said about 50 times during the course of the match) indie darling he was before signing with the company. His victim in his debut, popular whipping boy, Jack Starz. This match was a lariat fest as Dragunov pulverised Starz with stiff lariat after stiff Clothesline after stiff Clothesline. It was like watching a mugging as Starz was beaten mercilessly. Dragunov would smile every time he was struck never once giving Starz the satisfaction of hurting him. He even escaped a Gator Hold with ease. The lariats and clotheslines were all leading to the crescendo of this symphony of pain, the Torpedo Moscow. It’s safe to say Dragunov is going to be a strong contender going forth and that NXT UK is about to feel the Unbesiegbar.
Xia Brookside vs Killer Kelly ended in no contest
So this was less a match and more a mugging. Much like the Unbesiegbar debut for Ilja Dragunov, Jazzy Gabert got her introduction by interrupting a match between Killer Kelly and Xia Brookside. Kelly headed for the hills whilst Brookside tried to stand her ground. Gabert gave her a knee to the gut and crumpled her with a Facebuster. It was over in a flash with Jinny standing next to her new muscle. I’m not sure how this partnership started but it’s going to be a serious game changer for the women’s division. Gabert is an excellent acquisition and should be another powerhouse player in the strong women game.
Dave Mastiff defeated Wolfgang via Into the Void Cannon Ball
This was one of the short main events in NXT UK. It was all going Wolfgang’s way as he enjoyed the hometown advantage, the crowd appreciation and some new found agility training to get the better of Mastiff. Despite failing an early strength test, Wolfgang employed a Diving Shoulder Block and a Full Nelson to wear down Mastiff. He would also be able to follow up with a Wasteland and a Double Axe Handle off the top. Unfortunately, he lost the match because he missed the Howling Senton allowing Mastiff time to recover. Mastiff would use this advantage to hit a German Suplex into the corner and finished Wolfgang off with the Cannon Ball.
He wasn’t allowed time to celebrate though as all three Gallus members jumped him after the bell, and despite his efforts were able to overpower him. They held him down whilst Wolfgang hit a Howling Senton and posed in the middle of the ring to the crowd’s appreciation. Gallus are definitely going to have an impact on this Fatal Four Way even if Coffey is the only member in it.
So there you have it, another week of NXT UK wrapped up. This week felt really rapid as it was short matches and massive story beats as we had two big debuts, two qualifiers and plenty of confirmations for matches in the future. WALTER/Dunne 2 is next week and we now have threats of Noam Dar vs Mark Andrews 2, Toni Storm vs Nina Samuels and a potential Moustache Mountain and Grizzled Young Veterans rematch on the horizon. The future looks incredibly bright, at least for the next few weeks.
(All images courtesy of wwe.com)