After last week’s episode failed to wow me, NXT UK had some making up to do. I love the brand but it needed something big to get things back on track. How did they do that, by putting on one hell of a Tag Titles match, giving me more Ilja Dragunov and The Hunt fought Imperium. There was also action from Xia Brookside and Nina Samuels. It was a stacked show with a lot to offer. Let’s see if it delivered and get into it.

Ilja Dragunov defeated Saxon Huxley via Torpedo Moscow

This is how you start a show. You give the audience a short but well-balanced match that has Dragunov be the dominant force he needs to be on the winning side of things whilst letting the lesser-known, often jobber, opponent show off what they can do too. The start of this match saw Dragunov crush Huxley, even fighting out of a Crossbody Catch. But as with all momentum shifts, he got careless and ended up having to fight back against some very unique and erratic offence from Saxon Huxley. He actually got quite a lot of time to shine. He didn’t win and ended up losing to some nasty strikes but hey, at least it wasn’t the squash it could have been. All of this action happened under the scrutinising eye of Alexander Wolfe who seems to have taken an interest in Dragunov. Aichner and Barthel came out to join him but walked past Dragunov to head to their match. I feel we are going to see Imperium try to recruit Dragunov but based on Ilja’s reaction to them, he probably won’t go willingly.

Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner (Imperium) defeated Wild Boar & Primate (The Hunt) via European Bomb

So, let me make this clear, I love both of these teams. Imperium may be my favourite unit in WWE not called the Undisputed Era and I love The Hunt’s animalistic nature and bombastic in-ring style but this match was just kind of dull. It was just a standard tag match with very little pizazz. I get that Imperium are meant to be a no-nonsense unit but, even for them, this was dry. It got better as the match went on but bar a hot streak at the start and a frantic closing sequence it was just a standard keep away tag match with very little interesting. I wanted to like it for the team’s involved but was mostly just looking at the clock waiting for the match to end. Maybe there just isn’t much chemistry between the pair or maybe it’s just because I knew how it was going to end? Both teams rock and I want more of both, just not in the ring together.

Xia Brookside defeated Nina Samuels via Roll Up

This was an odd little showing here. Samuels was in control for most of it but then again it was also used as a vehicle to show off Xia’s new British Wrestling influenced move-set adjustments. Nina Samuels refused to take Xia seriously and paid the price for it. She cockily tried to use strength and experience to bully the younger, smaller Brookside but got caught by some crafty classic wrestling tricks and rolled up for the win. It was a nice little flash win for Xia and hopefully the start of her pulling out more of these tricks in the future.

Jordan Devlin Met Dave Mastiff

Jordan Devlin was up next talking about how the WWE Universe thinks he’s arrogant. He refuted this by claiming he was just as good as he says he is. That he can beat anyone in the locker room and that Tyler Bate is scared of him. These claims brought out Mastiff, who was going to talk back at Devlin but got sucker punched. Devlin tries to hit the Devil Inside and it didn’t work. Mastiff gets the better of the exchange and lays out Devlin, challenging him to a match any time.

Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) defeated Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster via Powerslam/Enziguiri Combo

Remember how I lambasted the earlier tag match? This won’t be the same case. I loved this match. It was fast, frantic and full of action and enjoyment. Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews threw themselves into this match, both physically and literally as they tried to topple the giants coming after them and their belts. It was an almost even fight as both teams had their time to shine but through distraction and double team, Gallus often managed to maintain the momentum and keep the pressure on the champions. That being said, there were some great double team moves from the champions too who hit an awesome Stundog Millionaire out of nowhere and a double team Knee/Reverse-Rana combo. It would not be enough though as Andrews was thrown into the turnbuckle and Webster was hit with the finisher as Wolfgang gave us the amazing visual of him hold Andrews head down with his knee as the pin is counted. We have new champs and they certainly look dominant now. They stood tall with Joe Coffey to end the show. Also, it’s going to be nice have a small team name to write now whenever I write about the tag team champions instead of Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster.

So, there you have it, the newest episode of NXT UK reviewed for your reading pleasure. It was mostly an excellent episode with some nice new story beats, the return of a mostly dominant Dragunov and the enjoyable idea that he may be recruited by Imperium. Next week will potentially see Rhea Ripley team with Piper Niven against Jazzy Gabert and Jinny and the potential final chapter in the Trent Seven/Noam Dar feud. It should be fun to watch at least. I cannot wait to see what Gallus get up to as tag champs and if that means we could see Gallus go for their own prophecy of gold. I guess we’ll just have to tune in next week. Oh and they’re teasing A Kid now. To the UK and European wrestling fans, that’s a very good thing.

All images courtesy of Video courtesy of WWE YouTube