NXT UK joins in on WWE's WrestleMania week festivities with a special event airing today.
NXT UK: Prelude will be headlined by WALTER defending his NXT United Kingdom Championship against Rampage Brown. The match is airing just one day after WALTER's successful title defense against Tommaso Ciampa at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver night one.
WALTER's reign with the NXT United Kingdom Championship recently reached the two-year mark. Brown is undefeated since arriving in NXT UK last November.
The next challenger for A-Kid's Heritage Cup Championship will be decided by a number one contender's match on NXT UK: Prelude. Tyler Bate and Noam Dar will face off in a Heritage Cup rules match. Trent Seven will be in Bate's corner, while Sha Samuels will be in Dar's corner.
A tag team match rounds out the NXT UK: Prelude card, with NXT UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray teaming with Isla Dawn against Meiko Satomura & Emilia McKenzie. Emilia McKenzie is Millie McKenzie's new WWE in-ring name. She returned to NXT UK last week and confronted KLR. As KLR and Dawn were beating McKenzie down, Satomura then came out to make the save.
NXT UK: Prelude will begin at 3 p.m. EST/8 p.m. BST this afternoon and will stream on Peacock in the United States and the WWE Network everywhere else.
The show opened with a video package running down all the matches on tonight's NXT UK: Prelude special. The show comes to us from BT Sports Studios in London, Nigel McGuinness and Andy Shepherd are on commentary
Tyler Bate (w/ Trent Seven) beat Noam Dar (w/ Sha Samuels) two falls to one to earn a Heritage Cup Championship shot (15:40)
Quick thoughts: This was a great match between two of the best on the brand. Dar worked over Bate's leg and had him limping in the later rounds. Bate scored the first fall early in round one with a roll-up, Dar tied him in Round 5, forcing Bate to tap from a leg lock. Bate scored the win in Round 6 after Tyler Driver '97.
The Heritage Cup is a new trophy first introduced in September and won by A-Kid in late November. Heritage Cup matches are being contested under British Rules:
- matches consist of six three-minute rounds with 20-second breaks between each round
- matches are 2-out-of-3 falls
- falls can be won by pinfall, submission, or count out
- once a fall occurs, the round ends
- the match ends once a wrestler has won two falls
- in the event of a disqualification or knockout, the match instantly ends without the need for two falls
- if all six rounds are completed, whoever is ahead on falls wins the match
Bate challenged A-Kid for the Cup once before and narrowly lost. He's debuted a slightly tweaked, more relaxed and spiritual persona recently. Dar has been hosting his “Supernova Sessions” talk segment on NXT UK in recent months where he stirred things up both with A-Kid and Tyler Bate, among others, and hasn’t been in action since November. Seven and Samuels being in their respective protégé’s corners has been set up on the show as well.A-Kid appeared on screen and wished both men luck. He said he'd be watching closely.
They did an extended backslide spot early, where they pushed each other into opposite corners. Bate showed some crisp British style counters and got the first fall with a roll-up at only 1:15 of round one. Bate leads 1-0.
Bate locked in some body scissors but Dar managed to turn the hold into a pinning attempt. Bate got Dar in a cravat and they traded counters. Samuels tried to coach Dar and had some success as Dar repeatedly hit Bate in the head. They locked knuckles and shuffled for position, Bate had Dar down for a pin but he bridged out of it as the round ended.
Dar hit a leg kick to the thigh, then floored Bate with another kick and attacked the wrist. He proceeded to work over Bate's legs and ankles, looking to ground The Big Strong Boi. Dar with a right hook had Bate down for a cover. Dar snapmared Bate into the rope, legs first, then hit a big slam off a back suplex lift. ate made it to the second turnbuckle and hit a flying European uppercut, then got Dar up for the Airplane Spin and actually continued to spin into the other direction as the time ran out. This was cool as he had Dar up there for a good 25 seconds.
Bate picked up where he left off and picked up Dar for another Airplane Spin, then hit his bounce-back lariat for a two-count. Dar came back with a body block for a near-fall of his own. Dar went for a half crab but Bate avoided the move and hit a right that sent Dar staggering. Dar kicked Bate's leg out, which actually had Bate do a backflip from the impact. Both men were down as the round concluded.
Bate's leg was hurt as he limped out of the corner. Dar caught ate of another bounce-back lariat attempt, locked in a leglock and Bate tapped at 0:40 of the round. Dar ties Bate 1-1 as we head to the final round.
Bate hit a deadlift German suplex for a two-count. Dar caught him with a roll-up for another two, Bate then hit a rolling kapa kick. Bate went to the top, Samuels wanted to throw him off but Seven grabbed him. Bate threw Dar on both men, then followed up with a dive on both. Dar looked to hit the Nova Roller but bate caught him with a punch and hit Tyler Driver '97 for the pinfall victory at 1:34 of the round to win the match 2-1.
Bate and Seven celebrated after the match.
- Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster were training at the UK Performance Center with Dani Luna; they talked about losing and needing to come back stronger
- a video looked at Ilja Dragunov's transformation after his loss to WALTER last year; Dragunov snapped in a number of matches
- Piper Niven and Jack Starz were training at the UK Performance Center. Niven screamed at Starz and asked if he was ready and he screamed back that he was
- Jordan Devlin cut a short promo
Meiko Satomura & Emilia McKenzie beat UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray & Isla Dawn (9:00)
Quick thoughts: This was a fun, fast paced tag team match that established McKenzie as a star. She looked good, throwing some signature suplexes and her spear on KLR, implying she might be able to beat her. She pinned Isla Dawn after a small package off a Fisherman's buster attempt. After the match, Aoife Valkyrie walked out, seemingly challenging Satomura.
McKenzie made a surprise return to NXT UK last week (she had a few matches very early on in NXT UK’s run) while Satomura, who was hired as a player-coach lost a match to Kay Lee Ray for her NXT UK Women’s championship a few weeks back. Dawn debuted a more aggressive side lately and all four women ended up in a bawl last week.
McKenzie and Dawn started the match. Dawn overwhelmed Emilia with strikes early but got rolled up quickly. Both women tagged out and he got another meeting of "The Best in the World" and the "Forever Champion". KLR got Meiko into the corner and kicked away at her. Dawn and KLR quickly tagged back and forth to work Satomura over.
Meiko came back with forearms against both women, then worked over Dawn's arm and hit a handstand into a kne drop for a two count. McKenzie tagged back in and hit a running drop kick to Dawn's head. KLR came back in and got Emilia up for the Gory bomb but got rolled up. Dawn received a German suplex for interfering before Emilia speared KLR for a two-count.
Dawn attacked Meiko at ringside, taking her out of the match for a little while, as Dawn and KLR worked over McKenzie. Dawn hit a backdrop driver for a two-count before getting the better off a strike exchange. McKenzie hit a cutter as both women crawled to their respective corners and made the tags. Satomura hit a head kick to a downed KLR, then leveled KLR with a Pele kick, followed by a Saito suplex for a near-fall as Dawn entered to make the save.
KLR hit the Gory Bomb on Satomura for what looked to be the win as McKenzie narrowly made the save. She German suplexed Dawn again for good measure. Satomura meanwhile locked KLR in a face lock but the champion made the ropes. KLR hit a face-first suplex slam, then tagged Dawn who hit a knee drop for yet another two-count.
At ringside, KLR looked to kick Emilia into the steps but she moved and hot a German suplex on the floor. She tagged in but got hit with a head kick by Dawn. Isla went for a fisherman's buster but Emilia countered the move into a small package for the pin and the win. Satomura also prevented KLR from making the save.
McKenzie and Satomura celebrated when Aoife Valkyrie walked out and stared down Satomura. She removed a black feather and laid it down on the floor as her music played.
- A-Kid talked about looking forward to face Tyler Bate once again. He wants to build his legacy and proof that he is the best pure mat wrestler in NXT UK.
- Amir Jordan stormed into the building, looking for Kenny Williams who attacked him in their tag team match last week. he encountered Sid Scala who told him Kenny wasn't here but promised they could settle their differences next week. Williams was encountered in the building and said it was him doing all the work in his team with Jordan. He said it was up to Amir to keep up with him.
- Gallus will be the guests of Noam Dar on next week's Super Nova Sessions.
- Next week, Nathan Frazer (the former Ben Carter) faces Saxon Huxley and Amir Jordan clashes with Kenny Williams.
NXT UK Champion WALTER pinned Rampage Brown to retain (13:43)
Quick thoughts: This was the blueprint of a strong-style hoss fight and it was glorious as meat pounded on meat, 280-plus pound bodies were being hoisted through the air and meaty palms smashed into tender chests. They hit each other with all their big moves as Brown kicked out of lariats, power bombs and escaped numerous sleeper holds. WALTER kicked out o the Doctor Bomb and a huge top-rope power slam. Eventually, WALTER won after a German suplex, power bomb and Big Splash off the top.
WALTER has been the NXT UK champion for 734 days (more than two years) and has defeated all challengers, including Tommaso Ciampa just last night (even though this match here was certainly taped a few weeks ago). Brown has also been undefeated since arriving in NXT UK, being a veteran of the British scene dating back 20 years. WALTER and Brown battled three times before in PROGRESS, with Brown currently having a 2:1 edge (although WALTER won their mot recent match in 2018). Brown stepped up to challenge WALTER recently and the big Austrian in a sit-down interview that aired last week said he would never respect Brown, as to Brown wrestling is his job whereas to WALTER it is his life.
WALTER grabbed Brown in a waistlock right away and they battled for position. Brown evaded a chop in the corner and hit one of his own. In a battle of shoulder tackles, WALTER actually got thrown to the mat, but steamrolled Brown out of the corner. Brown hit a beautiful dropkick that sent WALTER to ringside. Brown ran him over on the outside, then went for a suplex but got rammed into the barricades and slammed onto the apron for his troubles.
WALTER bent Brown backwards over the ropes and hit him with some blows. WALTER was working towards a double wrist-lock but Brown powered out. WALTER hit a snapmare, kicked Brown's back and locked in a Boston crab, which Brown actually escaped by picking WALTER's ankle. brown actually hit a suplex on WALTER after the champion first failed to hit one of his own.
They inevitably traded chops before escalating into a striking exchange and WALTER hit a lateral press for a two-count. WALTER attempted a number of submissions, then reverted back to beating the piss out of Brown, who actually came back and hit a power slam on WALTER.
WALTER locked in the sleeper hold, then transitioned into a power bomb but Brown over-rotated out of it and threw WALTER down, then followed up with a flying shoulder block off the turnbuckles. Brown tried getting WALTER up for the Doctor Bomb but WALTER powered out. He hit a Shotgun dropkick, followed by the power bomb but Brown kicked out at two.
WALTER went up top for the Big Splash, but Brown stopped him and hit a huge top-rope power slam for another near-fall. Brown looked hit another tackle, got stopped with the sleeper but hit a Saito suplex followed by the Doctor Bomb. WALTER rolled away immediately and Brown was to spent to cover him immediately. Brown pummeled WALTER with clobbering forearms and went for another Doctor Bomb but WALTER back dropped out of it.
He chopped Brown across the throat, then followed with a lariat, then hit a second one but only for another two-count. WALTEr locked in another sleeper, a German suplex and power bomb but Brown kicked out once more. Finally, WALTER went up top and hit the Big Splash, the move that won him the title in his match with Pete Dunne almost two years ago to finally score a pin and successfully defend his championship.
The show went off the air as WALTER posed with the title belt and Nigel McGuinness asked who would be able to end the historic reign of the Ring General?
Next week on NXT UK:
- Amir Jordan vs. Kenny Williams
- Nathan Frazer vs. Saxon Huxley