Ilja Dragunov relinquishes NXT United Kingdom Championship
NXT United Kingdom Champion Ilja Dragunov came out on crutches and was wearing a walking boot. Dragunov said that -- in his title defense against Wolfgang -- he severely injured his ankle and was not medically cleared to compete. They showed the scene from the match where Dragunov landed badly on his foot.
Dragunov talked about never giving up and said the only man able to beat him was himself. Dragunov said he would not talk about his hard upbringing or hard work, as other people had similar fates and also worked hard. He said he left pieces of his soul in the ring and they were everywhere on the canvas.
Dragunov said he had to relinquish the title but would come back stronger and would get it back. He then placed the belt on the canvas and kissed it goodbye.
- Chase U toured London and eventually arrived at the NXT UK Performance Center, where Sha Samuels sat in front of the building. Andre Chase encouraged Bodhi Hayward to give Samuels a pep talk. The East End Bookie was not amused. He berated Hayward and told him he still had trunks and boots.
- Johnny Saint and Sid Scala were approached backstage and asked about the now-vacant NXT UK title. Scala said there would be an eight-man tournament to crown the new champion and they would announce the participants later tonight.
Oliver Carter defeated Rohan Raja (w/ Teoman and Charlie Dempsey) (5:25)
Carter started out strong, beating on Raja and clotheslining him to the outside. Charlie Dempsey distracted the referee while Teoman trapped Carter in the apron, where Raja could attack him.
Raja locked in an abdominal stretch, then kept dominating Carter. Carter came back and eventually hit a springboard moonsault. Raja threw Carter to the outside, but Carter turned the throw into a dive on the rest of Die Familie. He then hit a spinning heel kick on Raja in the corner for the victory.
After the match, Die Familie immediately attacked Carter. Dempsey put Carter in a half-crab/kneebar before officials pulled him off.
- Thea Hail was backstage talking about why she chose to go to Chase U. Eliza Alexander walked in, told her she went to the School of Hard Knocks, and said she was sick of Americans coming over (you and me both, Eliza) and taking opportunities from her. Alexander challenged Hail to a match and went off on Chase U, which greatly upset Hail.
- Die Familie was walking backstage and talking about taking out Carter. They were asked why they were happy, since Raja actually lost. Teoman sent his men away and said that the eye always had a plan and they actually won. Sam Gradwell walked up, said Teoman needed his men as backup, and said he would take Teoman out if they faced off in the ring alone.
Sha Samuels defeated Bodhi Hayward (w/ Andre Chase and Thea Hail) (4:45)
Samuels came out in ragged, grimy clothes and was begging fans for money with his hat. Hayward was disgusted with Samuels' body odor.
Hayward threw Samuels around but fell for a fake test of strength and got kicked in the gut. Hayward threw Samuels to ringside, where Hail screamed at him with her megaphone. Back in the ring, Samuels took back over and beat down Hayward.
Samuels came off the second rope, but Hayward caught him with a power slam, then hit a number of tackles to the leg and shoulders. Hayward hit a big splash for a near fall.
Hayward missed a corner attack, hit his head on the turnbuckle, and got pinned after a spinebuster.
- Oliver Carter came out of the doctor's room and said his leg was in bad shape. Sid Scala ran up to Carter and told him we was in the title tournament and his match was next week. Carter said he'd be ready as he limped away.
The bracket for the NXT UK Championship tournament is:
Left side of the bracket --
- Oliver Carter vs. Charlie Dempsey
- Wolfgang vs. Trent Seven
Right side of the bracket --
- Tyler Bate vs. Kenny Williams
- Joe Coffey vs. Mark Andrews
NXT UK Women's Championship number one contender's match: Blair Davenport vs. Isla Dawn ended in a no contest (7:15)
This was originally supposed to be Meiko Satomura defending the NXT UK Women's Championship against Sarray, but Blair Davenport came out and said Satomura and Sarray were "experiencing some difficulties" (I don't think the match was ever taped at the previous set of tapings).
Davenport talked about how she would have been champion if not for her leg injury. Sid Scala entered and told Davenport to go to the back. Eventually, Amale, Eliza Alexander, and Isla Dawn all came out and bickered. Scala then made Davenport vs. Dawn as a number one contender's match.
Davenport dominated briefly. Dawn quickly took over before getting stopped with a kick to the gut. They went back and forth, then Dawn scored a near fall off a running kick to the chest. She locked in a chinbar, which Davenport eventually countered into a small package.
Davenport followed up with a dropkick to the back of Dawn's head for a near fall. Dawn hit a head kick and backdrop driver for a two count of her own. Dawn hit a top rope double knee and looked to have the match won, but Alexander pulled her out of the ring mid-pin.
Amale then was in the ring and hit Davenport with a kick. Dawn took out Amale, Alexander took out Dawn, and then all four women brawled in the ring and were eventually separated by the officials.
Final Thoughts --
Though it didn't have a finish, the main event was a good match and had a good brawl at the end. The opener was fine, and Oliver Carter especially looked good. Bodhi Hayward and most of the NXT 2.0 wrestlers should not be on my television screen on Thursdays, but I guess it is what it is. Guys like him need to be on all the Florida Loop house shows going forward.
Ilja Dragunov's injury sucks and I hope he recovers and comes back strong. The tournament matches that were announced all should be good to great.
Next Week --
- NXT UK Championship tournament first-round match: Wolfgang vs. Trent Seven
- NXT UK Championship tournament first-round match: Oliver Carter vs. Charlie Dempsey