Taped at BT Sport Studios in London, England
The Big Takeaways --
Ilja Dragunov won an epic battle over Sam Gradwell as they faced off in a no disqualification match. They did some insane stuff and this was one of the most brutal matches on WWE television in recent memory.
Joseph Conners got revenge on Jack Starz after his mixed tag team loss from a couple of weeks ago, Isla Dawn looked more violent than ever, and the new team of Primate & T-Bone also dominated with brutality.
It was announced that Trent Seven will be in Tyler Bate's corner for Bate's NXT UK: Prelude Heritage Cup rules match against Noam Dar in two weeks.
Full Rundown --
Supernova Sessions with Trent Seven
Noam Dar introduced Seven by talking about him being a failure and then asking Seven what it felt like to be a failure. Seven discussed his gruesome preparation for dropping down to cruiserweight. Dar said he liked talking about positive things and asked about how Seven got in shape, mentioning Zumba and other modern fitness regiments as a laugh track played. When Dar called him an outsider, Seven took offense to that and said he was one of the founding fathers of NXT UK.
Sha Samuels walked in and started berating Seven. Dar said that Samuels always has his back, but Seven's friend Tyler Bate was nowhere to be seen. Samuels said he was always in Dar's corner. Seven then said he would be in Bate's corner for the Dar vs. Bate Heritage Cup rules number one contender's match in two weeks at NXT UK: Prelude.
- A graphic plugged tonight's Ilja Dragunov vs. Sam Gradwell no DQ match as the main event.
- Sid Scala talked to Joseph Conners and Jinny as they arrived at the building. Scala told Jinny that both she and Piper Niven would be banned from ringside for the match between Conners and Jack Starz tonight. Jinny argued with Scala but begrudgingly accepted the terms when he said it was Johnny Saint's decision.
- A video looked at last week's confrontation between WALTER and Rampage Brown. William Regal, Fit Finlay, Robbie Brookside, and Dave Taylor all weighed in on WALTER and Brown's NXT United Kingdom Championship match that's taking place at NXT UK: Prelude.
Joseph Conners defeated Jack Starz after hitting a hangman's neckbreaker (6:51)
Starz pinned Conners a few weeks ago in a mixed tag match where they teamed with Piper Niven and Jinny respectively. The finish of the mixed tag had some controversy, with Niven giving Conners the Piper Driver and throwing Starz on top for the pin.
Starz and Conners felt each other out early here and traded a number of pinning combinations. Starz dropkicked Conners to ringside, then hit a dive onto him. Back inside, Starz hit a crossbody from the top for a two count. Conners took back over and grounded Starz down for a while until Starz countered a suplex.
Starz dominated, then hit an exploder for a very close near fall. Starz went for more pins, but Conners hit a snap DDT. Conners then followed with a hangman's neckbreaker for the pinfall victory.
- Sam Gradwell was shown warming up backstage.
- Pretty Deadly cut a promo, talking about how they won the NXT UK Tag Team titles and ushered in the era of Pretty Deadly. Pretty Deadly said that their title defense against Kenny Williams & Amir Jordan next week will be the first of many defenses in their never-ending reign.
- Starz came backstage all despondent and apologized to Niven, who cheered him up. Niven said they'll get right back to training at the NXT UK Performance Center tomorrow. She told Starz that she was proud of him and hugged him to cheer him up.
Primate & T-Bone (w/ Eddie Dennis) defeated Josh Morrell & Danny Jones when Primate pinned Jones after a flying headbutt from the top (6:28)
It seems Tyson T-Bone has lost his first name as he replaces Wild Boar in the team. Primate and T-Bone took out Boar in a backstage vignette two weeks ago at Eddie Dennis' command (Boar has a legit knee injury, which was the reason for this angle).
T-Bone made quick work of Morrell early on. The heels quickly tagged in and out and T-Bone threw Morrell into his corner to tag. Primate then decimated Jones, again tagging in and out until Jones hit a backstabber and made the hot tag. Morrell got some offense in but was wiped out quickly by Primate. T-Bone sent Morrell to the outside, where Primate worked him over on Dennis' instructions.
A double hot tag later, Jones quickly found himself on the receiving end of a T-Bone running powerslam, followed by a flying headbutt by Primate for the win.
- Kenny Williams & Amir Jordan worked out in the NXT UK Performance Center and were very confident about their Tag Team title match against Pretty Deadly next week.
Isla Dawn defeated Aleah James after hitting a half-and-half bridging suplex (4:17)
Dawn has been starring in some creepy vignettes lately where she's read tarot cards, looked into a crystal ball, and had Latin words flash across the screen. Dawn was far more aggressive than in the past in this match.
They traded wristlocks early, then James used a roll-up out of the corner and followed with a dropkick. Dawn quickly dropped her with a head kick and hit a knee lift to the sternum for a near fall. Dawn hit another running knee to the neck, then followed with a Saito suplex. Dawn locked in a double chicken wing submission, but James escaped. James hit a springboard dropkick off the ropes for a near fall of her own.
Dawn dropped James face-first into the top rope off a wheelbarrow roll-up attempt. Dawn then hit a barrage of strikes and a half-and-half bridging suplex to get the win.
- Ilja Dragunov prepared by shadowboxing backstage.
- Nina Samuels was happy that her four weeks of being Xia Brookside's personal assistant were coming up, but Brookside said there was still some time left and had her clean the men's bathroom.
- Dawn was backstage, dancing around as if in some kind of trance as eerie music played. NXT UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray walked up to her and told her that if we had seen Dawn show more of that aggressive side early on, maybe she could be in KLR's position today. Dawn stared at her as the lights flickered, but KLR would have none of that creepy stuff and just walked off.
- A graphic officially announced next week's NXT UK Tag Team title match between Pretty Deadly and Kenny Williams & Amir Jordan.
No DQ match: Ilja Dragunov defeated Sam Gradwell (14:47)
Gradwell has been provoking Dragunov for the last several weeks, gleefully enjoying it whenever Dragunov snapped. He cut a promo on Dragunov last week, suggesting all kinds of matches he would beat Dragunov in. Dragunov accepted the no DQ one.
Gradwell threw his jacket in Dragunov's face as he entered the ring and beat him down right away. Dragunov came back with a flying kick that threw Gradwell to ringside. Gradwell grabbed a chair, but Dragunov kicked it into his face. Back in the ring, Gradwell evaded a German suplex attempt with a judo throw but got wiped out with the Konstantin Special. Dragunov followed with a coast-to-coast as Gradwell tried talking him down.
Dragunov struggled to keep his composure at times. He charged at Gradwell on the outside, but Gradwell grabbed the ring bell and hit Dragunov with it. Gradwell whipped Dragunov with a cable, then choked him with it and whiplashed him head-first onto the mats. Gradwell repeatedly hit Dragunov with the edge of a chair and then suplexed him onto the chair for good measure.
Gradwell removed some turnbuckle pads, but Dragunov blocked and hit a few elbow strikes. They battled on the top and Dragunov threw Gradwell off the top face-first. Gradwell threw a turnbuckle pad into Dragunov's face, then Gradwell shoved Dragunov and he landed on the exposed top turnbuckle. Dragunov was then sent flying into the dasherboards.
Dragunov came back with a clothesline. He went to drop the ring steps onto Gradwell, who begged off and apologized to Dragunov. As Dragunov showed mercy for Gradwell and went to put down the steps, Gradwell hit him with a chair. But Dragunov avoided the next chair shot and dropped Gradwell with two rolling German suplexes onto the mats. Gradwell then ate some more chops and kicks.
Gradwell told Dragunov to stop and mentioned his own son, but he then kicked Dragunov's leg and hit a Death Valley Driver onto the ring steps. Back in the ring, Gradwell scored a close near fall.
Gradwell got more chairs and piled them in the center of the ring. They traded offense and Dragunov slammed Gradwell's head into the exposed turnbuckle. Dragunov then hit a backbreaker before putting Gradwell onto the chairs. He went for a top rope senton, but Gradwell moved and Dragunov crashed onto the chairs. Dragunov kicked out of the subsequent cover.
Gradwell went to chop the back of Dragunov's neck, but he thought better of it as that has sent Dragunov into a frenzy in the past. Gradwell opted for slaps instead but hit one inadvertently on the back of the neck, causing Dragunov to snap.
Dragunov hit a Gotch lift onto the pile of chairs, then ground and pounded Gradwell into oblivion as Gradwell frantically tapped out from the punches. Dragunov narrowly managed to control himself as the referee talked him into stopping.
Final Thoughts --
The main event was insane and probably the most brutal WWE match since WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov from last year (recognize a pattern there?). Dragunov has such disregard for his own physical health that it is both fascinating and worrisome to watch at times. Sam Gradwell also played his role perfectly here.
It seems like Isla Dawn is being set up for an NXT UK Women's Championship match against Kay Lee Ray down the line. Primate & T-Bone looked impressive as a team, more like two bar brawlers than wrestlers. They should be on their way to a Tag Team title shot as well, with Eddie Dennis expertly puppeteering them on their path there.
I could see Trent Seven turning against Tyler Bate during NXT UK: Prelude, either during or after the match and somehow costing Bate the win. It might make sense for the older Seven, who could not reach his goals of either winning the Heritage Cup tournament or the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, to finally become jealous of his younger, more successful protege. This would both lead to A-Kid vs. Noam Dar and a hopefully lengthy Bate vs. Seven feud.
One thing that irks me in current NXT/NXT UK storylines is that WALTER will defend the NXT United Kingdom Championship against Tommaso Ciampa at TakeOver Stand & Deliver night one, then WALTER and Rampage Brown's title match will air on NXT UK: Prelude less than 24 hours later. If WALTER loses to Ciampa, the match on Thursday for the title makes no sense. If WALTER loses to Brown, this show very publicly being taped weeks before the Ciampa match also looks bad. So I guess the only thing that makes sense is that WALTER keeps the title in both matches.
Next Week --
- NXT UK Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly defend against Kenny Williams & Amir Jordan
NXT UK: Prelude (in two weeks) --
- NXT United Kingdom Champion WALTER defends against Rampage Brown
- Heritage Cup rules number one contender's match: Tyler Bate (w/ Trent Seven) vs. Noam Dar (w/ Sha Samuels)