NXTUK: Bytesize 18th November 2021

In a slightly larger bytesized review than normal, Paul takes us through all the action from this weeks NXTUK!

NXTUK: Bytesize 18th November 2021

What’s up guys and girls! It’s “The Belt Guy” Paul, back again with another (admittedly not quite so) bytesized NXTUK review! 

After last week’s show which had the fantastic fatal four-way tag team main event which confirmed Moustache Mountain as #1 contenders to the NXTUK Tag Team Championships, we have another tag team main event this week as the Gallus boys of Wolfgang and Mark Coffey take on Teoman and Rohan Raja. The question there though is will Teoman and Raja be alone or have they found some back up? I suspect that they have... 

Also, Aleah James looks to build on her career defining win against Xia Brookside when she takes on Nina Samuels, but we start tonight with A-Kid in action against “The Thunderstorm” Sam Gradwell. 

Let’s get to it shall we? 

The Thunderstorm has Spanish flu... 

Not what I would have chosen to kick off the show, but I’m not complaining, I’ve been looking forward to this one all week! 

The two begin with the usual feeling out process, Gradwell gets the first move in, but is quickly followed by A-Kid's headlock takedown. Gradwell fights free though and begins to control the match as the fans in attendance chant “You look stupid!”  

It’s great to have the fans back! 

A-Kid does get free using cruiserweight moves (you know the ones) and unleashes a dropkick, but Gradwell avoids it and regains control with a headlock. Nice movement from Gradwell to avoid the dropkick. 

A-Kid reverses the hold, but then gets taken down with a scoop slam for a two count. A-Kid won’t be outdone though and follows up with a two count of his own after a snapmare (yes, a snapmare...). 

With Gradwell on the mat, A-Kid attempts to follow up, but Gradwell grabs him and drives his head into his knee brace. From here, Gradwell controls the action for a spell, all the while the fans have come up with a fantastic chant for him, “Primark Sheamus” (For our American brethren, Primark is our equivalent to Target). A-Kid tries to get free and hits a dropkick, but Gradwell shuts him down quickly and reasserts control, locking in a Boston crab as A-Kid attempts a roll through. 

A-Kid is able to reverse the hold, and hits a super quick (no, not superkick, Young Bucks fans...) flurry of offence which send Gradwell out of the ring, culminating in a suicide dive from A-Kid. Following this both men get back into the ring, and after A-Kid hits a crossbody for a two count, Gradwell again regains control with a vicious looking lariat, followed by some hard forearms TO THE FACE!!! 

Somehow, A-Kid carves an opening for an Umaplata attempt, but Gradwell fights his way to a vertical base, and then with one arm, hits an elevated German suplex! Gradwell then hits a hard rolling elbow which sends A-Kid outside. Despite a dive attempt missing as A-Kid avoids it and locks in a sleeper, Gradwell again fights out and delivers a brutal Butterfly suplex to A-Kid on the outside. Gradwell tries to take the count out victory, but A-Kid is back in at eight, so he hits him with another rolling elbow for a two count. Sadly though, despite a hard-fought battle, this would be it for Gradwell, as despite a valiant effort to avoid it, he would ultimately succumb to the armbar for a tap out victory for A-Kid. 

Winner: A-Kid 

For me, this was the wrong result. Gradwell looked incredible in this match and for me should have got the win, but he does come out of it looking good I suppose. I’m not sure what their plan is for A-Kid, seeing as he just lost his match against Ilja Dragunov for the NXTUK Title. I guess he’s just going to tread water for a while... 

After this match, we get a recap of Rampage Brown’s match with Flash Morgan Webster form two weeks ago. Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness talk about the level of brutality (calm down Rhea...) shown by Rampage, and how Flash sustained an injury to his shoulder. 

Funny how he showed no effects of that during last week's backstage shenanigans huh?... 

Unbesieg-tsar! 

Not going to lie, I’m proud of that one! 

The NXTUK Champion, Ilja Dragunov, is backstage and asked how he feels about his title match with Rampage Brown being made official for two weeks' time? 

Ilja says that Rampage is a monster. And any normal man should be scared of him. But if you look into his eyes, you will see he is not scared. He’s the NXTUK Champion, Unbesiegbar, Ilja Dragunov! 

Ilja says he offered Rampage respect, but all he did was knock him down, but that’s ok, because when pain comes, he doesn’t run from it, he embraces it. Ilja says that there is one thing he has learned, and that is that myths and legends are not written about giants, they are written about the heroes who make them fall. Long Live the Tsar! 

Great promo from Ilja. He seems to have gotten much more comfortable on the mic, and the match in two weeks is going to be epic! 

The Nina Samuels Show has a new Aleah-ding lady... 

Not my best work that one, but it’s been a while, the pun game is a bit rusty... 

Full of confidence following her win over Xia Brookside, Aleah James looks to continue to build that momentum as she takes on Nina Samuels. For her part, Nina really needs to get back on track following what has been a somewhat odd spell for her. 

As the match begins, they lock up, and Nina uses her strength to force Aleah back into a corner, where she mockingly pats her on the head. Aleah, surprisingly, doesn’t like that, and puts her in a headlock, followed by a takedown. Nina gets free and applies a wristlock, but again Aleah escapes and reverses as we go into a little spell of back and forth holds. 

After a tilt a whirl head scissors from Aleah off the ropes, Nina rolls under the bottom rope, and when Aleah gets close enough pulls her onto the ropes to take her down, then gets back in the ring and steps on her hair while pulling her up to inflict damage. Nina then hits a backbreaker on Aleah, but Aleah briefly fights back before Nina hits three consecutive back breakers, alternating which knee she used each time. Nina then applied a deep single leg Boston crab, using Aleah’s own foot to kick herself in the head. 

Aleah rallies back with a series of quick roll ups, culminating in a cross body for a two count. Nina is able to drop toe hold Aleah into the corner, then hits a reverse suplex for a two count, but Aleah quickly rolls her up again for a two of her own. Nina tosses Aleah across the ring by her hair, and Nina shouts that it's time to end this. She throws Aleah into the ropes, but Aleah counters with a tilt a whirl into a small package for the surprise three count! 

Winner: Aleah James 

A somewhat predictable win for Aleah James in hindsight, but enjoyable nonetheless, you can really see how Nina’s cocky, lackadaisical attitude cost her the win in this one, as she never took her opponent seriously. In any sport in all the world, if you fail to prepare, you must be prepared to fail. A harsh lesson learned by Nina Samuels tonight. 

Backstage, Sam Gradwell is asked how he feels after his match tonight? He asks them “Is this really a good time now mate?” but before it can go any further, we hear the sounds of a party approaching. 

Its Sha Samuels and the NXTUK Heritage Cup Champion, Noam Dar. Which means it’s time for a look at the Heritage Cup counter!: 

NOOOOOOOO!!! The Cup Counter is broken!!! I guess it's time to retire it...

Gradwell says that this room is quite full. Samuels says “Yeah, full of winners!” 

Gradwell says that three weeks of celebrating the win is more than enough, to which Samuels replies “Not long enough!” 

Noam Dar agrees and says to Gradwell that it’s tough at the top, not that he would know anything about that. But he does make a good point, they should get out of here because Gradwell has blown his buzz. 

As they walk off celebrating loudly, Gradwell looks on and says “Really? Alright then...” 

This ALMOST felt like the beginnings of a Sam Gradwell face turn, but surely not... 

After a quick ad for Survivor Series or a Live Event (I’m not sure, I wasn’t paying that much attention!) The cameras catch up with Aleah James backstage and ask her how she’s feeling after her big win tonight? 

She says she can’t describe how good this feels, and she wants to keep the momentum going. Having the crowd there just gives her that edge. They congratulate her as she walks through a door, and quickly run in as they hear screaming. Isla Dawn is there and has ripped off Aleah’s hair accessory. Isla walks off looking pleased with herself as the cameramen/women drop the camera and rush to help Aleah James. 

Not good. Isla said she only needed one more piece of her puzzle, and it seems she now has it. What does she have in store for the NXTUK women’s division? 

Kenny Cockroach enjoys a Sax session 

After their little altercation last week, it’s no surprise that Kenny Williams and Saxon Huxley are facing each other. 

And as the match begins, it’s clear that Huxley has a major advantage over the smaller Williams as he throws him around the ring like a rag doll every time Kenny tries to mount some offence. Huxley seems on full control as he breaks free of a headlock and takes Williams down with a shoulder tackle, followed by a series of knee strikes to the mid-section. 

Huxley then uses some unique offence, as he stands over a prone Williams, grabs him by the throat and then repeatedly slams him into the mat, then throws him out of the ring. Huxley slides out of the ring to continue his assault, but Williams slides back in, and as Huxley comes back in he delivers the signature stomps that we have all come to expect from such a spot. 

Williams spears the knee of Huxley, getting a one count, and after raking Huxley’s face with his boots, ties his knee up in the ropes and begins to pick it apart. After a two count, Williams locks in a modified surfboard hold, using his hips to gain leverage over the much larger Huxley.  

But Huxley’s strength came into play as he got free, threw Williams into the corner, then hit a big boot, a lariat and a hip attack in succession. Huxley followed this with a scoop slam, then while Williams was on the ropes, he hit a big crossbody which sent Williams outside. 

It seemed like Huxley had Williams beat, but they don’t call him Kenny Cockroach for nothing, as he scurried under the ring. Huxley went after him, but Williams emerged behind him and threw him into the ring post, and once back in the ring, Williams hit his modified STO finisher, “Bad Luck”, for the three count. 

Winner: Kenny Cockroach Williams 

A somewhat predictable outcome here. I expected Huxley to lose, and I certainly expected some shenanigans from Williams, but it didn’t quite happen the way I thought it would, so I was somewhat pleasantly surprised. Kenny Williams continues to build this new heel character that has been emerging since the split from Amir Jordan (What happened to that guy? I know he was “fired” but surely, they would have brought him back by now?), while Saxon Huxley looked good in defeat, with the dirty finish keeping him looking strong. 

The first Brookside drama since 2003! 

Who remembers that show, then? Honestly some of the storylines in that show were so insane they could have come right out of WWE creative! (Jennifer Ellison’s character falling out of a window? Trevor Jordache buried under the patio? Seriously these could easily have come from the mind of Vince McMahon!). 

Xia Brookside enters the UKPC and is asked about her tension with NXTUKATTGM (think about it...), and former wrestler, Sid Scala. 

Xia says that she plans to see Sid very soon, but before she can go any further, she is interrupted by one of the Performance Centre coaches who tells her she is fifteen minutes late for training.  

Xia says that she doesn’t have to train with “that lot”, and hands a note to the trainer, which likely came from her dad, and walks off. 

I’m loving this slow heel turn from Xia. She walked into the UXPC looking happy with herself, like that one girl at school who knew she could get away with anything because her dad was the headteacher... Actually, that’s pretty accurate for what is playing out here. Good job, me! 

Next up, Mark Andrews is asked about his big win last week against Nathan Frazer. Andrews says he is psyched, but he wants to give props to Nathan Frazer as he has a lot of potential. Jordan Devlin cuts him off here and says for someone who has been around for a while he is still making rookie mistakes. Devlin says in these short interviews you get maybe thirty seconds on camera (he winks as he says this) and Andrews wants to talk about someone else? Devlin says he should start acting more like an ace instead of a bit part player, and should drop the whole nice guy attitude. 

And to be fair, he is 100% right. Gotta promote your own brand, Mark! 

Following this altercation, we get confirmation that the NXTUK GM, who still hasn’t been seen in person since early 2020, has made it official. Jordan Devlin and Mark Andrews will clash next week. 

The Family grows as Gallus falls 

Main event time, and its Wolfgang and Mark Coffey of Gallus, with Joe Coffey at ringside, taking on the tandem of Teoman and Rohan Raja. 

Wolfgang begins the match with a big uppercut to Raja. He tags in Coffey, and the Gallus Boys are, well, on top for a while. They barely give Teoman and Raja a look in during the opening exchanges, hitting several hard shots, without much reply from the heels. 

The action continues outside the ring after Coffey dives at Teoman following his rolling out of the ring. Teoman staggers to the other side, and Coffey runs across the ring to baseball slide him, but Teoman traps him in the ring apron and a two on one assault begins. 

Teoman then dropkicks Coffey, and some good tag work between himself and Raja keeps Coffey away from his corner to build towards the hot tag. Teoman begins to work the joints of Coffey, bending his fingers and wrist in ways they are not supposed to bend. This fires Coffey up though and he fights back, but Teoman soccer kicks his arm, tagging Raja in. Coffey throws Raja over the top rope and takes down Teoman, then begins crawling to his corner. As he leaps to his corner, Raja comes back in and catches him, Coffey inches away from the tag in a spot we have all seen countless times. But what we don’t often see, in fact for me this a genuine first, is that Coffey actually made the tag! 

Wolfgang came in hot and cleared house, hitting a variety of moves such as a splash in the corner, which gained a two count, a hip toss, senton, big back body drop, and another corner splash. Teoman stops a forearm and plants Wolfgang into the corner, and the heels hit a nasty enziguiri/backstabber combination for a two count. 

Teoman tags in and the two hit an elevated DDT for a two count, but Coffey breaks up the pin. Wolfgang counters an attack with a double clothesline and tags Coffey in. Coffey plants Teoman for a two count, then tags Wolfgang in. Coffey throws Teoman into Wolfgang who scoops him up, but Raja interferes, and Teoman causes himself and Wolfgang to clash heads. 

Suddenly, Charlie Dempsey appears through the crowd and takes out Joe Coffey, and in the ensuing chaos, with the Gallus boys distracted, Teoman hits the Evil Eye, followed by Raja’s leaping DDT for the win! 

Winners: Teoman & Rohan Raja 

Following the match, Charlie Dempsey joins them in the ring as they beat down Gallus. Joe Coffey tries to make the save, but Dempsey chokes him out in the ropes and the heels stand tall. 

That brings us to the end of this week’s NXTUK, and while there were some good points in this episode, I personally don’t think Sam Gradwell should have lost. After his little altercation later in the show it is possible, we might be seeing something of a face turn from the Thunderstorm, but for me it was still an odd decision. 

Xia Brookside seems to be turning into the bratty high school girl heel, and I love it. It works well for her character, and the fact that she can draw off her dad being a head trainer for NXT really helps the angle, even if he never appears!  

Isla Dawn seems to have completed her little scavenger hunt now, so I wonder where that is leading, but the big question is; Has Charlie Dempsey joined the Family?! 

I guess we will have to wait until at least next week to find out... 

Thanks for joining me this week guys and girls, I’ll be back next week with more NWA & NXTUK!