By their very nature, NXT UK Heritage Cup Championship Matches are certain to pack a punch, and A-Kid's defense against the ill-tempered Sha Samuels was no exception.
The slugfest, which went five rounds out of a possible six while being contested under British Round Rules, saw A-Kid claim the 2-1 victory when he fought his way out of the painful Butcher’s Hook, took Samuels to the mat and folded his foe like an accordion, drawing a verbal submission from his opponent.
Round 1 witnessed the competitors exchange holds and engage in a mat-wrestling clinic as both men focused on defense in the early goings, but Samuels suddenly caught fire near the end of the round, chucking A-Kid shoulder-first into the post before again targeting his shoulder with an excruciating submission hold that forced a quick tapout.
Trailing 1-0 in Round 2, A-Kid turned the tide with a fearless dive through the ropes, but Samuels was arguably saved by the clock, which expired before A-Kid could score a decision against his reeling adversary.
Midway through Round 3, however, A-Kid tattooed Samuels with a pinpoint superkick to score the pinfall and even the bout at 1-1.
In Round 4, A-Kid went for a crossbody, but Samuels caught him and nearly slammed him through the mat. Samuels applied the Butcher’s Hook with six seconds remaining, but Samuels resisted the urge to tap, and the clock hit zero, setting the stage for A-Kid’s dramatic victory in Round 5.
Ben Carter, who revealed his aspirations to be the top star in the industry during a pre-match address, took a step in the right direction with a decisive win against Josh Morrell.
Carter seemed to be a step ahead from the opening bell, sending Morrell crashing to the canvas in the blink of an eye on several occasions.
And after Carter kicked out of a crafty rollup from Morrell, he soon followed up with a unique suplex and a picture-perfect frog splash for the three-count.
One of the pound-for-pound strongest competitors in WWE, Dani Luna put her power on display right from the start of her match against Aleah James, catching her out of midair and planting her into the canvas.
James attempted to rely on quickness to stay in the fight, and although she staggered Luna with a lightning-quick kick to the face, Luna claimed the win with a thunderous powerbomb.
While Joe Coffey and Rampage Brown certainly have the ability to put on a technical classic, they’d much rather trade haymakers in a wild slugfest, which is exactly what they did in Thursday’s main event.
Brown landed the first big blow when he caught an airborne Coffey and effortlessly spiked him into the mat, though it wasn’t long before Coffey went back to trading rights and lefts with his opponent and dropping him with a backbreaker.
When Coffey attempted All the Best for the Bells, however, Brown proved a half-step quicker when he blasted Coffey with a thunderous clothesline of his own.
Coffey seemed to be closing in on victory when he landed a splash in the corner, a European uppercut and a German suplex in rapid succession. But when the fight spilled to ringside, a charging Coffey appeared to hurt his hand when Brown dodged, and Coffey instead crashed into the steel ring steps.
Coffey yet again went for All the Best for the Bells, but Brown countered with a kick and planted The Iron King with the ring-rattling Doctor Bomb for the 1-2-3.
After a lengthy post-match staredown, Coffey offered a handshake, and Brown accepted as NXT UK concluded.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- A-Kid (c) defeated Sha Samuels [2:1] in a NXT UK Heritage Cup Championship British Rounds Match (11:23)
- Ben Carter defeated Josh Morrell (6:27)
- Dani Luna defeated Aleah James (3:36)
- Rampage Brown defeated Joe Coffey (11:15)
Other on-screen talent