On one hand, Ilja Dragunov is still unbeaten since suffering a heartbreaking defeat in a wild title fight against NXT UK Champion WALTER in October. On the other, The Mad Russian seems to have lost a part of himself in the aftermath of his war for the title.
In what has quickly become a disturbing trend during his matches, Dragunov lost control of his emotions against Sam Gradwell, letting out some tortured battle cries and claiming the win via referee stoppage after landing several savage elbows to the jaw of Gradwell. Even after the bell, Dragunov continued to rain down elbows to his defenseless foe.
To be fair, Gradwell all but begged Dragunov to snap, routinely trash talking and antagonizing him right from the opening bell.
After the match, an obviously despondent Dragunov backed an official into the corner and threatened to attack him, only to suddenly relent and show genuine remorse, much to the delight of a smiling Gradwell.
Noam Dar wasted to no time trying to provoke Tyler Bate on “Supernova Sessions,” questioning the first-ever NXT United Kingdom Champion about his new Zen lifestyle.
Bate refused to let the antagonistic host get under his skin, even when he mocked his vegan diet, served him a piece of broccoli and dropped lettuce in his lap. Instead, Bate laughed it off and helped himself to a bite.
Dar also recalled the time Bate lost to A-Kid in a Heritage Cup Match and insinuated that Bate was in trouble for next week’s bout against Dave Mastiff. Bate pretended to strike Dar, and after Dar frantically jumped backward onto his couch, a smiling Bate simply posed during the closing music and made his exit.
Two tandems with dreams of wearing the NXT UK Tag Team Titles clashed in a thrilling bout, wherein all four competitors had a chance to shine.
Amir Jordan spent the early portions of the match isolated from his corner and absorbing tremendous punishment from each of his foes, but Kenny Williams hit the ring like a ball of fire and leveled Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter.
After Jordan was tagged back in, he found himself rolled up by Carter, but Williams yanked Carter’s leg from the ringside area, allowing Jordan to reverse the pinning combination for the 1-2-3! Meiko Satomura didn’t exactly stick her toe in the water when she arrived in NXT UK.
Instead, after picking up a decisive win against Isla Dawn in her debut, the world-traveled and decorated legend immediately set her sights on NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray.
Ray showed her vicious side when she nailed the challenger with an elevated DDT from the apron to the ringside floor, but Satomura struck back moments later when she dropped the titleholder spine-first onto the very same area of the ring apron.
When Ray ensnared Satomura in the Koji Clutch for the second time, The Best in the World fully extended her right leg to narrowly get her foot on the ropes and force a break.
In a dizzying conclusion to what can only be described as an instant classic, The Scary Queen of Scots whiffed on her Swanton Bomb attempt, but when Satomura went for the Scorpion Kick, the titleholder nevertheless blocked it. Seconds later, Ray attempted a Gory Bomb, but Satomura rolled her up for a long two-count.
Satomura and Ray exchanged kicks to the head, and Ray finally retained her championship by connecting with her second Gory Bomb.
After staggering to a vertical base, Ray helped Satomura back to her feet, and the two exchanged bows and a hug as NXT UK concluded.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Ilja Dragunov defeated Sam Gradwell (8:07)
- Amir Jordan & Kenny Williams defeated Ashton Smith & Oliver Carter (8:10)
- Kay Lee Ray (c) defeated Meiko Satomura to retain the NXT UK Women's Championship (16:47)
Other on-screen talent