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This week we have matches between Gallus and Teoman/Raja, A-Kid takes on Sam Gradwell, Aleah James faces Nina Samuels, and Kenny Williams versus Saxon Huxley.
A-Kid versus Sam Gradwell
We got a short but sweet build up to this one. Gradwell was talking smack about A-Kid's Spanish language coverage and A-Kid took umbrage at that. They had a great segment together last week to set this one up.
Slow, old school technical start to this one but the crowd was rowdy with chants for A-Kid and telling Gradwell "You look stupid!" Gradwell gets an upper hand eventually by grinding his knee brace across A-Kid's face and head. Gradwell dominates the middle portion of this match but A-Kid lands a big kick which makes Gradwell retreat to ringside. A-Kid is able to pursue and toss him back into the ring for a flying crossbody from the top turnbuckle. Late in the match the two men were ringside when A-Kid locked in a triangle submission but Gradwell was able to power out and hit a chicken wing suplex.
The end of this one really is pretty good. My short highlights here don't do it any real justice. In the end it is A-Kid with an arm bar for the submission victory! I'd say Gradwell has learned his lesson about criticizing foreign press coverage but it's Gradwell so we all know he hasn't learned any lessons about running his mouth.
Later we catch up to Gradwell in the locker room when Noam Dar and Sha Samuels barge in with raucous celebrations that upset Gradwell. Looks like we're getting Gradwell versus Dar shortly.
This Week's Promos
Flash Morgan injured: we get a short video package of his match against Rampage Brown 2 weeks ago where we're informed that he's got a shoulder injury and will be out for a while. This served some double duty hyping Rampage's match with Ija Dragunov.
Ilja Dragunov talks about Rampage Brown: a camera crew asks Ilja about Rampage. He acknowledges Rampage's brutality but can't respect him because Ilja extended his hand and Rampage attacked him. He's confident he'll come out on top. Long live the Tsar! This is happening in 2 weeks.
Xia Brookside is a heel now: We catch up to her as she's just arrived at the PC to find out what's going on between her and Sid Scala. A PC trainer interrupts to let her know she's 15 minutes late for her training but Xia said she doesn't need it because she's taking individual lessons and she even had a note excusing her. I actually kind of like this character for her it's much more interesting that whatever she was trying to do as a baby face.
Mark Andrews on his win over Nathan Frazer: we get an interview with him at the PC. He's talking up how good Frazer is when Jordan Devlin interrupts to tell him to use his 30 seconds to promote himself instead of others. This is leading to a match next week.
Aleah James versus Nina Samuels
This came about because Samuels continued trash talking James during her Nina Samuels Show even though James was standing right there. Basically Samuels doesn't think James deserves to be in NXT UK and has been letting her know it for a few weeks now.
A few minutes into this one Samuels wrenched James' leg so far back that she was using James' own foot to tap her in the head. Crazy flexibility by James there. In the end James is able to counter a slam into a small package roll up for the pin fall victory!
Both women have shown good progression on their in-ring work. Samuels is settling into a good position as a mid-card heel gatekeeper for the up and coming baby faces. James meanwhile picks up a big win and should look to figure into the mid card which is good because NXT UK is really lacking baby faces in the upper mid-card/main event spots.
During the break we catch up to James backstage. She wants to keep this momentum going and feels the crowd really gave her the edge. As she walks off we see her getting assaulted by Isla Dawn in the stairwell who then walks off with James' hair tie. Dawn is sure cooking up one heck of a spell.
Saxon Huxley versus Kenny Williams
There was even less build up for this one than the last two. Last week Williams was interrupted by a berserk Huxley while Williams was trying to grafiti the PC. I'm unsure why a vandal needs absolute quiet while writing on a wall or why he'd object to someone noisily destroying things but I guess that's why I'm not the "scum of the earth."
Huxley just tosses Williams around for the start of this one. Williams eventually gets an upper hand by targeting Huxley's knees and legs. Huxley's power lets him take over in the late stages but eventually Williams escapes to ringside. Williams then rolls under the ring "like a cockroach" which lures Huxley outside again. Williams emerges from the adjoining side and runs Huxley into the ring post. This lets Williams roll Huxley back into the ring for a Bad Luck and the pin fall victory!
There's not much to talk about in this one. Huxley, as much as I love him, is really just enhancement talent, and it seems like they're still trying to see if they can get Williams' cockroach character over.
Teoman and Rohan Raja versus Mark Coffey and Wolfgang
This one's actually been building since Wolfgang knocked Teoman out of the Heritage Cup #1 Contender's Tournament back in September. Since then there's been lots of talk about family and who's better.
There was a moment that tickled my funny bone when Teoman started yelling at Mark in German while he had him in a lock. This one is pretty much Raja and Teoman putting on a tag team and submission clinic until Wolfgang comes in with the hot tag and starts beating the two of them like government mules. Teoman and Raja got back on offense with a nice double team where Teoman hits a jump kick into a backstabber from Raja. They get another double team DDT but Mark is able to break up the cover.
It looked like Gallus was going to pick up the victory when Charlie Dempsey runs out through the crowd and takes out Joe at ringside. This draws Mark out and Dempsey and Raja take him out. This isolates Wolfgang which lets Raja pick up the pin fall victory! Afterwards they invite Dempsey in for a beat down on Gallus.
This was a pretty decent tag team match as you'd expect from these four men. I honestly actually had higher expectations for this one than what I feel like they delivered but it definitely advanced the storyline between these factions and grew Teoman's "family."
Reminder/Introduction: A+ is a near perfect show, B+ is above average, C+ is an average show, and anything less than that is not good.
This one was a little underwhelming. The opening match between Gradwell and A-Kid was a really good match but everything after that was a bit of a let down. The main event was above average but not as good as expected (plus short). The other two matches were just standard fare.
Anyway Cagesiders, let the rest of us know how you felt in the comments below!