WWE NXT UK Recap & Reactions (July 1, 2021): Happy Canada Day!

Welcome to BT Sport Studios!

Today's title has little to do with the show but since I'm a Canucklehead writing about British wrestling I figured it's worthwhile pointing out that today was the day we officially became a country after politely asking Queen Vicky if we could be one and she politely agreed. We'll see if the roster of this sports entertainment promotion are so pleasant to each other!

Isla Dawn versus Emilia McKenzie

These two have been feuding since McKenzie came back to NXT UK. So far Dawn has had the advantage scoring 2 wins over McKenzie. This week McKenzie is able to get one back with a big win.

This one starts off fast and brutal with McKenzie attacking Dawn in the corner. She hits a good looking swinging neckbreaker for an early pin attempt. After a suplex Dawn headsto the apron and uses the ropes to take McKenzie out and get on offense. Dawn eventually gets McKenzie out of the ring and throws her into the barricade. However as Dawn goes for the running knee McKenzie evades and forces Dawn to collide with the barricade.

McKenzie gets the action back in the ring and hits an enzuigiri and cutter combo on Dawn for a 2.9 count. McKenzie then goes for a spear but Dawn had her scouted and counters it with a kick. Dawn uses this advantage to land a back drop driver but doesn't get the pin. McKenzie misses with another spear but her third attempt connects. Dawn gets a huge kick to McKenzie's head but then starts "channelling the spirits" according to Nigel. She wastes a bunch of time allowing McKenzie to recover. She connects with double knees to the side of Dawn's head giving McKenzie the pin fall victory!

These two women put on a pretty decent match here. Not an amazing oh my god one by sports entertaining. I feel like McKenzie has improved massively since her return. This was a good upper mid-card match.

Jack Starz versus Tyler Bate (c) for Heritage Cup Classic

After taking some of Dave Mastiff's advice to heart Starz accepted Bate's championship match offer last week. So this week we get a Heritage Cup match! I have to admit that I love this format because it feels so old school and its what really got me into NXT UK. Trent Seven comes out as Bate's coach and it kind of sucks that Piper Niven isn't in Starz's corner but I'm so happy she's on RAW now!

The first round begins with a slow pace and according to Nigel is a feeling out process. I agree with him that this is some classic style wrestling. Starz is the first with a cover near the end of the round but Bate is able to kick out. The second round starts and Bate is able to get a pin within the first 40 seconds. 1-0 Bate after 2 rounds.

Bate really slows the pace down at the start of the third round. He's in control needing only one more pin or submission to win this so there's no big urgency for him. Starz however really speeds things up as he looks to even the match. Both men trade airplane spins in this one but Starz comes out on top as he ends his spin with a pop up forearm to put Bate down. Bate tries a back slide for a cover but Starz counters it and gets the pin. Tied 1-1.

The fourth round starts off right away with Starz locking in the Boston crab. Bate is unable to reach the ropes so he maneuvers himself between Starz's legs and uses his strength to send Starz flying. Bate is ultimately able to land a rolling axe kick to Starz and then the Tyler Driver for a pin and the victory!

Afterwards Mark Coffey comes out to the ring. Earlier in the show we'd seen him and Wolfgang continuing their friendly competition over who's the best with Coffey running off to do something mysterious. Well turns out that the plan was coming out to the ring and giving Bate a jab to the cheek. As Bate and Seven glower from the ring Coffey and Wolfgang mime catching a fish implying that Mark's reeling in Bate for a match.

Mila Smidt versus Aoife Valkyrie

I'm not too thrilled with the booking on this one as Valkyrie clearly is going to win this one or else she can't be taken seriously at the top of the card. Luckily (?) that's what happens as she beats Smidt in the end but on the other hand Smidt looked really good in the ring and I didn't really want to see her lose. NXT UK definitely doesn't push new folks to the moon right off the bat.

Of note in this one was that Jinny came out part way through this one to observe what was happening. When Valkyrie was perched on the top rope the two had a stare down before Valkyrie hit the flying leg drop onto Smidt's back for the pin fall. Looks like we have Jinny versus Valkyrie coming up!

Meiko Satomura's Victory Speech

Meiko Satomura comes out to the ring with her shiny championship belt. As she's cutting a promo about how happy she is and how NXT UK is her home Nina Samuels interrupts. Samuels claims she's here to congratulate Satomura but of course she challenges Satomura to a match. As she's going on about how she's a megastar and Satomura needs her star power Amale comes out and attacks Samuels. Amale is sick of seeing the "same girls every week." She's here to take her opportunity. "I don't care if they call you the final boss I'm not here to play games!" Satomura lays her out then says "enough get the match!"

Rest of the Promos

Sid Scala approaches Pretty Deadly as they're doing a photo shoot. Sid says that Pretty Deadly will have a title match against Subculture next week to which Pretty Deadly objects. They say that Subculture have to earn it. So Sid puts Mark Andrews against Lewis Howley next week and if Andrews wins then Subculture gets a title shot.

Last week after the show we see Rampage Brown in the locker room when Joe Coffey comes in all beat up. The two seem to bury the hatchet.

Blair Davenport gets a proper promo. She wrestled around the world and sacrificed everything to get where she is today. All to master what she does. She's now arrived at NXT UK.

Kenny Williams has a promo talking about how resilient cockroaches are and how they represent the scum of the earth. He says that next week when he faces Nathan Frazer the only thing that will survive is the scum of the earth.

Trent Seven is getting interviewed when Eddie Dennis interrupts him. Dennis reminds Seven of how Seven lost the Heritage Cup to A-Kid so Seven throws it back in his face about how he shattered Dennis's shoulder in their Steel Corners Match. This sets the two up to have a match next week.

Jordan Devlin versus A-Kid

On to our main event! Nigel says this one could turn into a Takeover caliber match which is a bit of an oversell compared to what we got. That being said he wasn't off by much as this was a pretty darn good one.

We get some good, quality wrestling to start this one as both men are pretty even on offense. Eventually A-Kid gets the upper hand with a flying arm drag. We then get a really cool sequence where Devlin and A-Kid are locked up and A-Kid does a bunch of flips over Devlin to escape. However he goes one gymnastic move too far as Devlin counters by shoving him off the top rope to the floor.

A-Kid is barely able to get back in before the 10 count and Devlin capitalizes with a big elbow drop on his vulnerable opponent. This leads to an extended period of offense for Devlin. A-Kid eventually turns the table with a drop kick to the head. A little later he hits a fisherman buster into a bridge combo and when Devlin kicks out A-Kid locks in the guillotine. Devlin manages to power his way out of that by brute strength.

A pivotal moment is after A-Kid executed a couple of no-release suplexes. When he tried for a third one Devlin grabbed the ropes to shake him off then delivered a really forceful headbutt. This staggered both men and Devlin escapes to the floor. A-Kid dives out of the ring staggering both men again. Devlin is first back in the ring and snaps the bottom rope like a rubber band into A-Kid's face as the latter tries to climb back in.

This gives Devlin the opportunity to rearrange the ring stairs and try to throw A-Kid into them. A-Kid reverses this but instead of running into the steps Devlin hurdles over them. He manages to grab A-Kid and does a shin breaker into the top of the stairs. For the whole rest of the match A-Kid is unable to fully complete his offensive maneuvers and Devlin continues targeting the damaged knee. Eventually Devlin ends it with a really gross looking knee submission where A-Kid's knee looks like it was bent completely sideways. Seriously, knees don't bend like that. Devlin celebrates as the referees try to attend to A-Kid.

Overall: B-

Reminder/introduction: A+ is a near perfect show, B+ is a good show, C+ is merely average, and anything lower is not good.

Well lucky for us these wrestlers were aggressive not Canadian passive aggressive. They put on a good but not spectacular show. I liked that both Emilia McKenzie and Aoife Valkyrie were able to pick up victories and start on the winning track and I thought Mila Smidt looked good in her debut loss. It looks like we're headed towards some good stuff in the women's division. On the men's side the match between Devlin and A-Kid was A or A- stuff while Jack Starz was quite impressive in his Heritage Cup loss.

How about everyone else? Let the rest of the community know how you feel about this one in the comments below.

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