By Laurence Gibbons, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@Gibbonsgob)
NXT UK TV
Taped in London, England at BT Sport Studios
Streamed January 21, 2021 on WWE Network
NXT UK started with a hype package for the NXT UK Women’s Championship main event between Kay Lee Ray and Jinny… The broadcast team of Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us as Rampage Brown made his way to the ring for the opening match…
1. Rampage Brown vs. Dave Mastiff. The first NXT UK meeting of these two powerhouses started with both men testing each other’s strength. Mastiff came closest to scoring a pinfall in the early going, with his pumphandle suplex forcing Brown to kick out at two. Both men then traded dropkicks and suplexes. Brown hit Mastiff with a Doctor Bomb for the win.
Rampage Brown defeated Dave Mastiff in 06:29.
Gibbons’ Opinion: This was an enjoyable opener that was over surprisingly quick. I see both men as the two most logical challengers for Walter’s NXT UK Championship, but with Brown winning so quickly it would appear Mastiff won’t be getting a shot anytime soon. I’d like to see Brown continue to dominate against the other big men on the roster and eventually challenge for the title.
A promo package aired for A-Kid, who reflected on his loss to Walter last week and said that next time he’s in action he will come out on top…
Backstage, Kenny Williams told his tag partner Amir Jordan that he had “arranged a gift” for him – a match against Tyson T-Bone…
2. Jack Starz vs. Ilja Dragunov. As Ilya Dragunov made his entrance, Andy Shepherd reminded us that this was a rematch of Dragunov’s first match in NXT UK and drew attention to his “clear eyes”. Dragunov was wrestling without his red contact lenses. Jack Starz started the match stronger scoring near falls from a roll up and then a German suplex. Dragunov eventually snapped and unleashed a series of powerful moves. He hit a Torpedo Moscow and launched repeated elbow strikes to Startz, forcing the referee to stop the match.
Ilja Dragunov defeated Starz in 05:15.
After the match, Dragunov showed remorse for his actions…
Gibbons’ Opinion: Starz put in a good showing, but this match was all about Dragunov. Dragunov’s matches have been consistently fantastic but he has been missing depth to his character. Hopefully, adding a split personality disorder to the Moscow Madman’s character could be just what he needs.
A highlight package aired for Benjamin Carter’s appearance next week… Sam Gradwell cut a backstage promo to his phone. He said he wasn’t impressed and would send Carter back to Jersey…
3. Tyson T-Bone vs. Amir Jordan (w/Kenny Williams). Tyson T-Bone used his size advantage to control the majority of the match. He looked to have the match won when he went for a pin but Jordan reversed it to pick up the victory.
Amir Jordan defeated Tyson T-Bone in 04:29.
Gibbons’ Opinion: This was the first we’d seen T-Bone in a while. With a proper storyline, he could make a good heel. I struggle to see him being used for anything more than these sort of David vs. Goliath battles. I’m not feeling Amir Jordan as a singles star, but maybe that will come with more of these types of matches.
The broadcast team then hyped the NXT UK Women’s Championship match as we saw Kay Lee Ray walking down the corridor…
Xia Brookside cut a promo backstage in response to Nina Samuels comments from last week. Brookside said she would show her what her family name is famous for…
A hype package aired for the NXT UK Tag Team Championship four-way number one contender’s match between The Hunt, Pretty Deadly, Oliver Carter and Ashton Smith, and Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews… McGuinness announced that Eddie Dennis would be banned from ringside for this elimination match, next week. The broadcast team then turned their attention back to the Women’s Championship match as we saw a graphic of the Tale of the Tape…
4. Kay Lee Ray vs. Jinny (w/Joseph Conners) for the NXT UK Women’s Championship. Jinny made her way to the ring first, accompanied by Joseph Conners, whilst the announcers reminded us of some of her past dastardly deeds. Ray made her entrance to defend the championship she has held for more than 500 days. The match started with some good ol’ fashion hair pulling from both women.
Whilst Jinny took KLR down with an armbar, we saw Piper Niven watching as part of the digital audience. KLR took Jinny to the corner and we saw Dani Luna also in virtual attendance. Jinny took the action to the outside but felt the brunt of the guardrail when KLR reversed an Irish whip. As the match progressed, we saw more members of the women’s roster watching on the screens.
Around 10:00, Jinny came close to tapping out to the Koji Clutch. Conners distracted KLR as she went for the Gory Bomb, which led to Jinny hitting the Facelift. Conners held Ray’s legs down as the referee went for the count. When referee Chris Sharpe noticed, he ejected Conners from ringside. As Conners left he slipped the title belt to Jinny, Ray rolled to the outside and slapped Conners. Back in the ring, Jinny missed with the belt, and Ray hit her with the Gory Bomb for the victory.
Kay Lee Ray defeated Jinny in 12:09 to retain the NXT UK Women’s Championship.
Gibbons’ Opinion: This was an enjoyable title match that kept the pace throughout before building to a frantic finish. I would have liked to see Jinny pick up the win as I think she has more star potential than Kay Lee Ray. Conners is good as Jinny’s henchman. I’d like to see him joined by a couple more allies from the women’s roster. The producers did a good job to remind us how many women are in the NXT UK division but I’d like to see some of them used more often. There is a lot of potential there particularly in Dani Luna, Nina Samuels, and Xia Brookside. On a whole, the pace of the show was nice with a succession of quick matches building to the big title fight to close the show.
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