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    Saturday, November 14, 2020

    NXT in the UK (11/12/20): Mastiff Said Knock You Out

    Trent Seven and Dave Mastiff in WWE NXT UK
    This week on NXT UK, we finally have a finals match-up for the NXT UK Heritage Cup tournament, though not without some minor controversy... that only I can see. Not that it matters too much because I alone can't change the course of booking, but I still want to raise a little hell.

    In this week's semi-final matchup, it's a war of the UK veterans as Trent Seven beats Dave Mastiff to secure his spot opposite A-Kid in the tournament finals. The only problem is I thought Dave Mastiff should've won that—and not in a fantasy booking way, but in an actual "there seems to be a bad call by the referee" way.

    Near the end of the fourth round, Mastiff delivers a pretty snug forearm shot to Seven that isn't unlike the one he gave Joseph Conners for the knockout win. Seven similarly gets knocked the fuck down like Conners, but as the clock was already winding down while the referee was checking on him, he inadvertently gets saved by the bell.

    The referee spends the time between rounds to check and see if Seven could still go on. He's barely responsive, and the referee calls for the fifth round to go on as planned. A cannonball senton in the corner later, Mastiff picks up his first pin of the match. Even after a shot like that, Seven could still apparently continue.

    The final round comes and Seven can barely stand up on his feet. He manages to fight back and wins the match after somehow willing the strength to do a Burning Hammer.

    As you can already tell, I think the match should've been called for Mastiff before the fifth round even started, as Joseph Conners got knocked out weeks ago with a less-devastating-looking shot. If Mastiff can get the KO like that, why couldn't the ref call a KO on Seven too? This feels sketchy. The commentators barely touched on how fishy it all seemed, just calling into question whether Seven could continue, so I don't expect it to become a plot point to be revisited should he win the tournament.

    It's just one of those things I wish was thought through, considering the fact that they've booked Mastiff to have a history of knocking an opponent out of the tournament. If they were willing to let Seven go on, then they should've not done the KO spot with Conners at all. Of course, that kind of thing is tough to foresee, and is all 100% hindsight.

    Still a fun match, especially in the beginning. Things like that just take me away from it a little.

    Rampage Brown debuts

    The other noteworthy happening on this week's episode is the debut of Rampage Brown, a highly-touted British wrestler who apparently was part of the WWE developmental system a decade ago. He looks really good and, for a lack of a better comparison, feels like the NXT UK version of Karrion Kross, just a little more no-nonsense. As a guy who hasn't seen his previous work in the British scene, I can't wait to see him feud with guys like WALTER and Ilja Dragunov. 

    (Speaking of which, both men are still nowhere to be found two weeks after their huge match. Nary a peep. I see we're still not giving everyone time on the show.)

    NXT UK 11/12/20 Final Grade: B+

    Photo from WWE

    *****

    Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor-in-Chief of Smark Henry and one of the four hosts of the Wrestling-Wrestling Podcast. He gets by in this hard knock life through working in advertising. Smark Henry was his and Stan Sy's original vision of a watering hole for local wrestling fans. He roots for the undersized guys who hit hard, and he likes taking your wrestling questions over on his Curiouscat account.

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    Item Reviewed: NXT in the UK (11/12/20): Mastiff Said Knock You Out Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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