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    Sunday, January 10, 2021

    NXT in the UK (1/7/21): CarpenterMania

    Ben Carter and Jordan Devlin on WWE NXT UK

    If you were wondering where the NXT UK review column has been over the holidays, it took a leave the same time the show did. Hey, don't blame me if the brand decides to show 2020 highlights for two weeks. Anyway, you'd think they'd come back with a bang, but even with hotshot signee Ben Carter debuting, it's an episode that doesn't offer too much outside of a reset.


    As already mentioned, the star of this week's episode is Ben Carpenter Carter, arguably WWE's only steal from AEW in this current war between wrestling companies. They also likely wouldn't have had him if it weren't for the fact that he could only legitimately work in the UK, so enjoy him while you've got him.

    And the right place for him to be in right now is NXT UK. When Carter was lighting up crowds in AEW Dark and Dynamite (that one time), it wasn't as a big name. There's something to the young Brit, something that could be honed in the Performance Center, whether in the UK or stateside; push him too soon and there'll be backlash. In a way, this was the better choice instead of languishing on Dark.

    Carter goes on to show us why he got signed by having a good main event with Jordan Devlin for the Cruiserweight Championship. He even shows a tiny bit of personality on the Supernova Sessions with Noam Dar. This guy could be big for the brand, putting it on the map before moving on up to WWE's bigger shows (or anywhere else, if that's what he wants).

    If anything, this just serves as the justification for all the hype surrounding him. If you don't know why people keep talking about Ben Carter, you can find out here—but a fair bit of warning: don't expect the entire world to be handed to you after seeing this match. He's good enough, but this is clearly just the beginning.

    A quick note on Jinny vs. Piper Niven

    In the show's opening match, Jinny beats Piper Niven with a little help from new boytoy Joseph Conners to become the new #1 contender to the NXT UK Women's Championship. Just a couple of things: the finish, where Conners just trips Niven up for Jinny to win via rollup, was so typical-WWE bad that it had no place in a brand so thoughtfully-booked as NXT UK—and second, does this mean KLR is turning face?

    Guess we'll have to stick around to find out.

    NXT UK 1/7/21 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 (1/7/21): CarpenterMania Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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