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    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    NXT in the UK (3/4/21): Kay Lee Ray Is The Final Boss

    Meiko Satomura and Kay Lee Ray on WWE NXT UK

    This week on NXT UK, not even a joshi legend can stop the unnatural Scottish force that is Kay Lee Ray.

    Who can beat Kay Lee Ray?

    When Meiko Satomura got signed to NXT UK, I thought this was going to be it for Kay Lee Ray. KLR was good, but surely she's not yet above the level of a literal joshi legend. If her contemporaries couldn't beat her one-on-one, it probably meant it was going to take someone better than her, right?

    Boy, was I wrong. Were we all wrong.

    After a hard-fought 20-minute match, KLR stands tall over Meiko-san, assuming her true role as the final boss of the NXT UK women's division—and clarifying that Meiko's role was to put over young female talent and helping them be even more badass than they already are.

    One does have to wonder, though: should KLR have dropped the title? Something tells me it would've been the right thing to do, just to shake up the scene and give her a new arc. As it stands, she's more of a tweener now so as to open a new set of challengers, but she's done all there is to do—she's successfully defended against the top talent, and if she is in line for an eventual move to the States, she could use a little more character development. A small hero's journey would've done well for both KLR and Meiko, even if it seems predictable that the newly arrived joshi legend would beat the incumbent champion. Let the story play out.

    I don't know where the women's division goes from here. Since no one's able to beat Kay Lee Ray in a singles match, the only way she'll drop it is if the odds are stacked, which may be happening sooner or later with the way everyone in the division was watching the match. Then again, what if they just won't take the title off her (while NXT UK can't have a Takeover)? If somebody like Meiko Satomura wasn't even deserving enough to become champion, they're probably not rushing to crown someone new. But of course, we all know that's going to end up in a stagnant division, so chances are they're planning it—we just don't know how it's going to go down.

    NXT UK 3/4/21 Grade: A

    Bits and pieces

    • Still digging the Ilja Dragunov stuff, and especially enjoyed the character work with Sam Gradwell egging him on. My only thing now is that I feel like I need to see an update on this story every week—if you leave it off the show for even one episode, you waste a lot of momentum. It's a must-watch program.
    • If you missed Kenny Williams, here he is... and what a tag match. Great stuff, even if it was them trying to steal the show.
    • Zen master Tyler Bate is great. It's solidly written as well, not making the whole Zen thing a pacifist joke.
    • They managed to fit in a lot of character development in this episode, proving that sometimes, all you need is one hour for a wrestling show.


    Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor-in-Chief of Smark Henry and one of the three 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 (3/4/21): Kay Lee Ray Is The Final Boss Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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