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    Saturday, October 17, 2020

    NXT in the UK (10/15/20): D&D (Dunne and Dragunov)

    Ilja Dragunov and WALTER on WWE NXT UK

    As you probably already know, NXT UK is a one-hour show, which means storylines have to be rotated every other week just so everyone can have as much airtime as possible. You didn't ask me, but this is actually the best setup for a wrestling show—it keeps everyone fresh and unsaturated.

    That doesn't mean there aren't any downsides to it. One such con is that the people on top of the roster don't get featured every week when they should feel like the focal point of the show. In NXT UK's case, it should be the United Kingdom Champion WALTER and whoever he's feuding with; they shouldn't make us forget even for a week that this is the top title on the card. Same goes for Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray.

    This is why it's a good thing they brought it right back to that with a huge tag team main event this week featuring Imperium and the rag-tag team of #1 contender Ilja Dragunov and Pete Dunne. 

    One thing they absolutely have to do after this match: if neither man ever gets to take the UK title off WALTER, they should be put in a tag team. Dragunov and Dunne both have the same nonstop energy that crowds are likely to eat up and are worth building an entire tag team division around. WALTER and Wolfe play really good immobile hosses in this main event banger that leans more toward puroresu (as Nigel McGuinness alludes to on commentary) than British wrestling.

    Dragunov gets to pin WALTER in this match, which is a rare feat in NXT UK's short history—and rightfully so to keep the feud going some more heading into their huge United Kingdom Championship match in two weeks. One could argue that Wolfe could've eaten the pin instead, but I like this move as it does more to build some interesting intrigue. Going by infamous wrestling logic, this likely means Der Ringgeneral will be retaining, but you'd be forgiven for casting a little doubt on that result.

    Dave Mastiff dominates his bracket

    As I called for in last week's review, I needed someone to buck the trend of Heritage Cup Tournament matches being closely-contested bouts, and I wanted it to be "Bomber" Dave Mastiff. Fortunately, my prediction came true as he knocked Joseph Conners the fuck out in a third-round stoppage. It wasn't the prettiest KO ever (Conners didn't sell it as clean as it could've been) but it worked for realism.

    I still want Mastiff to win this whole thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were someone like Noam Dar or Trent Seven.

    A note on Jordan Devlin

    Four weeks into NXT UK's relaunch, we finally hear from the lineal NXT Cruiserweight Champion. If you haven't seen this video package yet, you owe it to yourself to watch this here:

    The best promos come from a real place, and what could be realer than Jordan Devlin noticing that they stopped calling Santos Escobar the "interim" NXT Cruiserweight Champion? It anchors Devlin's rage in clear logic, and while I'm not sure how they're going to deal with this just yet (hint: just have Devlin defend his title on NXT UK, maybe after the Heritage Cup is crowned) it already sets the table well for his plight.

    Leave it to NXT to tell a story like this. I don't like Devlin that much, but I'm now interested in how he handles the usurper.

    NXT UK 10/15/20 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 (10/15/20): D&D (Dunne and Dragunov) Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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