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    Saturday, October 31, 2020

    NXT in the UK (10/29/20): A Main Event You've Got To Watch

    WALTER and Ilja Dragunov on WWE NXT UK

    Ladies and gents, welcome to another edition of NXT in the UK—this week, the NXT UK Heritage Cup Tournament takes a breather for one hell of a match. I usually reserve the show grades for the end of the review, but I should tell you now: if you haven't seen NXT UK since it came back last month, this week's episode is a really, really great time to catch the show, and it's all because of the hellacious main event.

    A murder in London

    Last week on the Wrestling-Wrestling Podcast's conversation with Filipino-British wrestler Tengu, he casually mentioned that modern British wrestling takes a lot of influence from Japanese strong style. If you'd been following the scene even as a casual observer, you'd already know that. This United Kingdom Championship match between WALTER and Ilja Dragunov, however, hammers you on the head with it—in a very, very good way.

    Dave Meltzer already gave this match five stars, and it's not hard to see why. There are no pleasantries, no formalities, no good sportsmanship exchanged in this match. It's an all-out war with WALTER and Dragunov absolutely destroying each other using nothing but their bodies, and it's nothing short of totally awesome. You need to watch this match, especially if you don't already know that pro wrestling can be like this.

    I'm doubly glad that there weren't any traces of the WWE style. Sometimes, you just need to let people go at it in the way they know best, and what resulted was something unique, if not uncommon in the WWE's slate of programming.

    Going by this match and the Heritage Cup tournament, it seems that the people running NXT UK have figured out that the show really needs to carve its own niche by—surprise!—just doing its own thing, the way they want to do it. While for the most part, it still feels like WWE, it doesn't necessarily feel like the rest of the family. If the NXT does expand to other regions around the world, I hope they still go with this strategy.

    As for where WALTER and Dragunov go from here, while I did say we could use a new UK champ, WALTER made such a great case for continuing to stick with him that I've now changed my mind on it. I don't know who else the system will feed him, but he can be champ for as long as he wants if he goes to town on guys the way he did this week. Dragunov, on the other hand, never looked bad in the loss for a second, so maybe we could expect to see him stay in the championship picture.

    Jordan Devlin returns

    Jordan Devlin, the actual NXT Cruiserweight Champion, is back. He's packed on some muscle during his downtime, which made me wonder if he's still within the 205-lb. limit, but he's not very tall so he should pass. He worked a slower style against Levi Muir, which was nice to see; I never really dug his wrestling-for-the-pop style when he was trying to be a heel. Granted, he's still flying around, but it's now with a deliberateness I can get behind.

    The Hunt turns on Webster and Andrews

    Told you it wasn't Mark Andrews. The Hunt turns on the two, as there are apparently too many face teams in the NXT UK tag team division. I've got no clue what Pretty Deadly was doing in that segment, though.

    NXT UK 10/29/20 Final Grade: A

    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 (10/29/20): A Main Event You've Got To Watch Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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