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    Saturday, April 3, 2021

    NXT in the UK (4/1/21): Friendship Over

    Kenny Williams, Amir Jordan, and Sam Stokely on WWE NXT UK

    This week on NXT UK, a tag team breaks up—but did it really have to?

    Kenny and Amir are no more

    One week before the big NXT UK Prelude episode—which will apparently still have WALTER on defending the title against Rampage Brown on technically the same 24 hours as WALTER defends the title against Tommaso Ciampa on NXT Takeover: Stand and Deliver—Pretty Deadly defends the NXT UK Tag Team Championship against Kenny Williams and Amir Jordan. And Kenny and Amir break up.

    If you've been watching NXT UK since it returned late last year, you already know that this was where this whole thing was headed. Kenny had been acting weird ever since the brand restarted, and poor Amir might have seen this coming when his buddy suddenly developed a preference for cheating. It had been escalating ever so slowly for months until it finally blew over in this week's title match, when Kenny blasts Amir with a tag title belt after the latter stops him from using it against their opponents in a convenient ref bump time. 

    The question really is, however, does anyone want this story?

    Kenny Williams is a great wrestler. He holds himself up pretty well whenever he had to wrestle in the cruiserweight division stateside. Amir Jordan can hang as well, or else he wouldn't be in the brand. What I'm just not sure of is how many people are truly invested in the breakup of a tag team that wasn't even prominent in NXT UK—while I think it's great that two midcarders can get a story like this in the stacked landscape of the brand, how many people are going to care about midcarders?

    I don't know. It's certainly better than nothing, especially when you're always fighting for TV time. Maybe what I don't like is the main event treatment of this particular angle, even if it is the formula for NXT UK and one-hour shows to rotate stories in the main event spot. I just don't think they were deserving of it being presented like the biggest deal in this episode, even when the match was good. Maybe if it were a team like Gallus, Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews, or Moustache Mountain, I probably wouldn't be making this much of a fuss about the main event spot. Maybe if Kenny and Amir were former tag team champions I'd care more about it.

    Of course, that's not to say that I wouldn't care completely. I've got full faith in the brand to deliver a strong blood feud between two former friends. Maybe that would be a feud deserving of the main event. Maybe I'm just a little bit of a conservative on some points—I just want them to close the show with WALTER.

    NXT UK 4/1/21 Grade: A-

    Bits and pieces

    • I already like Stevie Turner and it's the first time I'm seeing her wrestle. Not the biggest fan of the gimmick (it seems a little raw) but the joshi pedigree is always a good thing.
    • So as I mentioned earlier, I'm completely surprised that WALTER vs. Rampage Brown is still happening on the same day WALTER vs. Ciampa is happening. It's getting clearer to me that WALTER vs. Ciampa was a very last-minute addition to the Takeover spot.
    • Two women's segments happening in one hour? Business is picking up.
    • I want to like Teoman but his presentation isn't all in for me. He may need to turn up the psychosis a little more.
    Photo from WWE


    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 (4/1/21): Friendship Over Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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