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    Saturday, April 10, 2021

    NXT in the UK (4/8/21): HOSS FIGHT

    WALTER and Rampage Brown in WWE NXT UK


    This week, NXT UK got into the WrestleMania festivities with NXT UK Prelude, and it was a damn great show.

    Forever champion

    Although I've wanted many people to beat him over the course of his two-year reign, I'm now convinced that United Kingdom Champion WALTER should never, ever lose. NXT should just keep finding new matchups for him to dominate—people should step up to the plate, fight their hardest, and come up short. WALTER is better Brock Lesnar, because he doesn't present himself as obnoxiously invulnerable as Lesnar does.


    When he arrived in NXT UK, I thought Rampage Brown was going to be the guy to finally take the title off WALTER. But after a quick, somewhat rushed buildup to this title match, I knew the odds were very slim. And after Brown lost the best opportunity anyone's got for the UK title (after people just saw WALTER compete in the US), I finally realized they're saving that first WALTER loss for an NXT UK Takeover event, whenever that is. 

    If you needed any more convincing that the Japanese style reigns supreme, this is the match to watch. Nigel McGuinness once again makes references to puroresu, this time to the King's Road style of the '80s and '90s. It's an apt reference, as both guys hoss it out and kick out of each other's big moves out of sheer fighting spirit. So far, only WALTER matches (and a few others in the same vein, like Timothy Thatcher) manage to capture the spirit of the struggle in pro wrestling, dwarfing everyone else. This 17-minute title match makes Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly's unsanctioned match look like children in the playground.

    NXT UK right now is the best it's ever been—it's in touch with both the past and the present of British wrestling, reinforcing the brand's feel as a truly regional variant of pro wrestling. The Heritage Cup Championship represents the best of old Britwres, while the United Kingdom Championship waves the banner of modern Japanese-inspired British and European wrestling. You cannot go wrong with watching this show every week.

    NXT UK 4/8/21 Grade: A+


    Bits and pieces

    • That's the first time I've ever seen anyone use the Johnny Saint sequence to score a pinfall. It's a great little callback for old British catch wrestling fans.
    • It looks like Tyler Bate is on his way to winning the Heritage Cup Championship from A-Kid. I'm all for this.
    • Meiko vs. Kay Lee Ray should've happened on this show.
    • Why did it take one week for Amir Jordan to storm through the offices and look for Kenny Williams? Shouldn't he have been upset after the turn last week?
    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 (4/8/21): HOSS FIGHT Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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