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    Saturday, June 5, 2021

    NXT in the UK (6/3/21): We Need Another Tournament

    Hello NXT UK fans, I'm back after missing last week. It's another solid episode from the British European brand, but I feel like there's a little something missing.

    Maybe it's time we do the United Kingdom Championship tournament again

    Don't get me wrong: NXT UK does its storylines decently—at worst. It's not too hard to get invested in its deep midcard if nice, well-thought-out stories are your cup of tea in wrestling. It's just that for me, personally, I'm looking for a bigger reason for everyone to be competing on the brand. And while WALTER is finally coming back to it after a couple of months gone, it largely feels like the men are fucking around pointlessly.

    That's why in the middle of Ilja Dragunov vs. Noam Dar, a solid match for what it is, I had a sudden thought that it was probably a good time as any to bring back the United Kingdom Championship tournament.

    For those who don't remember, the UK Championship tournament was their big British/European show to feature a lot of the guys across the pond before NXT UK (the TV show) debuted. It was the only way to get the guys any WWE airtime, and with the weekly show there's not really any reason to go back to it.

    But when you think about it, there is a good reason, and that's for the guys to have something to do while WALTER takes his arguably well-deserved two-month breaks between title defenses. If I'm a guy on the NXT UK roster, my main goal should be gunning for the biggest championship, even if the NXT UK Heritage Cup is also there (and was established to give the boys something else to do). Put up the tournament around this time every year and you don't have to spend too much effort fleshing out midcard feuds and stories that not everyone is going to sink their teeth into anyway, compared to a tournament for a UK Championship title shot.

    That also gives WALTER (or whoever the champion is) a real reason to take a break, because at least he'll be justified in sitting in the back watching his competition beat each other up.

    I don't know. I just want more meat to bangers we're getting like Dragunov/Dar and Joe Coffey vs. Rampage Brown, because as it is, I don't think they're maximizing the creative and the hype potential NXT UK can bring to wrestling fans. For their part, the women at least have a more consistent championship defense schedule, and I feel that their division has a lot more urgency when it comes to chasing the title.

    I get that not every weekly episode can be huge, but at least try to make them more must-watch? You owe it to the guys busting their ass in the ring.

    NXT UK 6/3/21 Grade: A-

    Bits and pieces

    • The main reason why I even thought about resurrecting the UK Championship Tournament is that I find it incredibly weird to see Ilja Dragunov meander around in these midcard angles that... don't seem to do much to get him over. They haven't really fleshed out his self-control issues in a compelling way, so maybe it's time to put him back in the championship scene.
    • It's kind of sad to see SUBCULTURE be kind of a jobber stable—yes, I'm fully aware that SUBCULTURE's only had three matches (one for each) and only Mark Andrews has won his. But if you're going to repackage these guys into something catchy, maybe they deserve to start off with solid wins?
    • If we had a tournament, Nathan Frazer wouldn't have to be shuffling around in these random stories like a Season Mode character in Here Comes the Pain.
    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 (6/3/21): We Need Another Tournament Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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