Kay Lee Ray and Jinny def. Dani Luna and Piper Niven
Ray and Jinny made for a nice team while Luna and Niven also worked well together. The match wasn't anything too special and definitely deserved more time, but it was solid for what it was. It's great Ray is being booked strong as champion, but I do question Niven suffering another significant loss. I have no clue how you get her back to title contention if she keeps losing.
Xia Brookside def. Amale
I couldn't believe that this marked Brookside's first televised NXT UK match since October. Apparently her loss to Ray was the last time she was on the show, so it's good to see her back. As I've said before, she has a ton of raw potential and can be a real breakout babyface with more seasoning. The keyword there is "seasoning" because this was somewhat rough at certain points. Thankfully, it was on the shorter side and Brookside won as she should have.
Ilja Dragunov Won a 20-Man NXT UK Championship No. 1 Contender's Battle Royal
As far as Battle Royals go, this was very well done on the whole. The crowd was into it from start to finish, several stories either kicked off or were furthered, and the final stretch was fantastic. I loved how everyone dumped Kassius Ohno from the get-go because of how he claims to be NXT UK's Wrestling Genius, Noam Dar eliminating Jordan Devlin should set them up to face each other for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, and Joe Coffey tossing out Trent Seven could spark something with them as well. Dragunov winning was the right call considering the roll he's been on lately. Unfortunately, he won't be getting his shot at TakeOver: Dublin after all due to the event being postponed to later in the year.
With a "rise of NXT UK" episode being advertised for next week, it looks like NXT UK has officially run out of fresh content to air for the weekly show going forward, which is a shame. I know it was only inevitable, but there's no timetable for when they can tape again and that's even worse. Unlike other promotions (IMPACT and Ring of Honor), I'm glad they edited out any mention of their upcoming canceled event (TakeOver: Dublin). The first two matches were decent, but Dragunov's victory in the Battle Royal was really what made it worth watching.
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