Ilja Dragunov def. Tyson T-Bone
Dragunov shockingly lost to Kassius Ohno two weeks ago on NXT UK, so I liked that he showed more aggression than usual in this outing. In other words, T-Bone never stood a chance. Dragunov mostly dominated T-Bone and got all of his offense in before putting him away in decisive fashion. I'm curious if Dragunov will eventually avenge his loss to Ohno or if it was merely a one-off.
Joseph Conners def. Oliver Carter
Carter's NXT UK debut has been hyped up for a few weeks now, but I would have waited until after TakeOver this weekend to have him wrestle his first match for the brand. He had a decent performance but didn't blow me away in any way. Worse yet, he lost to Joseph Conners of all people, who has been a jobber to the stars for some time now. It's going to be difficult for Carter to rebound from this.
Jordan Devlin def. Kenny Williams
Williams has never been positioned as an important player in NXT UK, so although it was obvious that he was losing here, he put up a hell of a fight against one of my favorites on the brand. Devlin is always just so crisp in everything he does and the confidence and charisma he exudes in his matches make him feel like a star. This could have easily been a glorified squash win for Devlin, but it was way more competitive than I expected in a good way. Here's hoping Devlin maintains momentum this time around.
NXT UK Tag Team Champions The Grizzled Young Veterans, Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews, and Gallus Brawled
I really thought the video package for WALTER vs. Tyler Bate at TakeOver: Cardiff would end the episode, so this brawl was a pleasant surprise. Zack Gibson spoke briefly before Webster and Andrews came out and got physical with the tag champs. Gallus' Mark Coffey and Wolfgang got involved as well and all hell proceeded to break loose. It was a very simple yet effective segment in hyping up the tag team title three-way for TakeOver on Saturday.
Most of the matches on the TakeOver: Cardiff card were hyped up fairly well, but I can't be the only one who feels like there is minimal buzz surrounding the show going into it. I realize AEW All Out is that same day, but it's not like they'll be airing simultaneously. I always enjoy the product and I'm looking forward to the event, but they need to do a better job of getting people talking about it. Nonetheless, this was a perfectly solid show with an excellent main event, a fun brawl, a short squash, and an oddly-handled debut.
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