I have mixed emotions writing this as the last bastion of pandemic era wrestling comes to a close this week. This is our final episode of NXT UK without fans. Real life auidence members return next week for Dragnuov’s first NXT UK title defense. Part of me will miss that WWE finally nailed down the sound of a proper canned crowd with the last string of fan-less UK shows. But with the barn burners this brand has put out lately and the way they picked up the torch sat down by NXT 1.0 they deserve it. That said let’s get to this week’s rankings.
Honorable Mention: A-Kid and Ilja Dragunov: They both had video packages tonight to hype up their meeting next week. A-Kid has the line of the two when he said “Precision beats power and timing beats speed” and said he has no option but to tap Ilja next week.
5: Blair Davenport: If you can bully your boss and get away with it you get a spot on the list. Davenport told the camera person she was barred from competing not having meetings as she entered Sid Scala’s office to the news she was reinstated at the request of Stevie Turner who she’ll meet next week.
4: Sam Gradwell: Gradwell picked a fight with Subculture recently and followed it up by winning said fight. Gradwell ate a 619 to the ribs, double stomp to the back, stundog millionaire and corner moonsault to the outside and still got the win when he caught Mark Andrews coming off the top rope and landed his fireman’s carry driver for the win.
3: Jinny: The Fashionista kicked out of an Angel’s Wings from Emilia McKenzie and dispatched of Meiko Satomura’s top student with a whip-out rolling heel kick for the 3. This was surprising as all signs seemed pointed towards Davenport and McKenzie as Satomura’s next 2 challengers. Yet Jinny challenged Satomura who came down to ringside to negate Joseph Conners and Satomura held her title high seemingly accepting.
2: Wolfgang: Wolfgang will not be challenging for the Cup. But he put up a valiant effort in trying to get that honor. This final was exactly why I love tournaments. Wolfgang carried his bum shoulder into this match and the not so grizzled young veteran Noam Dar did all that he could to capitalize on it. After Dar put Wolfgang in a 1-0 hole to end the 2nd round Wolfgang responded immediately hitting a spear as soon as the bell rang to bring the match to 1 fall each just 5 seconds into the third round. He kicked out of 2 running corner kicks and a sliding forearm in the 5th round and broke a kneebar attempt in the same series. He was *holding fingers so close together you couldn’t slip a single sheet of paper between them* this close to the win in the penultimate round as he countered a Nova Roller into a spear but covered Dar with just 2 seconds left. In the final round Wolfgang came out strong and ate shot after shot including a kick to the back of the head for just a 1 count. After eating a Nova Roller and sitting up Nigel McGuinness took a page from PCO’s book and yelled “Wolfgang is inhuman!” But the eldest Gallus member proved him wrong by eating one last Nova Roller for the loss. Wolfgang is somebody I thought was an absolute nobody before this tournament but he showed his worth over the course of his matches. Kudos to him.
1: Noam Dar: I’m still surprised this wasn’t Teoman. I still wish this was Kenny Williams. Yet Noam Dar entertained the hell out of me with his performance tonight. Winning any tournament takes a lot of skill and a little luck and Dar had both tonight. In the first round he was saved as the bell rang while he was in a position to be powerbombed by Wolfgang. In round 2 Dar picked up the first fall when a completely justified Jordan Devlin came out to attack Gallus at ringside in revenge for their recent spats and Dar took advantage hitting a forearm to the back of the head and rolling up Wolfgang with a handful of tights for the 3. He nearly got the win in the 4th round as he dodged a Wolfgang spear attempt sending him into the barricade but Wolfgang showed he’s a student of Miss Bliss as he was saved by the bell. Ultimately Dar pulled out the W with a double stomp to a trapped Wolfgang’s leg and back to back Nova Rollers (for 3 total in the match) to win the #1 Contender’s tournament and get his crack at the (Heritage) Cup.