NXT UK Power Rankings: The Dawn of Isla?

Turkey in the kitchen. Football in Detroit and Dallas and professional wrestling in the BT Sport Studio. Just a few of the time-honored traditions on Thanksgiving. Alright, the last one may not be time-honored, yet, but it was a nice way to follow dessert. While your family was gossiping about your cousin’s new significant other the roster of NXT UK was settling their differences in the ring. Sadly for them they don’t celebrate the day over there so they’re not getting holiday pay but they came to work anyway so let’s rank their performances! 

Honorable Mention: Xia Brookside: Her “Daddy” was actually back on TV for the first time since I’ve been watching NXT U.K. when he allowed Sid Scala to use his discretion to make the main event a Heritage Cup match. We didn’t hear him talk about Xia but the baby Brookside claimed Sid “promised” he’d “sort it out” to get her her title match despite knowing that he doesn’t want her on the “wall with the nice shiny champions” (which is an actual wall behind Scala in the office with pictures of everyone to have held a title in NXT U.K.) While Scala still didn’t think she deserved the match he reluctantly gave her her shot at Satomura and the championship; next week. Brookside being Brookside complained about it being so soon and wanting time to train but Scala said it’s next week or never and Xia huffed and puffed but agreed. She’s becoming one of the most easily identifiable but entertaining characters on the brand and I hope we get more of her after what I assume will be Meiko making her miserable next week. 

5: Isla Dawn: After stealing Aleah James’ “hair ribbon” last week Isla Dawn came out to face her. To my surprise and disappointment Dawn got the win in a match where James wasn’t allowed to show much. A couple of diving shoulder blocks and a crossbody was about all James could muster before Dawn put her away with her spinning TKO type side-slam for the win. While commentary talked up Dawn’s powers with Nigel mentioning that Kay Lee Ray’s title run came to an end two weeks after Dawn put a hex on her Dawn actually pulled an unexpected move and gave James her hair ribbon back after beating her. So I guess once Dawn isn’t a thief, just a Borrower like a Mary Norton character.M

4:Jinny: We learned during the opening contest that Dani Luna was nowhere to be found and during her scheduled match with Angel Hayes Jinny revealed she was the one to take out Luna and that we won’t be seeing Luna for a long time. The Fashionista added that her business relationship with Joseph Conners is now over and she is going to get her winning streak back on track. She then took Luna’s place and made quick work of Hayes nailing the Makeover for the first win in what she hopes will be a new streak of them. 

3: Jordan Devlin: The Irish Ace started the show hot in a fun clash with Mark Andrews. Despite Andrews typical high flying, risk-taking style that saw him hit a poison rana inside followed by a Code Red for 2, a stundog millionaire, a shooting star press attempt (that Devlin got the knees up for) and a middle rope moonsault from the corner to Devlin outside Jordan still got the win landing a Devlin’s Side Suplex tossing Andrews nearly half-way across the ring for the 3. Commentary mentioned that Andrews is yet another name from the original NXT U.K. roster to fall to Devlin so it appears we’re going with the story of him taking down everyone who was in the initial tournament with him to show he’s the true Ace of the brand. 


2: Rampage Brown: We got a promo from Dragunov again for their upcoming clash that was pretty standard fare where he mentioned Rampage showing him respect despite the shot by standing face to face with him and him being a symbol for people and showing people that he’d fight like there was no tomorrow. Rampage shined here though. Right off the bat he asserted his dominance adjusting his own mic and telling the crew to get rid of the light. He said “What are you gonna ask me about my feelings? Who cares?” before launching into a tirade about how he was the most respected competitor ever signed to the brand but that respect doesn’t put food on his table like the title will. That respect means nothing without the belt. He gave WWE Shop a great shirt idea when he said “Rampage Brown ain’t messin’ around” before ripping off his mini-microphone and talking right into it saying “Ilja, I’m gonna smash your face in. I’m gonna take your title. Then I’ll have all your respect.” Rampage came across as such a badass here and while I don’t want him to dethrone Dragunov yet I’d like him to push him to his limit and maybe take Ilja out of action for a little while in the process. 

1: Noam Dar: The Scottish Supernova successfully defended his Heritage Cup for the first time in a win over “The Thunderstorm” Sam Gradwell. Like poor Angel Hayes earlier in the night Dar had his match tweaked at the last minute. But unlike Hayes his only change was that his Heritage Cup was on the line. Despite that the U.K.’s resident bookie Sha Samuels still had Dar as a 2:1 favorite and if you bet on the Scottish Supernova you walked home with heavier pockets after Dark forced Gradwell to tap to a champagne super kneebar in the 4th round. If you bet the live line after round 1 I’m sure the odds would have shifted when Gradwell opened the contest with a JML Driver for the first fall. Dar then hit a Nova Roller in round 2 to even the score before spending all of round 3 working over Gradwell’s knee including ripping at the brace and locking in a champagne superkneebar that Gradwell was saved by the bell from. Give Sha Samuels the assist here too as he and his flask slammed Gradwell’s knee into the apron while Dar had the ref distracted prior to the finish in round 4. Dar actually picked up 2 wins over Gradwell this week after we saw he and Samuels manage to keep their party going earlier this week despite Gradwell trying to break it up. They even convinced the camera crew to join. Dar & Samuels taped over the names of the previous Heritage Cup holders before their match and after it it’s apparent that we may not see that tape removed for quite a while. 

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