Ilja Dragunov and Noam Dar Brawled
The segment started off with Sid Scala welcoming viewers back to NXT UK before being interrupted by Dragunov, who said he's been waiting for a fight these past six months while "isolated." That brought out Dar and the two brawled to set up the night's main event. They kept things short and sweet as this segment accomplished exactly what it needed to. By the way, the new intro video for the show looks great and so does the closed set they're currently taping at.
Bianca Belair def. Billie Kay
I'm still stunned that Zelina Vega is seemingly getting the next shot at the Raw Women's Championship and not Belair, who has gone undefeated in singles competition since arriving on Raw in April. What gives? I can understand them wanting to build to Asuka vs. Belair, but if Vega as an option at a pay-per-view, then I'd rather they get to Asuka vs. Belair now, even if Belair doesn't win. Nonetheless, this was a perfectly fine match that I honestly expected to be worse because Kay isn't typically great on her own. To her credit, though, she held her own here and Belair was impressive as always.
AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR def. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) (Non-Title)
FTR previously said they would give Jurassic Express a title shot on next week's episode if they won here, so I appreciated that there were actual stakes. It also made the nearfalls more suspenseful throughout and and made this feel less like an exhibition for FTR and more like a competitive contest. This was an awesome opener and I loved how FTR had to cheat to win, showing that Jurassic Express had their number and had a legitimate chance of winning. I'd definitely be down for an eventual rematch.
NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai def. Shotzi Blackheart (Non-Title)
I was worried this would be booked as a glorified squash for Shirai, but it was actually the exact opposite. Blackheart not only scored plenty of offense but also came close to winning on a few occasions. She's already had several strong showings, but this was easily her best to date. Seriously, this was stellar stuff from both women and an excellent way of kicking off of the night. Blackheart is going places and Shirai continues to kill it.