Trent Seven Confronted NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin
Devlin was boasting about being a dominant Cruiserweight champ when he was interrupted by Seven, who we haven't seen since he lost to A-Kid in the finals of the Heritage Cup Tournament two months ago. He was teasing a change and I guess dropping weight to chase the Cruiserweight title will be it. According to Wikipedia, he's 216 pounds, so it's definitely believable. He's already feuded/faced most of the NXT UK roster and thus I love the idea of a Devlin vs. Seven program. This was a strong segment.
Ben Carter def. Sam Gradwell
Gradwell is basically a heel Jack Starz in that he's essentially served as a gatekeeper for NXT UK since his return. He bored me to tears initially, but he's slowly growing on me and solid showings like the one he had here will help along with the promos he continues to cut beforehand. He has yet to win a single match, but I assume the fact he's a trash-talker that can't back his trash-talking is what they're going for. This was a hell of a sprint from both guys and it gave Carter his first win on the brand.
Sha Samuels def. Josh Morrell
Samuels stood out in his debut against Dave Mastiff and once again impressed me here. He's a hard-hitting competitor and is a talented talker to boot. This was a standard squash that allowed him to shine and pick up his first win in NXT UK in dominant fashion. I'd like to know a bit more about him, but at least he's off to a good start. The brand should be building up new stars at this point, so the rise of guys like Samuels and Carter is encouraging.
Pretty Deadly def. Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster, Ashton Smith & Oliver Carter, and The Hunt in an NXT UK Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Elimination Match
The elimination stipulation definitely added to my enjoyment of this outing in addition to the stakes with the winners earning a future tag title shot. It started off slow, but once they picked up the pace, this turned into a very fun main event. I was surprised to see The Hunt get eliminated first, and despite the best efforts of Andrews and Webster, Eddie Dennis interfered behind the referee's back and aided Pretty Deadly to victory. I'm still not sold on Pretty Deadly as legitimate threats to the tag titles, but there's no denying that they've been all over the show since the relaunch. Their matches are usually decent, but they need to showcase their serious side more often.
This edition of NXT UK continued the trend of above-average shows, which was pleasantly surprising. The Fatal 4-Way tag team elimination match was built up as a big deal and it was enjoyable. The rest of the episode was entertaining as well with Devlin and Seven kicking off their rivalry and Carter and Samuels scoring key victories. I'm glad they're finally building up a few fresh faces and making these shows more worthwhile from start to finish as opposed to just the main event.