Sunday, September 25, 2022

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Emilia McKenzie Finds Her Killer Instinct; Sarray Seeks An Answer

Welcome to another edition of NXT UK!

This week, NXT 2.0 superstar Fallon Henley gets her second match on the UK Brand after a bizarre run-in with the even more bizarre Isla Dawn.

In a pre-match interview, Henley reflects on her big win against Emilia McKenzie, who we will see later, giving props to her opponent. Fallon comments on how ‘weird’ Isla Dawn is and promises an interesting match.

Dawn makes her way out first, talking to the things only she can see, with Henley following after. The trepidation is on her face just by the mere presence of Dawn but she prepares to square up anyway.

Dawn seems fascinated by her opponent, at one point reaching to stroke Henley’s face before she is dodged and instead tries to pull out some of her hair. This fires up Henley who uses some swift kicks to retaliate and shows some strength by lifting Dawn in the air after being trapped in a headlock. Henley riles up the crowd before sliding out the ring and striking a hung up Dawn with a forearm.

Back in the ring, Henley stays in control until a missed tackle in the corner gives the slippery Dawn the upper hand. A high knee leads to a snapmare and an ecstatic Dawn relishes in the pain she is inflicting until Henley kicks out at two. This causes some frustration and it gives Henley the window she needs to get some space and manages to get a two count of her own following a sunset flip.

Dawn delivers a hard knee to the midsection and locks in a submission hold which Henley breaks by backing her into a corner. Now with the momentum, Henley hits her own comeback and rock Dawn with a running facebuster but after being caught in the ropes, Henley is stunned by a roundhouse kick before being finished off by Dawn’s half suplex.

After the match, another NXT 2.0 superstar making waves is asked about her visit to the UK. Sarray begins to describe her experience when she catches sight of NXT UK Women’s Champion, Meiko Satomura, passing by. Sarray, like myself, wants an answer to her request for a match, commenting that Meiko did not reply when she asked two weeks ago. Satomura considers her challenger before agreeing, issuing a friendly warning for Sarray to come prepared.

In the spirit of issuing challenges, we see a reminder of Amale’s win over Stevie Turner last week and Amale is asked about her thoughts on Blair Davenport’s guest spot on commentary. Amale chooses to respond to her detractor directly, immediately finding Davenport and warning her that she will hold her anger to take out on Davenport in the ring.

Credit: WWE.com

We head into our second women’s match of the night, McKenzie vs Nina Samuels. The two have clashed before with McKenzie getting the win but can our favourite journalist get revenge. This match seems to follow their confrontation two weeks ago when Samuels tried to get a scoop on Sarray vs Satomura and was told to back off by McKenzie.

As we wrap up McKenzie’s entrance, we hear commentary mention how Satomura seems to have expressed how she is unimpressed with McKenzie’s progress lately. Will a win tonight put her in good favour?

The match does well to demonstrate Samuels and her ‘killer instinct’ that seems to be what McKenzie has been missing. Samuels uses hair pulls, mat slams and even chokes McKenzie on the ropes who seems stuck on the back pedal for the first part of the match. It’s not until Samuels sits her opponent on the top rope and slaps her, does something change with McKenzie.

Swiftly dodging a high kick, an enraged McKenzie pummels Samuels with elbows and sends her down to the floor before helping her back in the ring by the hair. Inside the ring, she tosses her around with some hair pulls of her own. A beautiful swinging neck breaker gets her a two count so she aims for her spear that Samuels dodges and McKenzie goes into the turnbuckle.

After kicking out of two and stunning Samuels, McKenzie issues a slap of her own which surprises her opponent. A german suplex and a striking spear later and McKenzie gets herself back in the win column.

Authors’ Take –

I admittedly do not keep up with NXT 2.0 as much as I should and I rarely watch NXT LvL Up so I was not too familiar with Fallon Henley but I’ve really enjoyed her work here in NXT UK. This is why the cross brand promotion works because it will hopefully introduce more people over to the NXT UK stars, but WWE needs to promote these cross band trips just a little more.

It’s always great to see Isla Dawn and even better to see her continue to win since she returned, I just wonder where they go with her. She isn’t going after the title anytime soon and I am not sure if this will be a short program with Henley or it’s already over after this match.

The most interesting take away I took from the Samuels/McKenzie match was how commentary kept pushing this notion that Emilia is not living up to Satomura’s expectations and that she is perhaps ‘too nice’ for this business. It makes me wonder if it will perhaps be Satomura that turns on McKenzie or if it will be a heel McKenzie? When she faced Henley we saw a mean streak coming out of her and she definitely showed some jealousy over Sarray but this week something was different. McKenzie seemed hesitant with her attacks on Samuels which translated in the ring to them being quite slow in my opinion and it wasn’t the style we’ve come to expect from McKenzie.

The coming weeks will reveal more for sure, whatever route this is going down for Emilia is one I am interested to see.

Good to see some follow-up on Sarray’s challenge to Meiko, I am very excited to see them compete. Side note: Are WWE dropping the transformation aspect of Sarray’s character? I thought backstage she stayed in her school girl-esque look?

Who are you rooting for in Satomura vs Sarray? Let me know in the comments!

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