The next contenders for the NXT UK tag team titles were decided this week, as we get a four-way elimination tag team main event.

Quick Results
Ben Carter pinned Sam Gradwell in 7:21 (***¼)
Sha Samuels submitted Josh Morrell in 5:13 (**½)
Lewis Howley & Sam Stoker beat Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster, Oliver Carter & Ashton Smith, and Wild Boar & Primate in an elimination match in 22:14 (***½)

We’re back at the BT Sport Studios in London, with Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness on the call…

But first, Jordan Devlin for a promo. He claims to live his life to a high standard and wants to beat that standard… only for Trent Seven to interrupt him. Trent blows smoke up Devlin’s rear, then offered himself as a challenge. He’s going to trim down to 205 and get a shot… and if this leads to Christian-style wacky vignettes, I am ALL IN. Trent punches out Devlin to end the segment… then stands on the title belt as he promised to enter the division.

Eddie Dennis is giving the Hunt a pep talk – he’s banned from ringside later tonight…

Kay Lee Ray vignette time. She’s still the longest reigning NXT UK women’s champion… and she wants the best in the world. Step forward Meiko Satomura, with footage from PROGRESS, wXw, the Mae Young Classic and Sendai Girls. Yep, that was the rumour, and it’s now confirmed. Meiko is in NXT UK, and I expect some FUN squashes en route to that match.

Backstage… Pretty Deadly are warming up…

Ben Carter vs. Sam Gradwell
Nine minutes into the show, finally, some wrestling! Gradwell cuts a promo on his way to the ring, mocking Carter’s “PE shorts,” reminding him he’s from Jersey… so he’s in the wrong place. Gradwell promises to send Carter back to Jersey in a Catamaran.

Gradwell takes Carter down in an armbar to start, then worked over the wrist, forcing Carter to flip free ahead of a dropkick. He shoots Gradwell into the ropes ahead of a dropkick, then floats over him in the corner as Carter nails a missile dropkick out of the corner, taking Gradwell onto the apron. Carter wanders towards Gradwell who pulls his hair, then clubbed him back down to the mat Stomps keep Carter down for a two-count, then tossed him back down as he had his way with the newcomer. Carter floats to his feet after being pulled up, and nearly wins with a roll-up, before Gradwell caught him once more.

A butterfly suplex gets Gradwell some two-counts, but he can’t keep Carter down… so he goes to a leveraged chinlock. Carter tries to fight up, but gets pulled down before he elbowed free. A jawbreaker gets him some distance, before Carter chopped his way ahead, following up with some forearms before a spinning enziguiri knocks Gradwell to the floor. Carter followed that up with a tope to the outside, then a tope con giro into the aisle, before throwing Gradwell back inside… where he returned with a springboard crossbody. Gradwell catches him and looked to switch the move… but Carter countered into a guillotine, before Gradwell pushed him away for a STO.

Some ground and pound followed, before Gradwell blocked a sunset flip… then ate a springboard backflip into an Eye of the Hurricane, as a frog splash gets Carter his maiden win. This was a really good TV match, with Gradwell a real gem on the mic – and more than handy in the ring (to the point where I want to see him used in a higher role) – while Carter was able to get more flashy stuff in here than on his debut. ***¼

The Welsh lads are warming up backstage… while Sha Samuels is chatting with Noam Dar. The one-time Ed Harvey is wrestling next. But first, Oliver Carter and Ashton Smith need to be shown warming up…

Josh Morrell vs. Sha Samuels
Josh has music and a (brief) entrance! Sha gets a proper entrance this time…

We open with a lock-up as Samuels took Morrell into the corner, roughing him up before Morrell went for a wristlock. Sha counters with one of his own, throwing in some shoulder charges before he began to club away on the Cumbrian. A whip looks to take Josh into the corner, but a floatover and an armdrag… earns him a clothesline. Ground and pound from Sha follows, before a nice back body drop looked to shake up Morrell. As did a PK to the back. Morrell looks for a crossbody, but he’s just dumped with a slam, before Sha misses an elbow drop… and a charge into the corner.

A leg lariat from Morrell finds its mark as he fought back with chops and uppercuts. A dropkick and a standing corkscrew moonsault almost puts Sha away. A hiptoss into a pin keeps Morrell ahead, before Sha dumps him with another lariat, then a spinebuster before the Butcher’s Hook forces the submission. THIS was the Sha we wanted to see – very mouthy and keeping the essence of his being from the indies. More of this please! **½

Ilja Dragunov is at the PC, showing off with one-armed push-ups as random interview guy asks him what happened with his match with Jack Starz. Yeah Ilja, why were you so evil? Apparently this wasn’t the plan, but he’s interrupted by Sam Gradwell, who’s bouncing from one match to another.

Backstage, the same interview guy is speaking to Rampage about new arrivals. He’s interrupted by the Gallus lads. They all bump fists as he issued a challenge to Joe Coffey. WALTER has to be the destination, right?

Next week: Nina Samuels faces Xia Brookside… and Jordan Devlin’s open challenge returns.

Elimination: Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews vs. Pretty Deadly (Lewis Howley & Sam Stoker) vs. Oliver Carter & Ashton Smith vs. The Hunt (Wild Boar & Primate)
Winner gets a shot at Gallus’ tag titles at some point to be determined… Webster’s got a new-ish logo on his jacket that looks a lot like the ATTACK! logo. Meanwhile, poor Carter and Smith didn’t even get an entrance. Andrews and Stoker start first in this elimination match. Let’s see how many time pins get broken up…

Stoker instantly tags in Ashton Smith, who wrings Andrews’ wrist before he got rolled up for a one-count. A waistlock takedown from Smith followed, but he’s elbowed as Webster came in for a dropkick-assisted sunset flip for a two-count. Smith’s knee stops Webster, as does a forearm to the back, with Carter tagging in… only to get caught with an armdrag. Andrews tags back in for a step-up ‘rana off of Webster’s back, then a dropkick but he wandered into the Pretty Deadly corner as Lewis Howley came in to steal a pin as Gallus were watching from another part of the studio. Carter hits something akin to the inverted Silly String on Andrews for a two-count as I think we missed a tag…

Smith’s in as Andrews forcibly tags in Howley. He tries to tag out, but Webster drops off the apron as Smith clobbered Howley with a clothesline, then KICKED HIS LEG OUT OF HIS LEG. The Hunt growl at Howley, who then tag in (off of Smith) as they swarmed the ring. Primate drags in Stoker as the Hunt hit duelling German suplexes on Pretty Deadly. Howley’s tossed towards the other Welsh lads, as we get a Hunt vs. Andrews/Webster scrap as the referee lost control. Smith clotheslines Howley to the outside as Primate dumped Smith with a back elbow for a two-count. Cue more shots of Gallus watching, just because. A back suplex from Primate sees the Hunt build up some momentum as they isolated Smith in their corner, leading to Boar headbutting Smith a la Junkyard Dog.

Boar knocks Carter off the apron, just as Smith fought back… Howley tags in again off of Boar, but runs into a back body drop. Smith tags out to Webster, who hits an armdrag to Howley before a Quebrada lands him a two-count. Webster gets distracted, then caught as Stoker came in… but a double-team suplex is saved by Andrews as the Welsh lads took Pretty Deadly outside for a pair of topes con giro. MORE GALLUS SHOTS. Are they cutting stuff out here? Stoker’s back in the ring with Andrews, knocking him onto the top rope as a superplex saw Smith blind-tag in off of Stoker… and pull off the Tower of Doom onto the pair. Smith couldn’t make the cover, as Howley then talked Mark Andrews into tagging him in. Okay! Howley stomps away on Smith, then got thrown onto the apron as the Hunt fought Webster on the floor. It’s a build up to something wacky as Carter nearly dies doing a springboard 450 off of Howley’s back to the floor.

In the ring, Smith hits a Falcon arrow on Howley for a two-count with Stoker making the save. Things stay wild as Carter superkicks Primate in mid-air… Andrews hits a gamengiri as I lose track of who’s legal. Lots of bodies flying and colours flashing as all eight men were down. We recover as a fallaway wrist-clutch exploder from Primate has Smith in the corner, leading to the Hunt going for their finish… but the Welsh lads pull out Boar as Smith hauls up Primate for a doomsday cutter, and that’s the Hunt eliminated at the 12:00 mark. Referees rush out to try and cart the Hunt away, as Lewis Howley clobbers Carter from behind. A slam from Howley gets a two-count, before he got caught with a sunset flip… but Carter floats up and tags out as Smith ran wild.

A gutwrench suplex from Smith tosses Stoker across the ring, but Stoker slips out of a Fireman’s carry before an O’Connor roll got a two-count. Howley tries to hit Smith in the ropes from the kick-out, before back-and-forth roll-ups get a two-count. Carter’s back as Smith propels him in a 450 splash on Stoker for another near-fall. Stoker’s had enough and tags in Andrews, who hits a wheelbarrow bulldog to Carter, then chopped Smith…

Webster blind tags in as Smith had Andrews on his shoulders… it’s turned into a bicycle knee-assisted reverse ‘rana on Smith as Webster gets the pin to make the elimination at 15:10 – which leaves us with Pretty Deadly vs. Andrews & Webster. They show replays to bide the time, restarting this as a singles match 16:00 in… Stoker traps Webster as Howley runs in with a boot, then kneed Webster into the corner. Stoker tries to force a pin on Webster as Pretty Deadly had him cornered. Webster floats and slides through to tag Andrews back in, who knee slides past them into an overhead kick. A 619 to Stoker on the apron sets up Andrews for a wheelbarrow Stomp 182 back into the ring on Howley, before a springboard ‘rana spikes Howley for a near-fall.

Andrews gets caught out in the Pretty Deadly corner as Howley targeted his knee in the ropes – a knee that suddenly had meaning as the Hunt had injured it in the past – before a spinning torture rack turned into a Giant Swing… then a half crab, before Stoker turned it into a Figure Four. Webster breaks it up by ‘rana’ing Howley onto Stoker, allowing Andrews to return with a Stundog Millionaire. Webster tags in with a Shadows Over Malice for a near-fall as Howley made the save. Andrews takes care of Howley with a slingshot ‘rana to the floor, before Webster back body dropped Stoker into Howley… Webster followed up with a second Shadows Over Malice senton bomb to the floor, while Andrews… went for a dive and got jabbed in the knee by a chair from Eddie Dennis. Ah, that’s why they mentioned the old injury. Howley and Stoker have Webster down on the floor, and it’s easy pickings from here, with a Hart Attack Neckbreaker to win.

This was rough at first, being too wild and fast for its own good as a four-way, but when we had an elimination this really picked up steam… and nobody broke up anybody else’s pins. I’m gobsmacked. New title contenders make me happy, but that commentary on the Eddie Dennis run-in was far from subtle. ***½

Pretty Deadly stare at Gallus from across the studio. Except it’s only Joe Coffey in the box, as the tag team champions need music and entrance so they can do their staredown from the aisle.

NXT UK really feels like it’s turned a corner, having bookended this show with big events. Sure, some of the booking has been predictable, such as Rampage’s progression through the big lads, and perhaps Ilja Dragunov’s run through the lower tier guys, but I’ll take predictable-but-good over the chaotic hit-and-miss stuff we were getting before.