Oliver Carter and Ashton Smith go for the NXT UK tag titles on this week’s show, as they take on Trent Seven and Tyler Bate in a best-of-three falls affair.

Quick Results
Back Alley Brawl – Sam Gradwell pinned Kenny Williams in 9:42 (**)
Emilia McKenzie pinned Stevie Turner in 4:42 (**¼)
Trent Seven & Tyler Bate beat Oliver Carter & Ashton Smith by 2 falls to 1 in 21:38 to retain the NXT UK Tag Team Championships (***½)

We’re back at the BT Sport studios in London once more, and my word, the advert that leads into NXT UK is getting more out of date with every passing week. Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness are on the call…

But first, we have a scene-setting video for tonight’s main event, which is that best two out of three falls match for the NXT UK tag titles.

Back Alley Brawl: Sam Gradwell vs. Kenny Williams
Sadly, this wasn’t on-location – unless the BT Studios are in a back alley.

Gradwell jumped Williams in the aisle before the bell, throwing the Scotsman into the barriers before he grabbed a bin from under the ring. Williams kicks it away, but couldn’t get into the ring as he instead charged Gradwell into the side of it… then into the ring steps. They cut to a masked man at the back of the arena, who momentarily distracts Williams before the match officially got going.

Mounted punches from Gradwell, then bodyslams lead to a back body drop from Williams, who then got chucked over the top rope to the floor. Gradwell takes it into the crowd, where there’s another convenient bin, which is emptied onto Williams before the bin was thrown into him.

Williams chucks Gradwell over the rails and back towards ringside, as the masked man again popped up to distract Kenny… whose leap off the rails gets caught. He ends up slipping off of Gradwell and posted him, before he pulled out a fire extinguisher and sprayed it at Gradwell’s face. Some extra emissions follow as Gradwell’s blasted with a chair, before Kenny jumped onto a chair over Gradwell’s back on the ring steps. Convoluted, yeah…

Out comes the PROGRESS toolbox, but Williams misses with his shot as Gradwell slammed him onto the bin. Gradwell grabs a table from under the ring next, then set it up… but he gets his eyes raked as Williams smashed a chair over his back. Back inside, Williams whip gets reversed as he’s thrown into the buckles, then into a chair that was wedged in the corner, leading to a near-fall.

Williams returns with a spear to the knee, before he stripped off his belt and swung it at Gradwell… except he misses, as Sam grabbed the belt and whipped the “Lucky Ean” with it. Gradwell heads onto the apron as he teases a suplex through the table, but instead Williams holds on and hit a springboard elbow to take Gradwell to the floor, before the masked man again distracted Williams… allowing Gradwell to slam him off the apron and through that table… and that’s your lot. Very by-the-numbers as far as a plunder match, but I guess we’re now meant to wonder who the masked guy is… **

After the match, the masked man chases Williams to the back…

Trent and Tyler are warming up backstage…

We then get a video package showing Eddie Dennis cheapshotting Wild Boar with a chain… as it seems that once we get past Mark Andrews’ return, we may be getting a dog collar match? But first, T-Bone and Primate are going up against Andrews and Boar before Boar gets his match with Eddie.

Stevie Turner vs. Emilia McKenzie
Hey, they finally acknowledge the Cardiff show! I’m sure there’s plenty of others doing PR for that show, including some within the Houses of Parliament, so I’ll keep schtum…

The opening lock-up ends in the corner as Turner then returned the favour. A side headlock from Turner’s pushed off, but she charges down McKenzie, who returned with a dropkick and a swinging neckbreaker for a near-fall. Forearms in the ropes led to a turnaround as my stream dropped… it recovers with Turner laying in forearms before a boot to McKenzie’s head in the ropes left her laying.

A chinlock keeps McKenzie grounded, but she rolls free, then began to make a comeback with clotheslines and a back suplex. It’s good for a two-count, but Turner’s able to return with a Side Effect for a near-fall, before a neckbreaker’s countered into a German suplex. A spear follows, and that’s enough for the win as McKenzie won an even one. **¼

Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter are warming up…

…and then we get a video package for the Isla Dawn vs. Meiko Satomura title rematch. Remember, Isla Dawn picks the stipulations here, which likely means a rebadged no-DQ outing? That “World of Darkness” match is in two weeks’ time…

EARLIER THIS WEEK… Lash Legend, Damon Kemp, Ivy Nile and Von Wagner arrive in the UK. They’re doing autographs for Dave Bradshaw and some kids, and are on the NXT UK tapings this week… which leads to Saxon Huxley signing an autograph that Von Wagner refused to do. Wagner rips it up, and we have a match with “big stupid man.”

Earlier this week too, Eliza Alexander brags about her win last week… and Xia Brookside’s looking forward to battering someone too. Those Martin Prince/Nelson Muntz vibes continue…

We’re told that Ilja Dragunov and Jordan Devlin face off in three weeks time on the 200th episode of NXT UK. They’re approaching 205 Live territory, in more ways than one. There’s a contract signing next week… I have this week’s episode down as 188, but I’d ignored some of the clip show episodes. Angle alert!

Best of Three Falls for NXT UK Tag Team Championship: Oliver Carter & Ashton Smith vs. Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) (c)
Bate and Smith start us off, trading wristlocks as commentary notes how similar to Heritage Cup rules this is. Oh, they’re going to 2-1 this.

Smith’s wristlock is escaped as Tyler broke free, then hit shoulder tackles before he blocked a hiptoss and turned it into an abdominal stretch. Smith hits a hiptoss to free himself, before we broke into pinning attempts, which Tyler stifled with an armdrag. Trent Seven tags in, but gets rolled up for a two-count as he took too long on an assisted back senton, as Smith then snapped back on Trent’s arm.

Carter tags in and is slingshot into Trent for a two-count, before a side headlock was pushed off for a shoulder tackle. A crossbody from Trent turns it around briefly, as did a bodyslam and a legdrop, getting Trent a two-count, before Tyler tagged in to keep the momentum going.

Ashton Smith saves Carter from a double-team suplex before the champions get dropkicked outside. Carter tags out after he avoided a dropkick, then put his boots out as Tyler was slammed onto them. Bate’s quickly back with that dropkick to Smith for a two-count, while Trent tags in for elbow drops in the ropes that prevented a pin.

Chops from Trent have Smith down for a two-count, before Carter got the TAG back in. Yep, commentary’s got the main roster TAG trope in now. A clothesline from Carter dropped Tyler as Trent was held on the outside… a spinning heel kick clocks Trent as he tried to get involved, before a rebound lariat’s caught and turned into a half-and-half suplex from Carter for a near-fall.

Smith’s back, but Tyler blocks a Doomsday Something or other, turning it into a Victory Roll for a near-fall. A tag brings Trent in for an assisted powerbomb for another two-count, while more chops from Trent almost led to a blind tag… but Smith shoves Bate off the apron, then tagged in Carter as Trent gets battered with kicks… leading to a uranage from Carter, then a monkey flipped moonsault as the challengers take a 1-0 lead at 9:57.

Carter tries to snatch a quick second fall on Trent, but all we get is a bunch of near-falls, then some uppercuts as Trent looked spent. A bodyslam from Smith, then a Silly String looked to lead to the win, but Trent’s up at two, then sidestepped an errant kick from Carter that almost took out Ashton Smith. Trent crawls over to make the tag out, but got pulled away as Carter hits a Koppo kick while Smith’s Alley Oop led to another near-fall.

Trent’s taking way too much here and is still kicking, and right on cue, he’s back with a DDT. Tyler tags in and clears house, leading to a roll-up for a near-fall, then a back elbow before Smith took a diving uppercut to save Oliver Carter. It didn’t work though, as an Exploder quickly followed, then a running shooting star press for a near-fall, before Carter tagged back out to Ashton Smith.

A barrel kick from Bate wipes out both challengers as Trent returned to hit his half of a double bop/bang, before duelling Tiger Drivers drew yet another near-fall. Tyler’s back for a rebound lariat to assist a Dragon suplex on Ashton Smith… and that’s the equaliser at 16:27.

The deciding fall starts with Tyler missing a dropkick in the corner, but recovered as he tried to do the rebound lariat again. Carter low bridges him to the outside as a Blue Thunder driver from Smith nearly led to the title change. Tyler pulls Trent outside as a monkey flip moonsault from Carter instead wiped out the champions on the floor… as we then saw a flying leg lariat on Trent that saw Tyler leap in to break up the pin.

Smith tags back in to back body drop Carter onto Trent… but the assisted 450 splash lands in the knees as a cradle from Trent nearly ends it, as did simultaneous lariats. The Seven Star lariat follows from Trent, then the Emerald Flowsion… but Smith kicks out in the nick of time. Trent hauls up Smith for a kneedrop-assisted Birming Hammer… but Carter breaks up the pin this time as the match was into the home straight.

Carter’s sent outside as Trent and Tyler isolate Smith again, leading to a teased double-team Birming Hammer, but it’s broken up before Smith nearly snuck the titles with a roll-up on Trent. A tag brings Carter back in to superkick Trent down, but Trent’s able to lift Smith to the outside… a missed charge from Carter knocks his man off the apron, allowing Trent to snatch the deciding fall with a roll-up… and with his feet on the ropes! Cheating Trent retains the titles, and I feel like this feud will continue in some way. A heck of a match, but grumpy me was a little annoyed at how early they went hog wild with near-falls, but this was easily the match of the week on this show… ***½

A one-match show in some regards, with the main event being the big thing that was built up – and the somewhat shady finish perhaps tells you that things aren’t quite over. The mooted arrival of new faces from “full fat” NXT intrigues and concerns, as I suspect the next few shows will spell out the direction of WWE’s Thursday night show.