Meiko Satomura’s NXT UK Women’s title is on the line again this week, as she takes on Isla Dawn in a World of Darkness match. Whatever one of those is.

Quick Results
Tiger Turan pinned Tate Mayfairs in 4:03 (**)
Damon Kemp pinned Danny Jones in 4:15 (*½)
Meiko Satomura pinned Isla Dawn in a World of Darkness match to retain the NXT UK Women’s Championship in 12:48 (*)

We’re one week away from the 200th episode of NXT UK, and that loser leaves town match for the NXT UK title. I’ve tagged this week as episode 190, so there’s nine episodes “missing” in those two tallies, and because I’m a masochist, I wanted to see just what they were. Well, it turns out there may be some creative accounting, as it seems the pandemic era specials (“Gallus Boys On Top”, “NXT UK’s Most Brilliant: Pete Dunne vs. Tyler Bate”, “NXT UK’s Most Brilliant: Kay Lee Ray vs. Toni Storm vs. Piper Niven”, “NXT UK’s Most Brilliant: Tyler Bate vs. WALTER” and “The Rise of NXT UK”) all counted towards the tally, as did the three NXT UK Takeovers. So that’s how we go from 190 to 198, for the two of you who’d scratched their heads until it bled. And no, I’ve no idea what the other missing episode is…”

Anyways, with that bit of pointless accounting out of the way… you know the drill. We open with Lash Legend arriving at the studios, leaving her luggage with a bemused Emilia McKenzie. Oh no. We’re back at the BT Sport Studios in London for this, and please God, let this be better than last week’s dreck. Nigel McGuinness and Andy Shepherd are both in London for live commentary…

But first, we have the Supernova Sessions, which Dar called the Supernova Sessions 2.0. Oh God. Noam bigs up the “international superstar” Lash Legend as their guest. Sha Samuels offers Lash his more comfortable chair, before Dar grabs some wilted flowers to give Lash, along with a bad American accent.

Sha one-ups him with a proper bunch of flowers as the two lads are getting a little competitive. Meanwhile, there’s some scattered boos for Lash in the crowd as she promises to run through the competition. Dar and Sha have a video package of Lash for her, then give her a standing ovation, which the crowd joined in on. Dar seems to ask for a date, but then opened a bottle of sparkling water on himself as we’re getting the NXT 2.0 purile jokes here.

Sha’s got odds for the “exchange students” of NXT. To do what, exactly? Win a title? He pokes fun at Damon Kemp, before Lash signs off with some animal analogies as this segment died on its arse. What happened to the sound sweetening they usually do?

The assistant to the regional manager has an announcement – they’re doing a tournament to find new tag team title contenders. The winners go into a triple threat with Moustache Mountain and an unnamed team, as Von Wagner interrupts the announcement, but Sam Gradwell saves the day, and that’ll be a match.

Backstage, Sha’s fawning over Lash Legend as she’s taking a selfie. Damon Kemp rocks up to take offence at the odds, and tells Sha to watch him next.

Tate Mayfairs vs. Tiger Turan
Holy continuity, this isn’t Damon Kemp – it’s the debut of “from the Himalayas”, Tiger Turan.

Opening with a lock-up, Turan’s forced to escape a wristlock before he whipped Tate down. A dropkick and a side headlock has Tate on the back foot, before Turan hit a suplex. He does a headstand in the corner to evade Tate, then hits a crossbody off the top for a near-fall. Mayfairs avoids a kick as he looked to get back in this, landing some body blows before Turan caught a kick. Tate’s forearm knocks him down for a two-count, then stretched Turan, who fought back, hitting double-handed chops and an inside-out suplex.

Turan’s pulled out of the corner, then hit the ropes for a missile dropkick, before a leaping clothesline had Tate down for a senton bomb for the win. Very by the numbers, and not exactly impactful. **

Earlier this week, Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter bicker at the UK PC when they run into the Coffey brothers. It seems they’ll be one of the matches in the tag title contender’s tournament… and that’s instantly confirmed for next week.

We’ve a video package on NXT UK and some of the stars who have passed through it… NXT UK today is a far cry from those early days, as we hit 200 episodes next week.

We’ve another video package about SummerSlam 92, which bleeds into an advert for the Clash at the Castle show in Cardiff. We sure are getting spammed with video packages here, eh?

Speaking of… another one! It’s for Ivy Nile, who debuts next week. Nina Samuels takes offence at someone stealing her show, and I guess she’ll be her first opponent next week. Uh oh.

Danny Jones vs. Damon Kemp
I don’t rate Danny’s chances…

Kemp’s apparently come to the UK to learn the British style, and started by grappling with Danny to the mat, but they reach a stand-off with no advantage. A lock-up from Jones ends in the corner, as Kemp grabbed a side headlock, which was pushed off for a shoulder tackle, as Jones tried his luck with a wristlock. Kemp escapes and countered with a gutwrench suplex, before a second one ended with Jones charging into the corner. Uppercuts have Kemp down, as did a short-arm clothesline, before a chinbar looked to wear Kemp down in the middle of the ring. An overhead belly-to-belly from Kemp gets him free, with a second one following, befor eKemp went for a Fireman’s carry.

Jones slips out and hits a ripcord enziguiri for a near-fall by the ropes, before a Finlay roll from Kemp, then a powerslam landed for the win. Very mechanical. Very even… and very predictable, sadly. *½

Post-match, Sha Samuels ran out and put the boots to Kemp, before throwing some betting slips at him.

Backstage, the NXT UK enhancement talent are cheering Tiger Turan, before Kenny Williams charges at them with some wanted posters. I guess for the masked man who distracted him a few weeks back?

Teoman’s got a video package now, as Die Familie are celebrating their recent successes. It’s building up Charlie Dempsey vs. A-Kid 2, while Teoman and Rohan Raja look to enter the tag title contender’s tournament. This was along the same lines of their usual swish “look how posh our apartment is” video, but markedly different…

Yet another video package, this time to hype up next week’s NXT UK title match, complete with Ilja saying he wants the pain, because it “shows your true character.” Watching these shows, I can relate. Devlin claimed the empty arena brawl was a “lost in translation” deal, because he didn’t want the weapons… just no fans for Ilja to boost himself off of. They recap last week’s scrap during the contract signing, as we get ready for next week’s loser leaves town main event.

World of Darkness Match for NXT UK Women’s Championship: Isla Dawn vs. Meiko Satomura (c)
So, what’s a World of Darkness match? Apparently it’s a “low light setting,” which is apt given everyone over here is looking to save on their electric bills.

The old Sin Cara lights come on, alongside some spooky groans and creaks as Isla Dawn celebrated her match. Those aren’t going to be annoying. Meiko jumps Dawn before the bell as we get some flickering lights. Hope you’re not epileptic. Dawn’s knocked to the outside for an apron PK, before she avoided a second one, pulling Meiko onto the side of the ring. Out comes some chairs and a broom from under the ring as I’m getting flashbacks to THAT Kevin Nash WCW Thunder promo with the swinging lights. Satomura baseball slides a chair into Dawn, but Isla returns… and seemingly prays to the god of piped in music as smoke bellows from under the ring. Meiko stops her, but gets suplexed as things returned to the ring so Isla could pull something from her box of tricks.

Apparently Dani Luna’s hair is pulled out as the lights flicker, while Dawn looks to gouge Meiko with the hair. Meiko fights free, kicking Isla away before she stopped her going back to the bog of trinkets. More kicks follow, then a spinning heel kick en route to a two-count, but Dawn grabs the chair and lays out Meiko with it as she then proceeded to stack up those chairs. Dawn looks for a Saito suplex onto the chairs, but Meiko escapes to hit another kick, taking Isla outside. Are we getting more supernatural bollocks? There’s smoke coming out, but Isla uses her witches broom instead, breaking it over Meiko’s back as the purple lights wash everything out. Meiko’s posted as Isla heads under the ring for… rope?

Out comes some cabling as Isla proceeded to hogtie Meiko’s wrists… then wrap the cable around the ring post. It’s a bit like when Kane tied up Shane McMahon, just without the car battery to electrocute their genitals. Instead, Isla whips Meiko in the gut with a rope, then choked her with it around the ring post before Meiko fought to free herself. Meiko charges at Isla, but gets tripped into the ring steps, before Satomura rolled away from a running knee into the steps. Time for more plunder as a Kendo stick beats Dawn back into the ring, leading to a DDT, before it’s back to the Kendo stick… which Dawn stopped with a chair shot. A boot in the corner leads to a tarantula hold from Isla, then a Meteora off the top into the chairs… but Satomura kicks out at two.

Isla sets up a couple of chairs for a makeshift crash pad, looking for a half-and-half through them, only for Meiko to drop Isla into a chair with a death valley driver. A Scorpio Rising kick off the chair follows… and mercifully, that’s it. On paper, I’m sure this read like a good idea to someone. In execution, it didn’t come off – and just served as another ominous sign for the future of this show. *

If this is the new direction, we’re in trouble. Clearly marking out NXT UK as the bottom of the totem pole isn’t a wise move, particularly when it means you’re having the Johnny-come-latelies beating established stars on the brand and/or being positioned as the “true stars” that everyone’s fawning over. I’m not a fan.