We’ve a bevy of beards in our main event this week as The Hunt and Dave Mastiff took on Gallus.

We open with a recap of Imperium’s beatdown of Trent Seven and Tyler Bate, before being shown stills of the aftermath, including referees cutting the handcuffs off of Trent. Not to worry, the crowd are in good spirits as we’re still at Download Festival, as Vic Joseph and Aiden English remain on commentary. Ilja Dragunov’s geeing himself up backstage…

Ilja Dragunov vs. Ashton Smith
This was Smith’s’ first appearance on TV in four months. Long time no see.

Aiden mixes up German with Russian as Dragunov crashed into Smith with a crossbody for a near-fall, but Ashton’s able to get into the match, working over Ilja’s legs, wrenching back on the left leg and ankle as Ilja was on the mat. Dragunov stands up and powerbombs his way back into the match as he turned the tables, only for a release Fisherman’s suplex from Smith to land for… barely a one count. A Konstantin Spezial sees Ilja get back in it again, as he quickly finishes Smith with a Torpedo Moscau. Language flubs aside, this was your typical WWE-ized competitive squash as Ilja seems to be getting the Keith Lee treatment in terms of being on the roster with little direction. **½

They replay Xia Brookside getting beaten up by a then-debuting Jazzy Gabert a while back… and then how Xia eliminated Jazzy from a battle royal. Oh, and then how Jinny distracted Xia in a match she’d go on to win. Xia’s asked by Radzi about her latest problem… and she’s gunning for Jinny next week. I bet you that one on one match isn’t going to be “fair”. They fade away from this too for some reason… as if they’re masking a follow-on…

They’re redoing the Nina Samuels Show vignettes. This time, she’s outside in the mud with fans. She’s slumming it “for her fans”, while also turning Download into a makeshift assault course. This is all kinds of wacky, and it’s cut off early too…

Candy Floss vs. Toni Storm
Toni’s got her studded baseball cap, rather than the police hat that she’s been rocking recently. I know you all read this for fashion statement updates…

Candy tries to go to work over Toni early, but the champion’s more than a match for her as the pair traded holds. Toni backs out of some headscissors, then offers a handshake to pull Candy back up, before they get playful with each other… but it just opened the door for Candy to grab an armbar. Toni quickly rolls into a pinning attempt as Candy just shrugs it off, and I swear so far tonight Vic and Aiden would rather be elsewhere. We’re back as Candy Floss goes for the arm yet again, working a wristlock as the crowd apparently want tables. O-kay… Toni decks Candy with a forearm for a near-fall, but a backslide nearly led to an upset for Candy, who again goes to soften the arm, working on a hammerlock as the momentum continued to swing all over the place. Near-falls are traded back and forth, until Toni landed a lariat and a Storm Zero Tiger Driver for the win. This was good, but with two good guys the crowd were really unsure of who to back. Still, if Candy’s going to be a regular here, this’ll be a good match to point to for her prowess. ***

After the match, Kay Lee Ray ran out and decked Candy Floss on the stage. I guess she’s going to be the baddie in this title feud then.

There’s a Ligero vignette next. It’s never not going to be weird hearing him talk after being a mute for his whole career. He talks about how he’s been short of wins lately (ignoring that win over Noam Dar a fortnight ago), and how he needs to find something to reinvigorate himself.

Trent Seven’s out next to address the beating from the previous week. He’s not happy or jolly. He seems lost without Tyler, and he doesn’t want to keep having to call on Pete Dunne for back-up. Tyler’s apparently in hospital because of what happened last week, and he wants to deal with things himself. He took offence at how Imperium say “the mat is sacred” because “it’s our mat”. Trent wants to “cut the head off the snake”, and issues a challenge to WALTER… to do it “for Pete… for Tyler… for the Trent Seven army”. That worked well for him on the indies, didn’t it…

Outside, Mark Andrews cuts a selfie promo telling us how he used to watch wrestling as a kid. He’s sad that one of his heroes in Kassius Ohno reckons he shouldn’t be here. I couldn’t hear the rest because of the wind, but we’re told they’re facing next week.

The Hunt (Wild Boar & Primate) & Dave Mastiff vs. Gallus (Joe Coffey, Mark Coffey & Wolfgang)
We start with a wild brawl as all six men traded shots – since the ref didn’t want to bother with the usual rules. Still, the ring clears pretty quickly as Gallus powdered to the outside.

Back in the ring, Mark Coffey’s squashed by Boar and Primate for a one-count, before a Polish hammer-like blow got Mark back on top. Wolfgang took over, as Gallus began to isolate Primate, keeping him away from his corner while using a modified stranglehold. My stream dropped, and picked up when Boar got in, squashing Mark Coffey with a back senton, only for the Scotsman to come back in with a chokeslam. The action here’s pretty brisk, but this Download crowd barely seems to care. Wolfgang’s running back senton flattened Boar for a two-count, to barely a murmur, as Joe Coffey charges Boar into the corner repeatedly. Joe lands a spinebuster as Boar tried to leap for a tag, as the Scotsmen tried to wear down Boar like they’d done with Primate earlier. Mark Coffey pokes the proverbial bear that was Mastiff, and of course that backfires as Boar gets free and makes the tag seconds later.

A huge back body drop from Mastiff bounces Mark as Gallus fed themselves to the Bomber. Another back body drop sends Wolfgang flying as Mark Coffey got Finlay roll’d onto him, and then all hell breaks loose with a Parade of Moves. Gallus edge ahead from there, but Mastiff fought back as he took he Coffeys into a corner for a cannonball… That cleared the Coffeys out of the ring, but the Hunt follow with topes as Joe Coffey found himself isolated. The Hunt looked for their duelling swandive headbutts, but Boar got shoved off to the outside – and with him being legal, Primate’s headbutt was for nought. Boar’s’ rolled back in, and quickly takes Awra Best for the Bells… and that’s the win for the Scotsmen. Well, you’d think six big lads knocking lumps out of each other would get over, but Download were sitting on their hands for this. Shame. **¾

This very much felt like an awkward, truncated placeholder of an episode of NXT UK. Pretty much all of the matches on this show seemed to exist as a “remember us?” thing rather than to extend or develop storylines, which led to the utterly disposable episodes that this brand was prone to in its early days. Things’ll pick up as we get closer to Takeover Cardiff at the end of next month, which is just as well really, because vanilla outings like this won’t help build buzz…