A Steel Corner Street Fight headlined the latest edition of NXT UK, as we had a rematch from Takeover: Blackpool 2.

Yep, we’re still at the Barbican in York, with Tom Phillips and Aiden English on commentary. Trent Seven’s arriving “earlier today”, as is Eddie Dennis and his mask.

Piper Niven vs. Dani Luna
This was Piper’s first outing since Takeover, and Dani’s first since appearing on NXT UK TV last September. She’s since been signed.

Niven powers Luna towards the corner from a lock-up, but Dani pushes back before she caught Piper with some boots. A crossbody’s caught, as Piper eventually slams, then splashes Luna for a near-fall, before a cobra clutch wore down Dani for a clothesline. Luna tries to lift Piper in a Fireman’s carry, but ends up losing it as Niven returned with a Michinoku Driver… and that’s your lot. A hard-fought but ultimately straightforward win for Niven, all told. **

Wolfgang and Mark Coffey have a promo video replying to Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch’s challenge last week.

Jordan Devlin’s backstage, presumably outside Full Sail, as he’s asked about his NXT Cruiserweight title win.

A-Kid vs. Tyler Bate
This should be good if they get time…

We start with headscissors, headlocks, wristlocks and escapes as the feeling-out process began. A-Kid’s pretty ruthless with those headscissors, wrenching away on Bate, who handstands out of the hold before Bate flipped backwards as he made damn sure to keep Tyler at close range.

A Northern Lights suplex gets a two-count, before Bate’s standing shooting star press got caught and turned into a triangle armbar. Bate powers out and lifts A-Kid into an Airplane Spin, only for A-Kid to counter free with a wheelbarrow roll-up, then a dropkick to take Tyler out. A-Kid follows in with a springboard moonsault to the floor, but a dropkick awaits A-Kid when he got back inside… with Bate’s rebound lariat spinning the Spaniard before a Tyler Driver gets the win. Disappointingly short, but they did a fair amount for a regular TV match. Imagine how great that could be at a Takeover-length… I didn’t get the feeling of a friendly rivalry out of it, which is what the promo last week seemed to build to… ***¼

As A-Kid went to the back, he was passed like a ship in the night by Joseph Conners. Oh God. He’s getting “who are ya?” chants, but powers through them as he complained about rotting while Tyler Bate got the plaudits. Conners challenges Bate to a match down the line, to prove he’s “Takeover Worthy”. He’s got a few more months before it’s Takeover season.

Trent Seven’s taping his wrists and sorting out the collar on his jacket backstage…

Then we’ve a replay of the finish to last week’s main event, highlighting WALTER and Dave Mastiff… then we cut to Dave Mastiff looking for WALTER. Just shouting his name isn’t gonna help Dave…

Pretty Deadly (Sam Stoker & Lewis Howley) vs. Ashton Smith & Oliver Carter
Aiden English made me throw up a little in my mouth… meanwhile, Oliver Carter’s carrying the “whoops” for his team.

Smith and Howley start us off, but it’s Lewis who scores with a trip early on, before his crossbody’s caught and turned into a suplex by Smith. That gets Smith a two-count, before Carter tagged in and landed a slingshot sunset flip for a two-count. In comes Stoker too, but he’s log rolled to the mat… he recovers as Smith returned to counter some double-teaming with a double clothesline… and then there’s a big back body drop to Howley. Smith’s sent to the apron, where Stoker’s distraction pays off as Howley knocks him to the floor. Back in the ring, Stoker wears down Smith with a grounded abdominal stretch, but Smith gets free and lifts both halves of Pretty Deadly to the outside before he was able to tag Carter back in.

Clotheslines from Carter clear house, as did a STO on Howley, before a uranage almost led to the win. Stoker breaks up the pin, then got sent outside… but Pretty Deadly rebound with a pair of leaping uppercuts for a near-fall. Another blind tag brings Carter back in as he charged at Stoker in the corner, following up with a one-winged ushigoroshi… and that’s it for the win! A decent tag match between two lower card acts, but again, losing early on in their tenure risks slotting Pretty Deadly given the form around here. **½

Post-match, Pretty Deadly attack Carter and Smith, laying out Ashton with the Bad Apple double-team fireman’s carry gutbuster… because this is a feud, and it must continue!

Earlier this week, Ilja Dragunov’s beating a tyre with a sledgehammer. Aw, he’s trying to live up to that “Hunter’s kid” tag around here, eh?

Kay Lee Ray heads to the ring for promo time. It’s teasing another match with Toni Storm, because she interrupts to get in Kay Lee’s face. Kay Lee tells Toni she’s gonna help her give up her “addiction” of the championship, because we’re getting Storm vs. Ray in an I Quit match. Apparently that was exactly what Toni wanted. You sure about that?

Next week: Wolfgang and Mark Coffey take on Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch in non title action…

Aiden English gets all melodramatic as Eddie Dennis warms up… as we see the referees removing turnbuckle pads and covers ahead of our main event.

Another video package follows for Aoife Valkyrie. These are like night and day from the rest of the VT on this show. Hopefully the fact she’s coming in with hype translates to something. She debuts next week!

Steel Corner Street Fight: Eddie Dennis vs. Trent Seven
Ah man, what I bet they’d have given for this to have been in Sheffield. Maybe they could have borrowed an old show name and called it Steel City Ice Rage: Total Meltdown?

Trent jump-starts Eddie as we start before either man had taken their jackets off. A hiptoss puts the hoodie on Eddie, as did a slam and a legdrop as Hulk Seven fired up. A tope follows as Eddie’s taken into the barriers, before he rolled back outside, only to get slammed. Oh, and chopped. Lots and lots of chops. An Irish whip gets reversed as Trent takes the ring steps, which Eddie then dismantled as he teased a Severn Bridge off the steps. Trent slips out then faked out a punch to DDT Eddie onto the steps, sending the Welshman recoiling into the crowd. Trent follows as they brawl around the floor seats, until another Irish whip sent Trent into the barriers.

Eddie teases the Severn Bridge again, and this time lands it as he dumps Seven on the ring steps. That sounded ugly… and Eddie rushes him in for a cover, getting a two-count off of it. From there, they tease whips into the exposed buckles, but Eddie slides to the outside, where he took a snap Dragon suplex, before he got chopped into the crowd again. The brawl spills towards the announce table… and there’s a convenient table near it too! Eddie lifts Trent over the guard rails, then commandeers the announce table, throwing Trent into the side of it, before the pair climbed on top… seemingly teasing another Severn Bridge into table 2.

Trent slips out, which buckles the table, but recovers to hit a Birming-Hammer off the announce table and through table #2. Eddie looked to be sobbing as he pulled himself up to his feet, but Trent’s back up to clothesline Eddie back towards ringside, but Eddie rolls away as Trent went for almost a Whisper in the Wind. With virtually one arm, Eddie’s having to pull himself back into the ring, using the turnbuckle irons to grind Trent’s face on before they got back inside. A big boot from Eddie leads to backfists from Trent, who looked to go for a Seven Star lariat, but instead whipped Eddie into the corners. Another Birming-Hammer follows, and that’s your lot. I’m guessing that Birming-Hammer through the table led to Eddie’s separated shoulder, but all credit to him for finishing the mat – and taking the corners towards the end. An enjoyable brawl that had the energy of a match that was set to level the score – but looks like it’ll be the blow-off for now. ***½

Another mixed bag of an episode from NXT UK this week – take out the fun main event, and you had a lot of stuff that never seemed to catch. A-Kid vs. Tyler Bate could have been better had they had more time, but otherwise this was a business as usual episode that showed the first signs of NXT UK bringing in new faces for a new year.