The women’s title tournament kicks off on the latest episode of NXT UK!

We open with a recap of the announcement of the women’s title tournament, and some quick flashes of the eight women in the tournament. Cue titles, cue Nigel and Vic in front of the green screen, and a reminder of the tournament brackets as we go to the ring.

NXT UK Women’s Championship Tournament – Quarter-Final: Dakota Kai vs. Nina Samuels
Hey, they found music for Nina that sounded a little like her EVE song…

We start with Nina clubbing Dakota to the mat, before ragdolling her with a waistlock… but Kai slips out and catches Nina with a PK for an early near-fall. Nina hit back though, taking Kai into the ropes as she stretched her with a surfboard, following up with a dropkick as she was left prone… but Samuels could only get a near-fall out of it. A double arm stretch follows as Samuels continues to keep on Kai on the mat, but she powers back to her feet and almost escapes, only for Nina to send her into the ropes… and follow up with a tiltawhirl backbreaker! Nina gets a near-fall out of that, then pulls Kai up into a Gory special…

Kai fights out of it with elbows, and counters into a sunset flip for a near-fall, before taking Nina into the corner with a big dropkick. A face-washing boot in the corner leaves Samuels prone, before Kai charges back with a Yakuza kick and a Kai-ropractor (Destroyer back cracker) for the win. I wasn’t sold on Dakota’s finishing stretch, but this was a good outing for Samuels – who’s still winless in NXT UK in spite of this showing. ***

Kai will face Rhea Ripley or Xia Brookside in the semis.

Backstage, Mark Andrews is with Radzi, as we still only have one interviewer. He’s asked what his focus is on now his thing with the Coffeys is over. You sure? Mark has bigger things on his mind… he wants a title shot. It’s not the NXT UK title though, as Flash Morgan Webster walks in with similar aims, and it looks like the Welsh pair are going to go for the tag team tournament. They need to work on that team name though…

Glen Joseph’s back interviewing Ashton Smith off camera. Ashton vows to plug on, but he’s interrupted by Eddie Dennis, who’s facing him next week.

Jake Constantinou vs. Tyson T-Bone
It’s a TV debut for T-Bone, and since Constantinou (who lost to Andrade Almas on a SmackDown taping earlier this year) is already in the ring, I think we can guess the outcome.

Yes, T-Bone’s entrance video looks like the Grand Theft Auto V “WASTED” screen. Jake gets chants of “create-a-wrestler” as T-Bone throws him around the ring, but he tries to restrain Tyson… only to get clubbed down to the mat then whipped into the corner as Tyson took him to school. A backdrop suplex follows for a two-count, before a kick to the chest and a standing elbow drop gets another near-fall. T-Bone catches Constantinou with a right hand and a lariat from there, and that’s all. SPLAT.

T-Bone’s accent asks if this was the best NXT UK had to offer, before he threw down the mic and walked off in disgust… only to be stopped by Dave Mastiff, whose match just happened to be next. Dave’s wearing a red and black singlet a la Vader, which is a nice touch. As was the hand gesture…

Dave Mastiff vs. Dan Moloney
I could do without some of the camera shaking as Mastiff walks to the ring… he stares down T-Bone in the aisle, and you know THAT is on the cards. Poor Dan Moloney. He gets the Alan Partridge “DAN!” shouts during the match as he tried to put the boots to Mastiff… who took him into the ropes for a dropkick. A back senton squashes Moloney as T-Bone wandered towards the ring… it doesn’t provide a distraction as Mastiff headbutts Moloney, then throws him into the corner with a German suplex as the cannonball finished off Dan, who’s seen some things. Including better days than this! SPLAT.

Sid Scala’s interviewed by Radzi. He wants one more opportunity to prove his worth.

NXT UK Women’s Championship Tournament – Quarter-Final: Jinny vs. Millie McKenzie
What were the odds, that Millie McKenzie would use her PROGRESS music on NXT UK? It’s like the wackiest of coincidences continues to bear fruit!

That aside, Millie gets a decent reaction as she’s put over on commentary. As cynical as you can be about this whole product, it still gives me goosebumps when things like this happen… Millie McKenzie on WWE TV, when a year prior (to the tapings) she’d barely began to make a name for herself in the higher profile indys.

Jinny starts by grabbing a headlock as the crowd railed on her, right as Millie escaped out and took Jinny to the mat. Duelling forearms saw both women test each other, but a dropkick from Millie sends Jinny flying ahead of a diving European uppercut as Jinny was quite literally in the ropes. Jinny hits back with a Flatliner into the turnbuckle for a near-fall, before she put the boots to her local foe, following up with a chin bar as Millie was kept on the mat. Millie thought she’d gotten back into it, but she’s tripped into a Liger-like seated surfboard, which she ends up breaking after dragging herself into the ropes.

Millie rebounds with a spear off the ropes for a near-fall, before she began to ragdoll Jinny with German suplexes – and sweet Jesus, those were ragdolling throws! Jinny’s clearly on the back foot as she elbows out of another German suplex, before she caught Millie with a Japanese armdrag into the corner, then a ripcord Koppo kick for the win. Perhaps not the dominant, blow-out win you’d expect given the build Jinny had on the earlier episodes, but this was a hell of a contest… not that I’d expected any different! ***¼

Jinny will face Toni Storm or Isla Dawn in the semis.

After recapping Jordan Devlin “last week” we get a vignette from Ligero, complete with an excellent faux Yorkshire accent from the Mexican. Next week we’ve got Ligero vs. Jordan Devlin.

Zack Gibson vs. Trent Seven
Zack gets “who are ya?” chants, which just gives him the ammo he needs for his customary promo. He’s interrupted by Trent Seven, much to the crowd’s delight.

We get going with the standard lock-up, but Gibson wrenches Trent to the mat as he looked to work the arm… right as the Birmingham crowd disturbingly took their shoes off quickly. It’s a good visual, but it doesn’t distract Gibson too much as he begins to wear over Trent’s knee, which was still being accompanied by a brace at this point in time.

Another wristlock follows as Gibson laid the groundwork for the Shankly Gates… but he’s sent to the outside and threatens to walk away, just as Tyler Bate comes in to provide backup. Gibson turns around into a shot from Trent, as they headed back to the ring… where Zack tries a Codebreaker, only to get caught as Seven went for a submission. After making it to the ropes, a double-chop to the throat gets Gibson free as he goes back to the wrist, this time with a Key lock on Trent before he began to trash talk his opponent.

A forearm knocks Trent into the corner, as Gibson keeps up on submissions with a Cobra clutch as Trent’s fightback was almost instantly snuffed out. There’s an arm-lift suplex as Trent’s back on the mat, as he’s forced to use back elbows and chops to find his way back into the match. He fakes out a chop and lands a DDT to surprise Zack, before taking him outside for a nice low-pe! Back in the ring, Trent keeps up with an overhand cricket chop, then a Dragon suplex and a powerbomb for a near-fall… which then turns into a Boston crab from the kick-out. Zack makes it to the ropes, and quickly trips Trent as he looked for the Shankly Gates, before he had to settle for a back suplex that almost brought the match to an end. A Seven Stars lariat’s countered as Gibson scores a Codebreaker-like move to the arm, before the pair trade right hands back-and-forth.

There’s a discus backhand from Trent, which is replied to with a double chop and a clothesline, only for Trent to nail a sit-out side slam for another near-fall. Zack heads up top and catches Trent with a Ticket To Ride for a near-fall, but keeps hold of the arm after the kickout as he transitions into the Shankly Gates, which eventually ends with a rope break after Bate willed his tag partner on.

Gibson throws a boot to Tyler through the ropes, but the self-imposed distraction allows Trent to hit back with a backfist and the Seven Stars lariat for a near-fall, before he tried to lift up Zack into a Burning Hammer. James Drake hits the ring and throws Tyler Bate into the ring steps, before offering a helping hand as he gave Gibson some leverage from ringside as Zack beat Trent with a small package. The Grizzled Young Veterans are in NXT UK it seems – right as they’ve spent the entire summer in PROGRESS teasing a break-up! This was a solid main event, and some character progression is never not welcome. ***¼

Post-match, we’ve got more interference as Wolfgang and the Coffeys storm through the crowd and put a beating to Moustache Mountain, with the crowd’s chants for the Bruiserweight bearing no fruit as the Scotsmen again stood tall to end the show.

Five matches was perhaps a little much, but then again both squashes were about as long as you needed them to be… giving us enough time to spotlight two monsters and set them on a collision course for each other. Elsewhere, the start of the women’s title tournament finally gives this show something of consequence to focus on – but while we’re still burning off the insane amount of episodes taped before they made air, we’ve still got a long while to go before we can start building to stuff for impending TV tapings.