Welcome back for our coverage of the second night of the WWE’s UK Championship Tournament from Royal Albert Hall.
Mauro Ranallo opened the show by stating, “Greetings Grapple Fans” as a nod to Kent Walton.
KYLE O’REILLY & RODERICK STRONG VS TYLER BATE & TRENT SEVEN FOR THE NXT TAG TITLES
Adam Cole is not ringside as it’s explained he is getting ready for his title defense against Wolfgang tonight.
The audience began chanting for both teams as TUE had the advantage on Seven in their corner. Seven hit a DDT onto O’Reilly and the place went nuts for Bate’s hot tag. Bate delivered airplane spins to both O’Reilly and Strong. O’Reilly applied a sleeper and Bate dead-lifted Strong into a German suplex while also breaking the sleeper that was applied.
There was terrific near-fall with as Bate bounced off the rope with his shoulders into a lariat that led to Seven hitting a Dragon suplex on O’Reilly and was broken up with Strong tackling Bate onto Seven and O’Reilly.
Bate kicked out of a brainbuster by O’Reilly. Strong missed Bate and took out O’Reilly before being hit with a koppu kick by Bate and follow up tope to the floor.
Seven hit the seven-stars lariat, he lifted O’Reilly onto his shoulders as Bate came off the top with a flying knee and Seven pinned O’Reilly. There was an enormous pop for the title change.
WINNERS: TYLER BATE & TRENT SEVEN AT 11:55 TO WIN THE NXT TAG TITLES
These four have been the stars of the two cards. This was a great tag match, I wouldn’t put it as high as the six-man tag from Monday, but that is hardly a criticism. Any combination of The Undisputed Era and British Strong Style is something special and feels like the hottest feud on any WWE brand.
KILLER KELLY VS CHARLIE MORGAN
Morgan missed a running dropkick into the corner, was lifted to the center with Kelly hitting a snap suplex.
McGuinness mentioned that Paige was Morgan’s original trainer.
Kelly went for a surf board and turned it into a Dragon sleeper in the center of the ring, which Morgan escaped. Morgan came back with a quebrada into a somersault as she came off the middle rope.
Morgan countered a vertical suplex with a roll-up while hooking the leg and got the pin.
WINNER: CHARLIE MORGAN AT 7:02
There was nothing wrong with any of the work and Kelly got more of a chance to showcase herself than the first night with the quick three-way match. The audience wasn’t into the match and felt like a big come down from the opening title change.
Christian (Jay Reso) was shown in the audience.
MARK ANDREWS VS TRAVIS BANKS VS FLASH MORGAN WEBSTER VS NOAM DAR
It was set up as a three-way match until Johnny Saint came out and added Noam Dar, who has been out due to injury since early December. Dar looked to be in tremendous condition.
Banks’ left shoulder is still wrapped to sell the effects of Monday’s matches.
Andrews hit a corkscrew moonsault to the three on the floor. Banks was holding his injured shoulder throughout.
Dar took the injured arm of Banks and attempted a kimura, Banks fought him off and used a forearm to drop him. All four were down after exchanging strikes.
Webster attempted a top rope Frankensteiner and Andrews landed on his feet and hit a reverse ‘rana onto Webster.
Dar applied the Champagne Superkneebar onto Andrews, Banks simultaneously applied a submission to Andrews, Webster prevented Andrews from tapping and attacked Banks.
Banks took out Webster with a Slice of Heaven, Andrews caught Banks with the Stundog Millionaire and climbed to the top and missed with a shooting star press. Dar snapped the injured arm of Banks on the top rope and hit the running kick and pinned Banks.
WINNER: NOAM DAR AT 8:53
Joe & Mark Coffey stormed the ring and attacked everyone except Dar, who teased making a save but walked off to the back.
This was a fast match with no breaks and Dar getting the big return victory to set up a future title match. A good four-way match.
Cathy Kelley interviewed Wolfgang and he is going to break Adam Cole’s teeth and take his title.
ADAM COLE VS WOLFGANG FOR THE NXT NORTH AMERICAN TITLE
Wolfgang controlled Cole from the start, sending him around the ring and to the floor. Cole came off the second turnbuckle with a crossbody and landed on the knees of Wolfgang and begun selling his ribs.
Wolfgang climbed to the top and played to the audience that allowed Cole to regroup and land a superkick.
Cole then fought back hitting an Ushigoroshi and the audience was cheering on Cole, who wasn’t fighting the reaction. Wolfgang missed with a moonsault off the corner but landed a big lariat. Wolfgang went for the Howling from the top and landed on Cole’s knees.
Cole connected with the Last Shot and pinned Wolfgang.
WINNER: ADAM COLE AT 10:25 TO RETAIN THE NORTH AMERICAN TITLE
This was a strange match as Adam Cole was not only received as a moderate babyface, but he also sold and made his comeback as though the match was laid out for him to be the babyface. I didn’t get into this match as well, Cole’s offense looked good, especially the sequence towards the end of the match.
Cole played to the crowd after the match, they chanted “one more time” and Cole gave them another ‘Bay Bay’.
Cathy Kelly interviewed Mustache Mountain backstage, they called tonight’s title win incredible. Bate said they have been a team for 4-5 years and won titles everywhere and now are NXT tag champions. The two hugged and was a nice segment where you felt happy for these two.
ALEISTER BLACK & RICOCHET VS VELVETEEN DREAM & EC3
Each received big reactions during their respective entrances.
Ricochet cleared the ring and hit his handspring backflip and posed in the middle of the ring. Black then flipped off the ropes and both sat down in the ring with Dream and EC3 on the floor.
Ricochet was yanked by the leg from the apron to the floor by EC3 and they got the heat on Ricochet. Dream teased coming off the top to the floor, but it was just a tease and he didn’t do it.
Ricochet had to fight off both to make the tag to Black, who attacked both with a sequence out of a video game. Dream caught Black with a spinebuster, climbed to the top and he slipped off as EC3 accidentally hit the top rope and sent Dream off balance.
They had a big striking exchange and the four were down on the mat. Ricochet got up and hit a Fosbury Flop onto Dream on the floor. Dream recovered and hit the swinging reverse STO into a DDT onto Black in the ring for a two-count.
EC3 injured his leg and tried to tag Dream, who walked out on him citing his own injury. EC3 yelled at Dream, turned around and was hit with Black Mass and Black pinned him.
WINNERS: ALEISTER BLACK & RICOCHET AT 15:51
This was an entertaining tag match, that felt like a great house show main event. They weren’t on this show to steal it, but it appeared to be pushing a few stories forward. They had Dream walk out on EC3 and set up a rift between them, and a post-match scene in the ring with Ricochet holding the NXT title and staring at it before handing it to Black.
I don’t feel Black gets included enough among the great talent on the WWE roster and seems like a ‘can’t-miss’ talent, who has some of the best fire up sequences of anyone with such an incredible variety of strikes that look excellent.
Kelley interviewed Shayna Baszler, she said that Baszler knows what she is like as they have been in the ring together before as they had a singles match in Stardom last year, which Storm won and they brought this up on commentary.
SHAYNA BASZLER VS TONI STORM FOR THE NXT WOMEN’S TITLE
The match began with grappling on the mat, Storm escaped and it led to an eventual tope suicida after Baszler was sent to the floor.
Storm was caught on the barricade and yanked off of it and crashing onto the floor. Baszler attacked the knee and targeted the left leg inside the ring.
Storm fought back despite favoring the leg, she was stopped on the top turnbuckle and hit with a gut-wrench suplex off the turnbuckle. Baszler attacked the injured leg with a kneebar, Storm landed strikes to break the submission and Baszler landed a leg kick.
Storm hit the Air Raid Crash but in doing so, further injured the bad leg to execute the move.
Storm caught her with a European clutch and Baszler kicked, took the back of Storm and applied the rear-naked choke with Storm rolling and getting to the bottom rope. Baszler re-applied the choke on the floor and rolled back into the ring as the count began on Storm, she staggered to her feet but could not beat the count.
WINNER: SHAYNA BASZLER BY COUNTOUT AT 12:10 TO RETAIN THE NXT WOMEN’S TITLE
Baszler left the ring, Storm was inside and Baszler returned and applied the rear-naked choke again onto Storm.
Some may be critical over the nature of the finish, but this was a strong match from the two and better than Baszler’s match with Nikki Cross at TakeOver earlier this month.
Storm worked as a tremendous babyface and the selling of the leg added a lot to the match. Baszler stands out in these styles of matches focusing on a body part and working towards the rear-naked choke submission, which is a very credible finish. I enjoyed this a lot.
PETE DUNNE VS ZACK GIBSON FOR THE UK CHAMPIONSHIP
The first major kick out of the match featured Dunne fighting back in the ring and firing up against Gibson and hitting an X-Plex for a two-count.
Dunne landed on his feet from a release German suplex and kicked Gibson in the head. Dunne landed a moonsault off the turnbuckle to the floor. Gibson took control of Dunne after running him into the steps after applying a hammerlock and running Dunne shoulder first into them.
Dunne blocked Helter Skelter on the floor with a kimura attempt and then hit an X-Plex, but as Dunne completed the move he further injured his weak shoulder. Gibson took over when they returned to the ring, Gibson attacked with stomps and knocked out his mouthguard.
Dunne placed the mouthguard back in and attacked with strikes but was stopped with a lung blower / Ticket to Ride. They traded lariats with both going down.
Dunne caught Gibson with a snap German suplex, hit the Bitter End and Gibson kicked out with a dramatic near fall.
Gibson came off the second turnbuckle with a Ticket to Ride, he applied Shankly Gates, but Dunne grabbed the bottom rope. Gibson followed with Helter Skelter off the second turnbuckle and Dunne kicked out. Gibson re-applied Shankly Gates, he spun Dunne away from the ropes, but he crawled forward and eventually got the break.
Gibson got into his face, Dunne grabbed and snapped his fingers, caught him with a forearm coming off the turnbuckle and hit the Bitter End for the second time and this time pinned Gibson.
WINNER: PETE DUNNE AT 17:48 TO RETAIN THE WWE UK CHAMPIONSHIP
I’d give the main event the nod as ‘match of the night’ ahead of the tag title opener. Pete Dunne is fantastic as either a heel or babyface. This match accentuated his outstanding facial reactions and the selling of his shoulder and arm throughout the match with subtle reactions to moves that emphasized the pain.
This was a great showing for Zack Gibson between the two shows and they built him up well with an over submission in the Shankly Gates that you would assume he will be featured prominently when their series begins.
Everyone from the back came out, Paul Levesque held up Pete Dunne’s arm at the entrance. Levesque stated, “this is the next chapter in the rich history of British wrestling.” He added that “this is your time and this your brand. We are NXT.”