2018 WWE UK Championship Tournament – Night Two

Two nights ago WWE gave us a classic tournament, which featured some of the best of British wrestling. Now, with the number one contender crowned in Zack Gibson, the Royal Albert Hall was treated to what was essentially a NXT Takeover card. With no England game to compete with, the RAH looks packed on Night Two, and the crowd are even more raucous. Let’s do it!

We begin with the NXT Tag Team Championship match, with The Undisputed Era defending against Moustache Mountain. Trent Severn and Tyler Bate have been tagging together for years, and they’ll enjoy a home-field advantage here. I always think that Moustache Mountain looks like a dad taking his son out for a day of wrestling. The near-sixteen year age gap between the two means that it’s a biological possibility. It’s a good job these two amazing athletes aren’t on Raw, otherwise that would definitely be their main storyline.

“Tyler, me lad, I’ve got something I need to tell you…”

“What is it Trent?”

“I’m actually your father. And Kurt Angle is my father. He’s your granddad. Go on, pop this moustache on Papa Kurt.”

“It’s Moustache Time!”

moustache

This match is an explosive opener, with both teams utilising unique tag-team manoeuvres and Mensa-like ring psychology. The highlight of the match might’ve come from the ref, who performed an athletic dive across the ring in order to count a pinning attempt. After a couple of unique looking tag-team finishers, your winners and NEW NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS – Moustache Mountain!

They did it! Anything can happen in the next two hours!

Charlie Morgan then took on Killer Kelly in a singles match. Like the triple threat last night, this was another good showcase of a newly established division. Kelly looks so confident in her movements, she’s someone who doesn’t waste any motion. Mauro explained that her mother competed for Miss World, and I love the idea that both generations use their bodies for performance, but in two completely different ways. Especially as Kelly’s gimmick is a legit, shoot fighter. Charlie Morgan gets the win after a roll-up. Morgan had some impressive moves, but was beaten down for the majority of the matchup, so hopefully we’ll see more of her as the months roll on.

kellymorgan

A triple threat match to decide the #1 contender for the UK Championship is next. Travis Banks, Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews are out to the ring. Johnny Saint come out and declares that this match will now be a FOUR MAN FATAL!

Here’s a list of established WWE match formats, as announced by 76 year-old Jonny Saint:

  • A Three Man Threatening!
  • The Cage of Purgatory!
  • Don’t Stay Sat Down Match!
  • A “Say You Forfeit” Match!
  • Break All The Rules Match!

The fourth competitor is the returning Noam Darr! If this multi-man match is the kind of wrestling we get when NXT:UK starts airing weekly, then we’re in for a jolly picnic of a product. These four guys don’t pause for a second, it’s high-octane action and they’re giving 205 Live a run for their money. Audra is on the sofa screaming for the King of the Mods to win, so I think we know who has the strongest gimmick. All Flash Morgan is missing is an entrance where he rides down on a 60s scooter, some early-Who for his music and Liam Gallagher’s Twitter feed tattooed on his face.

As you were x

The Scottish Supernova, Noam Darr, gets the win and earns himself a title opportunity. Post-match, The Coffey Brothers beat down Travis Banks. I can’t help but hear ‘Coffee Brothers’ every time. So I’m hoping for signature manoeuvres like The Hot Lava Java, Caffeinated Kick or GET BEANED!

Next up is Wolfgang challenging Adam Cole for the North American Championship. I’ve heard that Wolfgang is a nice enough bloke, and he’s a very solid worker, but there’s nothing about his personality or gimmick that I can latch on to. Mauro mentioned that he used to work in a pub, which gave me the idea for a rebrand. He’d essentially be a Glasgow pub landlord, who legit runs an ale and guesthouse. He shows up to wrestle every couple of weeks, and you could film bar-style brawls on location every now and then. His signature moves can be The Last Call and Eviction Notice. He’d be the enforcer of NXT:UK.

Campaign for hypothetical WWE booking to be known as ‘Fan Fliption’.

Anyway, Adam Cole is the most over foreigner in the building. He’s easily the fan-favourite in this match, and he manages to scratch and claw his way to a victory, by fatiguing the big-guy. Post-match he leads the crowd in multiple BAYBAY chants. I’ve been saying it since his 2013 Ring of Honour title run; This guy will be at the top of the WWE one day.

adamcole

Exhibition tag-team match now, featuring the biggest singles stars of NXT. Aleister Black and Ricochet take on EC3 and Velveteen Dream. This bout showcases the healthy state of the NXT roster right now. All four men are incredibly over, with clear defined characters, and that’s before I even mention the insane work-rate of this match. Even EC3 brought it, and managed to impress me.

We got more excitement between Ricochet and The Dream. I can’t decide if I want them to kiss, or kill each other. Maybe both! Dream eventually walks out on his teammate, like a scorned lover, and leaves EC3 to take the pin. Black and Ricochet shake hands in the post-match moments, perhaps (please!) hinting at these two having a friendly title match some time soon.

dreamric

Next is the Women’s Championship Match, as Shayna Baszler defends against Toni Storm. Storm looks so comfortable in a WWE ring. If you put her on Raw or Smackdown today, she’d be one of the best women on the roster, and have great matches with just about anyone. I’m so glad she’s dropped the tiny top hat that she wore during the Mae Young Classic last year. It made her look like a 2008 My Chemical Romance fan, or someone cosplaying the concept of awkwardness.

This match was probably the best of Baszler’s title reign so far. Toni brought out the best in her, and she’s shown just how much she’s improved over the least year. In the end, Shayna won via count-out, which was perfect booking to keep the belt on the champion, and protect the presumed face of the NXT:UK women’s division.

shaynatoni

Your main event is Zack Gibson vs Pete Dunne the WWE UK Championship. Go and watch this match! Not just for the in-ring action, which I’m predicting Dave Meltzer will give 4.5 stars (whatever that means), but for the audience participation. The recurring chant across both nights had been “Stand up if you hate Gibson!” to the tune of “Go West” by Village People/Pet Shop Boys/That custard advert from the mid-00s.

The variation during the main event was “Shoes off if you hate Gibson!” In what may be my favourite WWE crowd moment ever, 75% of the audience remove a single shoe and raise it high in the air as they chant for thirty seconds straight.

After a gruelling amount of false-finishes, Dunne vanquishes Gibson to retain and continue his 400+ day title reign. A great ending to two entertaining nights of action. I’m going to leave you with a list of wrestlers that Dunne has defended his title against, and I want you to decide if it’s one of the greatest title reigns in modern pro-wrestling history.

  • Tyler Bate
  • Roderick Strong
  • Kyle O’Reilly
  • Tommaso Ciampa
  • Mark Andrews
  • Lio Rush
  • Danny Burch
  • Buddy Murphy
  • The Velveteen Dream
  • Kassius Ohno
  • Oney Lorcan
  • Adam Cole
  • Wolfgang
  • Trent Severn
  • Jack Gallagher
  • Johnny Gargano

And those are just the matches under the WWE banner. Good luck to whoever can dethrone Dunne.

Today is Wednesday, June 27th and GERMANY ARE OUT OF THE WORLD CUP!

What did you think of Night Two? Let me know, in the comments below!

Images courtesy of wwe.com

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