Reviews

The John Report: WWE UK Championship Tournament 2018 – Night 2 of 2 Review (UK Title, Three NXT Titles on the line)

This was taped 06/19/18 and aired first on WWE Network on 06/26/18. In case you missed my review of night one of the WWE UK Championship Tournament, you can read all about it right here.

The opening video package showed highlights of the first night while also airing clips of wrestlers that are having matches on this show.

The event took place at Royal Albert Hall in London, England for the second straight night.

There was a shot of the crowd looking excited for this show. The announce team of Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to the show by running down the matches that we will see.

The Mustache Mountain duo of Trent Seven and Tyler Bate entered to a big ovation since they are British starts. The NXT Tag Team Championship duo of Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong are the opponents. This should be awesome even though WWE gave away the outcome one week ago when it was taped.

NXT Tag Team Championships: Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong) vs. Mustache Mountain (Tyler Bate and Trent Seven)

O’Reilly with an arm wrench on Seven, but Seven came back with a chop. O’Reilly with a kick to the leg and he drove Seven shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Strong tagged in, Seven chopped him and Bate tagged in with a rolling senton. Seven with a senton splash onto O’Reilly. The fans were chanting for both teams. Strong dumped Seven out of the ring followed by a wrecking ball dropkick that sent Seven to the floor. O’Reilly took down Seven with an armbar followed a knee to the arm. The fans chanted for both teams again as O’Reilly delivered kicks to Seven. O’Reilly charged in, Seven with a kick and Strong tagged in, but Seven kicked him into the barricade. Seven tossed O’Reilly out of the ring as well. O’Reilly pulled Bate off the apron when Seven was about to tag out leading to Strong hitting an impressive dropkick on Seven for a two count. O’Reilly with a kick to the chest. Seven nailed a DDT and the crowd was going wild as Bate got the hot tag. Bate with clotheslines on Strong, back body drop, running elbow and an Exploder Suplex. Bate with a running Shooting Star Press on Strong for two. Bate did the swing on both opponents, Bate drove O’Reilly into the turnbuckle and Bate kicked Strong down. Bate had O’Reilly on his back and delivered a German Suplex to Strong at the same time. Bate covered Strong for two. That was a great spot. Seven tagged back in, Strong hit a suplex and O’Reilly nailed a running kick.

Seven was down in the ring, O’Reilly went for a forearm, Seven moved and O’Reilly accidentally hit Strong out of the ring. Bate tagged in and they did the double team clothesline into a Dragon Suplex on O’Reilly. Strong back in the ring, he pushed Seven over Bate covering O’Reilly to break it up at two. The crowd gave that a big ovation leading to “NXT” chants. That was sweet. Strong kicked Seven out of the ring. Bate with a forearm to Strong. O’Reilly with a knee to the gut of Bate and a brainbuster got a two count. Strong and O’Reilly hit their double team knee attack, but Seven broke up the pin. Seven was sent out of the ring. Strong with a clothesline, Bate moved and Strong hit O’Reilly by accident. Bate took out O’Reilly. Bate took out Strong with a suicide dive on the floor. Seven picked up O’Reilly on his shoulders, Bate jumped off the top with a knee to O’Reilly and Seven slammed him like a reverse Death Valley Driver and Seven covered O’Reilly to win the match. It went 13 minutes. The fans popped HUGE for that title change.

Winners and New NXT Tag Team Champions: Trent Seven and Tyler Bate

Analysis: ****1/4 That was an excellent tag team match. There were so many great things in it with some believable nearfalls for both teams, there were creative ways of kicking out of moves that looked like they could win the match and the finish was incredible. I like the way the finish was set up with Strong and O’Reilly miscommunicating leading to Mustache Mountain capitalizing to get the job done. It’s a clever way of booking because it puts over the team that didn’t mess up and showed that they were more deserving of the win. I thought this was around the same level of match quality as the Undisputed Era vs. Birch/Lorcan at the last Takeover event.

Post match, Seven and Bate celebrated with the titles. The crowd loved it as they chanted “you deserve it” for them.

There was a shot of Zack Gibson in the locker room area preparing for the main event.

The celebration for Seven and Bate continued as they went into the crowd to celebrate with the fans. That was a cool moment.

Analysis: This was treated like a big deal. I like seeing that for a title change.

A commercial aired for the WWE 24 documentary about the Hardy Boyz that I highly recommend.

There was a video with NXT UK GM Johnny Saint. He announced a triple threat for a number one contender match for the UK Title with Flash Morgan Webster, Travis Banks and Mark Andrews.

They showed actor Stephen Graham at ringside with his kids.

Killer Kelly vs. Charlie Morgan

There was not much of a response for either woman. Kelly wrestled on the first night. They are part of the NXT UK women’s division. Kelly is the heel and Morgan is the face.

They did some mat wrestling early on with each woman doing a kip up leading to light applause. Morgan with a springboard cross body block that got two. Morgan with a running European uppercut against the ropes. Morgan went for a kick, Kelly avoided it, knee to the back and Kelly hit a snap suplex for a two count. McGuinness noted that Paige was the original trainer of Morgan. Kelly tied up Morgan in dragon sleeper submission. Kelly hit a bicycle kick that sent Morgan to the floor. Kelly on the apron and she kicked Morgan. The crowd was quiet for this match. Back in the ring, Morgan with a superkick followed by a senton off the middle ropes for two. Kelly connected with a German Suplex. Kelly with a running dropkick in the corner for two. The crowd barely reacted to it. Kelly went for a suplex, Morgan countered into a pinfall where she went on top and that was enough to win the match. It went about six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Charlie Morgan

Analysis: *1/2 This was boring until the finish. Morgan sold for most of it, Kelly’s offense looked solid, but she didn’t get to do that match. Morgan showed off some athleticism for the finish although it could have been booked a lot better. It just felt anticlimactic at the end. The fans didn’t care about this either.

Still to come is Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. EC3 and Velveteen Dream. That should be awesome. Also, Shayna Baszler vs. Toni Strom for the NXT Women’s Title. There’s also Adam Cole defending the NXT North American Title against Wolfgang.

A commercial aired for WWE Extreme Rules on July 15.

There was a shot of WWE legend Christian in the crowd. I listen to his podcast regularly and he was there with his wife visiting her family. He should be a future Hall of Famer soon.

The three women made their entrance for the NXT UK Title #1 Contender Match: Mark Andrews, Travis Banks with a taped left arm to sell the injury from the first night in the UK Title tourney and Flash Morgan Webster.

The bell was about to ring, but there was an interruption by NXT UK General Manager Johnny Saint. It was changed to a Fatal 4-Way with Noam Dar, who was back after six months injured. Good ovation for Dar. Saint actually screwed up by saying a four way that’s fatal, but he’s old, so we’ll forgive him.

NXT UK Title #1 Contender Match: Mark Andrews vs. Travis Banks vs. Flash Morgan Webster vs. Noam Dar

Banks decked Dar with a punch. Webster with an arm drag on Dar, then a headscissors and Andrews got a rollup on Webster. Andrews with a double foot stomp and a moonsault on Webster with Dar there to break up the pin attempt. Dar with a hard kick to the leg of Webster. Banks tripped up Dar followed a dropkick to the back. Banks with a suicide dive that took out Dar on the floor. Webster with a headscissors takeover on Banks on the floor. Andrews went to the middle ropes and hit a corkscrew moonsault to take out the other three guys on the floor. Back in the ring, Andrews hit a Sliced Bread and Slop Drop combination for two with Dar making the save. Andrews with an enziguri on Dar. Webster slammed Andrews and Banks jumped off the top with a double stomp to the back of Webster for two. Banks with two running back elbows against the turnbuckle and Dar got a rollup on Banks that was good for two. Banks hit a forearm on Dar. Andrews, Banks and Webster all hit eachother with strikes, so all four guys were down on the mat with fans chanting “NXT” for them. Webster with a step up enziguri on Andrews, then a hurricanrana off the top leading to Andrews landing on his feet and Andrews came back reverse hurricanrana for a two count. Great nearfall. Dar avoided a kick, he went for a leg submission and Dar managed to trip up Andrews into a knee bar. Banks tagged in wit ha submission on Andrews’ arm. Banks kicked Dar and slapped on the arm submission. Webster prevented Andrews from tapping and Webster hit Banks with forearms. Banks with a jumping kick off the middle rope on Webster. Andrews counter a suplex with a jawbreaker. Andrews up top, he went for a Shooting Star Press, Banks moved and Dar got back into it by wrenching Banks’ arm across the top rope. Dar with a running kick to the chest of Banks for the pinfall win after about ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Noam Dar

Analysis: ***1/2 That was an exciting ten minute match that felt like it was longer because it was of how fast paced it was. After the match was over, I checked the time I honestly thought it was longer, but I had it around ten minutes. The action was very good with all four men getting a few moments where it looked like they were going to win. Dar winning is fine with me because he’s been out for for a while. I just thought the finish could have been better. It was just a jumping kick to the chest. Dar should have won by submission or done something more impressive because it felt weak as an ending to a great match.

After the match was over, the brother duo Joe and Mark Coffey went into the ring to attack Andrews and Banks. Mark nailed a leaping kick on Andrews. Coffey hit an uppercut on Banks, who he attacked on the first night of this tournament. Joe hit a discus clothesline on Banks. Dar was going to make the save, but he stopped and went to the back.

Pete Dunne was shown backstage with his WWE UK Title.

Wolfgang was interviewed by Cathy Kelly ahead of his North American Title match against Adam Cole. Wolfgang’s plan is to break his teeth and take his title.

NXT North American Championship: Adam Cole vs. Wolfgang

Cole hit a neckbreaker early on for a two count. Cole is usually a heel, but the crowd is always into his “Adam Cole Bay-Bay” chant. Cole hit another neckbreaker. Wolfgang with a running gutbuster with double knees to the ribs for a two count. Wolfgang used his power advantage with a waistlock takedown. Cole hit a back elbow to the face. Wolfgang punched Cole out of the ring. Cole was on the floor and hit a jumping kick to the head of Wolfgang. Cole jumped off the middle rope, Wolfgang avoided it and hit a double knee strike to the ribs of Cole. Wolfgang with shoulder tackles to the ribs. Wolfgang with a hard whip into the corner. Running cross body block in the corner by Wolfgang, he took way too long to climb the ropes and when he jumped off, Cole hit a superkick. That took a long time, so it was obvious Cole was going to nail him with the kick. Cole with a running front kick that took down Wolfgang. Cole went for a step up enziguri, Wolfgang avoided it and Cole came back with a backstabber (knees to the back) for two. Cole with a leaping enziguri. Cole hit the Ushigoroshi (fireman’s carry into a knee to the back) for a two count. Wolfgang put Cole on his shoulders and slammed him down. Wolfgang missed a moonsault off the middle ropes. Cole with two boots to the face, two more kicks and Wolfgang nailed a clothesline leading to a flip bump from Cole. Wolfgang slowly got to the top rope. Wolfgang jumped off with a Swanton Bomb, Cole got his knees up and Cole hit a suplex into the knee. Cole hit a running knee to the back of the head called the Last Shot for the pinfall win after about ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Adam Cole

Analysis: **3/4 The match was good with the story being about Wolfgang going for big moves all the time, but he was unable to connect with it. It just seemed like Wolfgang kept on trying those big moves, Cole found counters or just moved and that was the story of the whole match. Cole has a lot of impressive moves. He’s a good all around talent with a lot of charisma.

Post match, Adam Cole did his “Adam Cole bay-bay” celebration. The fans loved it and they asked him to do it again, so Cole did it again.

The new NXT Tag Team Champions Trent Seven and Tyler Bate were interviewed by Cathy Kelly. They were so happy to be tag team champions.

Velveteen Dream made his entrance first for the big NXT tag team match with Ranallo hyping it up as a first time ever tag team match. The fans chanted “Velveteen” for Dream. EC3 made his entrance to his catchy “Top One Percent” song. A lot of the fans were singing along with the song.

Ricochet entered first for his team. He got a massive ovation as well. Aleister Black was up last with the NXT Championship. Black is from the Netherlands, so he’s the only European in this match since the other three are Americans.

Velveteen Dream and EC3 vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet

The team of Black and Ricochet are the faces here, but this is one of those matches where these fans are going to cheer all of these guys.

Dream started with some mind games against both opponents since Dream feuded with both guys. EC3 tagged in for the team against Black. The fans chanted “this is awesome” before they even did anything, which shows it’s an easy crowd to please. Black slipped over the back of EC3 and sat down in the ring. Black slipped out of the ring, Ricochet went up top and hit a cross body block on Dream. Ricochet with a headscissors on EC3 followed by a dropkick that sent him out of the ring. Ricochet did an incredible cartwheel in the ring to show off his athleticism. Springboard kick by Ricochet knocked Dream off the apron. Black did his own flip off the ropes leading to Black and Ricochet sitting down together in the ring. The heels took control working on the left arm of Ricochet with Dream hitting a double axe to the left arm of Ricochet. Dream sent Ricochet into the turnbuckle. Ricochet with a dropkick on EC3. There was a cheap moment from the heels with Dream grabbing a chair, so the ref never saw it and Ricochet had to stay in there for his team. Dream whipped Ricochet into the turnbuckle followed by some taunting by Dream. Neckbreaker got a two count for Dream. EC3 tagged back in with a slam on Ricochet. Dream tagged back in, Ricochet kicked Dream and a back elbow for EC3. The heels prevented Ricochet from tagging out as Ricochet delivered a spin kick and Ricochet hit a neckbreaker while Dream accidentally hit a DDT on EC3. It was confusing, but it looked good.

Black tagged in with kicks for Dream and a springboard moonsault off the middle ropes for a two count on Dream. Black kicked Dream down, but Dream came back with an impressive spinebuster. Dream up top and his balance knocked him off the top with EC3 potentially doing it by accident. EC3 tagged in with a clothesline leading to a flip bump by Black. Dream with a superkick on Black and EC3 sent Black face first into the mat. Ricochet back in, he hit a superkick on EC3, Dream with a superkick on Ricochet and Black with a running knee on Dream. All four guys were down leading to a “this is awesome” chant. The action spilled to the floor with Ricochet hitting a dive over the top onto Dream. Dream hit a DDT-like move for a two count. Ricochet got the tag, he hit a clothesline and a rollup got two. Ricochet went for a springboard attack, Dream rollup got two and Dream hit a rolling Death Valley Driver. EC3 tagged in, he went for the Top One Percent, Ricochet landed on his feet and hit a standing SSP for a two count. Ricochet went up top, he went for a splash, EC3 avoided it and hit a neckbreaker like move. EC3 tried to tag out, but Dream limped off favoring his left leg and walked to the back. Black was the legal man, fans chanted “look behind you” and Black hit the Black Mass kick to the face of EC3 for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Aleister Black and Ricochet

Analysis: ***3/4 That was a fun match with a hot crowd that was into it before it even began. My gripe is that the finish was weak. I know they wanted to tell the story of Dream being a selfish jerk that didn’t really want to team with EC3, but I think it could have been booked better. EC3 stood there like an idiot for too long and then walked right into a Black Mass. It just felt too cheap. It would have been better if Black and Ricochet each got in a couple of moves before finishing off EC3.

Post match, Ricochet had his hands on the NXT Title. Ricochet looked at the title for a moment before handing it over to Black. That would be a great match in the future.

Toni Storm was interviewed by Cathy Kelly backstage. Storm said she’s been a champion all over the world and knows what it takes to be a champion. Storm said that Baszler has been in the ring with her before, so she knows what she has been about. Strom said she’ll be the new NXT Women’s Champion.

Analysis: The promos on this show have been very basic. This one was too. It’s better, in some ways, than some of the over scripted promos on the main roster.

The commentary pushed hard that this was the first Women’s Title match in Royal Albert Hall history.

NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler vs. Toni Storm

Baszler was in control early with a side headlock. Storm escaped from it leading to Storm getting to her feet. The fans chanted for both women, which is common from them in a singles match. There was some song for Storm by the fans, but I have no idea what they were saying. Baszler kicked Storm to knock her down. Storm with a kick that sent Baszler out of the ring. Storm with a suicide dive that took out Baszler on the floor. Baszler was bleeding from the nose, which led to the ref putting on the dreaded white gloves. Baszler slammed the back of Storm’s head on the floor outside the ring. Back in the ring, Baszler with a chop block to the back of Storm’s leg followed by a running knee against the turnbuckle. Baszler stomped on the left foot of Storm. Baszler stood on the foot of Storm against the ropes. Baszler tried to send Storm across the ring, but Storm collapsed selling the foot ending. The announcers were really over the top about this being a potential career ending injury, which is a bit much. Storm hit a German Suplex followed by a corner hip attack. Storm went up top, Baszler went after her and Baszler hit a gutbuster suplex off the top for two. That was a cool move. Baszler slapped on a knee bar on the left leg of Storm. Baszler with a charge, Storm hit a headbutt and Storm hit the neckbreaker on the knee and a delayed cover got a two count. Baszler with a step-up knee strike for a two count. Storm got a nearfall for two. Baszler slapped on the Kirifuda Clutch submission in the center of the ring. Storm managed to get her hand on the bottom rope to break free. Baszler slapped on the Kirifuda Clutch on the floor. The ref countered Storm down, but Storm was too tired to get back up and Storm failed to get back in. Baszler won by countout after 12 minutes.

Winner by countout: Shayna Baszler

Analysis: *** Good match that had a similar feel to most Baszler matches with her picking apart a body part and Storm sold that left leg well. The finish wasn’t what I expected because it’s rare to see a title match ending in a countout like that where the person losing was beaten to the point where they can’t get up, but it ‘s different. I don’t think it’s bad. I’m just saying I’m not used to it. Storm was impressive both nights while Baszler continues to impress.

Baszler left with her title while Storm was down at ringside. They were showing replays when Baszler went back into the ring. Baszler slapped in the Kirifuda Clutch submission to lock up Storm in the ring. The referee pulled Baszler off to end it. Baszler left with the title saying, “this is reality…get used to it.”

Analysis: That will set up another match between them since Storm didn’t pin or submit. The cheap post match attack also will make fans want to see Storm get her revenge.

The video package aired to set up Zack Gibson challenging Pete Dunne for the NXT Championship. Gibson earned the title shot by winning the tournament that that took place one night earlier.

Zack Gibson entered first to boos. This is his fourth match in two nights. He has mastered the art of making angry faces. Gibson is known as Liverpool’s #1. He is 27 years old.

Pete Dunne, the WWE UK Champion, made his entrance with the championship in his mouth. The fans love him. Dunne has held the title for over 400 days. Dunne’s known as the Bruiserweight that’s from Birmingham, England and he’s 24 years old. I don’t like saying somebody is “good for their age” that often, but Dunne is so impressive so early in his career.

WWE United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne vs. Zack Gibson

Dunne started by bending Gibson’s fingers, which is something Dunne likes to do. The fans were singing one of their songs. Dunne with a running clothesline. They went to the apron, Dunne kicked Gibson in the arm and Gibson tripped up Dunne on the apron. Gibson hooked the arm and whipped him into the barricade at ringside. Back in the ring, Gibson with a belly to back suplex. Gibson hooked the arm of Dunne leading to a suplex. Gibson with a grounded lariat. The fans did another song this time while holding their shoes in the air. I have no idea what that’s about. Dunne with a headbutt followed by a step up enziguri. Dunne with a X-Plex, which like a front suplex that got a two count. Gibson went for a suplex, Dunne landed on his feet and kicked him in the back of the head. Dunne avoided another suplex and hit a double foot stomp. Gibson rolled to the floor. Dunne went to the second turnbuckle and he jumped out to the floor with a moonsault that may have been a reverse DDT. Dunne grabbed the foot of Gibson, but Gibson came back with a hammerlock whip into the steel steps. They battled on the floor with Dunne slapping on kimura armbar. Dunne hit the X-Plex onto the bottom of the ramp. Gibson was screaming in pain selling his back injury. Both men crawled back in before the ten count even though they were out of the ring for a lot longer than that. The ref was lenient with the count.

Gibson took control with a forearm to the back of the neck of Dunne. Gibson pounded on Dunne against the corner. Dunne came back with punches, Gibson hit the Ticket to Ride that’s like a Codebreaker, Dunne with a clothesline, Gibson with a clothesline and Dunne with another clothesline knocked down both guys. The fans were chanting “NXT UK” briefly. They locked hands, then exchanged headbutts leading to both guys collapsing in the ring. The fans sang again. Dunne got back up and hit a German Suplex. Dunne with the pumphandle leading to the Bitter End, which is a front slam that he uses as his finisher and Gibson kicked out at two. Gibson came back with an enziguri kick to the left arm followed by the Ticket to Ride off the middle ropes that was good for a two count. Gibson slapped on the Shankly Gates submission, but Dunne got to the ropes. Dunne recovered quickly, he set up Gibson on to top rope going for a superplex and Gibson countered into the Helter Skelter, which is like a spinning brainbuster that got a two count. That was an awesome nearfall. The announcers were going crazy for it. Gibson slapped on the Shankly Gates submission on the left arm in the middle of the ring. The fans didn’t want Dunne to give up. Dunne teased nearly tapping out, but Dunne got to the ropes to break the hold. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for the them. Gibson stomped on Dunne with the announcers overselling the kicks. Dunne pulled on the fingers on Gibson, he stretched them, Gibson got in a kick, but his jump off the ropes failed because Dunne punched him. Dunne hit the Bitter End and pinned for the win. That drew a good pop from the appreciative crowd. The match went 18 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Pete Dunne

Analysis: **** That was a great match with a nice mix of technical wrestling and the strong style that has become so popular. Some of it was a bit slow due to the style of Gibson, who is a brawler that has a good submission move as a finisher. It was booked like an even match where neither man had the advantage for a long time. The last few minutes were excellent with Gibson kicking out of the Bitter End, which doesn’t happen that often in Dunne matches because it’s a finisher. Gibson came close to winning a few times with the Shankly Gates submission and Helter Skelter off the ropes. Dunne managed to come back with the Bitter End again for the win as the fighting champion that he is. The crowd was into all of it with their singing and then they really bought into the last few minutes as well.

Post match, Dunne celebrated with the WWE UK Title. Ranallo put him over as a great champion that is only in his mid-20s. Gibson left the ring looking frustrated about the loss.

Dunne celebrated in the ring some more as the crowd cheered him on.

Dunne walked up the ramp where he was greeted by Triple H, Johnny Saint and the other wrestlers that competed during the two nights in this UK tournament.

Triple H: “This is the next chapter in the rich history of UK professional wrestling. This is your time, this is your brand and we are NXT.” The fans applauded the talent on the stage.

This event had a run time of 2:26:23 on WWE Network.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Tyler Bate and Trent Seven

2. Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong

3. (tie) Pete Dunne

3. (tie) Zack Gibson

 

Final Thoughts

I give it a 8.5 out of 10.

It was a great show just like the first night. This one gets a bit of a higher rating with the 8.5 out of 10 because I thought the addition of the NXT talent made it a better show. I liked the NXT Tag Team Title match the most while the main event was great and the other NXT tag match was pretty awesome as well.

It was an easy show to watch with good matches all night long in front of a very appreciative crowd. I recommend watching it if you have the time.

Thanks for reading. My contact info is below. Go Los Angeles Rams.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook

 

 

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