The John Report: WWE UK Championship Tournament 2018 – Night 1 of 2

This was taped 06/18/18 and aired first on WWE Network on 06/25/18.

The opening video package featured WWE UK General Manager Johnny Saint welcoming us to the Royal Albert Hall in London, England and to the tournament.

The crowd at Royal Albert Hall was very loud as expected.

The announce team of Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to the show. The fans were chanting “Mamma Mia” for Ranallo since that is one of his catchphrases. They went over the matches in the tournament. The winner of the tournament gets to face UK Champion Pete Dunne on day two.

Quarterfinal #1: Jack Gallagher vs. Zack Gibson

Gibson is a few inches taller and weighs more. Gallagher has a WWE deal on 205 Live as we know. Gibson is known as Liverpool’s #1 and he’s a heel in this match.

They did some mat wrestling to start with Gallagher doing one of his unique flips to escape. Gibson grounded Gallagher with an armbar. Gallagher got a pinning sequence into a two count. Gibson sent Gallagher’s left arm into the ropes followed by a dropkick to the arm for a two count. Dropkick by Gibson got two. Gibson worked on the left arm some more. Gibson with an armbar suplex. Gibson with a hard whip that sent Gallagher into the turnbuckle along with a clothesline on the mat for two. Gibson slapped on another armbar on the left arm of Gallagher. The comeback by Gallagher started with a forearm, elbow, knee strikes and a delayed suplex. A knee strike by Gallagher got a two count. Gallagher to the middle rope, Gibson kicked him and hit a lung blower (Codebreaker) that he calls a Ticket to Ride according to Ranallo, which was good for a two count for Gibson. Gallagher with a dropkick. Gallagher went for a dropkick against the turnbuckle, but Gibson caught him and hit a Powerbomb. Gallagher with the triangle choke on the head of Gibson only for Gibson to counter by sending Gallagher back first into the turnbuckle. Gallagher yanked on the left arm of Gibson. Gallagher slapped on a sleeper with a body scissors, but Gibson got his foot on the bottom rope to break it up. Gallagher missed a corner charge, Gibson to the floor and Gallagher hit a suicide dive. Gallagher nailed the dropkick against the turnbuckle for two as Gibson kicked out. That is a finishing move for Gallagher. Gibson with a chop to the throat and then he whipped Gallagher into the ring post. Back in the ring, Gibson picked up Gallagher and hit another Ticket to Ride (double knees to the chest) for a two count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Gallagher connected with a low dropkick to the head. Gallagher went up top, he jumped off with a headbutt, but Gibson kicked him in the head. Gibson slapped on an armbar on the left arm called the Shankly Gates leading to the tap out from Gallagher. It went 13 minutes.

Winner by submission: Zack Gibson

Analysis: ***1/4 Good match with smart psychology throughout the match with Gibson working on the left arm/shoulder of Gallagher for most of the match. Gallagher sold it well, Gibson kept going after the arm, Gallagher made comebacks and Gibson managed to finish him off after Gallagher’s mistake off the top. It’s not a surprise that Gallagher of 205 Live lost since he’s already got a WWE deal, so they want to use this tournament to showcase other talent.

A video package aired about Joe Coffey from Scotland and Dave Mastiff from England. They are the two biggest guys in the tournament.

Quarterfinal #2: Joe Coffey vs. Dave Mastiff

Mastiff is the bigger man like a super heavyweight while Coffey’s got more of a thick build like Rusev.

They did a shoulder tackles battle with neither man winning followed by each man hitting a cross body block at the same time. Both guys rolled to the floor. The battle continued on the floor with Mastiff decking Coffey with a shoulder tackle. Mastiff sent Coffey face first into the middle turnbuckle. Coffey with a forearm and he went up top with a missile dropkick for two. Coffey with a move like a spinebuster, but it didn’t look great. Coffey went for a diving attack off the ropes, Mastiff with a forearm and a senton splash for Mastiff. The offense continued as Mastiff whipped Coffey chest first into the top rope. They battled over a suplex with Coffey hitting an impressive suplex on the big man. Mastiff ran off the ropes, Coffey caught him and hit a belly to belly suplex. Coffey with a forearm to the face followed by German Suplex for two. Mastiff with a clothesline to the back of the head. Mastiff hit a bridging German Suplex that got a two count. Uppercut by Coffey and Mastiff hit a dropkick. Mastiff missed a corner cannonball attempt because Coffey moved. Coffey with a springboard cross body block followed by a hard discus clothesline for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Joe Coffey

Analysis: **1/2 They had an average match with Coffey looking impressive throughout the match with power moves on the bigger man. Mastiff looked a bit limited in terms of what he could do out there, but the fans reacted to him in a big way. Coffey is more of the complete wrestler while Mastiff is mainly a big man wrestler that likely can’t wrestle for that long.

Coffey was interviewed in the ring by Cathy Kelly. Coffey said he came there to win and then tomorrow night he’s going to take on Pete Dunne to win that WWE UK Championship. Coffey said he’ll show no mercy by any means necessary.

The video aired about Flash Morgan Webster, who said he likes to be flashy and charismatic. Webster is from Wales. Jordan Devlin talked about losing in the UK Tournament in 2017 and that it lit a fire under him. Devlin is from Ireland and was trained by Finn Balor.

Quarterfinal #3: Flash Morgan Webster vs. Jordan Devlin

Webster took down Devlin with arm drags while the announcers noted that Devlin started training to wrestle when he was just 12 years old under Finn Balor. Webster hit a somersault senton that looked good. Devil hit a back elbow followed by the double knee attack. Devlin with a standing moonsault got a two count. Devlin with a seated abdominal stretch. Webster with a kick to the face, he ran the ropes and hit a flying headscissors takedown. Webster with a forearm in the face and a running knee to the face for two. Devlin was sent out of the ring and Webster hit two suicide dives. The crowd wanted more, so Webster hit a somersault dive over the top to take out Devlin on the floor for a two count. Webster went up top, Devlin tripped him up and Devlin with an Avalanche Spanish Fly slam off the top for a two count. Devlin with a superkick for two. That was a great sequence. Devlin up top, he went for a moonsault and Webster moved. Webster hit a move where her flipped over Devlin and landed on top for the win. Ranallo called it a tilt-a-whirl reverse DDT, so that’s what we’ll call it. It went seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Flash Morgan Webster

Analysis: **3/4 That was an exciting match for the time given. It would have been nice to see them have a longer match, but since it’s a tournament they are having shorter matches. The action really picked up after Devlin hit that Spanish Fly off the top and nearly won the match with it. Webster has more of a personality from the looks of it, so that probably paid a part in him going over.

Travis Banks talked about his in-ring style being a physical, hard hitting style. He is from New Zealand. Ashton Smith is from England and said he’s a roughneck brawler that knew he would make it in a WWE ring.

Quarterfinal #4: Travis Banks vs. Ashton Smith

Banks is the current Progress Wrestling Champion according to McGuinness. Banks got a louder reaction for his entrance. Smith didn’t get much of a reaction.

Banks was aggressive early on with a hard kick to the back while Ranallo noted that Smith had some legitimate soccer/football tryouts with good teams in his career. Banks slapped on an armbar. Smith got going with a kick to the face, leaping lariat and a backbreaker. Banks with two running forearms, kick to the leg and Smith landed face first into the turnbuckle. Banks with a dropkick to the back against the turnbuckle for a two count. Smith hit a diving leg lariat leading to Banks bailing to the floor. Smith hit a somersault dive over the top to take out Banks on the floor. Back in the ring, Smith with a superkick for two. Front dropkick by Banks followed by a German Suplex with a bridge for two. Banks with three forearms to the face, Smith no sold, he hit punches and Banks nailed a kick off the ropes. Banks hit a Fisherman’s Buster aka the Kiwi Crusher for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Travis Banks

Analysis: **1/2 They had a solid match with Banks looking very impressive with his striking ability. Smith was on the receiving end of punishment for most of it other than when he hit some cool moves like the somersault dive to the floor. The Kiwi Crusher looked impressive as a finisher.

The semifinal matches are Banks vs. Coffey and Gibson vs. Webster.

A women’s triple threat match is up for a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. No video packages for the women.

Toni Storm got the best reaction in the match. She is from Australia. She made the semifinals in the Mae Young Classic last year. Storm reportedly signed a WWE UK contract a few weeks before this. Killer Kelly had a very serious demeanor. She’s from Portugal. Isla Dawn was last and she’s from Scotland.

Toni Storm vs. Killer Kelly vs. Isla Dawn

Kelly and Dawn worked together with a double team DDT on Storm. Dawn with a running back elbow on Dawn, kick to the head and a knee strike got two. Kelly hit a delayed suplex on Dawn. Kelly with three knee lifts on Dawn followed by a running dropkick against the turnbuckle. Storm with a German Suplex on Kelly and Dawn with a belly to back suplex on Storm. All three women were down with the crowd getting into it. The women exchanged forearm strikes. Dawn with a suplex on Storm for two. Kelly sent Dawn out of the ring. Kelly with a running kick on Dawn while Kelly was on the apron. Storm kicked Kelly off the apron. Storm with a snap German Suplex on Dawn and the Storm Zero backbreaker led to Storm pinning Dawn for the win. It went about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Toni Storm

Analysis: ** It was obvious this was going to be short match because they were selling fatigue so much in the first two minutes. Storm clearly is a lot better in the ring than the women she was against. Storm is only 22 years old, so she has a bright future ahead of her.

The win by Storm means that she will face Shayna Baszler for the NXT Title on night two of the WWE UK events. Baszler was shown at ringside looking confident.

A commercial aired for Extreme Rules on July 15.

WWE UK Announcement

Triple H’s music hit. The crowd gave a huge ovation to Triple H, who is the man that brought this show to the United Kingdom. The fans sang the theme song of Triple H as well. Huge pop for him.

Triple H said that this was a cool building. Triple H said he came there in 1996 and wanted to come back, so here they are. He thanked the fans. Triple H talked about how they came to Blackpool a year earlier and they were blown away by the talent in the UK. Triple H said that night changed what it means to be a professional wrestler in the United Kingdom. Triple H said they told us there would be more and since then talent like Wolfgang, Trent Seven, Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne (fans chanted Bruiserweight for Dunne) turned themselves into names all around the globe. Triple H said that the talent in this tournament make it clear to him they are scratching the surface in the UK. Triple H said they are going to give them more leading to “yes” chants.

Triple H introduced one of the Godfathers of British wrestling and a living legend, the General Manager Johnny Saint. There was a nice ovation for Saint, who walked out to the ring wearing a suit. McGuiness talked about how much he admired Saint and watched his matches a lot.

Saint talked about how he’s there to announce the commencement of the NXT UK brand. The NXT UK logo appeared on the screen. Fans chanted “NXT” for it. Triple H said that the NXT UK brand will allow you to see the best of UK wrestling while adding that they will start a women’s division and a tag team division. It all gets started on July 28 and 29 in Cambridge, England. They listed the other dates of the tapings. Triple H asked with Johnny Saint as your GM: “Are you ready?” The fans cheered. The crowd loved all of this.

Analysis: When WWE made the announcement last week it generated a lot of buzz with WWE announcing it immediately when they told this crowd. It’s a great sign that the WWE UK brand has grown so much that WWE wants to run a WWE NXT UK brand there. It’s just more content for us to watch on WWE Network, which is fine with me. I’m all for it.

There were clips of the four men left in the tournament looking ready to go.

Semifinal #1: Flash Morgan Webster vs. Zack Gibson

There was a mild reaction for Webster. Gibson was booed for his entrance.

Webster was aggressive early with punches followed by a leaping kick to the face. Webster hit a headscissors when they were on the floor. Webster up top, with a missile dropkick for a two count. Gibson sent Webster face first into the turnbuckle. The fans were singing something that I don’t know as Gibson worked on an armbar again. Webster hit a moonsault onto a standing Gibson for two. Gibson was on the floor, Webster hit a suicide dive. Webster went for another dive, Gibson caught him and hit a spinning cradle suplex onto the ramp. Both guys sold it as a big deal while the fans chanted “mama mia” again for Ranallo. Gibson slapped on the Shankley Gates armbar submission and Webster tapped out. The match went about five minutes.

Winner by submission: Zack Gibson

The win means that Gibson moves on to the finals.

Analysis: **1/2 It was a fast-paced match early because it was a short match. I liked the finish because it came after the big move on the ramp. As soon as Webster went back in the ring, Gibson slapped on his finisher and Webster gave up because he was too hurt after the big move before that. That’s some good wrestling psychology. I wish this match went longer.

A commercial aired about WWE Network’s WWE 24 special about Matt and Jeff Hardy. I wrote about it in depth for The Comeback right here. It was a great documentary.

The NXT Champion Aleister Black and Ricochet were at ringside. They were given huge ovations. They are in action in night two of these UK events.

Semifinal #2: Travis Banks vs. Joe Coffey

Coffey was selling a rib injury from his first match. Coffey has the power advantage, but they are about the same height.

Banks with a hard slap to the face, Coffey with chops and punches. Banks kicked Coffey and Coffey hit an explosive shoulder tackle that took down Banks. Coffey with punches to the ribs, a swing and a butterfly suplex for two. Banks with chops to the chest, he went for a sunset flip, but Coffey rolled through with a single leg crab submission. Banks crawled to the bottom rope to break free. Coffey grounded Banks by pulling back on his arms. Coffey with a forearm to the back of Banks. Coffey with punches, Banks with chops, a kick to the leg, more chops from Banks and a standing side kick. Banks with a running kick on the apron while Coffey was out on the floor. Banks sent Coffey into the ring with Banks hitting a running knee for two. Coffey with a tackle into the turnbuckle, Banks kicked him off and Coffey hit a popup front slam for two. Coffey hit a bridging German Suplex for a two count. Both guys were down with the crowd cheering to get them back into it. Banks with a dropkick and a double stomp against the turnbuckle that was good for a two count. Banks tried to lift Coffey, but Coffey was too big for him leading to Banks collapsing. Coffey with a back elbow. Coffey went for a double springboard cross body block, but Banks moved out of the way. Coffey with a chop, Banks with two kicks and Banks with a rolling pin where he sat on top for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Travis Banks

Analysis: *** It was an even match that went back and forth the whole way. That’s why that finish made a lot of sense. Coffey looked like he was going to win due to this power, but Banks figured out a way to make the clever cover for the win. I’m all for creative endings like that because it doesn’t always have to be a finishing move.

The win by Banks means that he’ll face Gibson in the final.

Post match, Coffey attacked Banks wit ha forearm to the back. Coffey whipped Banks shoulder first into the ring post. The referee tried to keep Coffey back, but Coffey shoved him away and hit a discus clothesline. Coffey left looking proud of his work while Banks was down in the ring holding his left shoulder while referees checked on him.

Analysis: That was a cheap attack from Coffey to set up a feud between them in the WWE NXT UK show. Since the show is going to start taping in July, it makes sense to utilize this tournament to set up some angles.

The announcers talked about how the tournament is about respect, but we didn’t get that from Coffey. McGuinness called Banks an underdog against Gibson due to the shoulder injury.

The trio of Tyler Bate, Trent Seven and WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne made their entrances individually. Bate and Seven are known as the team Mustache Mountain. The trio are known as British Strong Style. Bate and Dunne had incredible matches last year including the NXT Match of the Year at Chicago Takeover 2017. They all got much bigger reactions than any of the guys on this show. The ovation for Dunne was huge as he walked out with the WWE UK Title in his mouth like he usually does.

The Undisputed Era trio from NXT entered with their titles. Adam Cole is the North American Champion while Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly are the NXT Tag Team Champions. They got a superstar reaction as well because the fans know all of them well.

British Strong Style (Tyler Bate, Trent Seven and Pete Dunne) vs. The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong)

The English trio of Bate, Seven and Dunne were clearly the faces in this match.

Bate started with O’Reilly, Strong tagged in and Dunne tagged in with a forearm to the face with the crowd going wild. Dunne with a running clothesline. The three Undisputed Era guys went in the ring, so the British guys punched them. The fans chanted “British Strong Style” as Dunne stepped on the back of the knees of Strong. Seven tagged in, Strong drove him to the turnbuckle and Cole did his “Adam Cole bay-bay” pose with the crowd chanting along. Seven cleaned house with chops for all of the Undisputed Era and a DDT on Cole. Cole nailed a kick that knocked Seven out of the ring. Strong sent Seven back first into the barricade at ringside. O’Reilly with kicks, Strong tagged in with chops and a kick to the knee. Cole missed a corner charge when Seven moved, O’Reilly tagged in and Seven hit a suplex into a slam on O’Reilly. Dunne tagged again his former partner Strong with Dunne connecting with punches. Dunne avoided a corner attack, Dunne with a step up enziguri, kick to the head and Dunne suplexed Cole onto Strong for a two count for Dunne on Strong. Dunne with an arm drag on Strong, Bate got the hot tag and hit an Exploder suplex on O’Reilly into the corner. Bate had Cole on his back and he swung Strong around with the crowd going wild for that swing.

Dunne tagged back in with a double team powerbomb on Strong, but O’Reilly broke up the pin. Dunne up top, he jumped and Strong hit a dropkick to take down Dunne. Cole tagged in with a suplex into a neckbreaker for two. O’Reilly with a running kick on Dunne for two. O’Reilly slapped on a triangle choke on Dunne, but Dunne got out of it and Dunne hit a snap German Suplex. O’Reilly with a discus forearm, O’Reilly came back with a guillotine submission and Bate got the tag with a knee off the middle rope on O’Reilly. Cole sent Seven into Bate, Dunne with an enziguri on Cole, Strong with an overhead slam on Dunne and Bate with a bounce off the ropes into a clothesline. O’Reilly went for an armbar on Bate, but Bate hit a one armed Powerbomb. All six guys were down with the fans giving them a standing ovation along with “NXT” chants. Seven tagged in with a clothesline on Strong for two. Cole grabbed his title, Seven stepped on it and Strong hit a knee to the back of Seven. Cole tagged in, Undisputed Era each got strikes and Cole with a running knee. Cole with a superkick on Bate. Dunne with a forearm that sent Cole out of the ring. Dunne jumped off the middle rope with a moonsault to take out Cole and Strong on the floor. Seven and O’Reilly exchanged strikes in the ring, Seven with a clothesline and Bate tagged in. Bate with a clothesline on O’Reilly into a Dragon Suplex by Seven and Bate covered O’Reilly for the win at 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: British Strong Style (Tyler Bate, Trent Seven and Pete Dunne)

Analysis: **** That was an awesome tag team match. Four stars out of five and with a few more minutes it could have been really special. They are six guys that are all excellent workers and they told a great story. It followed the usual tag team story with Seven as the face in peril before breaking down with a hot finish. I was so impressed by Bate, which is something I say any time I see him because he’s such an outstanding performer. It was the right call having British Strong Style go over because they were in their home country.

During the second part of the UK tourney shows, Bate and Seven will challenge Cole and Strong for the NXT Tag Team Titles away. WWE already gave that result away on social media, but I won’t mention it here.

There were clips of Gibson and Banks getting ready for the main event.

A commercial aired for WWE Shop.

Let’s Hear From Shawn Michaels

The legendary WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels made his entrance to a big pop wearing a t-shirt, jeans and a jacket. I’m still getting used to the short hair version of Michaels. The crowd gave Michaels a huge ovation while singing some of the classic theme song. Michaels said it’s still a snappy tune.

Michaels said that in his 30 years in the business, he has never been scared to follow anything, but after that six-man tag match he’s now officially scared. Michaels said that back in 1991 he got to wrestle the first match for WWE right here in Royal Albert Hall. Michaels said that he was very honored to be a small part of this new history at Royal Albert Hall and fans chanted “one more match” at him. Michaels told them they had to stop.

Michaels said that being part of new history like NXT UK is WWE’s chance to give back to the loyal England fans. Michaels said the NXT UK brand is especially for you. Michaels told the fans to have a wonderful evening and get ready for the finals. The fans sang the Michaels theme song as he left.

Analysis: Good promo from Michaels, who works behind the scenes with Triple H in running NXT and helping with the production of this event.

Travis Banks was up first for the main event. His left shoulder/arm was taped up after the attack by Joe Coffey in the previous match. Zack Gibson, who is known as Liverpool’s #1, entered with the crowd mostly booing him. They stood in the ring for a face off for the introductions. Banks wanted a handshake. Gibson refused to shake his hand.

The winner of this match gets a UK Championship match against Pete Dunne during night two of these events.

Finals of the UK Championship Tournament: Zack Gibson vs. Travis Banks

Gibson went for the left arm of Banks, but Banks got to the ropes. They did it again with Banks getting to the ropes. Banks broke free with a hard chop to the chest. The fans were singing something while all of them were standing for some reason and then they sat back down. Banks worked over Gibson with a hard kick followed by a chop. Gibson pulled Banks out of the ring, he sent Banks into the barricade and Gibson whipped Banks left shoulder first into the steel steps at ringside. Great selling by Banks on the floor. Gibson slapped on the armbar in the ring. Gibson stomped on the left arm of Banks. Gibson worked over Banks with forearms to the face. Banks with chops, punches to the gut and hard kick to the legs sending Gibson into the turnbuckle. Banks kicked Gibson out of the ring. Banks with a suicide dive on Gibson on the floor. Bank in the ring, Banks with a running knee strike for a two count. Banks with a double stomp to the back of Gibson. Gibson kicked the arm of Banks. Gibson picked up Banks and hit the Ticket to Ride again, which is like a Tombstone into a Codebreaker. Banks went to the apron, Gibson followed and Banks with a knee that knocked Gibson to the floor. Gibson with a thrust chop to the chest, Gibson jumped onto the barricade and hit a roundhouse kick to knock down Gibson. That was really cool. Both men went back into the ring before the ten count.

Banks and Gibson exchanged forearm strikes. They looked exhausted. Gibson struck Banks with an open palm strike that knocked down Banks. That led to an exchange of open palm strikes. Banks with a jumping kick that knocked down Gibson followed by a hard kick to the chest. Fans chanted “yes” because they looked like Daniel Bryan’s “Yes” kicks. Banks stomped away on the chest of Gibson, but Gibson nailed an arm wringer that took down Banks. Gibson went for the armbar, Banks fought out of it, Banks went for a kick off the ropes, Gibson avoided it and Gibson slapped on the Shankly Gates submission again. Banks crawled to the bottom rope to break free. The crowd really got into it as Banks got to the ropes. Banks sent Gibson out of the ring. Banks ran the apron and hit a double foot stomp. Banks jumped off the middle rope with a roundhouse kick to the back of the head for a two count called Slice of Heaven according to the announcers. Both guys were down again. Gibson with a rollup with his feet on the ropes, but the ref saw it. Banks with a running clothesline. Banks with a Kiwi Crusher slam for a two count. The crowd exploded for that nearfall. Gibson rolled out to the floor again. Banks ran the ropes, but Gibson got his forearm up to block it. Gibson picked up Banks for a spinning brainbuster known as Helter Skelter for a two count. Gibson locked in the Shankly Gates submission on the left arm on Banks again and Banks was trapped in the middle of the ring. Banks tapped out to give Gibson the win after 17 minutes of action.

Winner by submission: Zack Gibson

Analysis: ***3/4 Excellent match to end the tournament. It was also the longest match on the show. The story was easy to follow from the moment is started due to Banks selling the arm injury going into it. That was a smart tragedy because Gibson is a heel that has a finisher that involved an armbar. It’s smart booking. The story all night was about Gibson using the Shankly Gates armbar submission and that played into the finish of this match as well. The crowd was really into the match although I think if it was a face other than Banks they may have cared about it more. That’s not a knock on him, but he’s also not British like most of the other guys. The crowd did come alive for Banks hitting the Kiwi Crusher, so that’s a moment where the fans believed in Banks as the potential winner. The last five minutes of the match were outstanding.

The win by Gibson means that he will face Pete Dunne for the UK Championship on the second night of these shows.

After the victory, Gibson extended his hand for a shake. Banks thought about it and Gibson walked away leading to more boos from the crowd.

Triple H walked out with Johnny Saint and Shawn Michaels. Triple H shook Banks’ hand as he went to the back.

Triple H got into the ring with Saint and Michaels. They all shook the hand of the winner of the tournament, Zack Gibson.

Gibson had the microphone in his hand. The fans booed him before he could say a word. Gibson said he is Liverpool’s…and here comes Pete Dunne.

Pete Dunne, the WWE UK Champion, went into the ring for a staredown with Gibson to set up the title match on the second night of this event. The show ended with the Dunne staredown with Gibson.

This event had a run time of 2:39:39 on WWE Network.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Zack Gibson
  2. Travis Banks
  3. Joe Coffey

The six guys in the six-man tag match were awesome too, but it’s hard to single out any of them.


Final Thoughts

I give it a 8 out of 10.

I thought it was a very good show. It’s a lot easier to book a show where it’s just match after match without a lot of promos. There wasn’t much in terms of storylines other than Coffey being a poor sport after a loss.

Gibson was a smart choice as the winner because WWE has signed him to a deal, so obviously they were going to put over somebody that they want to feature when the NXT UK brand really gets going. Gibson was also one of the better pure heels in all of the matches. Gibson’s Shankly Gates submission was put over huge because he won all three matches with it. That’s a smart way of booking because when he faces Dunne, the crowd will be hot when Gibson goes for that move since he used it successfully three times one night earlier.

A minor gripe I have is that nearly all the wrestlers have a similar style. Call it “strong style” or “British strong style,” but it does get repetitive when every wrestler has the same forearm strikes or knee strikes. That is today’s wrestling and I get that. I’m just saying that somebody would stand out from the crowd if they changed their style a bit. Everybody wrestling the same way is repetitive especially when watching a tournament like this.

The commentary team of Ranallo and McGuinness did a great job of letting us know more info about the wrestlers. I don’t know most of the wrestlers, so it made it easier to get into the matches thanks to the commentary. This commentary team is better than the Raw and Smackdown announce teams.

I’ll be back for part two of this review tomorrow most likely.

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

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport

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