Reviews

WWE UK Championship Review Part 2 01/15/17 – New Champion Crowned by Mike Sanchez

Hi there and welcome to the review of night two of the UK WWE Championship. To read a review of part one, click here. Tonight, the first WWE UK Champion will be crowned.

Live, from Blackpool, England, here we go…

There was a video package showing us highlights from the previous night. Michael Cole and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to the show.

All photos courtesy of WWE.com

 

Pete Dunne vs Sam Bradwell

The first night of the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament ended with a sneak attack on Sam Gradwell from Pete Dunne.

Bradwell had his back taped due to the assault he suffered from Dunne at the end of last night’s show.

Bradwell refused the obligatory handshake and attacked Dunne. He started on top with heavy forearms, clotheslines and a suicide dive. A heavy bump on the ramp by Dunne followed by a missile dropkick. Bradwell slowed down as his injured back worsened. Dunne began stalking Bradwell. Beautiful German Suplex by Dunne followed by a driver by Bradwell that led to a two count. Bradwell with a flying leap to the outside, but Dunne shoved Bradwell, injuring his back further. Dunne waited as the ref began the count. Bradwell barely made it back to the ring, but Dunne hit a bodyslam into the corner and got the pin.

Winner by pinfall – Pete Dunne (advances to semi-finals)

Post Match – Dunne gave a pumphandle slam to Bradwell.

Analysis – Bradwell sold his back injury throughout the match and Dunne took his time to pick him off. Lovely suicide dive from Bradwell, but Dunne was always going to use his opponent’s injury to steal the win.

 

Mark Andrews vs Joseph Connors

An exhilarating Shooting Star Press nets a major victory for Andrews.

Fast start as expected between these two. Plenty of arm drags and near falls. A quick, technical style with lots of counters. Andrews missed a moonsaults on Connors. Drop toe hold by Connors to send Andrews into the steps. Connors on top with strikes forcing Andrews to kick out of covers. Connors missed a kick outside the ring and hit the steps. Somersault Sinton from the barricade by Andrews, followed by a flying cross body, but his standing moonsaults was blocked by Connors’ knees. Connors hit a rope-assisted DLD to Andrews who kicked out. Andrews hit a hurricanrana from the top rope. Connors went for DLD again, but it was countered into a stunner. A shooting Star Press from Andrews got the win.

Winner by pinfall – Mark Andrews (faces Pete Dunne in semi-finals)

Analysis – Good mix of styles. High-flying and quick against strong and technical. A very enjoyable match and great performance from both guys.

 

Wolfgang vs Trent Seven

The Seven Stars Lariat has dropped many men, but it's not enough to stop Wolfgang.

Good reception for both guys from the crowd, however the crowd sided with Seven once the bell rang, much to Wolfgang’s disapproval.

Lockups from the start led to a heavy slap from Seven, then Wolfgang hit a moonsault from the barricade outside the ring. Great spot. On landing, Wolfgang hurt his knee. Seven launched into a suicide dive on Wolfgang, then a superplex from Wolfgang. Both men traded slaps and European uppercuts. Wolfgang hit wasteland, but his moonsault was blocked by Seven’s knees. Tremendous dragon suplex by Seven – wow. He then hit a heavy lariat but Wolfgang kicked out of the pin. Seven went for a piledriver, but had it blocked. Wolfgang hit the swanton for the win.

Winner by pinfall – Wolfgang (advances to semi-finals)

Analysis – I predicted Seven to win, but can’t fault Wolfgang’s effort and athleticism again. Terrific effort by both men. Great high spots and the crowd were into it all the way.

Michael Cole and Nigel McGuinness expressed their thanks to the UK for their support during the tournament. They were wearing Blue Peter badges (retro reference for the Brits reading this).

 

Tyler Bate vs Jordan Devlin

Devlin was booed during his entrance while Bate was cheered as he did his polite wave to the crowd.

Devlin began on the offensive. Loud “You’re just a sh*t Finn Balor” chants. Suicide dive to the outside from Bate. Good combo of grapples and counters by both guys, culminating in a flying European uppercut from Bate. Bate hit his aeroplane spin, then a kick to the head of Devlin. Devlin missed a moonsault, but connected with a knee to Bate’s face. A missed moonsault again and Devlin countered the Tyler Driver. An enziguri from Devlin, but Bate hit the Tyler Driver to snatch the win.

Winner by pinfall – Tyler Bate (faces Wolfgang in semi-final)

Analysis – A very entertaining match from both guys. Bate belies his nineteen years and was excellent. He had a great connection with the crowd. I was surprised Devlin lost, but there was no denying Bate was the more popular man.

There was shot of Robbie Brookside in the crowd. Fellow scouser & Evertonian. I saw him wrestle a Raw show in Manchester years ago. Top man.

 

Semi-Final – Mark Andrews vs Pete Dunne

Pete Dunne uses his cruelty to make sure Mark Andrews can't get any momentum going.

No handshake to start this one. Dunne grimacing at Andrews. Dunne started quickly, keeping Andrews grounded with heavy shots. Lovely somersault to the outside by Andrews. Dunne tried to stomp on Andrews’ hand, but only found himself on the other end of a hurricarana. Dunne continued to stomp and pound Andrews. A great standing moonsault by Andrews on Dunne. A running Shooting Star by Andrews for a two count. Dunne caught Andrews in the air from a moonsault then hit a release vertical suplex on the apron. That looked brutal. Dunne calls it the X-Plex. Another X-Plex on the ramp this time. Andrews just avoided being counted out. Another X-Plex, but this time Andrews countered into a stunner. Andrews went for a shooting star, but Dunne blocked with the knees. Dunne’s pumphandle was countered by Andrews. Andrews missed another shooting star, but Dunne threw him into the corner with a German Suplex. Another X-Plex followed by a pumphandle slam and Dunne got the win.

Winner by pinfall – Pete Dunne (advances to final)

Analysis – Great match. Both guys hit big moves and told a wonderful story that had everyone enthralled all the way through. The crowd were on their feet cheering towards the end. Andrews fought well, but Dunne is on another level.

 

Semi-Final – Tyler Bate vs Wolfgang

Slow start with both men sizing one another up. Wolfgang very physical as they traded blows. Bate using his speed to avoid the attacks. Wolfgang climbed the ropes, but Bate hit a flying kick to send him sprawling. Wolfgang hit a pop up powerbomb, but it was more like a press and slam. Wolfgang missed the swanton, and the crowd began cheering for Bate. A spear from Wolfgang, and Bate just kicked out of the pin. Bate managed to hit the Tyler Deriver for the. The win. Big spot and a big finish. Crowd loved that. Even Bate looked surprised he won.

Winner by pinfall – Tyler Bate (advances to final)

Post match – Dunne attached Bate in the ring, sending him shoulder-first into the ring post. Bate looked hurt. William Regal chased Dunne out of the ring and into the back. Bate was assisted to the back by medics.

Analysis – With Bate seemingly injured, the deck looks stacked against him. Great work by both. Big fan of Wolfgang, but Bate keeps delivering awesome matches. He has a real connection with the crowd and did very well.

 

Exhibition Match – Neville vs Tommy End

Before a new champion is crowned, however, Neville battles new WWE NXT Superstar Tommy End.

Neville made his entrance to a loud ovation. He got the mic and told the audience he wasn’t allowed to participate in the competition because WWE wanted it to be competitive. If he was in it, it would be no competition. He went on to say how he was the best wrestler in the country and the continent.

Tommy End made his entrance. Tommy is from the Netherlands.

A quick pace to the match with Neville leaping everywhere. Heavy kicks from both men. Neville hit stomps and knee drops on End. A leap from the top rope by Neville was met with a kick from End. Running knee to the gut followed by a moonsaults to the outside by Tommy End. More kicks to Neville led to a two count. End hit a lovely roundhouse kick and German suplex that led to another two count. Neville hit the hurricanrana and Red Arrow for the win.

Winner by pinfall – Neville

Analysis – A fun match for all watching. It was my first time seeing Tommy End and he was really good. I don’t think there was any doubt Neville was winning in the UK.

Finn Balor made his entrance. He thanked the crowd for their support and said it would never have happened without them. The crowd responded with a “we deserve it” chant. Nice touch.

 

UK Championship Match – Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate

Bate made his entrance with his damaged shoulder strapped up. Cole told us he had a partially separated AC joint. Sounds painful.

Steady start as both men paced around the ring. Dunne stalking Bate. Dunne worked on the shoulder early, utilising locks and punches to hurt Bate. A great counter from Bate who then hit a dropkick. They locked up again and went to the outside. Dunne continued to punish the shoulder of Bate. Bate tossed Dunne into the ring post the hit a springboard uppercut. A fantastic exploder suplex from Bate. Dunne kicked out the pin at two. Tyler went for the Tyler Driver but his shoulder gave out. Dunne began stomping on Bate and went for the pumphandle. Quick reversal by Bate into small package. Dunne kicked out at two.

Two aeroplane spins from Bate that drew big cheers from the crowd. Another aeroplane spin and Dunne kicked out at two. Dunne locked a triangle choke on Bate, wrenching and punching his damaged shoulder. Bate showed great strength by lifting Dunne with the choke still applied. Crowd on their feet cheering loudly. Bate with a Fosberry Flop leap onto Dunne on the outside, followed by a 450 splash that got another two count.

Dunne went for the Bitter End that looked to end the match, but Bate kicked out. Dunne with a double wrist lock on Bate’s shoulder, keeping him in the middle of the ring and away from the ropes. Bate countered into a brainbuster and another two count. A German Suplex by Bate was countered by Dunne who rained blows in reply. A rolling kick by Bate who then managed to catch Dunne in the Tyler Driver for the win.

Winner and first WWE UK Champion – Tyler Bate

Analysis – Best match of the tournament for me, and that’s saying a lot considering there were some great matches. I honestly believe it wouldn’t have looked out of place on regular WWE television. They kept the crowd enthralled throughout the match with high spots and near falls. The crowd willing the injured hero to overcome the odds against the dastardly heel. Pure wrestling storytelling at its finest.

Post Match – Tyler Bate was presented with the WWE UK Championship belt by Triple H, William Regal, Finlay and Finn Balor. Confetti rained down as Bate posed on the ropes with his belt.

 

Final Thoughts

I’m so happy I got to watch this tournament, not just as a wrestling fan, but as a Brit. It showcased some serious talent and everyone involved was excellent. I thought Bate was great and a deserved winner, however Dunne is a real talent and shined for me.

Big shout out to Cole & McGuinness (who called every move he saw, especially those I didn’t know and had to write down). A perfect combination for the event.

From the crowd in attendance, the arena, the booking and the announcers, it was an excellent piece of wrestling television. I really enjoyed it from start to finish and hope you did too. It was a pleasure to review it. Hopefully we may see some of these guys in the ‘big leagues’ of WWE, but if they never get the call up, they can rest assured they all covered themselves in glory this past weekend. It was awesome, it was enthralling and it was British Wrestling at its finest. Thank you to all involved.

What do you think? Did you enjoy the tournament? Should WWE do another or try this again in another country? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, thanks for reading.