NXT UK – June 18, 2020

Date: June 18, 2020
Host: Andy Shepard

It’s another NXT UK’s Most Brilliant show this week as we look at the instant classic between Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne from Takeover: Chicago in 2017. This was the match that made fans realize what they could have with the United Kingdom promotion and that could make for some great flashbacks. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Andy gives us a quick recap of Bate winning the inaugural United Kingdom Title over Dunne, sending Dunne to a different level in pursuit of the title.

We get a three way chat with Shepard, Bate and Dunne, talking about what the build meant. They knew what the new title meant and how big this was, but they were calm coming in because they knew the match would be great.

Wrestling journalist Ryan Satin talks about the original title match being his introduction into the United Kingdom scene and how the rematch blew away his expectations. This match set up NXT UK.

From 2017, Bate talks about what winning the title means.

Also from 2017, Dunne says he would do anything to get the title.

Mark Andrews, Trent Seven and Wolfgang join Andy to talk about how big the match was for the UK. There might not be an NXT UK without them.

Shawn Michaels, Johnny Moss and William Regal praise everyone involved.

Bate and Dunne talk about how important the match was.

And now, the match. From Takeover: Chicago.

United Kingdom Title: Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne

Bate is defending and Jim Ross comes out for commentary. Dunne takes it to the mat to start and slaps on a headscissors as the fans aren’t sure who to cheer for. Bate dances his way free and it’s an early standoff. This time it’s Bate sending him to the floor and striking a pose with the mustache. Dunne tries to stomp the hand on the steps but Bate smacks him in the face and scores with a running elbow off the steps.

That’s fine with Dunne, who grabs an X Plex to drop Bate onto the apron. Back in and now it’s time to crank on Bate’s fingers as the fans are getting more behind Dunne. Some kicks to the head just get on Bate’s nerves though and it’s a delayed exploder suplex to put Dunne down. A dead lift belly to back suplex (with Dunne looking terrified) gives Bate two but his running shooting star is countered into a triangle choke. That’s broken up with raw power via a powerbomb and the fans are right back with Bate.

Back up again and Bate grabs the fastest airplane spin I’ve ever seen and falls on top for two. Dunne forearms him out of the air for two and flips the champ into a heck of a sitout powerbomb for two with a standing ovation on the kickout. They slug it out with Bate getting the better of it using Bop and Bang (his named fists) and one heck of a rebound lariat drops Dunne for a delayed two.

The Tyler Driver 97 is broken up but Bate reverses a Bitter End into a DDT to put Dunne on the floor. Bate isn’t done and moonsaults down onto Dunne, who is thrown back inside for two off a Spiral Tap (corkscrew Swanton). A big dive to the floor is sidestepped and Bate gets sent face first into the floor. Back in and the Bitter End gives Dunne the pin and the title at 15:26.

Rating: A+. My goodness what a fight. This was one big move after another but what mattered the most here was the feel. These two (again, the older one is TWENTY THREE) made the second match on the minor league show feel like the biggest fight of the year. Some wrestlers can go for years and not pull something like that off but they did it right here.

This was incredible stuff and I got sucked into it all over again. They even tied it back into the first match with Dunne realizing that Bate was going to leave it all in the ring and being ready for one of those big moves, which he had scouted and used to get the title. Go out of your way to see this one as it’s one of the best things NXT has ever done.

Overall Rating: A. The buildup to the actual match was a little annoying as they were running out of ways to say “yeah it was great”. That being said, my goodness the match is still outstanding and it was my Match of the Year. It’s the kind of match that was great at its time and has gotten even better because of how much it would mean for the promotion’s future. Check it out if you haven’t in a bit because it’s still worth the time.

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