by James Toal
It’s that time once again, time to see what happened this week on NXT! It’s the holiday season, so happy holidays to all and we’ve been given a special gift. Tyler Bate tries to reclaim the UK Championship against Pete Dunne, and Sanity defend their Tag Team Titles against The Undisputed Era. Let’s not waste any more time, let’s jump right in.
Tag Team Title Match – Sanity (c) vs The Undisputed Era
Killian Dane maintained his status as “The Beast of Belfast” as he took any shot that Fish and O’Reilly threw at him. Sanity held control of the fight, almost running rings around their opponents, although the undisputed era got a foothold back once they took down Eric Young from behind. The Era did an excellent job cutting off Young from his teammate, but they couldn’t seem to keep him down for long. After much desperation, Young tried to fight back but was still unable to make contact with Dane.
The tension built until finally Dane was released and started to wreak havoc in the ring. Eric Young came back on and seemed to be ready to finish the job, suddenly Adam Cole appeared and made Young hit the turnbuckle right on his “Santicles”. While this still didn’t amount to a pin, it didn’t stop a ferocious Nikki Cross coming down to slam Adam Cole to the floor. The chaos didn’t stop, all until Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly stole the win thanks to Young focusing on Cole.
Am I sad that Sanity aren’t champions anymore? Yes. Did the Undisputed Era deserve the titles this soon? Debatable. But, does this lead to a force to be reckoned with in NXT? Absolutely. While the match was shorter than you would expect, it was long enough to keep you engaged but did leave you wanting more. Maybe this leads to more with these two teams as I’d hate for this to be the end of their conflict.
– Heavy Machinery decided to move Tito Sabbetelli & Riddick Moss’ Car, which then led to the two entourage wannabes gloating. Basically, delete Street Profits, paste Heavy Machinery, you’ve got something new for the tag teams to do.
– Sonya Deville stated that she was going to pin Ember Moon, as she never got pinned by her. Plus, we’re still not fully committing her RAW at this point which DEFINITELY won’t lead to confusing for new viewers.
Lars Sullivan vs Rodrick Strong
Immediately Strong wanted to get the offence in, while it was commendable it did end up backfiring as Sullivan took control by force. What Strong needed to do was use some intelligence, he did this by tying him up in the ropes and managed to get a decent amount of attack on him. Even after all that, Sullivan refused to quit and carried on dealing damage. Tried as he might, Strong fell at the hands of Sullivan which means he won’t be going forward to next weeks fatal four way.
We can moan all day about the WWE’s obsession with the big sweaty men, and yes it’s a big shame that Strong isn’t getting an opportunity for the belt anytime soon. But, he has slowly been progressing to a point where you could consider him entertaining. He’s not, for example, WWE 2K18 DLC worthy, but it’s still a start.
WWE UK CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH – Pete Dunne (c) vs Tyler Bate
A game of chess that soon turned into a vicious battle for supremacy with a lot of impressive flair from the UK guys. The lockups slowly turned to strikes, then transitioned into high risk and intense moves which hammered home how much these men value the UK Championship. Pete dunno felt even more maniacal as he dislocated a couple of Tyler’s fingers, helping sell the epic finale of a trilogy this conflict has created. Tyler was fighting with everything he had to try and reach victory, pulling off amazing feats of athleticism and harsh strikes, without losing his familiar enthusiasm.
Back and forth the match went, we thought it was all over as Dunne hit The Bitter End, but Tyler survived! The fight raged on until both men were flat on the mat. No matter what Dunne did, Tyler was going to get back up and hit even harder. But when Tyler hit the Tyler Driver ’97, Dunne kicked out! It could’ve gone either way. Sadly, it all had to come to an end. Pete Dunne hit a second Bitter End and retained his championship.
This wasn’t better than their match at NXT TakeOver, But boy was it on that level. A fitting bookend to a year of the key faces in the WWE UK Division, Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate knocked it out the park to create an intense and unpredictable match-up. While a Tyler Bate win would’ve been sweet, this cements the faith put into Pete Dunne that he can put the UK high in WWE’s priority and continue to deliver exciting spectacles.