Like I already assumed during the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament in January, a few competitors would soon join NXT. Of course, Tyler Bate as the UK champion was the first one. And he defended his title first against his usual tag team partner, Trent Seven. A fun match and an instant classic. Here are my thoughts, and the video. Enjoy!
Episode: NXT #235
Recorded: 01 February 2017
Aired: 15 February 2017
Match duration: 12:52 minutes (plus one commercial break)
When a match is pure entertainment but still appears as highly competitive, than I consider it as a good match and well worth to be included onto my list of Best NXT Matches of 2017. And the first title defense of Tyler Bate for his UK Championship against his friend, tag team partner and mentor, Trent Seven, was indeed quite enjoyable.
Since the two men are still friends and there was no bad blood before, there also wasn’t any clear face vs heel concept during that match. There was a bit of mocking each other’s moustache and it was great. Comedy at its best and pure fun. But mocking each other continued, and with slaps that turned into punches, the competition wasn’t out of sight. Trent Seven didn’t just appear like someone who had to play first loser to the young champion, Tyler Bate.
Instead, the older man acted like a teacher to Tyler Bate when he gestured to the younger man to try for a third time of using the ropes to gain momentum and pushing him to the mat. But when Tyler Bate wasn’t successful, Trent Seven demonstrated like it’s done. There was also a cricket move and Nigel McGuinness on commentary had to explain about cricket.
Also, Tyler Bate went flying over the top rope and he got the superplex from the top rope. On the other side, Trent Seven did an amazing reversal from a powerbomb into a single leg trap hold. But in the end, it was Tyler Bate who taught Trent Seven a lesson: that you can have strength, but if you are fast, maybe there is some advantage. And so, Tyler Bate won with the Tyler Driver 97 for his first successful title defense as United Kingdom champion.
Winner: Tyler Bate
All in all, I’m glad that the UK Championship battles are on the NXT program. And this first title defense already showed what those incredible lads are capable of. If you are looking for wrestling entertainment, look no (bloody) further. All the gimmick promos and costumes are fine but usually in WWE (RAW and SmackDown), you’ve got basic matches with people being reduced to five or six moves and fans are tired of it. I like it when wrestlers got some freedom and time to show what they are capable of with hardly any restrictions.
In NXT there aren’t just gimmick promos, there are also gimmick matches. And with English comedy being involved, it can only get better. I hope, we’re going to see Trent Seven again, so this hopefully wasn’t just one match to get Tyler Bate over as champion. I think, in the end, there will be a re-match between Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne from the UK Championship Tournament final. But the path towards it might be even more exciting. What I also do wonder about right now is, if other people get involved, people whom we haven’t seen during the tournament.
Saying that, I’d loved to see Danny Burch once again. But I also look forward to anything NXT is doing with that championship belt. It unfolds slowly. And there might be some dark corners we haven’t got any idea about so far.