The newest edition of Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate didn’t fail to amaze. This encounter had been even better than their first one on WWE soil in the final of the United Kingdom Championship Tournament. Now this was the long awaited re-match and it was another instant classic. Enjoy!

Episode: NXT TakeOver: Chicago
Aired live: 20 May 2017
Match duration: 15:29 minutes

Match analysis

First little match sequence was all about mat grappling at its best with the exclamation mark being Tyler Bate escaping the head scissors by Pete Dunne. Just a little introduction for both men to the crowd and what they could expect from the match.

Pete Dunne then further continued his imagery of William Regal with the joint manipulation strategy on different body parts of Tyler Bate: hand bending, finger bending, pressure to the armpits, arm bending – you name it. But Tyler Bate had been able to free himself once again and even mock Pete Dunne with the trademark mustache gesture in the middle of the ring while Pete Dunne looked at him from the outside.

For the next part of the match, Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate showed some good heel vs face imagery with Pete Dunne acting as if he was injured and Tyler Bate falling for it. On the other side Pete Dunne trying to hit Tyler Bate with evil moves like stomping on his opponent’s hands that was placed on the “steel” steps but Tyler Bate smelling it and instead using some moments to his own advantage.

Both men eventually rolled back inside the ring. This time, Pete Dunne appeared even stronger. He toyed with his opponent, using various joint manipulations while Tyler Bate were only able to stay flat down to the mat. The toying continued when Pete Dunne slapped Tyler Bate to his face a couple of times, now angering Tyler Bate. The younger man was finally able to move back up to his feet and finished this sequence with a powerful exploder suplex to Pete Dunne.

In their aim now to use more space of the ring, Tyler Bate started with two running European uppercuts to Pete Dunne. But the latter countered the third try, went for own offence but Tyler Bate countered again and got a cover after a standing moonsault and a suplex. But Pete Dunne kicked out.

After recovering, Tyler Bate went for a running moonsault but Pete Dunne caught his opponent in another head scissors. Tyler Bate got a lot of beating with fists and elbows running up his head now and Tyler Bate got a lot of work to do for eventually freeing himself when he got Pete Dunne up and put him down fast again for a powerbomb.

“This is awesome” chants hit the round when Tyler Bate gestured for the airplane spin. And he stayed true to his word when he took Pete Dunne up for the fastest spin he possibly ever did. It ended with both men dazed but Tyler Bate somehow managed to go for the cover while Pete Dunne kicked out. The recovering after that both men very much needed.

Tyler Bate recovered faster though and went for moves, less damaging to himself but Pete Dunne countered both of them and hit a powerbomb that Tyler Bate somehow kicked out of from. The whole crowd was standing and applauding frenetically at the point.

Both men now started with weak pushes when still sitting on the mat. But the pushes, hits and punches grew stronger, harder and faster with every other attempt. And finally fists were flying when both men were standing towards each other again. But the last punch was up for Tyler Bate to make Pete Dunne go down to the mat again. Tyler Bate wanted to get Pete Dunne up but instead of his finisher to his opponent, he got hit by an enzuigiri. Head against head both men got back up again and a slap-fest broke loose.

A nice little sequence with a lot of using the ropes later, Tyler Bate stroke Pete Dunne down with a lariat but he still kicked out. When both men had recovered again, they both went for their finishers but Tyler Bate was too weak for the Tyler Driver 97 while Pete Dunne couldn’t finish his Bitter End. Pete Dunne rolled out of the ring though and Tyler Bate visibly considered what to do now to finish this match off.

Tyler Bate at last went for a moonsault from the apron outside onto Pete Dunne, then rolled his opponent back inside the ring, climbed back up onto the top turnbuckle just to hit Pete Dunne with a corkscrew 450. But from the following cover, Pete Dunne still kicked out.

Once again, Pete Dunne rolled out of the ring and now Tyler Bate went flying over the top rope. But Pete Dunne caught him mid-air with a punch, rolled him back inside the ring to finish the match with his Bitter End to consequently win the match and the UK Championship.

Winner: Pete Dunne (and new WWE United Kingdom Champion)


The first word about this match has to go out to the great decision of having Jim Ross as the special guest commentator. Nigel McGuinness still has got a terrible voice but together with Jim Ross, this had been one of the better commentary for a NXT match in recent history. Cheers for that!

But it had been a bad decision to change Tyler Bate’s entrance music. It’s still got the same notes but instruments were added together with a slightly different rhythm. I definitely liked the first one better.

Everything else had been pure class. We got enough backstory from the United Kingdom Championship Tournament to make this an anticipated encounter. And the two young men turned it into this instant classic fulfilled all expectations with still topping them.

I’ve read that Pete Dunne is already listed on WWE’s main roster which could mean that the UK Championship belt will be defeated on RAW or SmackDown from now on. I still hope that those matches and storylines further unfold on NXT where wrestlers still have more freedom in matches and more to say in storylines. But we will see what happens. Nevertheless we got this great match to remember and to watch time and time again.


Head to the NXT | Best Matches of 2017 main page

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