Moustache Mountain def. Undisputed Era to Win the NXT Tag Team Championship
It was evident from their interaction in the six-man tag team match the night prior that these four guys have exceptional chemistry together and that they were going to kill it when clashed for the tag team titles. Sure enough, they opened the event on the hottest note possible with such a stellar matchup that blew the roof off the joint. This was all action and an absolute blast, to say the least. I would have loved the title change more than I did if WWE hadn't spoiled it on social media ahead of time, but even still, it was an amazing, feel-good moment. Tyler Bate and Trent Seven's post-match celebration with the fans was just the icing on the cake.
Charlie Morgan def. Killer Kelly
This is the type of match that would have benefited big time from being preceded by video packages highlighting the ladies and their respective backgrounds. Kelly was briefly in action the night before and I've never heard of Morgan, so I can't say I was surprised that the crowd sat on their hands for this. It was only seven or so minutes long, but it felt like it dragged on forever despite not being bad at all. Here's hoping those a part of the women's division on this new NXT UK brand receive more character development in the future.
Noam Dar def. Travis Banks, Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster in a WWE United Kingdom Championship No. 1 Contender's Fatal 4-Way Match
Dar has been out injured since late last year and it was cool for him to return on this show where the received the reaction he deserved (I doubt he would have had the same warm welcome from the crowd if he resurfaced on 205 Live). Anyway, this was a total spot-fest, but in the best way possible. This show needed something along these lines and it served its purpose in keeping the crowd engaged and them eating up everything they did. Banks was still injured from the tournament finals coming into this contest, so it made sense he was the one Dar pinned to pick up the win. Afterward, joe and Mark Coffey attacked the babyfaces, so it's great that the Coffey heel turn from the first night wasn't forgotten about and that were was in fact followup on it.
NXT North American Champion Adam Cole def. Wolfgang
The way this match was laid out was super smart because Cole was basically the underdog, and although people like Wolfgang, Cole was clearly the fan favorite in front of this audience. Despite Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong losing the NXT Tag Team Championship earlier in the evening, the fans didn't buy into the possibility of Wolfgang taking the title. They worked well together and had a real solid matchup. I also appreciated that Cole won on his own without interference from Undisputed Era.
NXT Champion Aleister Black and Ricochet def. EC3 and Velveteen Dream
It's pretty amazing that these four competitors are so over with the audience that they could have done nothing but showboat for 15 minutes and the crowd would have lost their minds all the same. Of course, they went out there and had a highly entertaining match anyway and everything seemed so smooth. In so many words, it was a star-studded spectacle and a testament to how exciting NXT is right now. I'm interested if Dream walking out on EC3 at the end (which protected EC3 in defeat) will be followed up on eventually or if it won't be acknowledged again.
NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler def. Toni Storm
Baszler has settled into a nice formula with her matches where she dominates her opponents for a majority of the time before the babyface battles back. Luckily, Storm is an incredibly likable babyface and it wasn't difficult for the crowd to rally behind her here. I normally wouldn't be enthralled by a count-out finish, but I thought it was smart in this case because it allows them to go back to this bout down the line, especially once Storm has been built up more in the NXT/UK women's division. Hell, Storm could very well be the one to dethrone Baszler as champion at some point if WWE plays their cards right with her.
WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne def. Zack Gibson
As beloved of a babyface Dunne is, he truly is a much more natural heel, which might have been why I found last year's tournament finals between Bate and Dunne to be better than this. Don't get me wrong, this was a terrific title match and Gibson proved he could hang with the elite, not to mention the live crowd was into it, but I personally felt it lacked the drama needed to put it over the top as tremendous until the closing minutes. The hard-hitting nature of the second half was a blast, though, and Gibson kicking out of Bitter End the first time came across like a big deal. Gibson capturing the championship would have seen the U.K. torch passed to him, but the time wasn't right for Dunne to relinquish the strap yet.
Night 1 of the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament was fun yet largely consisted of matches that could be skipped over due to predictable outcomes. I still suggest checking it out, but Night 2 was a vast improvement with a series of spectacular matches and a notable title change and return. The inclusion of NXT Superstars was a treat, too. I can't say enough good things about this event, and along with the TakeOver specials, this might go down as one of the strongest shows produced by WWE all year.
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