Before cameras rolled at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, four WWE United Kingdom Championship stars appeared in front of the New York crowd in what was the first ever WWE tag team match to feature wrestlers exclusively from its UK division…
Tyler Bate & Trent Seven
Pete Dunne & Wolfgang
(Winners via pinfall: Pete Dunne & Wolfgang)
It goes without saying that Talk: Pro Wrestling is a big supporter of the men who competed in this match. We regularly see Bate, Seven, and Dunne in action for PROGRESS Wrestling, and they are three of the most entertaining guys in the business right now. Wolfgang is one who we see a little less of, but yours truly has enjoyed a beer with him, and played some pool with him too, so we are pretty blindly supportive of him too. In fact, we are just massive fans of WWE’s UK division,
Going back to Dunne, Bate and Seven for a moment. They’ve dominated the wrestling scene in 2017, but that was as a three man faction (“British Strong Style”), something WWE doesn’t acknowledge on air in their programming, let alone the fact that British Strong Style are currently heels everywhere they wrestle. Not adopting any of that into their programming certainly means WWE are missing out on some great potential moments, but the men are so talented that they slot into their roles perfectly. Of course, there’s nothing different for Dunne; he’s an arsehole on both the indies and in WWE!
The most surprising thing, out of the gate, was how over Pete Dunne was with the NY crowd. They popped huge for him, equal to any entrance on TakeOver: Brooklyn III later that evening, and suddenly Dunne seemed like the most over champion in NXT.
The crowd was hot throughout the match, which was the main event of the NXT episode it aired during, with chants for the UK ringing around the arena right from the start. When it came to the bad guys taking control, Trent Seven did the majority of selling. Trent is great at displaying pain, and he did that here, as the crowd got behind his partners attempts to motivate him to fight on.
The real talking point comes out of the moments when Bate and Dunne shared the ring with each other. Honestly, the crowd were going crazy for them locking up with each other, and who can blame them, given the match they saw between the two at TakeOver: Chicago? Quite frankly, it’s a mystery as to why there wasn’t a rematch on the Brooklyn card, but I’m sure it will come soon.
Wrestling fans see a lot of people face off in the ring, and generally that feels very much standard, but there are rare occasions when you get chills and a real sense of excitement at watching two men go at it. Dunne and Bate create that energy every time WWE put them against each other and, perhaps unintentionally, WWE have created one of their best feuds of 2017 with these two, and that’s been shown in how the audience has reacted to them too.
The finish, in which Bate seemed to clearly have Dunne beaten, was designed to give some momentum to Wolfgang. I wasn’t so keen on Bate being the one to eat the pin, especially given the fact he had only been pinned once in a WWE ring prior to this match, but he was somewhat protected by the fact he lost to a tag he didn’t see, and a top rope move that then hit him out of nowhere. Big win for Wolfgang though, in what was his televised debut on NXT.
The match was decent, and you could tell that they all enjoyed the occasion, but it was the Bate/Dunne exchanges that made this go from average to pretty good. Sadly, all these matches do is make me want the WWE UK show even more, and things seem to have gone a little quiet on that front, so let’s just hope that it’s still in the pipeline as that roster is very good and deserves more exposure than it’s already had.
All in all, I’d say this is a nice match worth watching, but unless you are a fan of the actual talent involved, it’s probably not one you need to hunt down. Genuinely great to see those guys back in a WWE ring too.