Last night we saw the first half of the tournament to crown the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Champion. It was an interesting, yet mostly uneventful night. There was nothing wrong with the show. It was solid, but predictable and seemed to be playing it safe for the most part. No one went out to steal the show that’s for sure. Overall it did feel to be lacking something, but I’m sure the second night will make up for that 10 fold.
There were a few standout moments though. For example Tyler Bate in general and Pete Dunne assaulting Sam Gradwell at the end of the show. The most interesting aspect however was Jordan Devlin’s victory over Danny Burch. Even now I’m still not sure if I watched the best booking I’ve ever seen, which put Devlin over as an arrogant, self-important heel, or a well covered mistake. Burch received a nasty cut to the back of his head and the referee counted to 3 even though he clearly kicked out. It looks like a pretty big botch, but then the post match Superkick and promo seemed to work perfectly. Now granted he could have been booked to turn heel either way and the cut was just an accident, but if they wanted the crowd to hate him. I don’t think it could have been done any better.
As you’d expect from a British crowd, they were loud and boisterous. Lot’s of chanting and all of the usual UK wrestling jokes. Such as ’10!’ when the referee counts anything and ‘One fall!’ during match introductions. Chant of the night however was aimed at Saxon Huxley who received a “Hey, Jesus. I wanna know if you’ll be my God” sing-song. It didn’t help the match very much, actually it took away from it, but it was rather amusing.
Let’s run down a few other moments starting with Joseph Conners. I’ve watched him a few times in WCPW and had literally no idea that he was missing part of an ear, yet after one match under a WWE banner I’m already sick of it being mentioned. Not only was the match built around it, the commentators wouldn’t stop mentioning it and Conners himself kept positioning his hair so that the camera could always pick up on it. Stop it!
While I’m on the subject of Conners, I was wondering what WWE would change the name of his finishing move to as ‘The Righteous Kill’ isn’t very PG. Well, it turns out not only did they change the name to something rubbish that I can’t remember. They change the whole flipping move. Boo!
The commentary, other than being obsessed with Conners ear, was excellent. Michael Cole and Nigel McGuiness made a great pairing. Offering insight to different wrestling promotions within the UK and generally explaining strategies and moves well. I don’t understand why Michael Cole is shackled so much on Raw and PPV’s because when given freedom he is actually really good.
Finally Tyler Bate showed that he has more charisma in his little toe than most of the other competitors put together. He is a popular man. Bate versus Tucker was certainly match of the night and a well deserved ‘main event’.
For the second night of the tournament my predictions will see the semifinals as Jordan Devlin vs. Trent Seven and Pete Dunne vs. Joseph Conners. I believe that Jordan Devlin will gain even further heat with the crowd by defeating fan favourite Tyler Bate. Probably via shenanigans, but he will be avenged by good friend Trent Seven. Meanwhile on the other side of the bracket I can only see Pete Dunne proceeding to the final to face Seven. In that final I believe Trent Seven will win the first ever WWE United Kingdom Championship, but it could go either way.