Join Rob and Dan for the Thoughts On Wrestling Podcast as they discuss Progress Wrestling’s three day, Super Strong Style 16 2017 Tournament. It’s Rob’s first ever taste of Progress and he likes it quite a lot.
Join Rob and Dan for the Thoughts On Wrestling Podcast as they discuss all the going on from NXT Takeover Chicago, including the sensational match for the UK Championship between Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne.
NXT Takeover you’ve done it again! Another good show, with one exceptionally great match. I always say that while I don’t look forward to Takeovers as much as I used to, I still expect them to be a good show and I was not disappointed.
The Chicago crowd were as raucous as you’d expect. A friend of mine suggested that WWE should exclusively tour in Chicago and the UK to always have great crowds, he’s not wrong. Great crowds can make good wrestling great and great wrestling phenomenal. The Chicago crowd were specifically good last night though for one reason in my mind because they didn’t try to make the show about themselves but they were loud and appreciative. At one point they even booed a section trying to do a CM Punk chant! Finally!
While I still miss Corey Graves on commentary, Nigel McGuinness is absolutely brilliant. He has a calm, confident and knowledgeable style of his commentary. He’s able to do the play-by-play and the colour commentary depending on who he is working with. Excellent addition to the team. Percy Watson was okay, I still don’t think a third man is necessary when you have the underrated Tom Phillips and McGuinness but that’s fine.
This was the first time I’ve been really impressed with Roderick Strong since he came to NXT. WWE have been running some vignettes for Strong which have given him detail and more meaning. Something for fans to get behind, rather than just being ‘Roderick Strong from the indies’.
A good opener, made better by a hot crowd fully behind Roderick Strong as he finally got a chance to show what he can do on a Takeover stage. I had predicted that this feud might go a similar route to Tye Dillinger versus Sanity, being constantly put down by the numbers game match after match but I’m delighted he got the win and looked so impressive in doing so. The NXT Title picture is going to be stacked soon!
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant match. Match of the night without a doubt, nothing else was even close to it. Sensational work by Bate and Dunne. A match of the year candidate for WWE for sure.
Honestly this match was incredible and the Chicago fans ate up every last-minute of it. This match had it all; hard-hitting action, drama, despair, reversals and an aeroplane spot that genuinely looked like it could have won a match. It rightly earned ‘this is awesome’ chants (which are given out far too willingly these days, ‘fight forever chants’, chants of ‘UK, UK, UK’ and ‘holy shit!’ as well as TWO standing ovations for near falls.
This match could have gone either way, the back and forth was awesome. In the end Pete Dunne managed to avoid a dive to the outside by Bate, throw him back into the ring and hit him with the ‘Bitter End’ to win. A rematch at some point down the line is inevitable and I for one am already looking forward to it.
If you only have time to watch one match from this weekend, make it this one.
Understandably the crowd were a little worn out from the previous match and were noticeably quieter for this one. That coupled with the fact that there was a 0% chance of Asuka losing her title in a triple threat match.
The match had a couple of good spots as well, specifically Nikki Cross trapping Asuka in the ring apron and unleashing a barrage of punches in her direction. While the finish itself was a little flat, I don’t think the fans expected that to be the end really the story is a good one though. Asuka is getting desperate to keep hold of her title and cracks are starting to show in her armour. These are no longer the dominate victories from a year ago. In the end, she took advantage of a situation as Riot and Cross basically took each other out of the equation. Their disdain for each other being their downfall.
I’m not sure how I feel about the NXT Championship match (or Women’s) not being on last but I suppose if any division deserves to main event in NXT it would be the Tag Team division. After all, its been sensational for years now.
This was another good NXT Championship match for Bobby Roode. I think he’s brilliant personally and despite the fact that he plays an arrogant heel he actually wins his matches fairly. The two Glorious DDT’s to end the match were beautiful as well, I loved him not letting go and just moving straight into the second to finish the job.
I’m not sure where Itami goes from here to be honest. Maybe a heel turn but who would that be against? 205 Live perhaps? Or maybe they will just try to rebuild him as a top star on NXT and hope that he can stay injury free.
I’ve got to sing the praises of the Chicago crowd once again as they booed a section of the crowd chanting ‘CM Punk’ after Itami hit the ‘GTS’. Finally, we might have turned a corner on the CM Punk chants. I hope so at least.
A really good tag team main event, granted maybe not as good as previous tag team matches of Takeover’s but still very good. The crowd was again fully behind #DIY and were devastated when they didn’t win. I thought before the match that the reason for the ladder match stipulation was for #DIY to win but not have The Authors of Pain lose by pin fall or submission. Instead the dominate and destructive path of The AOP continues on, who can possibly stop them now?
How Johnny Gargano didn’t come away with a serious injury is beyond me. First he takes a nasty fall from the top of a ladder almost landing on his head. Then he takes a ladder straight to the face. It looked brutal, it must have been brutal!
Then just as the end slate appeared in the bottom left hand corner of the screen indicating the end of the show, Ciampa attacked Gargano.
A perfectly timed heel turn, when very few expected it or wanted it. Instead it was like a knife to the heart as Ciampa assaulted Gargano after the match. Had they done this last year, I believe it would have received cheers as people were excited about the potential feud. Now though, people just wanted to see them succeed as a tag team. Granted we’re still going to get great matches and a hopefully awesome feud but still, man… that sucked. Why Ciampa, why?
While I don’t get as excited for NXT Takeovers as I used to do, I look forward to them. They are always a lot of fun, full of surprises and packed full of brilliant wrestling.
Once again I’m looking at a card that in reality could go either way. Every single match (excluding the NXT Women’s Title) could be won by either competitor(s). That’s one of the main reasons I love NXT, it is far more unpredictable than the main roster.
Great wrestling + unpredictable outcomes = happy Rob. However, just because the show is unpredictable doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to predict it though!
I am assuming that Eric Young and SAniTY will pick up the victory here due to the simple fact of the numbers game. I think Strong will look…strong…against Young but in the end it will be a very similar picture to the Sanity versus Tye Dillinger story. You can put up a good fight, but eventually you’ll get beaten down.
If Young does indeed pick up the victory, I would expect Strong to win the rematch so that he can then move into the title picture. Which all of a sudden is starting to look a little bit crowded.
Winner: Eric Young
Ah the NXT tag team division, sparser than it once now that The Revival have moved on but these two teams are still brilliant. The Authors of Pain have held the titles for a while and beaten everyone available, including #DIY several times. Will they continue their reign of dominance here? Potentially yes.
Or, the fact that this has been set up as a ladder match is a way for the destructive heels to lose their titles while still remaining strong. After all, losing in a ladder match is nothing in comparison to being pinned or forced to submit.
A loss the monsters would freshen up the tag team division and allow #DIY to have another run in which they could feud with a smaller tag team and bring them up. Although, the Authors of Pain could just win the titles back at the next opportunity and reassert themselves as the yard stick in the NXT tag team division.
Either way I’m fine and expecting a great match.
After the brilliant success of the United Kingdom Championship Tournament, specifically the second night, I was looking forward to seeing more of the WWE’s UK scene. This special, taped a little while ago in Norwich, was the first opportunity for this. Yes, I know they’ve been wrestling on NXT as well but this is something different. It is their own show and in front of British fans again.
Ultimately though, I was slightly disappointed by this special. Let me explain why before you start raging at me as I realise there were two good matches on this card.
Firstly, the crowd were heavily edited and muted, that is a terrible sign for the WWE UK scene. Part of British wrestling is the crowd, if you try to control them like WWE used to edit Smackdown it will only succeed in killing the entire vibe. Do not, ever, edit a crowd. They might not being doing what you want, but that is life. In general the audio of the entire show felt wrong and was very noticeable to me, it was a distraction. Perhaps it was just me, but I’m sure others felt that way too.
Secondly, the blatant green screen additions of Jim Ross and Nigel McGuinness made the show feel much more like Impact Wrestling than they probably intended. If you want to record the commentary after the fact that is fine, I would prefer it live but it is not a big deal. The green screen however did not work for me.
I did enjoy the commentary itself though. It’s fantastic to have Jim Ross back in the WWE and I really do enjoy Nigel’s calm commentary style. It’s so different to what everyone else brings to the table. Sure there was some of the ‘first show together awkwardness’ but over time that will disappear.
The opening two matches left me feeling cold too. Joseph Connors versus Wolfgang and the bizarre 205 Live tag team match of TJP and Brian Kendrick versus Rich Swann and Dan Moloney were not exactly barnstormers put it that way.
However, this is where it all turns around because the number one contenders match between Trent Seven and Pete Dunne was really good. Dunne is an absolutely detestable heel and while I love it, I do still want to see him be beaten because fuck that guy. What an utter dick. He’ll be a star for sure.
The UK Championship match between Tyler Bate and challenger Mark Andrews was also really good. I know everyone raves about it, but it really is mind-blowing that Bate is only 20 years old. He is so smooth and confident in the ring.
I just wish these two matches, the whole special actually, had been broadcast a week or so earlier because we already know who is fighting who at NXT Takeover Chicago tonight for the UK title. It just took the edge of the proceedings. I do not like knowing spoilers, I realise that sets me aside from the majority of wrestling fans these days who want to know everything in great detail before it happens though.
Overall, the UK Special had a rough start and made some mistakes that I hope they learn from but the quality of wrestling in the number one contenders match and championship bout saved the show completely.
Wow! Night 2 of the UK Championship Tournament was simply amazing. I criticised the first night being solid yet unremarkable, but everyone really kicked it up a couple of gears for round 2. As you’d expect in a two-day tournament obviously.
Being a wrestling fan can be very frustrating at times. Nonsense storylines and dumb booking decisions. This past weekend has been a perfect example of wrestling done right. I honestly hadn’t been this invested in wrestling in months. This is coming from someone who only knew 5 of the 16 competitors at the start of this whole thing! Excellent work by everyone involved.
All of the matches from night two were fantastic, despite only 2 of them going over 10 minutes. The match of the night has to be the main event, but a close second would be Trent Seven versus Wolfgang. Not only was it a good match, but it also had a surprising ending which really rocked the entire tournament. With Seven out suddenly it was anyone’s to grab.
I did correctly predicted that Pete Dunne would make it to the final but it was Tyler Bate who won was declared the first ever UK Champion. It was the perfect decision has he quickly became the most over man in the entire thing. A true fan favourite. Dunne was built up as the main heel very well over the 2 nights. Attacking Gradwell twice and Bate’s after his semi final victory over Wolfgang. It’s simple story telling but it set up a perfect hell/face final.
It was nice to see Neville appear before the main event. He cut a very logical promo about being excluded from the CWC, 205Live and now this tournament too. Careful though WWE, in a world with your rubbish babyfaces you don’t want a heel to actually be justified in his thinking! I must admit I really wanted to see Wade Barrett as well, even if just for a promo. I knew it wasn’t going to happen but still find myself disappointed.
The commentary of Michael Cole and Nigel McGuiness was again very good. Although Cole being surprised that Balor was here this weekend was odd considering he’d introduced him the previous night. I wonder what the WWE’s plan for McGuiness is now that this is over?
Actually, I wonder what the plan for the UK Championship in general is now. Will it get its own show on the WWE network? Will it just be an annual or bi-annual tournament? What happens next?
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.