The first day of WWE UK tournament action begins this afternoon with the tournament that will crown the next number one contender to Pete Dunne’s WWE United Kingdom championship.
The taped-to-live event, which took place Royal Albert Hall in London, England last week will include all of the tournament action starting with the quarterfinals. Flash Morgan Webster, Dave Mastiff, Zack Gibson, Ashton Smith, Travis Banks, 205 Live star Jack Gallagher, Joe Coffey and Jordan Devlin will compete tonight for a chance to challenge the United Kingdom champion on the show that will be broadcast tomorrow afternoon.
There will also be appearances by Triple H, Shawn Michaels and the new General Manager for the WWE United Kingdom brand, Johnny Saint. More action from the UK will also be broadcast live to tape tomorrow, featuring a number of NXT superstars as well as the UK championship match.
Join us for live coverage this afternoon at 3 p.m. EST on the WWE Network.
Quarterfinals: Zack Gibson defeated Jack Gallagher
Gibson refused to shake hands before the bell. He takes control early, grinding down Gallagher with holds, focusing on his left arm. Gallagher cuts him off and makes a comeback takes him to the corner but Gibson strikes back with a lungblower on the second rope.
Gibson takes down Gallagher with a powerbomb but Gallagher traps him with a triangle. Gibson counters with a buckle bomb, but Gallagher grabs Gibsons arm smashes it over the top rope then traps Gibson in a sleeper.
Gallagher takes out Gibson with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Gison posts Gallagher and strikes with the ticket to ride (the lungblower). Gallagher counters and goes for a headbutt but Gibson gets both feet up. Gibson follows with the Shankly Gates (wristlock submission) for the win. Very good, hot back and forth opener.
Quarterfinals: Joe Coffey defeated Dave Mastiff
They test themselves early with some power spots. They trade shoulder blocks in and out of the ring as Mastiff throws him back into the ring after taking him out. Coffey, however, takes him down with a missile dropkick. Mastiff meets Coffey with a forearm then lands a giant senton.
Coffey hits a giant German suplex, a giant crossbody then connects with a discus lariat for the win. Pretty fun match while it lasted.
Cathy Kelly is in the ring to interview Coffey. He says he came here to win. He’ll take on Pete Dunne and win the title. This is opportunity, and he’ll do what he needs to do by any means necessary.
Quarterfinals: Flash Morgan Webster defeated Jordan Devlin
Devlin attacked Webster twice after clean breaks, but Gibson takes him down with some arm drags. Devlin laid out Webster with a uranage and a standing moonsault as he took Webster down on the mat.
Webster makes a comeback with a hurricanrana and a running knee to the corner. He dragged Devlin outside to the floor and hit two suicide dives and a tope con hilo. They go to the top rope where Devlin launches off with a spanish fly. A moonsault doesn’t connect for Devlin which allows Webster to strike with the Eton Rifle for the win. Another fun, fast-paced match.
Quarterfinals: Travis Banks defeated Ashton Smith
Some back and forth early. Banks injured Smith’s ribs, but Smith made a comeback. Banks dodges, sending Smith flying into the turnbuckle. Banks then connected with a big flying dropkick to the back of Smith.
Smith flies off to the floor with a giant tope con hilo then takes down Banks with a superkick. Banks fights back with forearms then pins Smith with a sitout fisherman’s buster. Good, short match.
Toni Storm defeated Isla Dawn and Killer Kelly
This was short, but pretty good while it lasted. Storm was taken out, allowing Killer Kelly and Isla Dawn to go at it. Storm came back in as everyone struck one another with some stiff shots. Storm took out Kelly with a kick to the outside then hit the air raid clash on Dawn for the win. She’ll face Shayna Baszler tomorrow for the NXT Women’s title.
Triple H came out for a big announcement. He talked about how a year ago they came here and changed wrestling in the UK. He listed some of the talent from last year’s shows. They’ve made names for themselves all around the world. He feels that they’re just scratching the surface in the UK. We’re going to give you more. Triple H brings out Johnny Saint, the GM of the UK brand.
Saint announces the formation of the NXT UK brand. Triple H says we’ll be starting a tag team and women's divison soon. He also gives a list of dates: July 28 and 29 in Cambridge, August 25th and 26th in Birmingham, October 13 and 14 in Plymouth and Nov 24 and 25 in Liverpool. Triple H closes the announcement with a “are you ready".
Semifinals: Zack Gibson defeated Flash Morgan Webster
Webster jumps Gibson early, brawling with him around the ring until he goes for the Eaton Riffle. Gibson cuts him off with the snake eyes and grinds him down.
Webster took out Gibson with what can only be described as a moonsault into a clothesline. Another suicide dive by Webster, but Gibson catches a second and plants him with a the helter skelter (spinning suplex) on the ramp.
Webster is able to make it back to the ring, but Gibson latches on the Shankly Gates and immediately taps out. Short, frenetic match.
Semifinals: Travis Banks defeated Joe Coffey
The two went at it, with Coffey lighting up Banks in the corner with chops. Banks tries to build some momentum but Coffey grinds him down with submissions. Banks comes alive, taking out Coffey with a kick on the outside then connects with a running knee.
Coffey spears Banks into the corner but Banks connects with a knee, only for Coffey to counter with a powerslam. A deadlift German follows. He goes for the discus clothesline but Banks fires back with a flurry of offense.
Coffey attacks the back as he goes for a crossbody but Gibson cuts him off and catches him in a roll up, pinning him to advance to the finals. Another good match.
As Banks' hand was raised, Coffey jumps Banks from behind and posts him shoulder first into the turnbuckle, eventually planting him with the discus clothesline. That leaves him questionable for the main event.
Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate and Trent Seven defeated The Undisputed Era
Seven and Strong grapple for a bit before Strong and Dunne tag in. Dunne lays out Strong as everyone comes in. The UK contingent lays everyone out with strikes big enough that everyone’s sent to the outside.
Cole works over Seven, but no sells chops and begins to take out all of Undisputed. Strong drops Seven outside on the guardrail as they all work on him inside the ring. Cole misses a charge in the corner, and despite O’Riley taking out Bate, Seven tags in Dunne who runs wild on Strong.
Bate is tagged in as he actually grabs both Strong and O’Riley and does a airplane spin/swing combo that was really cool. Cole hits the last shot on Dunne as O’Riley comes in and goes for the armbar. O’Riley traps Dunne in a guillotine, but he’s able to tag in Bate, who plants O’Riley with a foot stomp.
Seven lays out Strong, but Adam Cole distracts Seven long enough for him to be taken out. Lots of craziness ensues, with everyone being laid out. Dunne hits a moonsault that takes out Cole and Strong.
Back in the ring, Seven hits a lariat on O’Riley as he and Bate connect with a dragon suplex/springboard clothesline combo for the win. Excellent tag team match, easily the best thing on the show so far. The UK contingent has excellent chemistry with one another.
Shawn Michaels comes out. After the crowd were finished singing his song, Shawn mentions that he wrestled here way back in 1991, before most of the people in the audience were born. He hyped up the NXT UK brand, saying that the new brand is for you, the UK audience. He sets up the crowd for the finals, which are about to commence...
Finals: Zack Gibson defeated Travis Banks
This was a very good main event. I think the six man tag team match was better, but this was a good finals bout that showcased both men well. Gibson could be one of the top heels on the brand if pushed right, and based on this result I think that’s the direction they’re going in.
Gibson refused to shake Banks’ hand before the match, The two brawled out of the ring, but Gibson immediately preys on Banks’ shoulder injury that he suffered at the hands of Coffey. Gibson grabs and throws Banks shoulder first into the stairs. The two fight, with Gibson able to send Banks into the post.
Banks starts to build momentum with a running knee and a double stomp to the back of Gibson. Gibson cuts him off and lands the lung blower. They head to the apron where Gibson tries for a suplex but Banks fights him off and misses a charge. Gibson grabs him and throws him into the barricade, but Banks jumps on top and counters with a clothesline.
They exchange palm strikes as Gibson falls to the ground. Banks connects with some knee strikes, then grabs him and stomps. Banks misses a springboard clothesline, allowing Gibson to sink in the Shankly Gates, but Banks manages to escape.
Banks connects with a running stomp and connects with the slice of heaven but Gibson is able to kick out. Gibson rolls up Banks and uses the ropes, but the referee notices and stops the count. Gibson hits the fisherman’s buster, but still doesn’t get it.
Banks goes for a suicide dive, but Gibson blocks it, throws him in the ring and lays him out with the helter skelter for a nearfall. Shankly Gates is applied again, and this time Banks doesn’t have an answer, submitting. This means tomorrow it will be Zack Gibson vs. Pete Dunne for the WWE United Kingdom title.
Triple H, Johnny Saint and Shawn Michaels came out and posed with Gibson. Gibson was about to cut a promo when Dunne came out. He headed to the ring and the two had a stare down as the show closed.