Many would agree that the NXT TakeOver: Chicago event far exceeded its expectations. In what is clearly a transition period of the brand, NXT delivered a show that certainly showed that it is on the right track to being the weekly attraction that it was for the past couple of years. For the summer season, the show presented some intriguing development into angles and storylines that will occur. Also, it gave a major injection to the fans unaware of the WWE United Kingdom division.
When the WWE UK tournament and championship were revealed, many were skeptical that it would just be another trial and error project by the WWE, and the UK Championship would turn out to be similar to the European Championship; starting out with a main-event feel to it with Shawn Michaels as the champion, and eventually falling lower down the card that it had to become defunct. However, there were people who actually gave it a chance, including former WWE European Champion Al Snow on a recent episode of the Pancakes and Powerslams Show.
“I think it’s fantastic. There’s some amazing talent in the U.K. It’s an amazing wrestling scene over there. I have a wrestling academy in London that I operate. [There is a] wealth of talent that’s not been exploited over there. It’s a great opportunity for them to showcase themselves on a bigger platform with the Network. It’s brilliant marketing on WWE’s part. Now, they can give content that can drive that U.K. market, and, hence, the European market. An exposure for talent that they could eventually bring up to the main roster. There’s nothing but positives for them.
“I think it’s not going to [fail]. It’s a different time, a different purpose behind the title. They have an additional platform for it. The European title’s intentions were correct there, [but] they just didn’t have everything that they do now with the U.K. title, that they’ll be able to capitalize on… I think that it’s a great time to create the title, and to give an opportunity for talent who otherwise would not be getting seen, and it creates a platform to market for an audience that can drive business with that title.”
Many parts of this statement were manifested at the NXT TakeOver: Chicago WWE UK Championship match between Tyler Bate and Pete Dunn. During the tournament semi-finals Bate was able to defeat Wolfgang, and Dunn defeat Mark Andrews, to face each for the championship. The conclusion of that match saw Bate defeat Dunn and become the inaugural champion.
At TakeOver: Chicago, the two met again, in another highly-acclaimed bout. While the former match received buzz due to the quality, the latter was viewed by many to be the best match of the evening, and was even commented on by WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin. Being very impressed with what he saw, Austin commented, “Da** what a match!” In what appeared to be a reference to the recent indie-style criticism that has waged a Twitter war with many pro wrestling names, Dunn responded, “2017, huh?”.
'Make a name for yourself…' pic.twitter.com/rkhBLnkVRP
— Pete Dunne (@PeteDunneYxB) May 21, 2017
Current Raw women’s wrestlers Sasha Banks and Bayley also commented on how great the match was, with Sasha even stating in response to Bayley that “Pete is mine, okay?” Overall, this moment is best described by Dunn, as he stated that he sat in the Allstate Arena watching Raw after flying himself to the United States three years ago. Now, he gets to say the he won the UK Championship in the same building.
While the age-old argument still remains, even the ones who are huge advocates of the method where characters, interviews, and entrance music matter can say that the match between Tyler Bate and Pete Dunn was indeed one to remember.
[Featured Image By WWE]