This week on NXT UK, we get the director’s commentary special as we look back at Pete Dunne vs. Tyler Bate from Takeover: Chicago.
It’s “the match that made the brand,” from May 2017, and ironically… it wasn’t on a NXT UK show. Since that match barely lasted 15 minutes, there’ll be a lot of talking heads to fill the hour…
It shouldn’t need to be said, but in light of the news that’s broken out from the British scene in the last few days: Believe. Support. Learn. Change.
From NXT Takeover: Chicago in 2017 – Pete Dunne pinned Tyler Bate to win the WWE UK Championship in 15:00 (*****)
We’re back in Andy Shepherd’s living room. We open with the finish of the UK Championship tournament, which of course saw Tyler Bate win the title. There’s clips of 2017 Pete Dunne as we then go to interviews.
A Zoom call with Pete, Tyler and Andy shows as they talk up how they felt before that match. Tyler acknowledged feeling some pressure to live up to the Blackpool match, before saying that the Chicago match seemed to be what “cemented” the UK brand. Next: Andy speaks to Ryan Satin, who says that the Blackpool match was his introduction to the UK scene… and any expectations he had for the Chicago match were blown out of the water by this.
We’ve more talking heads after the commercials… but first, Tyler Bate from 2017 looking forward to building something special. Then 2017 Peter, before we go to a Zoom call with Wolfgang, Mark Andrews and Trent Seven. Andy asks Trent how he felt about not being in the match, while Wolfgang brought up how they made the scene take notice. Mark Andrews flat-out says the Chicago match “changed the game,” with Trent seconding that by citing the “UK” chants that took place during the match. Wolfgang says the Chicago match was “monumental” for British wrestling. We’ll eventually get to the match…
But first, some words from inside NXT. First, Shawn Michaels (who’s reportedly very high up on the NXT UK product) tells us he’s long since been “all in” on this. Johnny Moss chips in, while William Regal credited the tournament as a bigger success than they could imagine. Moss compared those UK chants to like “England at the World Cup,” as Bate and Dunne did their damndest to show the wider world about the UK scene. They change it up with clips of Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate in PROGRESS from years gone by, including the formation of British Strong Style way back in 2016.
Next week: it’s back to Superstar Picks. They must be low on Hidden Gems…
WWE United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne vs. Tyler Bate (c)
Commentary for this is from Nigel McGuinness and Jim Ross. Dunne got a nice pop from Chicago his entrance, as did Tyler Bate – complete with their reworked themes, and it’s the “Bruiserweight” who starts with a front facelock that Bate easily escaped and turned into a wristlock as the pair worked a strong ground game in the opening stages. We get picture-in-pictures throughout, with Pete Dunne seemingly calm at how the Chicago crowd knew them… while Tyler had to calm himself down and not get overly excited.
Some wrist manipulation sees Dunne try to get ahead, but Bate flips up and dropkicks Peter to the floor, but Dunne tweaks the fingers some more, only to miss an attempted stomp on the ring steps. Bate throws Dunne back into the ring to break the count, only for Peter to roll straight back out so he can catch Tyler with a running knee… then dump him with a release suplex onto the apron. That keeps the challenger firmly in the driving seat… as Dunne took Bate down with an armbar as he stretched back on the limb. Stomps as Tyler was prone on the mat helps, but out of nowhere, Bate hits a stalling Exploder to cut Dunne off.
Tyler followed up with uppercuts in the corner, only for Dunne to come back with a diving boot and another X-Plex… this time with Bate landing on his feet as he hit a standing shooting star press en route to a delayed backdrop hold. Someone’s been watching his Nagata tapes! Bate rushed back in with a second standing shooting star press, but he falls into a triangle from Dunne who threw in some elbows to try and exacerbate things, but Bate powered up and powerbombed free! The picture-in-picture has Dunne saying how proud he was to get the “UK” chants in Chicago, given that holiday camps in the UK always present it as “American wrestling”. Bate calls for – and pulls off – an airplane spin, increasing speed as he went, before staggering into a cover as he got a near-fall from that. Imagine a match ending with an airplane spin in 2017! Picture-in-picture Tyler recalled wondering just how long he’d have to spin Dunne, especially because of how much it knackered him out in the short term…
Dunne flips out of a German suplex, before dropping Bate with a forearm out of the corner… another X-Plex is turned into a sitout powerbomb for a near-fall as this crowd is BITING on every near-fall, giving both men a standing ovation for a two-count. We’re watching something special here folks… and Peter could only watch as Bate’s bop and bang knocked him down. The pair traded kicks back and forth until Bate rebounded off the top rope head-first into a clothesline for yet another standing ovation – and yet another near-fall! Throughout the Chicago crowd are chanting “UK”, and it continued as Dunne escaped a Tyler Driver, only for his Bitter End to get countered into a DDT as the crowd popped once more! They. Ate. Everything. Up.
A Golden Triangle-ish moonsault to the outside kept Bate on top, and he throws Dunne back in for a Spiral Tap for another near-fall! Bate tried to fly out with a tope, and narrowly missed as he face-planted the outside… that just left him easy prey as Pete Dunne took the bait, landing the Bitter End to Tyler, and we have a new WWE UK Champion, Pete Dunne… and it still holds up in 2020 as well. *****
Post-match, Dunne talked about how this came in a period where his life completely changed… and that’s off as we sign off early.
Considering the last “Most Brilliant” match they spotlighted featured the build-up to the match, this felt like a lot of talking heads to hype a match that was already legendary. The match itself was excellent, but the amount of fluff around it was a little much. Absolutely watch the match again, but the first half of the show adds little.