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Csonka’s WWE UK Title Tournament 2018 Night One Review 6.25.18

June 25, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Zack Gibson WWE UK NXT UK
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Csonka’s WWE UK Title Tournament 2018 Night One Review 6.25.18  

Csonka’s WWE UK Title Tournament 2018 Night One Review 6.25.18

WWE UK Title Tournament Quarterfinal Match: Zack Gibson defeated Jack Gallagher @ 13:37 via submission [***¾]
WWE UK Title Tournament Quarterfinal Match: Joe Coffey defeated Dave Mastiff @ 7:35 via pin [***]
WWE UK Title Tournament Quarterfinal Match: Flash Morgan Webster defeated Jordan Devlin @ 7:10 via pin [***½]
WWE UK Title Tournament Quarterfinal Match: Travis Banks defeated Ashton Smith @ 6:25 via pin [**¾]
NXT Women’s #1 Contender Match: Toni Storm defeated Killer Kelly & Isla Dawn @ 4:20 via pin [**½]
WWE UK Title Tournament Semifinal Match: Zack Gibson defeated Flash Morgan Webster @ 4:30 via pin [***½]
WWE UK Title Tournament Semifinal Match: Travis Banks defeated Joe Coffey @ 9:30 via pin [***½]
– British Strong Style defeated The Undisputed Era @ 12:22 via pin [****]
WWE UK Title Tournament Final Match: Zack Gibson defeated Travis Banks @ 17:05 via submission [****]

My latest appearance on Sunday Night’s Main Event

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– My reviews of the first round matches are here, here, and here.

Mauro Ranallo & Nigel McGuinness are on commentary.

– We get a cool opening video, featuring WW UK GM Johnny Saint talking about the evolution of UK wrestling.

– The quarterfinal matches have a 20-minute time limit.

WWE UK Title Tournament Quarterfinal Match: Zack Gibson vs. Jack Gallagher: Gibson refuses the handshake and here we go. Gibson quickly grounds the action, but Gallagher counters out and into a stand off. Gallagher plays to the crowd and they lock up, but Gibson grounds things once again. Gallagher escapes into a cradle for 2. Gallagher rolls into a ball ala Johnny Saint and then he grounds things. He lays in uppercuts, but Gibson cut him off and attacks the arm. Ground and pound follows as he covers for 2. The clothesline follows and then a dropkick gets 2. Gibson keeps attacking the arm, keeping things grounded. Gallagher tries to fire back, but Gibson continues to control. Gibson takes time to talk shit to Gallagher, and continue to ground things and picking up near falls. He works a neck crank, Gallagher fires up and hits a big right and another as he takes control as he mixes in knee strikes. The suplex follows and then a PK gets 2. Gallagher follows with rights, Gibson takes him to the corner, Gallagher gets cut off and Gibson hits a code breaker in the ropes for 2. Gallagher rolls to the apron and back in Gallagher hits a dropkick. Gibson cuts him off and hits a Liger bomb but Gallagher locks on a triangle, Gibson powers out and buckle bombs him. Gallagher back to the triangle in the ropes and has to break. He slingshots into the sleeper, but Gibson makes the ropes. Gallagher now hits a suicide dive, back in and hits the dropkick and covers for 2. Gibson cuts off the head butt, and gets posted on the bad shoulder. Back in and Gibson hits the lung blower and Gallagher kicks out at 2. Gibson looks to attack the arm, but Gallagher escapes and hits a dropkick. Gallagher up top and eats feet as he dives in with the head butt. Gibson locks on Shankly gates for the submission win. Zack Gibson defeated Jack Gallagher @ 13:37 via submission [***¾] This was a very good back and forth match to kick off the show, a nice mix of submission work and hard-hitting action.

WWE UK Title Tournament Quarterfinal Match: Joe Coffey vs. Dave Mastiff: They shake hands and here we go. Both men look to work the power game to begin, colliding center ring and they work into a double down and roll to the floor. They now battle on the floor with Mastiff taking Coffey down. Back in and Mastiff lays in strikes and works over Coffey in the corner. Coffey battles back, heads up top and hits a missile dropkick and covers for 2. They trade strikes, Coffey gets a takedown and Coffey then jumps into a huge right and Mastiff hits a senton for 2. Mastiff now grounds things; Coffey fights to his feet and lays in rights. Mastiff cuts him off, they fight over a suplex and Coffey hits the suplex. Coffey follows with a belly-to-belly, lays in strikes, and hits a corner splash and a German for 2. Mastiff cuts him off with a head butt, lariat and German for 2. Coffey hits a pop up punch, but Mastiff hits the dropkick and misses the cannonball. Coffey hits a double jump high cross and rolling lariat for the win. Joe Coffey defeated Dave Mastiff @ 7:35 via pin [***] This was a good back and forth hoss battle and nice change of pace from the opener.

– Coffey gets a post match promo; he plans to win by any means necessary.

WWE UK Title Tournament Quarterfinal Match: Flash Morgan Webster vs. Jordan Devlin: No handshake from Devlin. They lock up and work along the ropes. Devlin slaps Webster and looks to work the arm. Webster counters out and Devlin retreats to the ropes and connects with a cheap shot. Webster fights back with arm drags and grounds the action. Devlin connects with knee strikes, but Webster cuts him off and hits a standing imploding senton for 2. Devlin cuts him off and hits a running meteora. The uranage and standing moonsault gets 2. Devlin maintains control, grounding things. Knee strikes and uppercuts follow, Webster cuts him off with a boot and hits a RANA. He then lays in strikes and knee strike, covering for 2. Webster then follows with a pair of suicide dives. The tope then connects and Webster rolls him back in and covers for 2. Webster heads up top and Devlin cuts him off, but gets knocked to the mat. Devlin then crotches him and follows him up, and the Spanish fly connects for a good near fall. The superkick follows for another 2. Devlin then misses the top rope moonsault, and Webster hits the Eton rifle for the win. Flash Morgan Webster defeated Jordan Devlin @ 7:10 via pin [***½] This was a very good sprint here, making the most of their time and again, delivering a different match than the previous two.

WWE UK Title Tournament Quarterfinal Match: Travis Banks vs. Ashton Smith: They lock up and banks picks up the pace and they work into some back and forth. Smith hits a dropkick but gets cut off with a knee strike and kicks by Banks. Banks follows with chops and continues to control. More kicks connect and banks covers for 2 and then attacks the arm. Smith fires back with clotheslines and elbow strikes. Banks now lays in uppercuts and hits the corner dropkick for 2. Smith fights back and hits a leg lariat, but Banks rolls to the floor. Smith now follows with a tope, rolls Banks back in and lays in a superkick, covering for 2. Smith hits a running knee strike, but Banks goes John Wooooooooo and follows with a German for 2. Banks follows with strikes and Smith fires up but banks hits the disaster kick and fisherman’s buster for the win. Travis Banks defeated Ashton Smith @ 6:25 via pin [**¾] This was pretty good, but the weakest match so far as Smith never really felt in Banks’ league, and the crowd wasn’t into it very much at all.

NXT Women’s #1 Contender Match: Killer Kelly vs. Toni Storm vs. Isla Dawn: The winner faces Shayna Baszler tomorrow. Dawn and Kelly attack Storm at the bell. Storm starts to fire back, but gets cut off by double teams. Dawn rolls up Kelly for 2. Dawn now lays in strikes and kicks, and the running knee strike gets 2. Kelly fights off a suplex, and she hits a delayed vertical suplex. Kelly now lays in knee strikes, and now hits the corner dropkick, but Storm returns and hits Germans on both; everyone is down. They all trade strikes now, Dawn suplexes Storm but Kelly makes the save. Kelly dumps Dawn and follows with an apron PK. She rolls Dawn back in and Storm knocks Kelly to the floor, hits a German and Storm zero on Dawn for the win. Toni Storm defeated Killer Kelly & Isla Dawn @ 4:20 via pin [**½] This was short for sure, but action packed and fun nonetheless. They made the best of the time given and Storm winning was the right call.

– NXT/UK God Triple H arrives and the crowd sings his entrance music. Triple H hits the ring and puts over the venue and the fans. He talks about coming to the UK last year to find the best and they changed the game. Triple H puts over the UK talent, and brings out WWE UK GM Johnny Saint. They officially announce the NXT UK Brand, and Triple H promises the best of the men and women, with a women’s and tag team championship with tangs in July, August, October, & November.

WWE UK Title Tournament Semifinal One: Zack Gibson vs. Flash Morgan Webster: Webster attacks at the bell with a knee strike and a flurry of strikes as he runs wild. Webster then hits a RANA on the floor and continues to control back in, heads up top and the missile dropkick gets 2. Gibson cuts him off with snake eyes and lays the boots to Webster. He follows with strikes and now locks on the cobra clutch. Webster fights to his feet, but Gibson cuts him off and lays the boots to him again. Webster fires back and hits a rude boy block for 2. He follows with forearms and a suicide dive. Webster fires up and Gibson cuts off the dive and hits a spinning suplex (helter skelter) onto the ramp. Webster beats the count, Gibson locks on Shankly gates and Webster taps. Zack Gibson defeated Flash Morgan Webster @ 4:30 via pin [***½] This was a VERY Good sprint and one of the better sub 5-minute matches I’ve seen in some time. This was everything it needed to be from Webster’s shock and awe attack and Gibson overcoming to finish him quickly, getting his submission finish over. This ruled.

WWE UK Title Tournament Semifinal Two: Travis Banks vs. Joe Coffey: They shake hand and here we go. Coffey overpowers Banks to begin, Coffey then lays in strikes and chops. Banks fires back with kicks and Coffey runs him over with a shoulder tackle. Coffey lays in more strikes and hits a giant swing and into a butterfly suplex for 2. He then lays the boots to Banks, but Banks fires back but Coffey counters into a half crab. Banks fights and makes the ropes. Coffey now works the arm, and into a strangle hold. Knee strikes follow and takes Banks to the mat. He now lays in shoulder blocks and starts attacking the back. Coffey follows with strikes and Banks fires up and lays in chops. Kicks follow and then more chops by Banks. Coffey to the floor and Banks hits the apron PK. Back in and Banks hits the running knee strike for 2. Coffey hits the pop up uppercut and spears Banks to the corner. The pop up powerslam gets 2. The bridging German gets 2. They fight back to their feet and Banks goes John Woooo and hits a double stomp for 2. Banks looks for the fisherman’s buster, Coffey counters out and misses the double jump high cross. Banks pulls him up, hits kicks and into a cradle for the win. Travis Banks defeated Joe Coffey @ 9:30 via pin [***½] This was another very good match, with a great sense of urgency and making sure that both looked like they could win at any time. The post match attack was well done and played well as the tournament has been angle free so it meant more.

– Coffey attacks Banks post match and posts him.

British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, and Trent Seven) vs. The Undisputed Era (Cole, Strong, & O’Reilly): I love douche bag Kyle O’Reilly and his air guitaring. Bate and O’Reilly to begin. They immediately pick up the pace and work into some back and forth. Bate grounds things, O’Reilly cuts him off and tags in Roddy. Dunne also tags in and Dunne fucks him up with strikes and is out for revenge. Dunne follows with a lariat and grounds things and starts to work the arm. It breaks down into a stand off and BSS clears the ring. This crowd is awesome. Dunne continues to work over Roddy and tags in Seven. Roddy cuts him off and tags on Cole, who takes control and lays the boots to Seven. Cole lays in chops, Seven no sells him and fires back with strikes for all of his opponents and hits a DDT on Cole. They take Seven to the floor and cut him off, taking control. Back in and Cole works ground and pound, O’Reilly tags in and lays in knee strikes. Roddy in and lays in strikes as O’Reilly lays in kicks. Seven starts to fight back, but Cole cuts him off and O’Reilly tags in and knocks Bate to the floor. Seven fires up and tags in Dunne, Roddy in as well and Dunne just fucks up his world with strikes. Dunne hits an enziguri and counters a German and hits an X-plex on Cole onto Roddy, and covers for 2. Bate tags in and hits an XPLODER on O’Reilly into Roddy. He then hits an airplane spin/giant swing combo platter and Dunne is back in but O’Reilly makes the save before being dumped. Dunne now flies into a dropkick by Roddy and Cole tags in. The last shot connects for 2. O’Reilly in and hits a PK and that gets 2. O’Reilly looks for an arm bar, transitions to the triangle, but Dunne escapes. The German and superkick connect but O’Reilly counters the bitter end into a guillotine. Dunne fights and tags in Bate, who makes the save. It breaks down and BSS fires up and Bate runs wild on everyone and now they are all down. Bate tags in Seven and he works over Roddy and hits the seven star lariat for 2. Undisputed now triple team Seven and pick up a near fall as Dunne makes the save. Dune takes out Cole, and now hits a moonsault to the floor onto Cole & Roddy. Seven works over O’Reilly, hits a huge seven star lariat. Bate in and the dragon suplex/lariat combo finishes O’Reilly. British Strong Style defeated The Undisputed Era @ 12:22 via pin [****] This was a banger and an absolutely great trios match, just a blast to watch with a hot crowd and great action all through out, with no filler or wasted movement.

– Bate and Dunne get an NXT tag title match tomorrow now.

– HBK arrives and still looks weird as hell with the short hair. HBK plays to the crowd who sings his theme music for him. HBK says it’s still a snappy tune, and admits that he was scared to follow that trios match. He praises the entire show, and is honored to be a small part of the night. He gets the “one more match” chants and he says they have to stop that. He’s happy to give back to the UK fans with WWE NXT UK.

WWE UK Title Tournament Finals: Zack Gibson vs. Travis Banks: Banks is coming in banged up due to Coffey’s post match attack, and has his shoulder all wrapped up, leaving him vulnerable to Gibson’s Shankly gates submission. The winner faces Pete Dunne tomorrow. They lock up and Gibson grounds Banks and looks to attack the arm but Banks makes the ropes. Gibson again looks to attack the injured arm, but Banks makes the ropes. Banks starts working leg kicks, gets a takedown but Gibson counters out once again targeting the bad arm. Banks fires back with chops, they work to the ropes and Banks lays in rights and kicks. Gibson bails to the floor, Banks follows but Gibson cuts him off and they trade uppercuts as Gibson rolls back in. Gibson back out and Banks tries to fights back, but Gibson slams him injured arm first to the barricade and then steps. Back in and Gibson continues to focus his attack on the arm, ground and pound follows, and then a cover for 2. Gibson is completely focused on attacking the arm, slowing things down and stalking Banks as he continues to attack. Banks tries to fire back, they trade strikes and Banks hits a kick and hits a corner dropkick. Gibson to the floor and Banks hits a suicide dive and rolls Gibson back in and hits a running knee strike for 2. Banks follows with a second rope double stomp and only gets 1 on the cover. Gibson cuts him off and hits the ticket to ride lung blower, and that gets 2. Banks to the apron, Gibson follows and Banks hits a knee strike and follows with a disaster kick off of the barricade. But he can’t follow up. They beat the count back in and trade strikes, Gibson lights Banks up and they keep trading. Gibson slaps the shit out of Banks, but Banks fires up and they continue to trade. Banks now lays in kicks as the crowd tries to rally him. Gibson cuts off a kick but Banks stomps away at him but Gibson goes back to the arm and stops that. Gibson looks for Shankly gates; Banks rolls out and misses the disaster kick. Gibson gets Shankly gates again and Banks fights with all he has and just barely gets the ropes. Banks pulls Gibson to the floor, hits an apron double stomp and hits slice of heaven (disaster kick) for a great near fall. Gibson now gets a cradle and the ropes, but the ref sees it and breaks it up. Banks hits a lariat and kiwi buster for another great near fall! Gibson rolls to the floor, Banks fires up again and hits a suicide dive, Gibson rolls him back in and hits helter skelter for another great near fall. Shankly gates follows and he has Banks trapped center ring and Banks has to tap. Zack Gibson defeated Travis Banks @ 17:05 via submission [****] This was a great main event and close to the tournament. They did a great job of setting the stage with Gibson getting two submission wins, and then doing the Coffey/Banks injury angle prior to the main event. Gibson’s submission was over, the fans hated him, and on top of that, the booking made Banks an injured underdog. The set up was absolutely great and both men delivered. Gibson was the ruthless heel they all hated that took advantage of Banks’ injury, while Banks was the resilient babyface that the crowd tried to rally to victory. From setup to execution, this was all great.

– Triple H, HBK, & Johnny Saint arrive and congratulate Gibson. Gibson looks for promo time, but Pete Dunne arrives. They have a standoff to set up tomorrow’s match.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The biggest compliment that I can give this show is that it in no way felt like a WWE main roster product/show. If anything, it felt like an NXT Takeover special. There was nothing even approached bad. We had a ton of very good to great wrestling, a well laid out tournament with the guys working their style, matches set up for tomorrow’s show and two great matches to close things out. Add in a hot crowd, and this was great.