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WWE UK CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT REPORT (NIGHT 1)
JUNE 18, 2018
LONDON, ENGLAND AT ALBERT HALL
REPORT BY DAVID GREEN (@dagreeno), PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
Announcers: Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness were on commentary and received a tremendous ovation for their introduction.
(A) Amir Jordan scored an upset win over Joseph Conners with a jackknife roll up.
The main show commenced with the first four matches all being quarter final tournament matches with 20 minute time limits.
(1) Zack Gibson defeated Jack Gallagher. These men have fought up and down the country and around the wild for many years, so they had an expectedly brilliant match. Gallagher played a complete baby face role, opposing his 205 Live persona. Gibson trapped Gallagher in the Shankly Gates submission for a quick tap out in roughly 15 minutes.
(2) Joe Coffey defeated Dave Mastiff. These big men had a tremendous encounter, full of great power moves from Coffey. Mastiff missed his cannonball finish, which left him open for Coffey “All the Best for the Bells” lariat. Coffey was interviewed after the match and he stated his confidence going into winning the tournament and beating Pete Dunne tomorrow for the UK title.
(3) Flash Morgan Webster defeated Jordan Devlin. Another nice match here, though shorter than I’d have liked it. Devlin hit a tremendous Spanish Fly from the top rope, but Webster rallied and hit the Eton Rifle for the pin. I’d love to see these two go at it for longer another time.
(4) Travis Banks defeated Ashton Smith. After three tremendous matches, this was the slightly weaker of the quarter finals, though both men did well. The crowd were firmly behind Banks, with Smith being relatively unknown by comparison. It was still a decent match, with Banks hitting the Kiwi Krusher to advance.
The fifth match was due to be a four way match to determine a contender for Shayna Baszler at tomorrow’s show. Isla Dawn, Killer Kelly, Toni Storm and Jinny began their match in fine form with lots of action. Unfortunately, a dive from Dawn onto Jinny and Kelly on the floor left Jinny knocked out. After Storm also dove to the floor, referee Drake Wuertz threw up the dreaded “X” signal and stopped the match. Jinny was helped to the back, thankfully being able to walk. Later I had heard through reliable sources that she was okay.
Next up Triple H made his way to the ring. He started by saying that we should never discredit the risks that the performers take for our entertainment. He then said that although one of them was down, the other three would come back out to finish the match.
He then introduced UK GM Johnny Saint. They announced the new NXT UK division and listed the dates for tapings and new Women’s and Tag Team title divisions. All this information can be found in the news section.
(5) Toni Storm defeated Isla Dawn and Killer Kelly to become No. 1 contender to the NXT Women’s Championship. The participants did well to carry on with this match, although I could see that Storm was still quite shook up from what had happened with Jinny. Kelly and Dawn did the lions share of the work here, and acquitted themselves nicely despite being the less well known participants. Storm took Kelly out of the ring and laid Dawn out with her over the shoulder neckbreaker for the win. Shayna Baszler was then seen on the front row staring down Storm.
(6) Zack Gibson defeated Flash Morgan Webster in a semi final match. Surprisingly short at around five minutes, they packed a great amount into it. Flash got caught on a dive which Gibson turned into a Helter Skelter on the floor. Webster beat the count but immediately tapped out to the Shankly Gates. Gibson submission hold was being put over very strong tonight with almost instant tap outs.
Aleister Black and Ricochet were then presented at ringside.
(7) Travis Banks defeated Joe Coffey in a semi-final match. This was a very close encounter between these two. Coffey came in with seemingly injured ribs. Really good stuff here as Banks squeaked out a win with a roll up.
As the result was announced and Banks had his hand raised, Coffey snapped and attacked him. He threw Banks shoulder first into the ring post and hit his lariat. This left Banks vulnerable for his final with Gibson, as the Shankly Gates focuses on the shoulder.
(8) British Strong Style (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate & Pete Dunne) defeated Undisputed Era (Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong). This match was absolutely fantastic. Action throughout, with every participant getting an amazing crowd response. Dunne took Cole & Strong out with a moonsault to the floor, while Bate & Seven hit O’Reilly with a rebound lariat / dragon suplex combo for the win. Go out of your way to see this match!
It was announced that Tyler Bate and Trent Seven would get an NXT tag title shot against Strong & O’Reilly the next night.
Shawn Michaels made his way out next to a thunderous reaction. The crowd sang along heartily to HBK’s entrance music. After a one more match chant, Michaels said little of any consequence but just stated that he was honoured to have been in the first ever WWE match in the Royal Albert Hall in 1991 (which, fun fact, I was present for) and that the NXT UK brand would continue to produce great things for this country.
(9) UK Championship tournament final – Zack Gibson defeated Travis Banks to win the tournament and gain a title shot tomorrow night. Banks entered the match with his left arm and shoulder heavily bandaged. Of course, Gibson focused his attack on the injury. This was a great main event of around 25 minutes. Banks was caught in the Gates, but resisted the pain and made it to the ropes. He kicked out of a Helter Skelter, while Gibson kicked out of a Kiwi Krusher. Banks missed a Slice of Heaven and Gibson applied the Gates again. Banks almost made the ropes, but was manoeuvred away. Banks had no choice but to tap, making Gibson the second ever winner of the WWE UK Championship tournament.
Triple H, HBK and Johnny Saint all congratulated Banks as he made his way back and posed with the winner Gibson in the ring. Just as Gibson went to start one of his trademark promos, Pete Dunne made his way out as well. They argued and Dunne slapped Gibson.
Gibson was left to perform a killer promo to end the night. Should be very interesting to see what happens tomorrow night. Overall, a good night of action. Tomorrow sees Pete Dunne vs Zack Gibson for the UK title, Adam Cole defending the North American title against Wolfgang, Moustache Mountain challenging Undisputed Era for the tag titles and the team of EC3 and Velveteen Dream vs Aleister Black and Ricochet.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS RELATED ARTICLE: WWE announces new NXT UK series, new WWE UK titles to be defended during tapings