United Kingdom Championship Tournament Night One
Date: June 18, 2018
Location: Royal Albert Hall, London, England
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness

While this may be a taped show, it’s certainly something that could be rather interesting. There’s no secret to the fact that WWE wants to expand into the United Kingdom and while they already have a United Kingdom Champion, they need to expand the roster. Therefore, we’ll be seeing a good chunk of a sixteen man tournament with the winner getting a title shot tomorrow night. There are some other matches on the card to fill things out as well. Let’s get to it.

The opening video features NXT UK General Manager Johnny Saint in the empty arena, talking about how he’s wrestled here many times before, but that’s in the past. Now it’s about the title, with the winner of the tournament receiving a title shot tomorrow.

We’ll be starting in the second round so here are the original brackets, with the winners in bold.

Zack Gibson
Amir Jordan

Jack Gallagher
Drew Gulak

Flash Morgan Webster
James Drake

Jordan Devlin
Tyson T-Bone

Joe Coffey

Dave Mastiff
Kenny Williams

Travis Banks

Ashton Smith
Joseph Conners

United Kingdom Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Jack Gallagher vs. Zack Gibson

Gibson, a bald guy with a beard, is loathed by the crowd. They go straight for the wrist battle and Gallagher bounces out of a headscissors. The fans sing a song that I can’t understand and Gallagher turns into a conductor before being taken down by the arm. That goes nowhere so Gallagher spins him down into a rollup for two, much to the fans’ amusement. Gibson gets serious with a hard clothesline as the chants continue.

We hit a cobra clutch for a bit before Gibson goes with right hands to the face instead. A crossface chickenwing keeps Gibson in control until Gallagher fights up and actually wins a slugout against the much bigger Gibson. Gallagher’s suplex and knee shot get two but he gets caught on the ropes, setting up a middle rope Codebreaker for two. Gibson counters the running corner dropkick into a powerbomb but gets pulled into a triangle choke.

That’s broken up with a toss to the floor so Gallagher slingshots back in, landing with a sleeper on Gibson in a sweet sequence. Gibson makes a rope so Gallagher goes with the running corner dropkick for two more. That’s not cool with Gibson, who sends him shoulder first into the post to cut him down again. Gallagher hits another dropkick but a Swan Dive hits the shoulder, setting up a seated armbar (Shankly Gates) to make Gallagher tap at 13:28.

Result: Zack Gibson b. Jack Gallagher – Shankly Gates (13:28)

Video on Joe Coffey, a big guy who can wrestle different styles.

Video on Dave Mastiff, a big guy who can wrestle different styles.

United Kingdom Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Joe Coffey vs. Dave Mastiff

They ram shoulders to start with the much bigger Mastiff getting the better of it. That means a trip to the floor with Mastiff running him over without much trouble. Back in and Coffey gets smart by taking Mastiff down off a double leg. Mastiff forearms him out of the air though and gets two off a running backsplash.

More forearms have Coffey in trouble but he’s able to suplex the rather large Mastiff for an impressive power display. A more impressive belly to belly sets up a bridging German suplex for two but Mastiff grabs a deadlift German suplex for two of his own. A double springboard crossbody of all things puts Mastiff down and a discus lariat gives Coffey the pin at 7:43.

Result: Joe Coffey b. Dave Mastiff – Discus lariat (7:43)

Post match Coffey says he’ll win.

Video on Flash Morgan Webster, who is a little odd and marches to the beat of his own drum.

Video on Jordan Devlin, a student of Finn Balor’s who wants to improve on what he did in last year’s tournament.

United Kingdom Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Flash Morgan Webster vs. Jordan Devlin

Webster is a Mod, meaning he’s inspired by northern England music of the 60s, such as the Who. The cocky Devlin slaps him in the corner to start and you can see Morgan getting a little annoyed. A few armdrags slow Devlin down a bit and an imploding flip splash gets a fast two. Devlin kicks him in the chest to take over and we hit another chant that I can’t understand.

Morgan scores with a running knee in the corner and hits three straight dives, each one over a different rope in a unique idea. Back in and Morgan gets crotched on top (Mauro: “He’ll have his eggs scrambled.”), setting up a super Spanish Fly for a well received near fall. Devlin misses a moonsault though and Morgan scores with a running Sliced Bread for the pin at 7:02.

Result: Flash Morgan Webster b. Jordan Devlin – Running Sliced Bread (7:02)

Video on New Zealander Travis Banks, who is trained in a variety of combat.

Video on Ashton Smith, who wants to win the title.

United Kingdom Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Ashton Smith vs. Travis Banks

The announcers get in a debate over whether Smith used to be a football player or a soccer player. They run the ropes to start with Ashton showing off some athleticism until Banks avoids a charge in the corner. A running dropkick to the back gets two on Smith but he’s right back with a middle rope seated senton. Banks is sent outside for a running flip dive and a superkick gets two back inside. Some hard forearms get Banks out of trouble but Smith gets all fired up and demands more punches to his face. Instead it’s a fisherman’s buster for the pin on Smith at 6:06.

Result: Travis Banks b. Ashton Smith – Fisherman’s buster (6:06)

Here are the updated brackets:

Zack Gibson
Flash Morgan Webster

Travis Banks
Joe Coffey

Toni Storm vs. Killer Kelly vs. Isla Dawn

The winner gets a shot at NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler tomorrow night. Storm made a big run in the Mae Young Classic, Kelly is a little scary and Dawn is a big Goldust fan. Storm gets double teamed to start and a wheelbarrow DDT gives Dawn two. That’s enough working together so Dawn runs Kelly over with an elbow for two more. Kelly scores with a suplex on the returning Storm and it’s time for a three way slugout. A hard kick rocks Dawn but Storm kicks Kelly right back. Storm Zero (White Noise onto the knee) gives storm the very fast pin on Dawn at 4:14.

Result: Toni Storm b. Killer Kelly and Isla Dawn – Storm Zero to Dawn (4:14)

Baszler comes out for the staredown.

Here’s HHH for a big announcement. After saying what a cool building this is (he’s right), he talks about last year’s tournament, which meant so much to British wrestling. Since then, talent like Wolfgang, Trent Seven, Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate and Mark Andrews have turned into international names. The first rounds of the tournament have shown HHH that they’re just scratching the surface. There’s going to be more, and here’s General Manager Johnny Saint to announce the NXT UK brand, which will be featuring women’s and tag team divisions. HHH announces some upcoming dates, with the first coming in July. Are you ready?

United Kingdom Championship Tournament Semifinals: Flash Morgan Webster vs. Zack Gibson

Webster knees him in the face at the bell and slugs away in the corner, followed by a kick to the face. Gibson bails to the face so Webster swings around a post into a headscissors. A missile dropkick gets two back inside, all in the first minute. Gibson gets in an elbow though and stomps Webster in the corner, again much to the fans’ dismay. We hit the cobra clutch as the fans start a “IF YOU HATE GIBSON STAND UP” chant, which draws a rather loud audience to their feet.

Webster slips out of the Shankly Gates and hits something close to a Whisper in the Wind for two. Gibson heads outside again so Webster tries the three dives but the second is countered into Helter Skelter (a spinning suplex) on the floor for a big crash. Fans: “MAMA MIA!” Webster slides back in and gets caught in the Shankly Gates for the tap at 4:19.

Result: Zack Gibson b. Flash Morgan Webster – Shankly Gates (4:19)

Aleister Black and Ricochet are here. There are a good amount of empty seats visible during the shot.

United Kingdom Championship Tournament Semifinals: Joe Coffey vs. Travis Banks

Coffey powers him down with a wristlock to start and chops away in the corner. A hard shoulder puts Banks in the corner again and a double underhook giant swing into a butterfly suplex gets two. Coffey puts on a kneeling half crab before switching over to a cross arm choke with some knees to the back.

Banks fights up and fires off some right hands in the corner, only to have Coffey hit a running headbutt to the ribs to cut him off again. A pop up powerslam gives Coffey two but Banks slips out of a suplex and scores with a hard corner dropkick for a near fall of his own. There’s a high crossbody and a quick rolling cradle gives Banks the pin at 9:22.

Result: Travis Banks b. Joe Coffey – Rolling cradle (9:22)

Post match Coffey beats Banks down and sends him shoulder first into the post.

Undisputed Era vs. British Strong Style

Adam Cole/Roderick Strong/Kyle O’Reilly vs. Tyler Bate/Pete Dunne/Trent Seven. Bate and O’Reilly get things going with Bate slipping out of the cross armbreaker and taking him down with some armdrags. It’s off to Dunne, who threatens to snap Strong’s fingers. Everyone comes in and the Brits hit stereo left hands to the jaw (Nigel: “TRIPLE BOP!”) to take over.

Seven gets pulled into the corner for some triple stomping though and even the British fans love doing the ADAM COLE BAY BAY! The Era takes turns hammering away in the corner on Seven with Strong drawing in Bate and Dunne to keep Seven in trouble. Seven finally knocks Strong away and brings in Dunne off the hot tag to clean house. An X Plex drops Cole onto Strong for two and it’s back to Bate, who suplexes Strong into Cole in the corner.

In one of the most impressive power displays I’ve seen in a very long time, Bate gives Cole the airplane spin and giant swings Strong AT THE SAME TIME. Dunne goes up but dives into a dropkick and O’Reilly tries a triangle choke. That’s broken up as well but the Bitter End is reversed into a guillotine choke but Dunne walks over for a tag to Bate.

Everything breaks down and Bate powerbombs his way out of an armbreaker to put everyone down. The Seven Stars Lariat gets two on Strong and Dunne dives onto Strong and Cole. Another Seven Star Lariat sets up a dragon suplex/clothesline combination ends O’Reilly at 12:33.

Result: British Strong Style b. Undisputed Era – Dragon suplex/clothesline combination to O’Reilly (12:33)

Here’s Shawn Michaels to introduce the finals. After the fans sing his song and beg for one more match (Shawn: “You guys have got to stop that!”), Shawn puts over NXT UK and says he’s scared to come out here and try to follow what we’ve seen. Without much to say, we’re ready for the finals.

United Kingdom Championship Tournament Finals: Zack Gibson vs. Adam Banks

Banks has a taped up shoulder coming in. After some Big Match Intros, they stare each other down to start and Gibson goes straight for the arm. Banks takes him to the mat and they head outside with Gibson working on the arm even more. A whip into the steps bangs up the arm even more and Gibson gets two off a wind up clothesline back inside.

With the regular stuff not working, Gibson stomps on the arm and the referee is asking if Banks wants to continue. A dropkick to the knee cuts a charging Gibson off and there’s a running dropkick to the back of the head. Banks’ running knee gets two (with one arm only on the cover) but Gibson kicks him in the arm. The Ticket to Ride (Tombstone into a pair of knees to the chest) sends Banks outside but he’s able to hit the Slice of Heaven (Disaster Kick) off the barricade.

Back in and Gibson wins a slugout with a hard slap but Banks kicks him in the chest and stomps away. Gibson’s headbutt sets up Shankly Gates, sending the fans into a frenzy until Banks dives for a rope and the break. Gibson heads outside again so Banks hits a running double stomp from the apron. Another Slice of Heaven gets a close two back inside, followed by the fisherman’s buster for an even closer near fall. Gibson is right back up though and the Shankly Gates out of nowhere makes Banks tap at 16:59.

Result: Zack Gibson b. Travis Banks – Shankly Gates (16:59)

Post match Gibson offers a handshake but pulls it back. HHH, Shawn and Saint come out, shake Banks’ hand, and pose with Gibson, who is ready to brag but here’s Dunne to stare him down to end the show.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 27 wrestling books. His latest book is the NXT: The Full Sail Years Volume III: From Dallas To New Orleans.

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