WWE UK Championship Final: Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne (WWE UK Championship Tournament Part 2- January 15, 2017)

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Bate doesn’t come out like his usual jovial self but looks concerned as he  now has a taped up shoulder. Can’t argue with either guy being in this position. They’ve had excellent matches and have gotten some of the biggest crowd responses thus far. Naturally, Dunne focuses on the taped shoulder after a brief feeling out process. After the frantic pace of the first two rounds, it makes sense for these guys to try and focus on a body part. What I appreciated about this tournament is that WWE resisted not overbooking and kept things simple. Dunne was booked to be the ultimate heel with Bate as a babyface (quite literally given his age). Bate actually wins a slugfest on the outside before Dunne grabs the arm again. Bate sends Dunne’s shoulder into the post. Knee lift and punch send Dunne down. Bate goes to work. Dunne cranks on the arm to counter the Tiger Driver. Nice bit of psychology there. Bate small packages Dunne to counter Bitter End. Airplane spin. Bate appears to lose Dunne but continues to spin him around. Front forward slam gets two.  Triangle choke applied. Bate powerbombs out of it. Bate breaks out a huge dive to the outside and then connects on a 450 stomp. I like the idea of Bate literally attempting everything and getting desperate enough to try anything. Bitter End connects for two and Dunne’s face after the kick-out is perfect. Double wristlock. Bate counters into a brainbuster. Dunne counters a German suplex. Strike exchange. Rolling kick by Bate. A second one and Bate goes for the Tiger Driver. That’s good enough for three.

Easily one of the better matches of the year as they played off the psychology of previous matches and you can see just how much the crowd was invested. Tyler Bate’s reaction after winning each match was pretty great too as he seemed both relieved and surprised at the same. An unbelievable performance by both men and this is for sure a match of the year contender.

Winner (s)/Rating: NEW WWE UK Champion- Tyler Bate/****1/2

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