Tyler Bate showed his value to the new WWE NXT UK brand with a solid showing on this week’s episode on WWE Network.
Bate was the face of the British Invasion into WWE two years ago as he won the UK Championship tournament in Blackpool.
Then just 19, he was the inaugural UK champ, going on to taste NXT tag team title success with Moustache Mountain comrade Trent Seven earlier this year.
While he surrendered his UK title to current champ, Pete Dunne, Bate remains a key player on what is still a new brand – a fact he reminded fans of in the latest episode, taped in Cambridge.
His victory over Scottish bruiser Wolfgang, earned with a Tyler Driver 97, was an impressive one, as was his recovery from a monstrous spear from the powerhouse.
Also this week, Manchester’s Ashton Smith picked up an impressive win over Tucker to the delight of a lively crowd, while Dakota Kai was in impressive form as she overcame Killer Kelly.
Kai, a real favourite on the night, won the match with her trademark Kai De Grace finisher before delivering an ominous warning that she’s hot on the trail of the NXT UK Women’s Championship.
In a lively opener to the show, agility overcame brute force as El Ligero defeated Mike Hitchman.
The Wild Boar, from Wales, had looked to have the upper hand against the high-flyer thanks to a big powerbomb, but Ligero got the victory after connecting with a tornado DDT.
A packed show didn’t just feature great wrestling – another of the night’s highlights saw Zack Gibson appear to a huge response – though it was far from a warm welcome.
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Gibson, who came up short in his quest to become WWE NXT UK Champion against Dunne earlier this year, insisted he should be the focal point of the show – not the likes of Noam Dar, of whom he was less than complimentary.
His tirade drew Dar out into the arena but, before trouble could really break out, NXT UK general manager, Johnny Saint, ordered the pair to his office.
If the segment was designed to tease a feud between the two, it can’t come quickly enough.
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