NXT results, Dec. 20, 2017: Pete Dunne defends U.K. Title in must-see ripper against Tyler Bate
Two championships were on the line in a special gold-gilded edition of NXT. While WWE U.K. Champion Pete Dunne and familiar foe Tyler Bate reignited their longstanding rivalry in a brilliant main-event clash, Adam Cole helped his Undisputed ERA teammates Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish upend SAnitY’s Killian Dain & Eric Young to win the NXT Tag Team Titles.
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Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish def. Eric Young & Killian Dain to win the NXT Tag Team Championship
ORLANDO — The Undisputed ERA have been more naughty than nice since arriving to NXT, but that didn’t stop Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish’s wishes from coming true this Christmas season. With the help of their Undisputed ERA cohort Adam Cole, O’Reilly & Fish dealt a devastating blow to arch-rivals SAnitY, defeating Eric Young & Killian Dain in a wild title match to claim the NXT Tag Team Championship.
Though O’Reilly & Fish’s expert submission and striking skills allowed them to isolate Young for much of the match, SAnitY turned the corner once the gigantic Killian Dain got the tag. As impactful as The Beast of Belfast was, however, Cole’s intrusion at ringside turned out to be the true game-changer. The Panama City Playboy sneakily aided O’Reilly & Fish at various points in the raucous bout, including running Dain shoulder-first into the steel ring post at a critical juncture.
Young tried to neutralize Cole by hitting him with a suicide dive, but the veteran’s decision to take his eye off his opponents gave O’Reilly & Fish the opportunity they needed. Upon returning to the ring, Young was greeted by a devastating high-low combination from O’Reilly & Fish, which sealed the win, kicking off Undisputed ERA’s first title reign in NXT.
Lars Sullivan def. Roderick Strong in a No. 1 Contender’s Tournament Match
With the coveted final spot in next week’s Fatal 4-Way No. 1 Contender’s Match at stake, Roderick Strong showed no sign of intimidation as he squared off with NXT’s one-man wrecking ball, Lars Sullivan. Strong brought the fight to his much larger foe, even managing to superplex the boulder-shouldered behemoth off the top rope, only for Sullivan to authoritatively, and shockingly, kick out at one.
Strong continued the onslaught, plastering Sullivan with knee strikes and downing him with an Olympic Slam, but none of the attacks seemed to do anything more than annoy the 300-pounder. As Strong sprung off the ropes to fire another shot at Sullivan, the burly brawler caught him and launched him high in the air for a pop-up powerslam. Sullivan then smashed Strong onto the canvas with his spleen-splitting Freak Accident slam, putting the popular Messiah of the Backbreaker down for the three-count.
With the win, Sullivan — who remains undefeated in singles competition — moves on to face Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano and Killian Dain in next week’s huge Fatal 4-Way Match, which will determine the challenger to NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia.
WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne def. Tyler Bate
You might think it’d be impossible for Pete Dunne vs. Tyler Bate to live up to their unforgettable WWE U.K. Title Match at TakeOver: Chicago — a mesmerizing battle that WWE.com deemed the best match of the half-year — and you’d be wrong.
With less than a fortnight remaining in 2017, The BruiserWeight and “Textbook” Tyler gave the NXT Universe one more classic to savor, and, just like in Chicago, Dunne stood tall as the champion, barely, at the end of the breathtaking match.
Full Sail Live watched in awe as the contest evolved from a brilliant mat-wrestling clinic to a smash-mouth brawl. All the while, Dunne indulged his most sadistic tendencies, clawing the wunderkind’s face and stomping his fingers out of joint. Refusing to give in, Bate not only endured the beating but gave it back in kind, using his raw strength to toss The BruiserWeight with suplexes (including an exploder off the ropes) and scoring a near-fall off of his favorite move, the Tyler Driver ’97.
Bate was undone by his decision to pull out all the stops and attempt one final high-risk attack, a release German superplex. Remarkably, Dunne flipped out of the move, landed on his feet and quickly latched on the Bitter End to send Bate plummeting to the mat. The three-count was academic at that point.
It was far from easy, but Dunne again proved that even his toughest foe will have to rethink his game plan if he wants to remove the WWE U.K. Championship from around Dunne’s waist.