The primary focus of this week’s NXT was the first ever champion vs champion match in NXT history between NXT North American Champion Ricochet and WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne.
Hyped as the biggest match in NXT TV history it certainly lived up to the big match feel with the crowd split for the majority. It was back and forth with Dunne trying to slow down Ricochet attacking the fingers relentlessly. Despite this the match had an underwhelming finish with Undisputed Era causing a double DQ before being chased off by the War Raiders. The show goes off air with both men going shaking hands while the crowd chant “both these guys”.
If this was a regular match or just one of the belts were on the line you might forgive this finish but it’s the fact that it was for championships. A match as hyped as this one deserves a better finish otherwise what was the point.
This is a match that I believe should have been held off until a Takeover. Putting PPV quality matches on free TV is mostly a problem you’d associate with the main roster rather than NXT. Often NXT has a great TV main events yet still have great matches when Takeover comes around. Given Adam Cole is owed his rematch for the North American title the prospect of interference was there but it was still frustrating. The finish was just to keep the participants in the crowds mind as they are supposed to be involved in NXT’s second War Games match in November.
If they are going to do War Games why not give Cole his rematch in the lead up then do Dunne vs Ricochet at the Rumble Weekend Takeover due to issues coming out of the War Games match.
That would have caused more doubt about who would come out with both titles. Going into this week’s match I strongly doubted that Dunne would lose the UK title as the first tapings for NXT UK have already happened with Dunne as champion. Given he was champ when they were taped if he lost the title before they air it would be confusing when you see him with the belt. They still could do a rematch at the January.
If they do, I think it would best if Dunne was to win. As much as I wouldn’t mind it there are a lot of UK fans that wouldn’t like having an American hold the UK title. If an American does win the title it should be by a heel who can lord it over the fans.
Dunne as NXT North American Champion has possibilities. I’ve already said Dunne is bigger than NXT UK and winning the north American title before dropping the UK title would be the perfect way to transition him into main NXT. This along with Moustache Mountain winning the tag belts shows that the UK division aren’t just sectioned in their own division they can succeed outside it. Essentially the opposite of the cruiserweight division. If there isn’t a rematch then they missed an opportunity to do something really good here.