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paul sosnowski

[2019-08-31-WWE-NXT UK: TakeOver Cardiff] WALTER vs Tyler Bate

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When I saw this was over 30 minutes, I was kinda dreading watching it like those Gargano "epics" in regular NXT. However, this was an awesome match that really never dragged. Sure it was too long but that's to be expected in modern day WWE. WALTER is like Brock when he first came back to WWE. He's something special and is booked like a monster. Tyler was great too. I like how he fought back on defense even when Walter was beating the shit out of him. The crowd also really enhanced the match as they were into everything. Great match and one of the best of the year.

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40 minutes? I was horrified. 

They came through. First thing of note is that the crowd really boosted this match so much. With their constant energy, everything felt bigger, better, and more intense. 

But yeah, the 40 minutes breezed by. The heat segments got heat, the comebacks got all the love they needed. Tyler played a fantastic underdog, selling the damage to the back even as he tried to push past the pain to accomplish the feats of strength needed to try and take down WALTER. Probably his best moment for me was not flinching for a second once WALTER kicked out of the Tyler Driver. No Taker face for Tyler, just jump to the top and stay on your man. Good lad. WALTER was brutal and imposing and this was his best work on top all year. He felt much more imposing and threatening than the Dunne match and that worked to this match's advantage. 

Really is the instant classic many have called it. I loved every second.

*****

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Loved both guys and the match but it’s not without its criticism. For one, the match felt way too long. It was a great 20 minute match that went 40. So it felt bloated and admittedly a little dry in parts. The early work was good and simple. It played off the set up well (thank you, video package). Bate sold fairly well but I really didn’t like him doing the “strong boi” spots that he does. It wasn’t the match for it and it didn’t respect the back work or the weight difference nearly as I liked but I wouldn’t say he no sold it completely. I would just want a little less power moves from Bate. Especially early on. Maybe one or two here to make it matter more. The ending wasn’t great either. Went on way past its peak. The rest was a well worked match had two very good performance. Bate worked the underdog role well and WALTER fit the big man monster well too. Even if it got marred down by the forced epicness of every Takeover main event trope. ***3/4

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This was a pretty much the perfect big monster heel vs small underdog baby face  title match. I can't think of another match with those dynamics that was done better.

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Yeah I loved this. Didn't feel like a 42 minute match at all and I don't think it particularly overstayed its welcome. WALTER was great in his role and Bate great in his. WALTER actually looked more and more terrifying and dominant as the match went on. Those brutal suplexes. Christ.

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An epic in every sense of the word with 90's AJPW levels of physicality and brutality. They managed to avoid a lot of the trappings that you will find in your typical Johnny Gargano or Adam Cole NXT Takeover main event, but this still could have benefitted from losing a minute or two here and there. The middle section where WALTER worked over Bate went on a touch too long as did the final finishing stretch. WALTER is a master of making himself seem bigger than he already is and Bate was fantastic as the plucky underdog. ★★★★¼

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