It’s been a few days since NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff, and I still can’t really get over the ending to the main event between Walter and Tyler Bate. It’s not the fact that Walter defeated Tyler Bate to retain the WWE UK Championship, it’s how he won the match that still has me feeling perplexed and amused at the same time: Walter won the match with a clothesline, after everything else in his arsenal failed to keep Bate down for the count.
I mean, it was still a pretty good clothesline that Bate sold like the champion he really should be, but the fact of the matter is that Walter hadn’t really ever bust out a clothesline in general in the WWE until about now. I guess the question is if he’s going to be using that as his signature move instead of the power bomb and/or big splash, to help reinforce the move, or if it really was an isolated case of an ordinary move succeeding at rendering a guy unconscious enough to end the match.
It reminded me of this classic wrestling match I saw once, where it was Rick Rude before he ever became Ravishing, versus some guy I don’t remember, and with Gordon Solie on commentary. The conclusion of the match came when the opponent was momentarily distracted by something, leaving him open to an ordinary axe-handle smash from behind, before Rude hit him with an ordinary snap suplex, and pinned him 1-2-3. All while Solie bemoaned the impact of a regular suplex and verbally sold that the match was over once he hit it.
Walter winning with a regular clothesline made me feel like I was thrown back into the early 80s with a finish that came from what is ordinarily a common move, and I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a deliberate throw back or if it was the seed to something that will continue to grow.