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Pete Dunne Beats Joe Coffey to Retain NXT UK Title at TakeOver: Blackpool

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2019

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Pete Dunne beat Joe Coffey at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool on Saturday to retain the WWE United Kingdom Championship.

Dunne's victory continued a reign that recently surpassed the 600-day mark.

The two men laid it all on the line in a lengthy, entertaining match that featured no shortage of death-defying spots:

WWE @WWE

Going... going... gone. #UKChampionship #NXTUKTakeOver #NXTUK @PeteDunneYxB @Joe_Coffey https://t.co/4bu94O2Yiv

Coffey kicked out of The Bitter End twice, but The Bruiserweight put him away by bending his opponent's fingers and forcing him to tap.

After the match, an exhausted Dunne celebrated, to the delight of the fans in attendance:

WWE @WWE

The reign CONTINUES! The #BruiserWeight @PeteDunneYxB is STILL your @WWEUK Champion! #NXTUKTakeOver #AndStill #UKChampionship #NXTUK https://t.co/ACFcDyBUhJ

The titleholder's night wasn't over, though, as recent WWE signee Walter appeared to stare down Dunne and seemingly present himself as the next contender for the United Kingdom Championship:

WWE @WWE

Can ANYONE beat @PeteDunneYxB... What about THIS GUY? @WalterAUT #NXTUK #UKChampionship #NXTUKTakeOver https://t.co/q3RDglSu5M

While Dunne has been an integral part of NXT in recent months, the formation of NXT UK resulted in him being positioned as one of the brand's faces. He was part of the tournament to crown the inaugural WWE United Kingdom champion in 2017 and reached the final before he fell to Tyler Bate.

Just four months later, Dunne faced Bate at NXT TakeOver: Chicago with the title on the line, and The Bruiserweight prevailed in a match that was widely viewed as one of the year's best.

While Dunne's title defenses have been somewhat sporadic since, he has established himself as one of the most dominant, popular WWE Superstars.

It wasn't immediately clear who would be Dunne's first major challenger when NXT UK launched, but the feud with Coffey was born from the rivalry between Moustache Mountain and Gallus.

Dunne rushed to the defense of Bate and Trent Seven after they were attacked by Wolfgang and the Coffey brothers on a recent episode of NXT UK, which led general manager Johnny Saint to book Dunne against Joe Coffey at TakeOver.

With Gallus failing to advance to the finals of the NXT UK Tag Team Championship tournament, there was some thought that Wolfgang and Mark Coffey would involve themselves in the match between Dunne and Joe Coffey.

Dunne was forced to have his head on a swivel, but he seems to work best with a "him against the world mentality," and it made for a highly entertaining bout in Blackpool.

With Dunne leaving the first TakeOver in NXT UK history still the WWE United Kingdom champion, the door is open for Walter to be his toughest challenger yet. 

        

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