Former NXT United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate returned to NXT UK this week after a lengthy absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bate surprised viewers by re-emerging during Noam Dar’s Supernova Sessions segment on this week’s edition of NXT UK, where he confronted Heritage Cup holder A-Kid. Bate challenged A-Kid to a match later on in the show. Dar tried his best to stir up drama between the two men by suggesting that Bate had implied he would have won the cup had he been in the tournament.
The reasons for Bate’s lengthy absence remain unclear. NXT UK ceased shooting at the start of the pandemic, but when shooting resumed, Bate was nowhere to be seen.
In an recent interview, Bate’s mentor and tag-team partner Trent Seven said that Bate was taking some personal time to deal with the pressure caused by his success.
“I’ve spoke to him obviously here and there and you know, been around to his house and met up with him and stuff, and you know, this year has been incredibly complex for everyone, you know what I mean?” Seven said on the The Go Home Show Podcast. “I feel like no matter who you are in the wrestling industry, the year 2020 has taken a bit of a toll on you. So there’s a big part of it where he’s had to…he’s had to do a little bit of soul searching.
“He’s had to go have a look at how he spent his money, how he lives his life, how he — the time he spends away from wrestling, what kind of influences is Tyler Bate looking at to improve his life, you know what I mean? There’s so many little aspects of things that — and we have to remember and we have to remind ourselves, this guy is 22-years old. He won the U.K. Championship at the age of 19. That’s not a normal life for anyone. There are no 19-year-olds on the planet that are WWE champions,” he continued.
Tyler lost the match, but he didn’t let the defeat dampen his spirits. In a post match interview, the Moustache Mountain member said he was “extremely happy” to be back, and that there was no shame in losing to someone as talented as A-Kid.
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) December 10, 2020
(h/t POST Wrestling for the transcription).