In this Breaking Suplah, Liam and Sam run down all the details of the WWE’s newest tounament, to air exclusively on the WWE Network, for the newly unveiled WWE United Kingdom Championship!
The 16-man single-elimination tournament, featuring a wide variety of British and Irish talent including Trent Seven and Pete Dunne, will air in January. Blackpool, England will be the host of this groundbreaking moment in wrestling history.
What are your thoughts on the new championship? Are you excited for the tournament? Leave a comment below!
The news broke only moments ago, CFO Triple H, NXT General Manager William Regal and former WWE Universal Champion Finn Balor were at the O2 Arena in London to announce a brand new WWE Network Exclusive tournement, and along with it, the WWE United Kingdom Championship.
At a historic press conference at the O2 Arena in London, Triple H revealed that WWE’s first-ever United Kingdom Champion will be crowned this January.
The WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament is a 16-competitor, two-day throwdown at Blackpool’s Empress Ballroom, airing live and exclusively on the award-winning WWE Network, featuring some of the best talent the U.K. has to offer. The last man standing at the end of the tournament will be crowned champion and awarded a title, which was also revealed at the conference.
Joining Triple H in London were former WWE Universal Champion Finn Bálor, General Manager of NXT William Regal and British wrestling icon Nigel McGuinness, who will be calling the tournament action on WWE Network alongside the voice of Monday Night Raw, Michael Cole.
As with most WWE announcements, this poses lots of questions. UK Independent Pro Wrestling has been gaining a lot of traction all over the world, with the likes of Progress, Revolution Pro and WCPW bringing in thousands of viewers to their respective viewing platforms. On top of that ITV, the second biggest network in the UK, has plans to re-launch their famous “World Of Sports” show to capitalise on this re-emerged popularity of the sport.
The re-launch of World Of Sport, apparently, has officials in WWE worried. In the UK, WWE is a part of Sky Sports, a subscription based service that also includes Football, Rugby and other popular sport included in the package. Where as ITV is free to all television audiences.
Only a few years ago, TNA was more popular in the UK than WWE, and they were on Challenge TV, a network that doesn’t gain nearly the same amount of viewership as ITV, not to mention that ITV plans to launch World Of Sport in a prime time slot on a weekend evening. If TNA can beat WWE with a smaller network, you can bet that World Of Sport will gain even more viewers.
On top of this, what does it mean for the company? There have been reports online that WWE has actually offered some UK talent a very special contract. They don’t specifically work for the company, but they get a “safety net” pay, and stops them from appearing on television for any major UK or US promotion.
The Cruiserweight Classic this past summer proved popular enough to revitalise the Cruiserweight division to the point where, not only did a new Championship for it get re-introduced, but a brand new show now airs on the network exclusively for the division. If this new UK tournament proves popular, will we see a UK based weekly WWE show? Or will the United Kingdom Championship become a brand championship to be defened on the weekly shows of Raw or Smackdown Live (or NXT)? Only time will tell.
All we do know, is that WWE is really ramping up their interest in the UK market, and the athletes from this side of the shore