BT Sport No Filter | A rare, raw, real look behind the scenes at life as a WWE Superstar
"We're not here to play games."
The turn of 2020 saw a monumental change in the way WWE content would be consumed by professional wrestling fans in the UK and Ireland, and while BT Sport have claimed they're not here to play games, they have most definitely changed the game!
After 30 years of coverage, WWE's previous, long-standing broadcast partnership would come to an end, with BT Sport taking the reins and ramping up the coverage before an episode of RAW or SmackDown had even aired!
In fact, one day ahead of the monumental move, WWE and BT Sport would confirm that NXT would be available live on British television for the first time ever, with NXT UK set to be broadcast for the first time ever in the near future too.
"Okay, so it's the same content, but just with added NXT, right?"
Whether it be Gary Lineker barbing with Sasha Banks or Kevin Owens calling out Chris Sutton, BT Sport provided the perfect introduction to WWE for their already existing customers while simultaneously hooking in the UK audience too - and that was just the start of the broadcasting giant's offering of original televised content.
BT Sport's No Filter series has spanned several sports and provided a rare, raw insight behind the scenes, and the announcement of a WWE-based episode would undoubtedly be met with excitement and anticipation in equal measure.
Well, WWE's premiere on BT Sport did not disappoint. At 8 am on New Year's Day, it all began, firstly with a clip of Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins arriving in style, just moments before the first official episode of professional wrestling content would begin.
The first offering, No Filter, most definitely set the tone for a full day of action that kicked off a multi-year deal between the two companies.
Following several WWE Superstars as they travelled across the UK during WWE's most recent tour on this side of the pond, viewers were provided with a wondrous look behind the scenes as the reality of WWE's gruelling schedule was laid bare for all to see, least of all with Heavy Machinery's Tucker Knight being caught on FaceTime talking to his new-born child.
From Kofi Kingston and Big E's seemingly endless media duties which saw the always upbeat pairing high-five and joke with children, to visiting Manchester City's Etihad Stadium, The New Day's importance outside of the ring as quintessential WWE Superstars would be incredibly evident. Ridiculously tough, talented individuals who put their bodies on the line every night, yet most definitely not taking anything for granted and soaking in every single second.
On a similar note, we would see Drew McIntyre visit Burns Cottage in his hometown of Ayr while Nikki Cross would be joined by R-Truth as they spent their day with children at the NSPCC charity on the day of WWE Live Glasgow - a homecoming for McIntyre and Cross.
Cross would be seen during the day talking about getting a chippy immediately upon her arrival in Scotland, before revealing how her sister gave her a passport holder when she first left Scotland for WWE, saying she'd see the former SAnitY member back at the SSE Hydro, the venue that closed the UK chapter on WWE's November 2019 tour.
McIntyre's return was a jovial one, as he was gifted a football top from Rangers, sporting the name of his favourite player, Ally McCoist, before taking to the ring and conducting the choir that is the WWE Universe in chanting "Oh, Randall Keith Orton" at the Apex Predator during his time in Scotland.
A tearful Nikki Cross, though, would epitomise "No Filter" as we saw a completely different side to a WWE Superstar who wanted nothing more than to hold on to an incredibly special memory after she'd made memories for so many of the fans she'd entertained in attendance.
No Filter may have been gritty, raw and real, but it showcased the magic of WWE in the most perfect way possible.
WWE fans in the UK and Ireland can catch up on No Filter WWE anywhere, anytime via the BT Sport App, with the episode being repeated on BT Sport 1 over the next few days and available via YouTube below.
New BT Sport customers signing up between Friday, January 10 and Monday, January 27 will receive a WWE Championship Commemorative Title Belt. You can find out more information here.
Modified 02 Jan 2020, 19:16 IST