5 options for the future of WWE's United Kingdom brand
December 15, 2016; it's a date that will go down in the history of British Wrestling as being one of the defining moments of the industry in this country, as WWE Chief Operating Officer Triple H, would announce a sixteen-man tournament to determine the first ever WWE United Kingdom Champion.
The tournament would take place on January 14th and 15th 2017, with nineteen-year-old Tyler Bate defeating Pete Dunne in the final to become the inaugural champion. The tournament was a huge success in the UK, with both shows selling out and the talent competing on the shows showing the worldwide audience watching via the WWE Network the high-quality standard of talent the UK wrestling scene had to offer.
The feeling of fans following the United Kingdom tournament was one of positivity and excitement about the future of the UK wrestling scene. But now over a year later, we are left with as many unanswered questions as we were when this whole process began. I feel the British Wrestling scene is one of the strongest across the entire wrestling industry right now.
Shows are selling out in venues up and down the country, and we have some of the best talents in the world today performing on our shores. For WWE not to capitalize on this thriving scene while it continues to reach new heights would be a massive blow for the scene in this country, but more so a huge mistake for WWE overall.
With the future of the brand seemingly unknown at this time I came up with five ideas for the future of the WWE United Kingdom brand.
#5 Introduce And Use More UK Talent On WWE Programming
Despite the huge buzz created at NXT TakeOver: Chicago by current United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate, the United Kingdom Championship competitors have not been a regular feature on WWE programming. Dunne has made appearances to defend the title a few times on WWE NXT and even appeared on an episode of Raw during WWE's tour of Europe this past November, defeating Enzo Amore in a singles match.
We've also seen Tyler Bate recently make his debut on 205 Live, while Mark Andrews is also set to debut on the brand next week. Trent Seven and Wolfgang have also both appeared on NXT, while several other members of the brand featured on 205 Live during WWE's tour of Europe last November. But this doesn't signal much of an intent to grow the UK brand. By using more of the talent signed to the United Kingdom brand on WWE programming like 205 Live and NXT, the WWE Universe would be exposed to the UK brands talent, and it would give these performers a platform to build on to help promote the brand ahead of a prospective launch.
Until concrete progress is made and there is further news about the brands future we will have to just accept and embrace the sporadic appearances by the talent on NXT, and appearances when the company tours the UK twice a year. But at this stage that just simply doesn't feel like it is enough.