WWE Rumours: Reason why WWE didn't reinstate the European Championship
The new belt will help WWE boost their presence in the growing UK wrestling scene.
Although the introduction of the WWE United Kingdom Championship WWE has been widely acclaimed, it has received some backlash as well. Many of the fans feel that the company should have re-introduced the European Championship rather than launching a brand new title.
On 15th December 2016, WWE Chief Operating Officer Triple H announced at a press conference in London, that they will be introducing a brand new WWE United Kingdom Championship. A two-day tournament, involving 16 participants, will be held on 14th and 15th January 2017 to crown the first ever United Kingdom champion.
The tournament will air live on the WWE Network, with the broadcast team of Michale Cole and British wrestling legend, Nigel McGuiness.
WWE has scouted sixteen of the best talents from the British independent wrestling scene, including the likes of Pete Dunne, Joesph Conners, Wolfgang etc. among others and they will be part of this upcoming tourney.
A recent article by PWInsider.com explains the possible reasons behind this decision from WWE. The report stated that the European title was never treated as a top-tier championship in the WWE and that the bookings around it hardly mattered.
The European Championship was instituted in 1997 and Davey Boy Smith was crowned as the inaugural Champion. After 37 distinct title reigns, the belt was unified with the Intercontinental Championship by Rob Van Dam, marking its retirement.
Wrestling in the United Kingdom has been growing steadily for the past few years and PWInsider added that WWE wanted to capitalise on this market. “Providing something specific”, like introducing a Championship title to represent UK wrestling, it was stated, would attract a lot of local fans to the WWE Network, thereby increasing its uniqueness.
Re-introducing the European Championship, however, would not serve the purpose to profit from the UK, but a new title with no past glory could surely achieve that task.
For years, United Kingdom has reportedly been the second largest market for WWE and the addition of the United Kingdom Championship would certainly boost the company’s presence in the market.
Here’s a clip of Triple H making the monumental announcement.
Following the declaration, WWE’s CEO introduced the participants of the tournament to the WWE Universe.
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