WWE News: NXT returns to Download Festival
What's the story?
After becoming a mainstay at the United Kingdom's biggest rock and metal festival over the past two years, this is the announcement many festival-goers were waiting for.
WWE and Download Festival have now confirmed that NXT will return to the festival for a third time this year!
In case you didn't know...
Download Festival is a big deal. This year, it's being headlined by Avenged Sevenfold, Guns N' Roses and Ozzy Osbourne, with bands like Shinedown and Volbeat also set to appear.
However, the festival and WWE have established quite the partnership over recent years and the action in the ring has become almost as important as the action across the stages for many festival-goers.
Two years ago, Download Festival got to exclusively witness Bobby Roode's NXT debut and last year's festival saw Mark Andrews' band Junior play a mini-set on the NXT ramp before the Welshman was attacked by longstanding rival Pete Dunne.
The heart of the matter
WWE's relationship with rock and metal music is definitely a deep-rooted one. With Triple H being a bit of a metalhead himself, it's no surprise to see this partnership continue.
WWE and Download Festival took to social media to make the eagerly-awaited announcement today, with Superstars such as Aleister Black, Adam Cole, Ricochet and Shayna Baszler confirmed to appear.
What's interesting is that the NXT Champion Andrade 'Cien' Almas and NXT Women's Champion Ember Moon are missing, indicating a possible main roster call-up after WrestleMania 34. This also means there's a high possibility of them losing their titles at NXT Takeover: New Orleans.
The booker of Download Festival, Andy Copping, commented on the return of WWE.
"I am incredibly fired-up to welcome WWE NXT back to Download Festival. This festival exclusive marriage of rock and wrestling is totally unique and the only place where you can see the world’s most legendary rock stars and the brightest WWE prospects together. If previous years are anything to go by, this is going to be the biggest, most fun weekend ever."
Meanwhile, Triple H confirmed that, in addition to UK, NXT will also tour mainland Europe for the first time ever.
Download Festival takes place at Donington Park in Leicestershire on June 8th, 9th and 10th.
Tickets can be bought here.
Well, as a huge WWE and NXT fan who already has tickets for Download Festival, this is the best news ever - and I know I'm not alone with those sentiments.
WWE likes to throw in cool surprises for the live crowd, particularly at Download with Bobby Roode debuting in 2016, so this announcement is incredibly exciting.
NXT's roster is arguably more stacked than ever, and it's great to see them breaking into mainland Europe to be in front of more eyes, too.