WWE News: WWE confirms British and Irish wrestlers for UK tour
The WWE UK Champion is one of 12 men from Britain and Ireland to be joining the tour.
What’s the story?
WWE has announced that a number of performers who competed in the 2017 WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament will also be a part of the company’s annual post-WrestleMania UK tour taking place in May.
WWE UK Champion Tyler Bate headlines the group, which also includes Pete Dunne, Mark Andrews, Trent Seven, Wolfgang, Jordan Devlin, Sam Gradwell, Joseph Conners, Tucker, Saxon Huxley, James Drake and Tyson T-Bone. The British performers will join the rest of the main roster on the tour.
The tour begins on May 4 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and runs through Dublin, Cardiff, Bournemouth, Birmingham and Sheffield before ending in Newcastle on May 12.
In case you didn’t know...
WWE looks to be making a serious mark on the UK wrestling scene in 2017 and the two-day UK Championship tournament held in Blackpool in January was the opening salvo. The tournament was a resounding success, each match proving to be better than the last as Tyler Bate pulled out the unlikely win in the final against pre-tournament favourite Pete Dunne.
Bate has since defended the championship on NXT TV against Trent Seven, whilst Dunne has since defeated his semi-final opponent Mark Andrews on WWE’s developmental show. No matches have been announced for the tour as of yet.
The heart of the matter
The news that 12 of the best British wrestlers on the scene will be a part of WWE’s UK tour will undoubtedly split the scene down the middle. Some will see it as great exposure for 12 wildly-talented professional wrestlers, a group of men who will be able to show their ability in front of huge crowds in the biggest arenas in the country.
This is the sort of opportunity that most would jump at.
On the other hand, many will see it as further proof that WWE is trying to monopolise the pro wrestling world by buying up most of the best talent. Performers like Dunne, Seven and Andrews have become a vital part of the UK wrestling scene over the last few years, and their relative independence now seems to be a thing of the past.
The tour begins in May and the three months between now and then leaves room for possible changes. It is difficult to imagine WWE filling up half of a main roster live event card with matches featuring performers that would be relatively unknown to the average WWE fan too, so it remains to be seen how much of the tour is taken up by the Brits.
We are still torn over this situation. The UK wrestling scene is arguably the most exciting independent scene on the planet, and anything that could compromise that should be avoided.
At the same time, it is fantastic to see men such as Tyler Bate and Tucker getting to wrestle in front of huge crowds on the biggest stages. Here’s hoping WWE manages to book the group with enough respect not to compromise the UK scene.
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