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WWE announces launch of new UK series, ‘NXT UK’

WWE’s long-teased United Kingdom brand gets a new name and concrete information.

WWE had a big announcement on night 1 of their NXT UK Championship Tournament at the Royal Albert Hall in London: Triple H brought out WWE UK GM Johnny Saint to officially launch NXT UK.

NXT UK, the new name for WWE’s United Kingdom brand, will feature male and female wrestlers from across the UK and Ireland. The brand will also launch their own tag team and women’s titles. The first tapings will be on July 28th and 29th at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge. August 25th and 26th will take place in the NEC in Birmingham at the Insomnia gaming festival. Plymouth Pavilions will host two shows on October 13th and 14th. The last announced dates will be at the Olympia in Liverpool on November 24th & 25th.

The locations for the shows are interesting as, despite calling the promotion NXT UK and hyping up the use of Irish talent, all of the shows are in England. Birmingham is the second biggest city in Britain and the Liverpool Olympia is a great venue that has hosted Ring of Honor and TNA shows in the past. On the other hand, Cambridge is not exactly a hotbed for wrestling and Plymouth is on the south coast of the UK. Surely shows in Blackpool or Glasgow would have had a better chance of drawing a large audience and creating a good atmosphere.

The shows will undoubtedly revolve around the WWE UK core of Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, Mark Andrews and Wolfgang.  In addition to these five, the likes of Zack Gibson, James Drake, Flash Morgan Webster, Ligero, Jordan Devlin and Travis Banks will probably feature.  The women’s division will probably include the likes of Jinny and MYC standout Toni Storm.

While it is a good opportunity for a plethora of British and Irish wrestlers, I have my doubts about the prospect of NXT UK. The main reason is the reactionary nature of the brand as every announcement has been preceded by a decision or announcement involving ITV’s World of Sport Wrestling relaunch.

The WWE UK Championship Tournament shows are being taped on June 18th and 19th at the Royal Albert Hall. These shows did not sell out due to a combination of factors: Weekday shows in a large venue, clashing with an England World Cup game and with tickets starting at £56 ($75). These shows will air on the WWE Network at 3pm EST on June 25th and June 26th.


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