by Graham Pierrepoint
WWE – or World Wrestling Entertainment – has long been the most famous international brand for wrestling the world over. Previously known as the World Wrestling Federation, the franchise has seen the birth of numerous household names, from Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, John Cena and Dave Bautista. While the legitimacy of whether or not wrestling is real has always been discussed by various quarters, there’s still a magic about wrestling which has continued to enrapture fans for decades. In the UK, British wrestling has held its own standards and the sport continues to be a popular crowd-puller through independent commissioning up and down the country.
The WWE, however, is set to launch a British TV show which will, at last, allow scores of British wrestling talent to finally join the fabled stables of the WWE. WWE NXT UK will be launching towards the end of July and will debut live shows across August, October and November in what is stated to be a bid to expand the brand’s global reach. British wrestling fans may already be able to catch local talent in their home towns and cities – it really is a very popular sport on British shores – but the announcement that the WWE will be launching their own brand of wrestling mania on UK shores is nothing short of monumental.
Paul Levesque, famous to WWE fans as the hugely popular Triple H, is Executive Vice President for Talent, Live Events & Creative for the brand, and he sees the UK shows which are coming up to be a very big step in a very positive direction. “The UK has an amazing talent base and incredibly passionate fans that are deserving of their own showcase,” he advised. “This is the next step in our ongoing strategy to create localized content and further develop our brand globally.” 70% of the WWE brand’s equity is owned by the McMahon family, of which Vince McMahon is the CEO – and whom is Levesque’s father-in-law.
WWE NXT UK is set to debut a UK Championship title, a UK Tag Team title and a UK Women’s Championship title with events starting in Cambridge towards the end of July. From there, further events will take place in Birmingham, Plymouth and Liverpool – meaning UK wrestling fans may want to book ahead now while tickets last!