WWE is a worldwide company, with athletes from around the world on the rosters of all of the divisions, albeit the main focus is on Monday Night RAW and SmackDown: Live, with NXT and the newly rejuvenated 205 Live not far behind, creating the focus of the WWE Universe on America. Those of us here in the UK also champion the WWE UK division, however, there is little coverage of the division in the WWE Universe. So how can WWE make use of its UK roster?
The inaugural WWE UK Championship Tournament was a 2-day event in Blackpool that saw Tyler Bate crowned as the first ever WWE United Kingdom Champion on January 15, 2017. The 16-man tournament was aired exclusively on the WWE Network and said to be the top championship of a new, UK produced show on the network, however, this has still not been announced. The title has since been defended on NXT and also outside of WWE in Progress, Futureshock, ICW & Nova Scotia’s UCW.
2018 sees the WWE UK Championships move to June with the competitors announced recently. The first round of matches will be at Download Festival, taking place during the scheduled NXT performances throughout June 8-10, before moving onto Royal Albert Hall for the final rounds on June 18, with the winner facing current WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne in a title match on June 19. The competitors featuring include some of the UK’s best talent, as well as the WWE NXT and Monday Night RAW brands.
One thing the WWE could do with the UK division, which is currently pretty inactive as a division, with the athletes featuring every so often on NXT and otherwise competing in the likes of Progress and others on the Indy circuit, is to create its own touring brand in the UK. It would not only give the UK fans the chance to be part of WWE in the UK for more than the couple of times a year the main rosters come over but would also allow WWE to increase its income by having an overseas tour. Yes, it would cost them to get the ball rolling but with how dedicated the UK legion of the WWE Universe is, it would potentially be a great money spinner. There are plenty of talented British wrestlers in the WWE as well as on the Indy circuits and with a touring UK division, this could help prepare those involved for potential developmental contracts in NXT or with the main rosters giving them the valuable experience of life on the road.
Broadcasting the tour on the WWE Network, akin to NXT and 205 Live, would also help raise the profile of the UK division outside of the times the wrestlers appear on those aforementioned shows and again further help the integration of those in the UK to the main rosters. It would also increase the excitement for the UK division across the world and in the UK. The broadcasting could also help with the development of storylines and the integration of the British wrestlers into the world of WWE as the characters and storylines would be developing on the WWE Network and make for an easier transition across the brands.
If the WWE didn’t want to go as far as creating a touring division straight away, they could start by holding a couple more tournaments throughout the year that are specifically for the United Kingdom division or even a monthly WWE Network broadcast card to create a buzz before progressing into a touring division. With the talent that the United Kingdom has for wrestling, it would be a shame if the WWE doesn’t make the most of it and developing the fledgeling brand into something special that lives up to the potential the athletes have.