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Thread: WWE's UK Expansion

  1. #1
    Gotta Brother Named Arm
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    WWE's UK Expansion

    According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, things are getting back on track in regards to WWE's initial plans regarding an expansion in the United Kingdom.

    The idea for the UK expansion is still to do tapings for local programming, and likely WWE Network programming, and run a UK-based promotion. The report further states that WWE also wants to open up a UK Performance Center down the road with the idea of bringing UK trainers to the main WWE Performance Center in Orlando to teach them how WWE wants talents trained, and then have the UK trainers run the facility. WWE is set to return to the UK in December for another tour, so it's probable that things will begin to move along by that time. Of course, that's anyone's guess at this time since there've been delays on the project for well over a year now.

    The contracts for those UK talents that WWE consider to be the "big five", namely Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, Wolfgang, Mark Andrews and WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne, have been renewed. WWE is also said to have signed Zack Gibson, who's said to be one of the top indie workers in the UK, for the UK project rather than being part of NXT. Gibson has been told what promotions he can still work for and which ones he can't work for. There's also rumors going around the UK indie scene that say top Scottish talent Joe Coffey has signed a deal for WWE's UK project but Coffey himself has denied the rumors.

    At some point, if all this goes down the way WWE hopes/wants it to, I eventually look for the whole UK expansion to be rebranded as a European division. Even though most of the wrestlers may come from the UK, I can see WWE rebranding the UK Championship the new European Championship at some point as it just makes it sound like a bigger deal. Of course, if anything like that goes down, it'll probably be a few years down the line.
    "What Do I Know Of Cultured Ways, The Gilt, The Craft And The Lie?
    I, Who Was Born In A Naked Land And Bred In The Open Sky.
    The Subtle Tongue, The Sophist Guile, They Fail When The Broadswords Sing.
    Rush In And Die Dogs - I Was A Man Before I Was King."


    Conan Of Cimmeria

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  3. #2
    Death By Retarded ABMorales787's Avatar
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    It's a really silly endeavor and it just comes off as them wanting to get on the fad. There is no point to making a Performance Center in the UK specifically for UK talent when you already fly talent from all over the world to Florida without care of their indie background. WWE wants a piece of the UK pie so bad, fine. Just invest some money in a promotion there that they can broadcast on the WWE Network. Don't the British Strong Style guys own Fight Club Pro? Give them a budget to batch tape a show with some WWE creative guys there once a month and you get a UK show to defend that title. Case closed.

    Why in the world to they need to treat this UK thing like it's the XFL?

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    Senior Member Uncle Sam's Avatar
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    They signed Zack Gibson? When I was bemoaning the ITV World of Sport special because a) it was woeful and b) it seemingly kept some of the cream of the crop in the UK from the UK Championship Tournament, it was Zack Gibson who I felt most sorry for. Gibson is the cream of the cream of the crop. Whether his obnoxious scouser character would translate to American audiences is unclear, though something of a moot point if this show is to be primarily aimed at British audiences.

    The situation that we find ourselves in - seemingly almost by accident - in which the UK Championship is a special attraction on NXT and British indie shows is one that I'm very fond of and one I'm reluctant to let go.

    My reservations for a UK-only show are similar to my reservations for a cruiserweight-only show: "Oh, look, these guys are veeery good and veeery special. No, not good enough to wrestle the other wrestlers, don't be silly, but you still want to watch an entire show dedicated to them, right?" I can grasp British audiences wanting British characters, but I'd sooner see them on my favourite shows rather than sequestered into a den of filth in Blackpool or something.

    If they were to do this, I'd like them to debut it with a shot across the bow of the main roster. Namely, I'd like to see Pete Dunne beat the absolute dogshit out of whoever the United States champion is. No, I don't care if it's Randy Orton. No, I don't think whoever it is should get any offense in, just lay on the floor and look like they've been murdered. You can have a match result from this but - to the WWE writers who are doubtlessly reading this - for the love of God, have Dunne win it. Do you want to do this show right or not?
    Last edited by Uncle Sam; 03-26-2018 at 04:47 AM.

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    Senior Member 13thNorthMan's Avatar
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    I always thought the branding of a UK championship was sort of strange. The European Championship was a damn handsome title, and would be more inclusive.

    Anywhoo, I wanted this to happen straight off, and im glad it may actually happen. Im excited to see if they use NXT talents to get them some seasoning with travel, working in front of a different crowd, and a true territorial feel.

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    Senior Member Uncle Sam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 13thNorthMan View Post
    I always thought the branding of a UK championship was sort of strange. The European Championship was a damn handsome title, and would be more inclusive.
    Hey hey hey, hands off our goddamn title.

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  11. #6
    Gotta Brother Named Arm
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    According to Dave Meltzer, WWE has offered deals to somewhere in the neighborhood of about 20 indie wrestlers from the UK or who are currently working in the UK. Some of the names mentioned by Meltzer specifically include Dave Mastiff, Chris Brookes, Toni Storm, Joe Coffey, El Ligero, Eddie Dennis and Travis Banks.

    He further reports that WWE appears to be trying to sign as many UK indie wrestlers as they can as a way to keep them from the ITV World of Sport wrestling promotion and to do their own projects. World of Sport recently completed 10 weeks worth of filming that should air in the UK sometime in July or August. This has led to speculation that WWE will be making significant announcements regarding their own UK plans during the UK Championship tournament that airs on the WWE Network June 18th and 19th.

    Speaking of the tournament, the first eight participants were announced today: Jack Gallagher, Joe Coffey, Zack Gibson, Kenny Williams, Dave Mastiff, Amir Jordan, El Ligero and Joseph Conners. The winner of the tournament, which I believe will ultimately be determined on the first day, will receive a shot at the WWE United Kingdom Championship during the second day of the two day event. Also on Day one, it's announced that British Strong Style, AKA Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate & Trent Seven, will face the Undisputed Era in a six man tag match. Day two will also see stars from NXT defending the NXT North American, Women's and Tag Team Championships. All in all, it sounds like it's shaping up to be a fun little show.

    Of all those listed for the tournament and who've been offered deals, the only ones I'm familiar with are Jack Gallagher, of course, and Toni Storm due to her participation in the Mae Young Classic.
    "What Do I Know Of Cultured Ways, The Gilt, The Craft And The Lie?
    I, Who Was Born In A Naked Land And Bred In The Open Sky.
    The Subtle Tongue, The Sophist Guile, They Fail When The Broadswords Sing.
    Rush In And Die Dogs - I Was A Man Before I Was King."


    Conan Of Cimmeria

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    Senior Member DNA 2.0's Avatar
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    So what they're aiming to do is take all the wrestling leagues from England and create one big major English show or that seems to be the case at least. It's not a bad idea on papper. They already did that with the indies in the United States by creating NXT. Basically they're looking to monopolize the entire planet by bringing all the wrestling under their roof.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they start a similar project in Japan in 3 or 4 years.

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