UNITED KINGDOM, ARE YOU READY!?
The words of WWE Executive and 14-Time WWE Champion Triple H opened up what would turn out to be a monumental event in the history of British Wrestling. The event emanated from the historical Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, where 16 competitors from throughout the UK and Ireland fought to become the first ever WWE United Kingdom Champion.
The first night of the two-day event held all the first round contests and we were treated to some amazing action from the very beginning. With a mix of high flying, brawling and technical wrestling on show, we really did get to see a broad array of talent on display. You might be forgiven for not knowing about all the stars on show before the weekend began. However, after what we witnessed over the two nights, I’m sure we won’t forget them!
The queue for the event was huge and the buzz outside was electric. The WWE UK fans are known to be rather boisterous at live events and they didn’t disappoint! We got the chance to speak with many fans that had travelled to the event, including a local family from Blackpool who were overwhelmed that WWE were in their hometown! The father, who’s a fan of the late ‘Ultimate Warrior,’ said that his son is a massive fan too and they watch WWE together every week!
Not only was this event live in Blackpool but it was also broadcast to more than 1.5 million subscribers on the WWE Network. This put British Wrestling on a global platform. The official Twitter hashtag was trending world-wide during the event, with many of the featured stars also trending. The ‘Voice of WWE’ – Michael Cole – was on hand to commentate on the event and he was joined by UK Wrestling legend Nigel McGuinness.
The wrestlers competed over 2 nights which resulted in a first ever WWE UK Champion. The Championship was presented to winner, 19 year old Tyler Bate, by Triple H, William Regal, Finn Balor & Fit Finlay. For full Tournament results, please see WWE website
After Speaking to WWE, the message was clear: there are bigger things to come from this event and British wrestling has a lot more to give.
Being at the event live, as a fan of wrestling for many years, was a dream come true. Watching emerging British and Irish talent getting a chance on the global stage was amazing and we were not disappointed! The event itself was almost unreal. Singing, chanting, clapping, feet banging, heckling, it had everything you would want from a live event. Each match was as entertaining as the last and the atmosphere in the building never changed, there was not a second of silence.
As fans we are very excited to learn what is next to come for UK Wrestling, as was Triple H. His words were that this tournament happened because the fans deserve it and the UK fan base are some of the best fans in the world.
So having WWE in the UK, working with local talent and bringing in a whole new level of training, mentoring and production will certainly push the UK Wrestling scene into overdrive. It is an exciting time to be a wrestling fan in the UK and Ireland. We are moving to bigger and better things!
To quote Triple H, ‘ARE YOU READY?’ Well, Blackpool and the UK were certainly ready for this tournament, and the fans are ready for what is next to come!