WWE Signs Every Competitor in the United Kingdom Championship Tournament
The WWE has reportedly signed every competitor who appeared in the United Kingdom Championship Tournament, hiring the 16 wrestlers who took part in the WWE Network special.
The United Kingdom Championship was eventually won by Tyler Bate, who bested Pete Dunne in the final. While many had speculated that both would be signed to a WWE contract, wrestling insider Dave Meltzer has stated that WWE has laid out the cash to bring every performer to the company, with CEO Vince McMahon seemingly looking to embark upon a UK division similar to its cruiserweight show, 205 Live.
The tournament included the likes of Trent Seven, Mark Andrews and Jordan Devlin, who was trained by WWE’s own Finn Balor. Tommy End, who fought Neville in an extra match during the two-day event, has already been signed to WWE’s NXT brand under the new name Aleister Black.
Everyone in the tournament was signed https://t.co/Jv651XkSxp
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) January 16, 2017
19-year-old Tyler Bate will now be tasked with spearheading what looks to be a brand new title division for the WWE, though how the company will approach the UK division remains to be seen. The belt could appear on either NXT or the WWE’s main roster, but there’s also the strong potential that it could be a WWE Network exclusive show, potentially incorporating more wrestlers from the UK independent circuit in order to rival the likes of IWC and PROGRESS Wrestling.
Vince McMahon was reportedly fearful that ITV’s World of Sport Wrestling reboot would cause them to lose viewers in the region, which is why the WWE UKCT was held in the first place. Though the ITV show’s pilot was met with mixed reviews, McMahon could still be looking to build out the WWE’s presence in the region and rival the various independent wrestling companies the UK has to offer.