World of Sport icon-cum-guest WWE Performance Center trainer Johnny Saint has been appointed the General Manager of WWE’s United Kingdom brand. The announcement comes ahead of the second United Kingdom Championship tournament, with the finals scheduled to take place on June 18 and 19 at London’s Royal Albert Hall (streamed on the WWE Network on June 25 and 26).
The 77-year-old has been ‘in’ with WWE for some time. Last year, he spent six months out in Orlando, Florida, working at the Performance Center as a guest trainer. The story goes that the idea of Saint ‘taking over’ the UK brand was mooted by Triple H around the time of the first WWE UK Championship tournament – won, of course, by Tyler Bate.
Johnny told that he is excited about the future and bigged up the platform the WWE Network offers to wrestlers in the tournament: “For the guys who are in the wrestling scene here in the UK, the worldwide exposure is a wonderful thing.
“It’s something that we never really had before, so the new product is going to be tremendous for them.”
Saint is a worthy candidate to lead the UK brand going forward, with five decades of in-ring experience under his belt. Known for his technically proficient sequences, and slippery escapes from submission holds, the ex-British, European and World Lightweight Champion was a true pioneer in professional wrestling, inspiring many of the competitors we see in rings around the world today. One of those performers is Daniel Bryan, who calls Johnny a “wrestler’s wrestler” and is quoted in the same WWE.com article as saying: “Johnny Saint is somebody who does fancy reversals, but what made him a wrestlers’ wrestler is when he’d get gritty with his wrestling.
“He entertained people through wrestling. He knew a million different holds. He’d go out there and always have fantastic matches.
“I wrestled him when he was 60-something years old and was still absolutely phenomenal in the ring. He was so good at what he did, technique-wise.”