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10 Reasons We're Excited For WWE NXT UK

NXT UK is set to change the game in many ways...

At the recent United Kingdom Championship tapings, WWE announced the launch of NXT UK - the first international NXT brand, and a potentially massive step in the structure of the company.

Triple H has hinted for months at the idea of NXT becoming a global brand, one interested in both developing new talent for the main roster, and putting on incredible wrestling of its own. He has also taken a keen interest in WWE's United Kingdom division - so it makes sense that the two concepts have been combined into one monumental idea.

At the time of writing, only a handful of dates have been announced - but the potential of NXT UK is quite ridiculous. Not only have we been promised two new divisions, but two new championship titles to go with them: the UK Women's Championship and UK Tag Team Championship.

Nobody's quite certain what to make of the new brand so far, but excitement on these shores is palpable. Finally, the wealth of UK talent will be given a global platform on which to prove themselves.

We're excited for a number of reasons, but here are 10 of the biggest.

10. The Talent Pool Is Superb


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NXT UK could rapidly become the home of some of the best wrestling in WWE, if the sheer depth and quality of our talent pool is anything to go by.

It's no secret that the UK is home to some of the best wrestling in the world. Even those with no knowledge of our country's independent scene will now know the names of Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate, while many of today's technical greats speak openly about their admiration for older generations of UK wrestlers. The nation's influence on the business is clear and long-reaching.

As well as those who have already broken through, WWE have signed many stars-in-waiting. Names like Wolfgang, the Coffey brothers, Ligero, Zack Gibson, and New Zealand-born Travis Banks all have their own distinctive personalities and styles - and all can be relied upon to put on a hell of a wrestling match.

As well as the men's singles division, WWE have also announced that NXT UK will feature women's and tag team action - although relatively little is known about these aspects of the show. Still, it bodes well for the diversity of the brand's action.


9. It Should Be Booked Very Well Indeed


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It's difficult to argue against the notion that WWE's best-booked show is NXT. The brand was once seen as a developmental territory for those not quite ready to make the leap to Raw and SmackDown - but now regularly eclipses its main roster counterparts with excellent weekly storytelling, and breathtaking TakeOver specials.

If NXT's example is anything to go by, its UK division will also follow the same booking convention: simple, direct storytelling, with underlying nuances.

NXT's smaller roster (relative to Raw or SmackDown) also means that a good amount of the action is centred around one of the championships. It looks like NXT UK will follow suit, as not only will the WWE UK Championship feature on the show, but also a Women's title, and a set of Tag Team titles.

8. Cross-Brand Action Between NXT And NXT UK


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[This entry contains spoilers from the recent WWE UK Championship Tournament tapings in London. WWE have already broken the news themselves, but the show hasn't yet gone to air, so we thought we'd err on the side of caution.]

So, if you've been anywhere near social media over the past day or so, you'll be aware that something rather big went down at the UK Championship Tournament.

On night two, Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) took on Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong of the Undisputed Era - and defeated them to become NXT Tag Team Champions!

This is a massive deal, not only because it was a surprising, passionately-received result, but also because of the future implications.

If two members of the UK division can seize the NXT Tag Team Championship, does this mean we'll see a lot of cross-brand action between NXT and NXT UK? Personally, I hope so, as we could see the emergence of unique, complex feuds played out across continents.

7. A Few Surprises?


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At last year's UK Championship Tournament, fans were treated to the surprise appearances of Aleister Black (then known as Tommy End) and main roster Superstar Neville.

The raucous reception both men received showed just how appreciative UK fans can be of a well-hidden surprise or two. Hopefully we see more of this when NXT UK comes about, although not too frequently, of course.

Still, imagine the pop if a well-known NXT Superstar sneaks across the Atlantic to challenge a big UK-based heel. Hell, imagine if a main roster Superstar did the same. The roof of the venue may well fly off.


6. It'll Put UK Wrestling On The Map (With Interesting Consequences)


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Having an entirely UK-based NXT show on the WWE Network will naturally increase international interest in UK wrestling. Stars of NXT UK will grow in stature, and - in theory - will be primed for a jump to the main roster.

We've never seen a UK-born WWE Champion. Wade Barrett came close in 2010, and many feel that William Regal should have won the big one at some stage of his prestigious career. Drew McIntyre may be the most likely these days, given his return and resurgence on NXT and the main roster.

However, if NXT UK proves to be a success, in a few years we could see a whole new crop of UK talent ready to break onto the main roster in a big way. In a recent conference call, Triple H talked about the chances of Pete Dunne becoming WWE Champion, but he could be faced with far more options is this new brand does its job.

5. It's An Indicator Of Other Future NXT Territories


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From a purely speculative point of view, we're also excited to see NXT UK because it could indicate how future NXT territories are managed - and how successful they prove to be.

In some ways, NXT UK is WWE's prototype for an NWA-style territory. This doesn't mean it'll be weaker than its eventual global counterparts - after all, it'll have a longer history to fall back on, and will operate in a part of the world where wrestling is already popular.

However, any new project will inevitably encounter obstacles. It'll be interesting to see how NXT UK overcomes such challenges, and how this will go on to influence future expansion brands.

4. It Will Be A Touring Brand


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NXT UK has already announced some dates, and will be heading to Cambridge, Plymouth, Birmingham, and Liverpool. This possibly implies that various wrestlers from around the United Kingdom could be brought in for specific shows, depending on where the brand is filming on any given night.

Additionally, the UK has a huge variety of venues - as already seen on the Network thanks to events like last year's United Kingdom Championship Tournament. It'll be great to see WWE set up in some interesting buildings, and hopefully give each taping a slightly different feel.

NXT commentator and British wrestling legend Nigel McGuinness will be particularly familiar with the Liverpool Olympia, where he and Daniel Bryan took part in an incredibly intense bout for Ring of Honor - still considered by many to be the greatest ROH match of all time.


3. There'll Be A Training Facility


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It has been reported by various news sources online - and insinuated by Triple H - that WWE intend to open an equivalent of their Florida Performance Center in the UK.

This demonstrates WWE's long-term investment in NXT UK, and will hopefully see a new style of British wrestler emerge. We're already familiar with technical experts like Zack Sabre Jr., or awe-inspiring high-fliers such as Will Ospreay.

But it's difficult to find a Velveteen Dream-esque figure in the UK - someone who has emerged from WWE's developmental programme already looking like a bonafide Superstar.

2. It's An Opportunity For Other UK Talent To Come Through


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The consequences of NXT UK could be more far-reaching than they first seem. For example, the recruitment of various top UK independent stars will initially cause holes to appear in the rosters of various smaller promotions.

This will (hopefully) force promoters to push new faces, and force the talent themselves to seize such opportunities - thereby broadening the scope of UK independent talent over time.

So even though we may not see Mark Andrews at our local indie as much as we used to - thanks to his NXT and 205 Live commitments - his absence will have allowed newer, younger names to make themselves more relevant than ever. Once NXT UK launches, this process should become more widespread.

1. The WWE UK Championship Will Become More Important


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Finally, let's talk about the WWE United Kingdom Championship.

The UK title is currently held by Pete Dunne, unquestionably one of the best British wrestlers around today - but perhaps hasn't been as visible as WWE would have liked. Yes, it's been defended on the Network - and in WWE's major UK affiliate promotions PROGRESS and ICW - but these moments in the spotlight are perhaps a little few and far between, certainly compared to NXT's other championships.

NXT UK will give the title a true home, and will also open the door for various potential storylines. We could see the championship seized by an American heel, determined to take it back across the Atlantic forever. We could see UK-centric storylines play out around the title, such as north vs. south, Scotland vs. England, and so on.

The possibilities are endless, and given the talent available to WWE, we could well see the UK Championship become one of the most prestigious around.

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Jack G. King

Written by Jack G. King

Head of News at Cultaholic.com | [email protected]