WWE Announce First Eight UK Championship Tournament Entrants

Featuring some of the biggest names of the UK independent scene.

WWE have announced the first eight competitors for this summer's 16-man UK Championship Tournament.

This will be the second ever edition of the tournament after the first was won by Tyler Bate in 2017. Bate defeated Pete Dunne in the final to become the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Champion, but this year the tournament winner will earn a shot at the champ (currently Dunne, who won the belt from Bate almost a year ago at NXT TakeOver: Chicago).

The names announced so far are as follows:

Zack Gibson
Joe Coffey
Jack Gallagher
Dave Mastiff
Kenny Williams
El Ligero
Joseph Conners
Amir Jordan

A few of those names will already be familiar to WWE fans with no knowledge of the UK independent scene. Jack Gallagher is, of course, a regular on 205 Live, while Kenny Williams and Joseph Conners appeared on the show only last night. Conners also competed in last year's UK Championship Tournament, defeating James Drake in the first round, but losing to Mark Andrews in the quarter-finals.

A number of the announced names appeared on ITV's World of Sport New Year's Eve special on December 31 2016, including Gibson, Ligero, Mastiff, and Williams. Various online commentators - including Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter - have speculated that WWE's renewed interest in its UK division (and the signing of various new wrestlers) is an attempt to combat the return of World of Sport later this year.

So far, Conners remains the only announced participant to have competed in last year's tournament. It's unclear whether more will follow suit.

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Written by Jack King

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