After years of British fans screaming for a PPV to be held on our rather messy shores WWE has finally answered. Except, rather than dropping TLC or Cyber Sunday into Wembley Arena we instead have a tournament. A tournament that will crown WWE’s first UK Champion and I don’t know what I feel about it.
On the one hand, it’s fantastic. There’s a group of British wrestlers that are getting the chance to do their thing on the biggest stage possible. I love Wolfgang and Trent Seven because I’ve watched them countless times for ICW and I’ve heard nothing but good things about talent like Pete Dunne. It shines a light on the incredible British scene, and that can only be a good thing.
Until it’s not a good thing. There are two ways this could go, and in my head, I’ve assigned them as Cruiserweight Classic or Cruiserweight Division. The Classic was pulled off to perfection. It brought a group of talented wrestlers together and let them loose. WWE signed some of them, but the rest went back to the independents with their reputation significantly improved. Everybody won.
Then you have the Cruiserweight Division which has been a mess ever since it walked onto Raw. While certain people have shined, massive shout out to the Gentleman himself, Jack Gallagher, it has, on the whole, failed to impress. If the UK Tournament is booked in a similar style, then it won’t work. You need stories in wrestling or people get bored.
There’s another worry on top of this as well. The worry that despite what Triple H says about supporting the British scene, what they really want to do is cut its legs out from under it. There have been rumours floating around of WWE offering contracts that prevent talent from then appearing on TV or On Demand services. Now, I assume that isn’t the case here, particularly with the ICW and Progress champs competing, but if it is the plan, it’s not okay. The return of World of Sport and the success of British wrestling might have bloodied WWE’s nose and as much as they now play the nice guy towards indie companies history suggests they’ll have no issue turning heel.
I want this show to be a success. I love British wrestling at the moment, and it’s fucking wonderful to see it getting all the attention it deserves. However, I can’t turn off the part of me that is worried that this is the big bad wolf coming in to stamp all over our fun. At the moment, I’m just going to have to cross my fingers and hope that all the talent involved get the reward that they deserve.