The WWE is holding a tournament to crown its first-ever United Kingdom Champion

2016 is just the gift that keeps on giving for wrestling fans.
It was announced tonight (Manila time) at the O2 Arena in London that the WWE will be holding a two-day, 16-person elimination tournament to determine the WWE’s first-ever United Kingdom Champion.

WWE Chief Operating Officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque made the announcement along with NXT General Manager William Regal and former WWE Universal Champion Finn Bálor. Pictured above are all sixteen participants (plus two alternates), which include:

– Trent Seven
– Pete Dunne
– Tyler Bate
– Sam Gradwell
– Wolfgang
– James Drake
– Jordan Devlin
– Joseph Conners
– Tyson T. Bone
– Roy Johnson
– H.C. Dyer
– Dan Moloney
– Tucker
– Jack Starz
– Tiger Ali
– Ringo Ryan
– Saxon Huxley
– Chris Tyler
The tournament will be held from January 14-15, 2017 at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, England, and will air as a special live event on the WWE Network. Former Ring of Honor World Champion and British wrestling legend Nigel McGuinness will be providing commentary for the tournament alongside lead announcer Michael Cole.
Here’s why this matters to us wrestling fans in the Philippines and Asia
Staging a tournament like this to crown a United Kingdom Champion means that the WWE is getting more and more serious about expanding its reach on the global stage. They’ve already started with the Cruiserweight Classic, which was a great way to introduce the fact that you can find superior talent all over the world. Localizing a talent search like this through a tournament in the UK shows a willingness on their end to actually explore a particular region and see as many faces as they can.
This could very well be the first step towards a WWE tournament held in Asia. We already know how vibrant the wrestling scene is in Japan. But if other Asian countries, particularly the Southeast Asian region, draw the attention of WWE, then Triple H and company might be headed towards our shores to look for the first ever WWE Asian Champion. More importantly, this could potentially open doors for a Filipino talent to eventually get a look from the WWE.
Events like the United Kingdom Championship Tournament and the Cruiserweight Classic could be the catalysts for WWE truly becoming a global phenomenon in every sense of the word. Here’s to hoping that we’ll get homegrown talents joining TJ Perkins in representing the Philippines sooner than later.
Photo from