NXT UK (WWE brand)

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NXT UK
NXT UK brand Logo 2018.png
Logo for the brand and the NXT UK television programme
Product typeProfessional wrestling
Sports entertainment
OwnerWWE
Produced byPaul "Triple H" Levesque
CountryUnited Kingdom
Introduced18 June 2018
Discontinued4 September 2022 (in previous format)
Related brandsRaw
SmackDown
NXT
205 Live
ECW
General Manager:
Johnny Saint
(7 June 2018 – 4 September 2022)
Assistant to the General Manager:
Sid Scala
(12 December 2018 – 18 August 2022)

NXT UK was a brand of the American professional wrestling promotion WWE that was introduced in June 2018. Brands are divisions of WWE's roster where wrestlers are assigned to perform on a weekly basis. Wrestlers assigned to NXT UK primarily appeared on the brand's weekly television program, NXT UK. The brand served as a sub-brand of WWE's developmental territory, NXT, with NXT UK wrestlers also occasionally appearing on its show, NXT. Unlike WWE's other brands, NXT UK was produced exclusively in the United Kingdom and was specifically centered on wrestlers from the country. The brand went on hiatus following the Worlds Collide event on 4 September 2022; in 2023, it will be relaunched as NXT Europe, expanding the brand to include all pan-European countries.

History[edit]

In a press conference at The O2 Arena on 15 December 2016, Paul "Triple H" Levesque, an executive of the American professional wrestling promotion WWE, revealed that there would be a 16-man tournament to crown the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Champion. The tournament was held over a two-day period, 14 and 15 January 2017, and aired exclusively on the company's online streaming service, the WWE Network. The championship was intended as the top championship of a new WWE Network show, produced in the United Kingdom (at the time, the show and its premiere date had yet to be revealed).[1][2] Tyler Bate won the inaugural tournament to become the first WWE United Kingdom Champion.[3]

On 19 May 2017, WWE held a follow-up to the United Kingdom Championship tournament,[4] titled United Kingdom Championship Special.[5] On 7 April 2018, a second United Kingdom Championship Tournament event was scheduled for 18 and 19 June at the Royal Albert Hall.[6][7][8] On 7 June, Johnny Saint was appointed General Manager of WWE's United Kingdom brand.[9][10]

On 18 June 2018, it was announced that WWE's United Kingdom brand would begin filming a new show titled NXT UK in July 2018, and that championships for the brand's women's and tag team divisions would be introduced.[11] The brand was in turn officially established as NXT UK.[12][13]

On 17 October 2018, the inaugural episode of NXT UK aired on the WWE Network at 8 p.m. UK time/3 p.m. Eastern Time.[14] On 31 December 2019, WWE announced that NXT UK would begin airing on BT Sport in the United Kingdom. [15] On 21 January 2020, it was announced that NXT UK would also air on Paramount Network UK on a six-day delay after its WWE Network and BT Sport broadcasts.[16]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020, production of NXT UK events were paused. On 10 September 2020, WWE announced the relaunch of NXT UK following its hiatus due to the pandemic. A secondary men's championship was also unveiled.[17]

On 19 August 2021, it was announced that WWE would be a sponsor of Enfield Town F.C.—a seventh-tier football club in the same borough as its UK-based WWE Performance Center facility—in the 2021–22 season, with their kits carrying the NXT UK logo.[18]

On 18 August 2022, WWE announced that NXT UK would take a "brief hiatus" and be rebranded as NXT Europe upon its return in 2023, expanding the brand to include wrestlers from all pan-European countries. The final NXT UK event was Worlds Collide on 4 September 2022. Shawn Michaels, who oversees talent development, said the company would work with the staff and talent to launch NXT Europe "bigger and better".[19]

Championships[edit]

Overview[edit]

NXT UK had four championships exclusive to the brand. There were three for men and one for women. There were also two other championships that were shared with the brand.

The top men's championship of NXT UK was the NXT United Kingdom Championship. Established as the WWE United Kingdom Championship in December 2016, the inaugural champion was Tyler Bate, who won the original United Kingdom Championship tournament.[3] In January 2020, the title was renamed to reflect its status as the top title of NXT UK. The title was retired on 4 September 2022 at Worlds Collide when it was unified into the NXT Championship. Bate, the championship's only two-time holder, is recognized as the final champion.[20]

The top championship for female wrestlers was the NXT UK Women's Championship. Unveiled in June 2018, Rhea Ripley won a tournament final to become the inaugural champion.[21] The title was retired on 4 September 2022 at Worlds Collide when it was unified into the NXT Women's Championship. Meiko Satomura is recognized as the final champion.[20]

The NXT UK Tag Team Championship was the tag team championship for men. Unveiled in June 2018, the team of James Drake and Zack Gibson won a tournament final to become the inaugural champions.[22][23] The title was retired on 4 September 2022 at Worlds Collide when it was unified into the NXT Tag Team Championship. The team of Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs are recognized as the final champions.[20]

In September 2020, the NXT UK Heritage Cup was unveiled as a secondary championship for men and with a special stipulation in which matches are only contested under British Rounds Rules. The first champion was A-Kid, who won a tournament final to become the inaugural champion.[24] Unlike NXT UK's other championships, which were retired at Worlds Collide on 4 September 2022, the Heritage Cup was not unified or defended at the event and there has been no announcement regarding its future, but WWE's website still lists it as active.[20]

In addition to the above four championships, there were two other championships that were also available to NXT UK wrestlers but not exclusive to the brand. These were the NXT Cruiserweight Championship and the WWE 24/7 Championship.

The NXT Cruiserweight Championship was for wrestlers billed as 205 lbs and under, regarded as cruiserweights. It was originally established for Raw in September 2016 as the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. After 205 Live became its own brand in 2018, the title became exclusive to 205 Live and it then came under the NXT brand with a rename in 2019 when 205 Live merged under NXT. The title's contendership was extended to NXT UK in January 2020 when NXT UK's Jordan Devlin won the championship. The title was then retired in January 2022 when it was unified into the NXT North American Championship, with Carmelo Hayes recognized as the final champion.

Introduced in May 2019, the WWE 24/7 Championship was a specialized championship in which it could be defended anytime, anywhere, as long as a WWE referee was present, allowing it to be defended on any brand. Despite this, the title was never won by an NXT UK wrestler or appeared on any NXT UK event. The championship remained active until November 2022. After Nikki Cross won the title on the November 7 episode of Raw, she discarded the belt in a trash can backstage and two days later, it was listed as inactive on WWE.com.

Previous championships[edit]

Championship Final champion(s) Reign Date won Location Notes Ref.
NXT United Kingdom Championship Tyler Bate Cropped.jpg Tyler Bate 2 7 July 2022 London, England Defeated Trent Seven in an eight-man single-elimination tournament final for the vacant title on NXT UK.
Aired on tape delay on 1 September 2022.
[25]
NXT UK Women's Championship Meiko Satomura 2019.07.11.jpg Meiko Satomura 1 10 June 2021
(air date)
London, England Defeated Kay Lee Ray on NXT UK.
Aired on tape delay on 10 June 2021.
Actual date the match took place is unknown, as NXT UK held empty arena tapings for a period of time after resuming operations in late 2020 following a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
[26]
NXT UK Heritage Cup Noam Dar April 2019.jpg Noam Dar 2 7 July 2022 London, England Defeated Mark Coffey on NXT UK.
Aired on tape delay on 25 August 2022.
[27]
NXT UK Tag Team Championship N/A Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs 1 22 June 2022 London, England Defeated Die Familie (Teoman and Rohan Raja), Dave Mastiff and Jack Starz, and Mark Andrews and Wild Boar for the vacant titles in a fatal four-way elimination match on NXT UK.
Aired on tape delay on 23 June 2022.
[28]

Other championships used by NXT UK[edit]

Championship Final champion(s) recognized by NXT UK Reign Date won Location Notes Ref.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship[nb 1] Carmelo Hayes 1 4 January 2022 Orlando, Florida Defeated Roderick Strong at New Year's Evil to unify the championship with the NXT North American Championship. [29]
WWE 24/7 Championship[nb 2] Dana Brooke 7 18 July 2022 Tampa, Florida Pinned champion Tamina during a six-woman tag team match on Raw to win the championship. [30]

Television show[edit]

The WWE Network broadcast NXT UK's eponymous television programme in the United Kingdom and internationally. The inaugural tapings of NXT UK occurred on 28 and 29 July 2018, at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, and began airing on 17 October 2018. Since March 2021, NXT UK was broadcast on Peacock in the United States, due to the American version of the WWE Network merging under Peacock.[31]

WWE Network events[edit]

Event Date Location Venue Main event
United Kingdom Championship Tournament 14 January 2017 Blackpool, Lancashire
England
Empress Ballroom Tyler Bate vs. Tucker
15 January 2017 Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne for the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Championship
United Kingdom Championship Special 7 May 2017 Norwich, Norfolk
England
Epic Studios Tyler Bate (c) vs. Mark Andrews for the WWE United Kingdom Championship
United Kingdom Championship Tournament 18 June 2018 Kensington, London
England
Royal Albert Hall[32] Zack Gibson vs. Travis Banks to determine the #1 contender to the WWE United Kingdom Championship
19 June 2018 Pete Dunne (c) vs. Zack Gibson for the WWE United Kingdom Championship
NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool 12 January 2019 Blackpool, Lancashire
England
Empress Ballroom Pete Dunne (c) vs. Joe Coffey for the WWE United Kingdom Championship
NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff 31 August 2019 Cardiff
Wales
Motorpoint Arena Cardiff[33] Walter (c) vs. Tyler Bate for the WWE United Kingdom Championship
NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II 12 January 2020 Blackpool, Lancashire
England
Empress Ballroom Walter (c) vs. Joe Coffey for the WWE United Kingdom Championship

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The championship was shared with the NXT and 205 Live brands from 25 January 2020 until it was retired on 4 January 2022.
  2. ^ The championship was shared amongst all of WWE's brands, with NXT UK recognizing the championship until the brand went into a hiatus on 4 September 2022.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Currier, Joseph (December 15, 2016). "WWE to crown first United Kingdom Champion in January". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  2. ^ Keller, Wade (December 15, 2016). "WWE announces new UK-based brand, holding tournament to crown UK Champion, Nigel McGuinness on announce team". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Soucek, Andrew (15 January 2017). "SOUCEK'S WWE UK CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT REPORT 1/15: Ongoing coverage of night two of UK Championship tournament". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  4. ^ "UPDATED: WWE UK Championship Special to air on WWE Network on Friday with legend Jim Ross on commentary". Daily Mirror. May 15, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2016. The 90-minute show, starring the company's top UK and 205 Live cruiserweight talent, will feature action from tapings in Norwich on May 6 and 7
  5. ^ "WWE United Kingdom Championship Special premiere today". WWE. May 19, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  6. ^ Sean Rueter (April 7, 2018). "Triple H reveals WWE's UK Championship Tournament returns in June". Cageside Seats. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  7. ^ Staff, WWE.com. "WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament at Royal Albert Hall". WWE.com. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "Tickets for the WWE U.K. Championship Tournament at Royal Albert Hall are available now". WWE. April 13, 2018. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  9. ^ "Johnny Saint named GM of WWE's United Kingdom brand". WWE. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  10. ^ "WWE announces Johnny Saint as UK brand general manager". 7 June 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  11. ^ John Pollock (June 18, 2018). "WWE announces NXT UK brand with two additional championships to be introduced". POST Wrestling. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  12. ^ "WWE launches new U.K. series". WWE. June 18, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  13. ^ "BREAKING NEWS: A new brand, #NXTUK is coming to @WWEUK. @TripleH and GM Johnny Saint announced the news this evening @RoyalAlbertHall". WWE on Twitter. June 18, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  14. ^ "NXT UK begins streaming on WWE Network today at 3 p.m. ET".
  15. ^ "BT Sport | the Heart of Sport | BT Sport".
  16. ^ Felstead, Scott; Docking, Neil (2020-01-21). "Channel 5 to show WWE Raw and SmackDown highlights". mirror. Retrieved 2020-01-31.
  17. ^ Currier, Joseph (September 10, 2020). "WWE Announces Heritage Cup for NXT UK". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  18. ^ "Is Enfield Town ready for Triple H?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2022-05-22.
  19. ^ Gaydos, Ryan (August 18, 2022). "WWE to launch NXT Europe in 2023, NXT UK to make impact at upcoming event". Fox News. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  20. ^ a b c d Moore, John (September 4, 2022). "NXT Worlds Collide results: Moore's live review of NXT Champion Bron Breakker vs. NXT UK Champion Tyler Bate in a unification match, NXT Women's Champion Mandy Rose vs. NXT UK Women's Champion Meiko Satomura vs. Blair Davenport in a unification match, Carmelo Hayes vs. Ricochet for the NXT North American Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved September 4, 2022.
  21. ^ "The first NXT UK Women's Champion to be crowned at NXT UK tapings this weekend in Birmingham". WWE. August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  22. ^ Pollock, John (June 18, 2018). "WWE announces NXT UK brand with two additional championships to be introduced". POSTWrestling. Archived from the original on 12 July 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  23. ^ "Major news from Sunday night's NXT UK tapings (CAUTION: SPOILERS)". WWE. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  24. ^ Currier, Joseph (November 26, 2020). "WWE CROWNS FIRST NXT UK HERITAGE CUP CHAMPION". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  25. ^ Russell, Skyler (July 7, 2022). "Spoiler: New NXT UK Champion Crowned During 7/7 Tapings". Fightful. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  26. ^ Harris, Jeffrey (June 10, 2021). "Meiko Satomura Captures NXT UK Women's Title From Kay Lee Ray". 411mania. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  27. ^ Russell, Skylar (July 7, 2022). "Spoiler: New NXT Heritage Cup Champion Crowned At 7/7 Tapings". Fightful. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  28. ^ Gronemann, Markus (23 June 2022). "NXT UK results: Tag Team Championship four-way elimination match Sarray, Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs made their newsworthy NXT UK debuts". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  29. ^ Moore, John (January 4, 2022). "1/4 NXT 2.0 results: Moore's review of Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT Title, Walter, Fabian Aichner, and Marcel Barthel vs. Riddle and MSK, Mandy Rose vs. Raquel Gonzalez vs. Cora Jade for the NXT Women's Title, Carmelo Hayes vs. Roderick Strong in a title unification match, AJ Styles confronts Grayson Waller". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  30. ^ Powell, Jason (July 18, 2022). "7/18 WWE Raw results: Powell's live review of Bianca Belair vs. Carmella for the Raw Women's Championship, Logan Paul appears on Miz TV, the build to SummerSlam continues". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  31. ^ "WWE launches new U.K. series". WWE. June 18, 2018. Archived from the original on June 19, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  32. ^ Hall, Royal Albert. "WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament at Royal Albert Hall". WWE.com. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  33. ^ "NXT UK TakeOver". MotorpointArenaCardiff.co.uk. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.

External links[edit]