After several delays, WWE is currently putting plans in motion to develop their United Kingdom brand.
This follows several starts and stops with the project's history, beginning back in January 2017 when WWE held the U.K. championship tournament in Blackpool, England. At that inaugural show, Tyler Bate pinned Pete Dunne to become the inaugural WWE U.K. champion. Since that time, they have produced just one follow-up U.K. show, which aired on the WWE Network in May 2017.
That tournament was supposed to begin what would eventually result in new WWE brand, television show, and even a WWE Performance Center opening in the United Kingdom. Instead, those plans have been shelved for various reasons over the past year, including budget constraints and the short-lived relaunch of World of Sport Wrestling.
The U.K. has emerged as a hot bed for pro wrestling in recent years, with promotions like PROGRESS, RevPro, and ICW. Being the largest wrestling organization in the world, it makes sense for WWE to gain a foothold in the market. In doing so, they have signed some of the top British names to their division, while continuing to let them work events for PROGRESS and others.
According to this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the WWE U.K. project is back on and the wheels are in motion. There are plans to run events in the U.K. in December of this year, with WWE placing holds on venues in Margate, Kent, and other cities. That said, WWE has planned events in the past and cancelled them, so nothing in set in stone, though plans are being made to move forward.
Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, Mark Andrews, Tyler Bate, and Wolfgang have all recently been re-signed to WWE deals to keep them part of the plans moving forward. The company reportedly considers them as the "Big Five" for the division. Top British star Zack Gibson has also recently been signed, and there are rumors out there that Scottish star Joe Coffey could be next.
As part of the project, WWE still plans to eventually produce television for the U.K. market and the WWE Network, run a U.K. based brand, and open a new Performance Center location.