The WWE wrapped up two days of filming for the upcoming WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament specials, airing next Monday and Tuesday on the WWE Network, taped live at the Royal Albert Hall. The Royal Albert Hall is a hugely significant venue in the history of professional wrestling – for it’s very first wrestling event, on 1904, was one of the first showdowns between European Heavyweight Champion George Hackenschmidt against American wrestler Tom Jenkins. Hackenschmidt’s opponent was a top contender for the American Heavyweight Championship (he was already a 2x Champion). But alas, at the time of his fight with “The Russian Lion”, the American Champion was Frank Gotch. By the time Hackenschmidt got the New York in 1905 to face the US champ, it was back on Jenkins. Hack’s victory created the first World Heavyweight Champion in pro wrestling. And his greatest rival (and defeat) would be the former American champ, Frank Gotch.
You’ll see the matches in their entirety next week on the Network, so we won’t spoil any of the action for you. But there were some fun debuts, returns and notes out of the tapings today.
Pro Wrestling EVE Champion Charlie Morgan had reportedly signed a tryout deal with the WWE and she was given a match today against former wXw Women’s Champion Kelly Klein. Both are most likely joining the NXT UK Women’s Division (and possibly in the Mae Young Classic II).
— The Royal Grumble 🎙 (@RoyalGrumblePod) June 19, 2018
While he didn’t wrestle, Welsh indie star Eddie Dennis, a former ATTACK! Champion, 4x ATTACK! 24/7 Champion and one half of former PROGRESS Tag Team Champions FSU with current NXT UK Superstar Mark Andrews came out as part of the NXT UK Roster following the event. While he could have just been visiting, with Andrews in the NXT UK, it’s possible he could be joining NXT UK and re-teaming with Andrews for the NXT UK Tag Team division.
July 6th I walked away from the headship of a school chasing a dream
January 13th I ruptured my pectoral chasing said dream
March 5th I had surgery to repair said pectoral
Bet on yourself dudes! pic.twitter.com/95LZR1umKI
— Eddie Dennis (@EddieDennis1986) June 20, 2018
THE COFFEY BROTHERS
Former 2x ICW World Champion and 2x Scottish Wrestling Alliance (SWA) Scottish Heavyweight Champion Joe Coffey was a competitor in the tournament, but after one match he came out alongside his brother, fellow Scottish wrestler Mark Coffey, with whom they’ve both captured multiple tag team titles in Scotland, including SWA. Mark Coffey is a tag team specialist in Scotland, where as part of Polo Promotions, he’s an 8x tag team champion, in ICW, SWA and others. He’s also a 3x ICW Zero-G Champion. Putting the Coffey Brothers together for the NXT UK Tag Team division isn’t a bad way to introduce either to the WWE Universe.
we are not here to take part… pic.twitter.com/rhuEnLNjsw
— Joe Coffey (@Joe_Coffey) June 19, 2018
Another Welsh wrestler, “Wild Boar” Mike Hitchman is another regular from Wales’ ATTACK! Pro Wrestling (which is owned by NXT UK Superstars Pete Dunne and Mark Andrews). As a singles wrestler, he’s a 5x ATTACK! 24/7 Champion, and as a tag team specialist he’s part of The Marauders alongside Mike Bird, capturing tag team gold in ICW and Pro Evolution Wrestling.
— Wild Boar (@WILDBOARhitch) June 19, 2018
“The Scottish Supernova” has been out of action on WWE television since an injury side lined him last December. An entrant in the 2016 WWE Cruiserweight Classic, followed by being part of the First Class of the Cruiserweight Division on Raw and 205 Live, Dar never really got passed the comedy angle. A former 2x ICW Zero-G Champion and star with such UK promotions as PROGRESS, RevPro, ICW, Preston City Wrestling (PCW) and Defiant (WCPW), he made his return tonight and seems destined to become a part of NXT UK. A solid move that will return him to the audience that truly understands him and hopefully reboot him back to the charismatic but technical star he was prior to the WWE.
— Adam (@Adam_Lewis10) June 19, 2018