It was taped last week at Royal Albert Hall in London, England, and several spoilers made its way online (some by WWE themselves), but it’s now officially in the books: the second WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament is in the books, and out of it’s ashes rises the WWE’s latest brand, NXT UK. A regional promotion based out of the UK, that will encompass and showcase the best talents from Europe, beyond the British Isles of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, with talents from Germany, Portugal and more. Here’s a quick rundown of the big stories out of the two night special on the WWE Network.
ZACK GIBSON IS POISED FOR GREATNESS
Liverpool’s No. 1, Zack Gibson won the second WWE UK Championship Tournament on Night 1, earning a shot at Pete Dunne‘s WWE UK Championship. One half of the PROGRESS Tag Team Champions, Grizzled Young Veterans, with another NXT UK talent, James Drake, Gibson defeated PROGRESS World Champion Travis Banks to win the tournament and faced Dunne on night two, but Dunne pulled through and retained. But Gibson is poised to become a major player with NXT UK. While he may begin in the new NXT UK tag team division with Drake, his future is ultimately as one of the brand’s major heels. Ringwork aside, his promos are the stuff of legend.
NOAM DAR IS HEADING TO NXT UK
The Scottish Supernova never got a proper chance on 205 Live after debuting with the WWE in 2016 as part of the Cruiserweight Classic. Sure, his pronunciation of Alicia Fawwwwwwx became comedy gold, but apart from that, the highly touted UK prospect never hit his full potential on the WWE main roster. An injury sidelined him for months, but his return at the event on night two – and becoming the #1 contender to the UK title – is a smart move. Prior to signing with WWE in 2016, he was one of the UK’s most popular indie wrestlers, working with PROGRESS, ICW and more. Returning to his home demographic is a huge move that will help NXT UK become the force WWE hopes for.
THE COFFEY BROTHERS HAVE ARRIVED
Scotland’s Joe Coffey was an entrant in the tournament, but ultimately lost to finalist Travis Banks. On night two, Coffey returned to the ring following the #1 contenders fatal 4-way, but he didn’t come alone. He brought his brother, Mark Coffey, another Scottish wrestler of some acclaim, and the two decimated the men in the ring. Mark is a multi-time tag champion is Scotland, mostly with Jackie Polo in Polo Promotions, but alongside his brother Joe, the Coffey Brothers could become one of the top contenders for the upcoming NXT UK Tag Team titles.
MOUSTACHE MOUNTAIN ARE NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS
In an upset no one expected, Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) defeated Undisputed Era‘s Roderick Strong & Kyle O’Reilly to become new NXT Tag Team Champions. While the move is probably not long term, it was a big moment for the UK wrestlers to win tag team gold in a venue so historically relevant – not just to the UK wrestling world but pro wrestling history. It also jump starts the NXT UK tag team division with two enormous faces to give the division instant credibility.
NXT UK IS HERE
At the end of the night, all the roster came out to make their declaration that “WE ARE NXT UK” and it featured a stunning roster of UK talent. A women’s division featuring Toni Storm, Jinny, Charlie Morgan, Killer Kelly, Nina Samuels, and more, a tag team division with some intriguing names, not to mention all the singles wrestlers who competed over the two days, and NXT UK could arguably be WWE’s strongest brand.