WWE is introducing a new United Kingdom Championship, and will crown the first-ever champion in January in a two-day tournament that will air exclusively on the WWE Network.
Triple H announced the title and tournament on Thursday at a press conference at the O2 Arena in London, England. The tournament will be a 16-man, two-day event, happening January 14 and 15 from the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, England.
Michael Cole, Finn Balor and former ROH World Champion and native Englishman Nigel McGuinness also attended the press conference. McGuinness will be commentating the tournament, alongside Cole.
McGuinness previously had been working with Ring of Honor as their on-camera authority figure, but ROH announced his departure earlier this week.
The field for the tournament will include Pete Dunne, the current PROGRESS Wrestling Champion; as well as his compatriots in the British Strong Style faction, Trent Seven, and Tyler Bate. Other announced participants include Glasgow native Wolfgang, Tyson T-Bone, Tucker, Jordan Devlin, and Roy Johnson.
Here's a picture of Triple H, with the complete 16-man field for the tournament:
WWE has mined the talent pool in the UK quite a bit in recent months. Zack Sabre, Jr., advanced to the semifinals of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic. Fellow UK products Jack Gallagher and Noam Dar also were part of that tournament, subsequently signed contracts, and now are part of the cruiserweight division. WWE also recently signed two other wrestlers who were mainstays on the UK circuit: Big Damo and Tommy End.
The announcement of the tournament comes just a few weeks after WWE reportedly offered contracts with unique terms to a variety of talents in the UK. The terms of these contracts would allow those individuals to continue to take independent dates at home, as long as those dates were approved by WWE. The contracts were viewed as a reaction to the recently announced revival of the World of Sport promotion in the UK, which has announced a holiday special that will air on ITV, one of the largest networks in England, and be commentated by Jim Ross.