The United Kingdom Championship and the troupe of hard hitters and high flyers that have come with it have been highly regarded and have produced some of the most unique content for the WWE. Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate have ushered in a renaissance for the British wrestling scene, proving that the end goal of stealing WWE programmes is indeed attainable. The aforementioned rivals have certainly made their mark on the product and put the UK Title on the map as a prestigious award for rising BritWres stars.
But let’s be honest here, other than the occasional appearance from the champ on NXT, the UK division haven’t really broken many boundaries after their one-year anniversary. Aside from a few cameos on 205 Live, the majority of the division have drifted back into independent dates without much coming their way from their American employers.
Without the promised weekly or bi-monthly UK show to help showcase their abilities, the division as a whole has struggled to get itself out of the gate. Outside of the more smarky crowds, reactions to the slightly lesser-known stars like Trent Seven and Jordan Devlin don’t make them seem like the stars they should be.
What made the UK division special was the differentiation between in-ring styles and production values. Since the inaugural UK tournament, all of the attributes that contributed to that unique feel have been lost and the superstars have had to awkwardly merge with the WWE style.
I for one struggle to connect with anything outside of Pete Dunne now that the UK division have just become a counterpart to the cruiserweight division. There’s no intimacy between the crowd and the performance, there’s little passion expressed and it all seems rather generic. It’s a real shame when looking back on how hot the product was following the tournament.
Credit where it’s due though, they’ve had at least one success story with “The Bruiserweight”, his stock continues to rise the longer he holds onto that glorious championship belt.
My only concern is the amount of non-UK competitors being given opportunities to challenge him. I know there’s no written rules as to its exclusivity, but by taking away that factor, the championship becomes just another WWE title, a massive step back from their original intentions.
I expect that whoever does dethrone Dunne will be a member of the current UK division, perhaps Mark Andrews if he maintains popularity after the Cruiserweight Title tournament. Once that happens, Pete can move on to become even bigger as part of either the NXT or WWE main roster.
I hope that the UK division manages to find its feet somewhere down the line. Outside of the duo of European tours, it’s hard to see where they all fit into the wider roster and what impact they can have.
But enough from me, what do you make of the UK division’s status in WWE? Do you think they’ve reached their peak, or are they coming out strong enough to sustain their division’s longevity?