A few days back, I wrote about the hiring of Nigel McGuinness being a great thing for the WWE. Nigel is talented as a broadcaster and on-camera personality, beyond having a lot of in-ring experience. In turn, this is a case of a good person getting a well-deserved career break.
But in Nigel McGuinness’ hiring being tied in with the WWE’s upcoming United Kingdom Championship, there appears to be both advantages and disadvantages to the creation of a WWE United Kingdom Championship.
Here is some analysis related to that:
- More talented performers will have the chance to work with the biggest company in the wrestling — or sports entertainment — business.
- This is another positive step in the direction of the WWE acknowledging and supporting independent wrestling.
- Similar to the acknowledgement of indie wrestling, the tournament also shows acknowledgement of there being different wrestling styles, and that WWE is not necessarily the end-all, be-all of in-ring styles.
- This tournament creates more exclusive content for the WWE Network, leading to there being more things to watch.
- Fans in the United Kingdom will undoubtedly have more events to look forward to, and presumably more roster talent that they can relate to.
- This United Kingdom Championship tournament could potentially tie in with other U.K.-related content, such as documentaries on the history of U.K. pro-wrestling; certainly there are some tape libraries that the WWE could license and/or purchase.
- The popularity of the tournament format could mean other niches and/or nationalities getting some attention to the WWE, in turn creating more compelling WWE Network content. It can potentially show the WWE that a large share of its fanbase is interested in specialty programming.
- Similar to how the cruiserweight tournament helped bring back Tajiri and Brian Kendrick, perhaps there is U.K.-related talent that the WWE may be interested in bringing back. Bad News Barrett? Paul Burchill? Hade Vansen?
- Look at how the cruiserweight division is being treated. The cruiserweights are arguably being treated as a sideshow. Even though some of the WWE’s main roster (e.g. Finn Balor, Neville, Kalisto) undoubtedly can be viewed as cruiserweights.
- Another championship title devalues what it means to be a WWE champion. Both Raw and Smackdown currently have a main champion, a tag team championship, a secondary champion, and a women’s champion. Raw also has the cruiserweight title, meaning that there are currently nine title-holders, not counting NXT. Or King Of The Ring. Or Money In The Bank.
- The United Kingdom is wonderful. Its fans always make Raw exciting. But praise aside, the U.K. has a smaller population than China, Indiana, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Mexico, Japan, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Viet Nam, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Turkey, and Thailand, per some research. So how long until WWE’s German championship tournament?
- Similar to the earlier comment about the cruiserweight division being a sideshow, a lot of that is rooted in the size of the WWE roster versus the time and other resources that can be committed to the lower-card and mid-card of WWE. As it is, Bo Dallas, Darren Young and Jack Swagger get minimal screen-time — all three of them being previous champions — so is it really smart to bring a new roster into the WWE?
- A tournament like this confuses the purpose of NXT. NXT was supposed to be the program where emerging talent debuts and sticks around before being called up to the main roster. A lot of the cruiserweights were not NXT-bound before debuting on Raw.Whatever happens, the pros definitely outweigh the cons, as the United Kingdom Championship manages to simultaneously hold onto wrestling’s heritage while promoting that new things are ahead for the WWE. So kudos to WWE for taking a big risk, and having done so without news having leaked to any of the major wrestling websites in advance.