WWE creating new UK Championship, tournament to be held on WWE Network with former ROH star on commentary

On Thursday morning, WWE held a press conference at the O2 in London, England with WWE COO Triple H, NXT GM William Regal and former NXT and Universal Champion Finn Balor where they announced the creation of the WWE UK Championship. The first champion will be crowned as part of a two-day, 16-man tournament that will air live on the WWE Network on January 14 and 15 from the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, England (the hometown of Regal). During the press conference, all 16 men that will be competing were introduced to the audience, including such notable UK names as Trent Seven and Tyler Bate, who have worked for CHIKARA in the last year, as well as Pete Dunne, who competed in this year’s PWG Battle of Los Angeles tournament.

It was also announced that the commentary team for the tournament will be RAW commentator Michael Cole and former ROH Champion, commentator and matchmaker Nigel McGuinness, who was also introduced to the audience at the press conference. This would seem to explain the abrupt announcement given by Ring of Honor this past week that McGuinness had resigned as the storyline matchmaker of the company, as there had been wrestling media reports that WWE had an offer for McGuinness on the table to be a coach at the WWE Performance Center.

During the press conference, it was implied that the tournament could lead to regular WWE programming from the UK, ala the Cruiserweight Classic morphing into 205 Live, which seems to stem from the recent pilot shot a couple months back by iTV out of the UK for a potential reboot of the famed World of Sport TV series that was successful for many years in the UK, as well as the meteoric rise of the UK independent scene over the last couple of years with successful companies such as PROGRESS, Rev Pro, ICW, Southside, WXW and others.

You can view the full press conference held in London this morning on the official Facebook page of Triple H below.