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WWE is said to be have been in talks with several of the top independent names in the UK over the last few weeks in the continuation of their ongoing UK expansion, according to a new report by Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer.
The intensifying of talks has been due to the recent announcement by ITV that they will be filming a new season of the revived World of Sport show during the summer in Norwich, England. ITV filmed a pilot for World of Sport last January that aired live with WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross as part of commentary, but nothing has come of the reboot since then.
In response to the World of Sport reboot pilot last January, WWE quickly announced the WWE UK division and subsequent tournament to crown the first champion last January that aired live on WWE Network and saw Tyler Bate become the first champion. Once talks of the World of Sport reboot died down, other than a live special last May in the UK, WWE has scaled back on their UK expansion and proposed talks of a weekly show and touring brand.
Since ITV has announced filming of new episodes for the World of Sport reboot, WWE went on to announce a two-day live King of the Ring special on June 18 and June 19 airing live on WWE Network from Royal Albert Hall, with the first round of the tournament taking place during their annual NXT live event visit to the Download Festival.
Top UK independent names Toni Storm (who was heavily featured in last year’s Mae Young Classic tournament), Travis Banks (current PROGRESS Champion), Joe Coffey, El Ligero, Eddie Dennis, Chris Brookes, Jinny (top PROGRESS women competitor) and Dave Mastiff (who was heavily featured on the World of Sport pilot) are said to be who WWE is currently in talks with about signing for the UK expansion.