As we wind down 2017, we will be looking back at the 20 best (and worst) moments of the year in the wrestling world.
20. Scott Steiner’s epic press conference
19. Sexy Star tries to break Rosemary’s arm for real.
18. JBL vs. Mauro Ranallo.
17. Asuka’s Ascendency.
16. Roman Reigns Tries To Murder Braun Strowman
15. The return of WarGames
14. John Cena proposes to Nikki Bella at Wrestlemania
13. Bullet Club vs. WWE
WWE, feeling the pull of the market by upstart indie forces, decided to make a big play for the United Kingdom audience. Working with various smaller promotions in Britain, WWE created the UK Championship. A tournament and several specials followed, with more coming in 2018. The title is unique in WWE in that it is defended outside of WWE events. Here’s a write-up from June about one such occasion.
WWE’s UK Championship is already breaking barriers. WWE created the location-specific belt due to the explosion of the wrestling in the United Kingdom. Facing pressure from Impact, WCPW, and others, WWE cut a deal with several major UK-based independent promotions. WWE agreed to use their talent in exchange for help promoting the new UK Champion and subsequent shows. The WWE UK Championship has been defended on the UK specials and the most recent NXT Takeover. But now, Scotland-based Insane Championship Wrestling is changing the game!
Dunne won the title from inaugural champion Tyler Bate in a match that is already under consideration for Match of the Year. Dunne made a name for himself as a cutthroat who will do whatever it takes to win.
There have been rumors that WWE plans to put ICW and other UK indies on the Network soon. There could be a chance this match and the entire show will end up on the Network. The Network is constantly looking to add more content. While WWE has yet to upload thousands of hours of old WWF and WCW footage, there are plenty of younger fans hungry for independent wrestling. WWE has given us a taste with NXT, the Cruiserweight Championship, and the UK Title. But there is plenty of wrestling out there that could be put on the Network and help to add newer subscribers.
I love ICW. They became the biggest UK indie by mixing punk rock attitude with Attitude-Era angles:
Putting them on the Network would introduce fans to a brand of wrestling many older fans miss. Progress is the other promotion in the mix to be added to the Network. Where ICW is heavy on angles, Progress has been the place that revitalized “British Strong-Style.”
Are you a fan of Progress, ICW or the WWE UK Championship? Share your thoughts.