The WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament is in the books, and we now have a first-ever WWE UK Champion, 19-year-old mustache boy Tyler Bate. The next step is WWE attempting to establish a regular television show for their UK-based wrestlers, either on local television or on WWE Network. This is part of WWE’s attempt to grow global regions one by one, by hard targeting them, but it is also very much in response to ITV’s planned revival of the legendary World of Sport brand of British wrestling.
WWE is trying to establish a stranglehold on pro wrestling in the United Kingdom, and they’ve already exhibited a willingness to go to unprecedented lengths in order to do so. Their next tactic in establishing their UK dominance? They’re reportedly going to team up with one of the most popular promotions in the United Kingdom … and give them a home on WWE Network.
Insane Championship Wrestling is based in Glasgow, Scotland, and has been growing exponentially in popularity and notoriety over the past several years. At one point one of the “home promotions” of Prince Devitt, the company has served as a partial launching pad for the careers of Grado, Big Damo, Wolfgang, and others. Along with This Is Progress and Revolution Pro, ICW has been at the very forefront of the rebirth and renaissance of wrestling from across the pond. And all three companies worked hand in hand with WWE to help make the UK Championship Tournament happen.
Now, according to PWInsider Elite, WWE is on the verge of finalizing a multi-year deal that will bring ICW programming to WWE Network. An official announcement is expected very soon, perhaps some time in the next week. There’s no word yet whether there will be portions of the ICW library uploaded or just new content, but all will be made clear soon enough. If ICW is producing new content for WWE Network, they are expected to tone down their antics, as they’re generally a very adult product, more in line with the less-televised aspects of the original ECW.
This is an extremely interesting development, and possibly the first shoe to drop as WWE Network begins to assemble a content juggernaut to counter ITV in the United Kingdom … or perhaps even compete with FloSlam in snatching up worldwide indie promotions and giving wrestling fans a one-stop home for all the content they could possibly want.