WWE News: A New Championship Being Debuted At The Start Of 2017

Chris Featherstone

One of the elements that make professional wrestling thrive is fans seeing competitors vie for championships. Although the world championships of every promotion is the goal for each wrestler, capturing a title on the way can help propel one's career.

For example, many of the biggest stars of the past quarter-century once held a secondary title on the way to being a top name for the company.

On August 29, 1988, WWE Hall of Famer the Ultimate Warrior won his first championship by defeating the Honky Tonk Man, who still is the longest reigning champion in that division, in just 30 seconds to win the Intercontinental Championship. Warrior propelled this success and became a dual champion, defeating Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI in 1990 (he had to relinquish the IC title because a wrestler could not hold two titles at once back then).

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfqV3xI8l_s[/embed]

As a villain, "Macho Man" Randy Savage was able to defeat Tito Santana on February 8, 1986, to capture his first and only Intercontinental Championship. However, just two years later, Savage was one of the top fan favorites and won the tournament at WrestleMania IV to become the WWE Champion.

The 90s also saw names such as Steve Austin, The Rock, Mick Foley, Triple H, Chris Jericho, and Bret Hart win a secondary title (for Foley, it was the Hardcore Championship) en route to becoming WWE Champion.

Throughout the past 20 years, WWE has both changed, as well as redesigned, a number of championships. In 2002, many fans believed that the prestigious Intercontinental Championship would be no longer, as reports indicated that WWE was doing away with the title. This was confirmed when then-World Heavyweight Champion Triple H unified the IC title after defeating Kane at No Mercy. Thankfully, it only lasted eight months, and the title resumed.

Championships such as the Light Heavyweight, European, and Hardcore Championships all had short but memorable histories. Interestingly, former WWE stars Christian and Jeff Hardy held all of those championships, as well as the now-defunct "Big Gold Belt" World Heavyweight Championship.

The Cruiserweight Championship was revived in 2016 after a 10-year absence. Now, not only has WWE highlighted the division on Raw, but they have their own one-hour show following SmackDown Live, and title matches are featured on Raw-exclusive pay per views.

Based on recent news released from WWE, another championship will be added to the list.

WWE has announced that the United Kingdom Championship will make its debut in January, and a 16-competitor, two-day tournament will be held on the network to determine the winner.

"The WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament is a 16-competitor, two-day throwdown at Blackpool's Empress Ballroom, airing live and exclusively on the award-winning WWE Network, featuring some of the best talent the U.K. has to offer. The last man standing at the end of the tournament will be crowned champion and awarded a title, which was also revealed at the conference."

According to the International Business Times, here is the full list of competitors.

"Thank you all for coming here and joining us for this historic moment. You know, I've had a long career, over twenty years, and one of my favorite things about being a WWE superstar was being able to tour the world. Seeing countries and meeting fans all over the globe. And the U.K. has always been one of my favorite places to come. Whether if it's the rich history of our industry, or the appreciation that the fans have here for our craft, U.K. has always made our tours memorable here and this is always a place that is near and dear to my heart.

"So I can't tell you how proud I am to be here to make this announcement today. One of the great things about the WWE Network is our ability to further engage our fans around the world with localized content. It's been the better part of a year working right here with brands such as Progress, RevPro, ICW, and OTT in Ireland. We spent that time to identify and cultivate the best talent in both the U.K. and Ireland.

"And today, we're excited to announce that we will crown, for the first time ever, a WWE United Kingdom Champion. We will crown that champion live on the WWE Network during a special two-night tournament on Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15, beginning at 8pm local time. The WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament will emanate from the historic Empress Ballroom in Blackpool.

"It will feature sixteen of the top competitors from the U.K. and Ireland. And like we've done with NXT and the cruiserweights, our intent, is in the long term, to use this tournament as a launching pad for a brand new WWE weekly show produced right here in the U.K."

"So I can't tell you how proud I am to be here to make this announcement today. One of the great things about the WWE Network is our ability to further engage our fans around the world with localized content. It's been the better part of a year working right here with brands such as Progress, RevPro, ICW, and OTT in Ireland. We spent that time to identify and cultivate the best talent in both the U.K. and Ireland.

"And today, we're excited to announce that we will crown, for the first time ever, a WWE United Kingdom Champion. We will crown that champion live on the WWE Network during a special two-night tournament on Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15, beginning at 8pm local time. The WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament will emanate from the historic Empress Ballroom in Blackpool.

"It will feature sixteen of the top competitors from the U.K. and Ireland. And like we've done with NXT and the cruiserweights, our intent, is in the long term, to use this tournament as a launching pad for a brand new WWE weekly show produced right here in the U.K."

With the network, WWE can certainly spend more time cultivating this division, which is something that was lacking when they had the European Championship as the time progressed. Hopefully, it is not just another secondary title that loses credibility, and the fans from the United Kingdom can indeed enjoy this championship to highlight local stars.

[Featured Image by WWE]

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