WWE United Kingdom Championship
|WWE United Kingdom Championship|
The United Kingdom Championship belt with default side plates.
|Date established||December 15, 2016|
|Date won||April 5, 2019|
The WWE United Kingdom Championship is a professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the American promotion WWE. It is primarily defended as the top championship of their NXT UK brand, a sister brand of NXT dedicated to professional wrestling in the United Kingdom. The title is also occasionally defended at NXT events and independent wrestling shows in the United Kingdom. The current champion is Walter, who is in his first reign.
Unveiled on December 15, 2016, the title was first awarded to Tyler Bate, who won the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament on January 15, 2017. The brand's show of the same name had its first tapings in August 2018, which began airing in October on the WWE Network. From its inception up until the debut of NXT UK, the title was primarily defended on the NXT brand and shows produced by UK-based independent wrestling promotions.
In a press conference at The O2 Arena on December 15, 2016, WWE Chief Operating Officer and NXT head Triple H revealed that there would be a 16-man single-elimination tournament to crown the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Champion. The tournament was held over a two-day period, January 14 and 15, 2017, and aired exclusively on the WWE Network. Tyler Bate won the inaugural tournament to become the first WWE United Kingdom Champion.
Following the inaugural tournament in 2017, the title began being featured on WWE's NXT brand when Bate debuted during the January 28, 2017, tapings of NXT in San Antonio, Texas, which aired February 1. During the February 1 tapings at the brand's home base of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, the title's very first defense took place, where Bate defeated Trent Seven (aired February 15). The title was defended for the first time outside of WWE when Bate retained the title against Mark Andrews on a show for the London-based promotion, Progress Wrestling; the show took place in Orlando, Florida on March 31 as part of WrestleMania Axxess. The first title change, as well as the first defense to air live, took place on May 20, 2017, at NXT TakeOver: Chicago, where Pete Dunne defeated Bate to become champion. Although unsuccessful, Johnny Gargano was the first wrestler from outside of the United Kingdom division to challenge for the UK title on the November 18 taping of NXT (aired on November 22).
When the championship was unveiled in December 2016, it was announced to be the top championship of a new WWE Network show, produced in the United Kingdom. However, it was not until mid-2018 when WWE formally established NXT UK as the brand for their United Kingdom division and sister brand of NXT. The brand's show, also titled NXT UK, had its first tapings in August, which began airing on October 17. On the premiere episode, Dunne retained the UK Championship against Noam Dar.
January 14, 2017
January 15, 2017
January 15, 2017
January 15, 2017
Championship belt design
The base design of the belt is similar to the WWE Championship belt (introduced in 2014), with notable differences. Instead of a large cut out of the WWE logo, the center plate is modeled after the United Kingdom's royal coat of arms, featuring a lion and a horse (instead of the traditional unicorn) on either side of the arms, while the center of the shield has been replaced with the WWE logo; atop the shield are the crown jewels. The banner atop the arms reads "United Kingdom" while the banner below reads "Champion". Gold divider bars separate the center plate from the belt's two side plates. In what has become a prominent feature of WWE's championship belts, the side plates feature removable center sections that can be replaced with the current champion's logo; the default side plates feature the WWE logo on a red globe. The plates are on a black leather strap.
As of December 5, 2019, there have been three reigns. The inaugural champion was Tyler Bate, who won the inaugural tournament. Bate is also the youngest champion, winning the title at 19 years old, while the oldest champion is Walter, winning the title at 31. Pete Dunne has the longest reign at 685 days, holding the title from May 20, 2017 until April 5, 2019, while Bate has the shortest reign at 125 days.
|No.||Overall reign number|
|Reign||Reign number for the specific champion|
|Days||Number of days held|
|Days recog.||Number of days held recognized by the promotion|
|+||Current reign is changing daily|
|No.||Champion||Championship change||Reign statistics||Notes||Ref.|
|1||Tyler Bate||January 15, 2017||United Kingdom Championship Tournament||Blackpool, England||1||125||125||Defeated Pete Dunne in the tournament final to become the inaugural champion. Bate subsequently defended the title on the NXT brand and at independent shows in the United Kingdom.|||
|2||Pete Dunne||May 20, 2017||NXT TakeOver: Chicago||Rosemont, Illinois||1||685||685||The title became the top championship of NXT UK when the brand was established in July 2018, but continues to occasionally be defended on NXT and at independent shows.|||
|3||Walter||April 5, 2019||NXT TakeOver: New York||Brooklyn, New York||1||244+||244+|||
- Soucek, Andrew. "SOUCEK'S WWE UK CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT REPORT 1/15: Ongoing coverage of night two of UK Championship tournament". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
- "NXT TakeOver pre-show TV taping & dark match results". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. January 28, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
- "2/1 NXT TV Review". PWTorch.com. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- "3/31 Progress Wrestling in Orlando results: Tyler Bate vs. Mark Andrews for the WWE UK Championship, Pete Dunne vs. Mark Haskins for the Progress Championship, Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Jimmy Havoc". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. March 31, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
- Zimmerman, Zack. "5/20 Zim's NXT Takeover: Chicago live review – Bobby Roode vs. Hideo Itami for the NXT Title, Authors of Pain vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa in a ladder match for the NXT Tag Titles, Asuka vs. Nikki Cross vs. Ruby Riot for the NXT Women's Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Howell, Nolan (February 15, 2017). "NXT: Bate retains UK title against Moustache Mountain partner Seven". Slam! Sports. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
- James, Justin (November 22, 2017). "11/22 NXT TV Report: Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano in main event, Ruby Riot vs. Sonya Deville in likely their final NXT match". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
- Currier, Joseph (December 15, 2016). "WWE to crown first United Kingdom Champion in January". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
- Keller, Wade (December 15, 2016). "WWE announces new UK-based brand, holding tournament to crown UK Champion, Nigel McGuinness on announce team". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
- "Johnny Saint named GM of WWE's United Kingdom brand". WWE. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
- "WWE announces Johnny Saint as UK brand general manager". 7 June 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
- "NXT UK joins WWE Network's already packed Wednesday line-up". Retrieved 11 October 2018.
- Gleed, Haydn (October 17, 2018). "Gleed's NXT UK TV Review: Premiere edition with Pete Dunne vs Noam Dar for the WWE UK Championship, Mark Andrews vs Joe Coffey, Dave Mastiff vs Sid Scala, and Toni Storm vs Nina Samuels". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
- Soucek, Andrew. "SOUCEK'S WWE UK CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT REPORT 1/14: Ongoing coverage of night one of UK Championship tournament". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
- WWE Superstars - WWE.com
- Powell, Jason. "4/5 Powell's NXT Takeover: New York live review – Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole in a best of three falls match for the vacant NXT Championship, Pete Dunne vs. Walter for the WWE UK Championship, Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle for the NXT North American Title, NXT Women's Title four-way, NXT Tag Title match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 5, 2019.