Irish wrestler Jordan Devlin set to star as WWE launch first UK Championship
Wrestling history will be made in 2017 when WWE comes to these shores to crown the first UK champion and there will be plenty of Irish interest in the 16-man single elimination tournament.
Jordan Devlin will be one of a handful of competitors to compete during a special, two-night tournament on Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15, 2017 at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, which will air live on the WWE Network.
The 26-year-old high-flyer aims to follow in the footsteps of Bray compatriot Finn Balor who burst onto the main roster earlier this year to become the maiden WWE Universal champion at Summerslam.
The WWE ran a similar tournament earlier this year, the 32-man Cruiserweight Classic, which garnered huge public reaction and with the rise of WWE's development brand NXT, Devlin will see this as a huge opportunity to stake a claim and strike it big in America.
This unprecedented event will showcase competitors from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland including the charismatic Trent Seven, from Wolverhampton; Birmingham's hard-hitting Pete Dunne as well as aggressive Northern Irish grappler Tucker.
Fourteen-time WWE World Heavyweight champion Paul 'Triple H' Levesque made the huge announcement in London's O2 Arena earlier today and believes "our passionate UK fans deserve to have their own champion".
The WWE Executive Vice President added: “The tournament is the next step in our ongoing strategy to create localised content for our global WWE Network, develop another brand that engages our passionate fans, and add a new dimension to our on-going storylines.”
England's William Regal, Head Scout of WWE Talent Development and former Intercontinental and European champion participated in the scouting process for the tournament competitors using his unrivalled knowledge and experience of the UK and Irish scene.
The UK Championship Tournament will be called by WWE lead announcer Michael Cole, who will be joined by colour analyst Nigel McGuinness, a former Total NonStop Action (TNA) star and mainstay of the UK independent scene.
Tickets for the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament go on sale today at 12.0 and can be purchased online at livenation.co.uk.