Ellie Zoe takes a look at the many UK wrestling events coming up over the Spring – along with some mainstream highlights from the WWE.
There’s arguably never been a better time to be a professional wrestling fan in the UK. We’re going through a bit of a renaissance at the moment – the sport is once again becoming fairly fashionable, and plenty of quality promotions are popping up, and better yet, succeeding. Whilst there are shows running somewhere in the UK more or less every week, we’re going to have a little look at some key dates worth keeping an eye on – and perhaps even spending a little cash on a ticket for.
We’ll first address the elephant in the room – whilst not in the UK, WWE is holding the Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia this Friday. The location means a far more palatable start time than normal, beginning late afternoon rather than gone midnight as per usual. If you’ve got the Network, it’s probably worth a watch as some titles are likely set to change hands, but it’s probably going to be a very long show (potentially up to 7 hours), so make sure you go in prepared.
We’re not done with the WWE offerings quite yet though, as they’ll be making two trips to the UK over the coming months. The smaller of the two will be NXT’s annual appearance at the Download festival. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that any arena shows have been booked for the tour, but if you’re already heading to the festival, be sure to stop by.
The larger installment of UK activity for WWE comes to us in mid May, with tapings of Raw and Smackdown Live at the o2 in London, and house shows in Bournemouth, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield. Some house shows feature Raw talent, and others Smackdown. It’s worth keeping an eye on social media, as there are usually free signings you can attend before the shows. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting a Smackdown show, you’ll be treated to Daniel Bryan vs The Miz, arguably worth the price of entry alone.
Perhaps WWE isn’t really your thing though? Fear not, as Progress Wrestling have you covered. May brings 2 huge shows, with a 3-day spectacular named Super Strong Style 16 at Alexandra Palace in London on the 5th, 6th and 7th, whilst Victoria Warehouse in Manchester plays host to Chapter 69: Be Here Now on the 20th. IF you’re lucky enough to be able to get a ticket for a Progress show, you’re guaranteed an adrenaline-filled afternoon of hard-hitting, strong style graps. Also, there aren’t any crowd barriers, so be ready to dodge flying wrestlers.
Ring of Honor is set to stop off in Edinburgh, London and Doncaster at the end of May, bringing a mix of ROH favourites, along with a small selection of New Japan Pro Wrestling Talent. If you’re looking for more than a taster of New Japan goodness though, look no further than the pair of Strong Style Evolved UK shows, taking place in Milton Keynes and Greater Manchester at the end of June and start of July respectively – NJPW’s first dedicated shows in the UK.
Defiant fans aren’t left out however, and can look forward to the No Regrets PPV this Saturday, and the Road to Destruction show a month later in Sheffield. It’s worth noting that tickets to all of these shows are already on sale – so make sure to book in advance if you’re able – you’re far from guaranteed to find tickets available on the door.
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