WWE: United Kingdom tournament announced for January 2017
Winner will become inaugural WWE United Kingdom Champion
Last Updated: 17/12/16 6:20pm
WWE will crown its first-ever United Kingdom Champion during a special two-night tournament in Blackpool in early 2017.
Sixteen wrestlers from the UK and Ireland will compete in Blackpool's Empress Ballroom on January 14 and 15 with the winner earning the title.
Triple H, who made the announcement at a press conference in London, said: "Our passionate UK fans deserve to have their own champion.
"The tournament is the next step in our ongoing strategy to develop another brand that engages our passionate fans, and add a new dimension to our on-going storylines.
"There's no reason why it can't be as big as Raw, Smackdown or NXT."
Wrestlers such as 19-year-old Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, Pete Dunne, Scottish star Wolfgang, Northern Ireland's Tucker and Ireland's Jordan Devlin will compete in the single-elimination tournament, live on the WWE Network.
British legends William Regal and Robbie Brookside were involved in the scouting process as WWE worked with promotions such as Revolution Pro Wrestling and PROGRESS.
Regal, the on-screen General Manager of WWE NXT, said: "The 16 competitors are going to put everything on the line - everything to become the first WWE United Kingdom Champion."
Irish star Finn Balor, who won WWE's Universal Title at SummerSlam in August, added: "This tournament is the bridge between the independent scene and the WWE. I would have loved to have been able to compete in it."
Michael Cole, the voice of Monday Night Raw, will commentate on the tournament, alongside Londoner Nigel McGuinness, a mainstay of the UK independent scene and former Ring of Honor World Champion.