Reviewing the WWE UK Tour
By Jefferson Lake
Last Updated: 10/11/17 9:59am
History was made during the WWE's latest visit to Europe when a major title changed hands outside of North America for the first time in the company's 54-year history.
AJ Styles' phenomenal victory over Jinder Mahal for the WWE Title, live on SmackDown from the Manchester Arena, represents the only title switch to take place outside of the United States or Canada.
It was also the first time the title has changed hands on an episode of SmackDown for more than 14 years.
For the fortunate fans in the arena, it was a moment to treasure and further proof - following a US title switch on a Madison Square Garden house show in July - that such drama is not always exclusive to the big pay-per-views, and that anything can happen at any time.
That sense of unpredictability was written large across the tour, which wrapped up its United Kingdom leg with one last British blockbuster at Nottingham on Thursday night.
It has become a cornerstone of recent WWE booking that the unexpected should be expected at any time.
Even before the company made its way across the pond, Kane made a return from out of absolutely nowhere to insert himself in the Monday Night Raw confrontations between The Shield and the Miz-led heels.
And Kurt Angle made a shock comeback to the ring at the TLC pay-per-view when Roman Reigns was sidelined through injury.
That jaw-dropping unpredictability has continued in Britain, with some truly memorable moments taking place on the latest visit.
As well as the fans' beloved Styles finally dethroning Mahal, there was also a title change on Raw this week, with Sheamus & Cesaro winning the red brand's belts from Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
As far as British talent went, there was a Raw debut for the outstanding Pete Dunne, while the equally-excellent Tyler Bate was also used on 205 Live as both were given an opportunity to showcase their substantial skills.
There was also the first intergender WWE match for six years, with Becky Lynch pleasingly forcing James Ellsworth to tap out, and away from the televised events, house show fans were treated to none other than Triple H donning Shield gear and stepping in the ring, to huge reactions up and down the country.
But while all of these illustrate the 'anything can happen' nature of modern WWE, they also prove another point - that the British audience is absolutely vital to the company and that their loyalty and devotion is being rewarded with intriguing twists and turns.
Both of the television episodes this week have been in the 'must watch' category and the house shows have been little short of electrifying.
All of which leads to one obvious conclusion: that Britain is ready for a major pay-per-view. The fans want it. The wrestlers - as confirmed by Finn Balor last week - want it. And it seems, on the evidence of this thrill ride of a tour, that the WWE just might want it too.