The first-ever WWE NXT UK Women’s Champion was crowned on Sunday. According to WWE.com, Australia's own, Rhea Ripley won a two-day tournament to capture the new title. The event was taped over the weekend at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England, during Insomnia63, Britain’s largest gaming convention.
The tournament also featured competitors such as Toni Storm and Millie McKenzie. Wrestling Inc., is reporting that Riley defeated Dakota Kai in the semifinals before knocking off Storm in the finals.
The crowning of an NXT UK Women’s Champion is the latest move by the WWE in establishing a new, European-based brand of NXT. The first move in the creation of a UK brand started in December 2016 when a 16-man tournament was announced to crown the first-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion. Tyler Bate won the title in January 2017, before losing the title to Pete Dunne in May. Dunne has held the title ever since.
This was followed by British wrestling legend Johnny Saint being named general manager in June of this year. Tag team titles are also reportedly in the works.
There has been no official launch date for the NXT UK brand, but that doesn’t mean the title will just disappear in the interim. Just like the United Kingdom championship has been defended on independent wrestling shows, it’s a safe bet to assume the women’s title will do the same. It has also been rumored that the title will be defended at the all-women’s pay-per-view Evolution, set to air in October.