Last week we saw the very best of what the U.K. division could provide for the WWE. Now it is our turn here at TurnHeel to grade the current performers in the division and see who may be competing for that beautiful belt, sooner rather that later. (Disclaimer: This reflects results after NXT TakeOver: Chicago.)
- Pete Dunne: The Bruiserweight became the new U.K. champion last Saturday night and boy did both he and Tyler Bate put on a show. One of the best matches so far this year for sure. As far as his standing in the division goes, this is how most would have prescribed the division to start after the U.K. Tournament. He has the character, the branding, the style that makes him the perfect choice to be the leader of a new division. Even as a heel, Dunne is going to have admirers cheer him on for years to come.
- Tyler Bate: The first champion of the U.K. division has done a great job building up the division into something more than just one dominant player. I anticipate Bate and Dunne to continue their feud for now, but Bate does not need to reclaim the title at any point during that. He has established himself and could be the T.J. Perkins of the division that sets everything in motion during the genesis.
- Mark Andrews: In a division full of hard hitters and stockier builds, Mark Andrews presents the alternative and it is an exciting one. If your are not familiar with his work in TNA, Andrews has been a exceptional high flyer for some time. His match against Tyler Bate at the Norwich taping was a solid match and with the 25 minutes they were allotted, Andrews and Bate both told compelling stories in the ring. Andrews is a legit contender for the belt once the Bate and Dunne program comes to a acceptable end.
- Trent Seven: Of the Mustache Mountain stable, before the U.K. Tournament, I would have picked Trent Seven over Tyler Bate to be the man taking the new division by storm and perhaps being the champion. British Strong Style’s Seven has been solid in his matches on WWE Television but it feels like there isn’t a whole lot of direction for him as a character. If he did, he could compete with Bate for the number one contender spot. Obviously there will be more and more opportunities for all these superstars but of all the U.K. stars, Seven may be the one trending down instead of up.
- Wolfgang: I don’t know if there will be a U.K. “mid-card belt” at any point, and certainly not this soon but Wolfgang would be the man for a belt like that. He’s an exciting superstar to watch just due to his sheer size and ability to do things that one would expect out of a Mark Andrews and not a Wolfgang. Wolfgang’s victory over Joseph Conners proves that of the small roster that has been put together so far, The Last King of Scotland is the top of the second tier.
- Joseph Conners: Here’s the guy that will have the slowest build but could have also the biggest dividends paid once he peaks. Joseph Conners is hard-hitting and while the WWE have hyper-focused on his disfigured ear, much like how they had in the past with Mick Foley, Conners has layers to his character that needed to be fleshed out more than just one physical abnormality. If this division is alive and well a year or two from now, you could see Conners being the champion of that division.
- Dan Moloney: Really don’t know much about Dan Moloney other than that he has had two matches on WWE Television and done a decent job so far. There is a story that is mentioned each time about his rough upbringing, and if that sways his character as a hateful monster or as a prideful hero, then that could be the moment when the WWE Universe buys in. Until that point, there is a lot to learn about Moloney.