WWE’s NXT UK brand has been on TV for almost three months now, and their first live event, NXT UK TakeOver Blackpool, happens tomorrow, Saturday January 12. That makes it the perfect time for the grand opening of WWE’s UK Performance Center, the company’s second fully equipped training facility and the first one outside the U.S. Like the first Performance Center in Orlando Florida, the new PC in London will provide signees with all the skills they need to become WWE Superstars, offer medical care and physical therapy, and serve as the home base for its local NXT brand.
British Strong Style — aka Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, and NXT UK Champion Pete Dunne — announced the opening to UK audiences on Good Morning Britain:
WWE then held a press conference in London today to officially announce the opening, which was then posted on WWE.com. After an introduction by NXT UK backstage interviewer Radzi, Triple H took to the ring and promised that this is merely the first of many international Performance Centers that WWE plans to build around the world.
It’s about going the world over and finding the greatest athletes and the greatest performers in any market we can. It’s an incredible undertaking, looking for the greatest athletes from around the world, bringing them to places like this that will be set up around the world to train that next generation of Superstars.
Finn Bálor and Pete Dunne both spoke as well, expressing their pride in this moment as WWE Superstars who got their start wrestling in the UK. Charlotte Flair also gave a speech, in which she discussed being a part of the first class to train at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, and how far it’s enabled her to come. The end of her speech dipped into kayfabe, as she teased at possible future matches:
Embrace every opportunity with everything you have, because I promise you there is everything in this facility to become a WWE Superstar: to main event Raw, to main event Smackdown, to main event WrestleMania. WWE sets the global standard for talent and training development, and now that world class standard is right here in the UK. I’m excited to see the results, and rest assured I’ll be looking over my shoulder. Rhea, Isla, and Toni, you’ve been warned.
After Charlotte’s last line, you can see Rhea in the background grinning and Isla blinking in flattered surprise at the mention.
Whatever else this may mean for British wrestling, it certainly establishes NXT UK as a permanent ongoing brand, with the potential to become as much-watch as the main NXT brand. And if it opens the door to Charlotte Flair versus Toni Storm down the road, I don’t think anyone will object.