WWE will host their first UK stadium show in 30 years this summer, with the American sports entertainment giants taking over the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Saturday 3rd September has swiftly found its way into the diary of every wrestling fan in the UK, such is the anticipation for this colossal show. Should WWE fill the 74,500-seater facility, it will be their third-biggest attendance of the year after the two nights of WrestleMania earlier this month.
WWE last graced a stadium on these shores in 1992, when the then-WWF hosted SummerSlam at the old Wembley Stadium. A classic event in the history of the promotion, that show was headlined by the British Bulldog’s Intercontinental Championship victory over Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart. Domestic fans have hungered for a spectacle on that scale ever since, and finally their prayers have been answered.
The company usually tours the nation’s arenas twice a year, staging Raw and SmackDown television tapings in major cities along the way. But the implication here is that the Cardiff show will be a pay-per-view, or “Premium Live Event” as WWE has recently rebranded their biggest shows. While the late-90s and early-2000s saw the wrestling conglomerate stage UK-exclusive PPVs on these shores for broadcast on Sky Box Office, this will be just the second mainstream big event to take place anywhere in Europe.
While no names have yet been announced, you can expect WWE to stack the card high with top talent to try and sell-out the Principality Stadium. Superstars such as Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Scottish main-eventer Drew McIntyre, recent signee Cody Rhodes and UFC pioneer Ronda Rousey are all likely to appear. WWE may even push the boat out further, with the likes of Brock Lesnar a possible inclusion to help draw eyeballs to the stadium extravaganza.
The show will provide an exhilarating platform for WWE’s British contingent, which thanks to the introduction of NXT:UK in 2018 is stronger than ever. Alongside former WWE Champion McIntyre, the likes of SmackDown’s Butch, the Moustache Mountain combination of Tyler Bate and Trent Seven and Heritage Cup holder Noam Dar could all be targeting the September super-show. In 1992, British Bulldog was the sole UK representative at Wembley. This time, a whole host of superstars could follow in his wake, as British wrestling has never been more prominent.
Tickets are not yet on sale for this blockbuster event, but fans can register interest ahead of the pre-sale here. As WWE prepares to host its biggest UK show in 30 years, it will be fascinating to see the card come together over the coming weeks and months. If the event is anything like the iconic SummerSlam 1992, British wrestling fans are in for an incredible treat.