For fans of NXT UK, the name Xia Brookside will be one well known to fans. Especially her last name, taken from her father, a legendary British wrestler. She is a future NXT UK Women’s Champion in WWE, and is one of the fastest rising women’s stars in NXT. She has only had a handful of matches since signing for WWE in 2018, with her career derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With NXT UK set to be back on front of live crowds soon, she will surely be a featured star on the brand. She is certainly one of the top second-generation prospects in WWE at the moment.
So who is Xia Brookside? The daughter of a famous British grappler, Robbie Brookside, and the future of NXT UK.
Who is Xia Brookside
Training and early matches
Xia Brookside was born in Leicester in the United Kingdom. She grew up in Leicester, in the Beaumont Keys area. This is despite her father being Robbie Brookside, the famous British wrestler from Liverpool.
Due to her upbringing in Leicester, she is fan of Leicester City. She congratulated the Foxes after their FA Cup Final victory last season. She has not followed in the footsteps of her father and supported Everton, the Liverpool-based side.
(Edit – Xia Brookside on twitter confirmed she was an Everton fan, not a Leicester fan as research suggested. She also confirmed she was not trained by father, Robbie Brookside)
Xia Brookside was trained by Daz Walsh and Dean Allmark. She began her training in 2014, at the age of just 15. Within just a year she was ready to make debut, wrestling for All Star Wrestler. The match took place in Devon, in the Devon Cliffs Holiday Camp, and she teamed with independent wrestling star El Ligero in a mixed tag-team match.
Wrestling in Britain has historically been a fixture at these types of camps, such as Butlins. Bryan Danielson, former WWE Champion, has said in his book that wrestling in Butlin’s was his favourite part of his career.
Whenever I go back (to England), I always get this secret longing in my heart for the days gone by when everything was a little more innocent for me. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in wrestlingDaniel Bryan on his time wrestling for “All Star Wrestling” in Butlins
Before WWE, Xia Brookside performed on the independent scene for three years. She wrestled 130 times before her debut in the Mae Young Classic, wrestling for many promotions inside and outside of the UK.
She wrestled for famous Japanese women’s promotion Stardom multiple times. Stardom is the top women-only promotion in the world, where only the best and brightest can compete. To wrestle for such a prestigious organisation while still barely 21 years old showed that she had immense promise.
Xia Brookside also won championship gold during her times in the indies. She became IPW Women’s Champion, defeating Livii Grace for the championship at APEX pro wrestling in December 2017, aged just 18.
Mae Young Classic
On July 30 2018, WWE announced the competitors for the Mae Young classic. It was the second iteration of the tournament, with the inaugural edition won by Japanese star Kairi Sane.
The first edition took place on NXT, and featured stars from around the world. However, the second took place exclusively on NXT UK, used to bolster the disappointing NXT UK women’s roster.
Sadly, her run in the tournament was a short one. Fans were still left asking “who is Xia Brookside” as she lost in the first round to Io Shirai. Shirai would go on to the finals of the tournament, losing to Toni Storm in the finals at the all-female WWE pay-per-view, WWE Evolution.
Just three weeks after he loss to Io Shirai, Xia Brookside made her NXT UK debut. She made her debut in the tournament to crown the first ever NXT UK Women’s Championship.
However, once again she fell at the first hurdle. Brookside lost to Rhea Ripley, who would go on to the win the tournament and become the first ever NXT UK Women’s champion. For the second time, she would lose to the eventual champion. This surely meant that the people backstage had faith in her, having her wrestle the stars they had immediate plans for.
Her biggest match so far in NXT UK was against Kay Lee Ray. She faced the former NXT UK Women’s champion in a singles match, fighting valiantly before losing the bout. She also engaged in a feud with Nina Samuels. The pair traded victories in singles and tag matches, before Xia Brookside won the final bout between the two.
She has not yet come close to winning the NXT UK Women’s championship, but fear not. At ages just 22, she has more than enough time to hone her craft and challenge for the championship again.
There are a host of second generation wrestlers making their way through the NXT system at the moment.
William Regal’s Son Charlie Dempsey is a new addition to NXT UK, with a refreshing style that throws back to British wrestling legends like his father.
In NXT US, Bron Breakker is the newest big star. The son of Rick Steiner and nephew of Scott Steiner, Bron has been earmarked as a future world champion, and will challenge for the NXT Championship in the coming weeks.