NXT Europe could bring back the WWE European Championship as their top belt for the promotion, but would it be a good idea? And why did they nearly bring the belt back in 2014 before pulling out at the last minute?
NXT Europe could bring back the WWE European Championship
WWE could be set to revive the WWE European Championship in a way few would have expected just a few weeks ago. With the reveal that NXT UK is shutting down and a number of British talent, like Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster, being released from the company, the NXT United Kingdom Championship will be no more.
The belt was defended by Tyler Bate at NXT World’s Collide when he faced NXT Champion Bron Breakker in a Unification Match. He lost the match, making Breakker the unified NXT Champion and making the UK title a thing of the past.
However, WWE did announce that NXT Europe will be replacing NXT UK. Reportedly due to issues caused by Brexit, they will create a new performance centre in mainland Europe and broadcast their product from all over the continent. They have also cited WALTER (Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER) as the top European talent to come from NXT UK and hope to find more success with the birth of the new organisation.
However, with the NXT UK title gone, they will need a new top championship to crown their top stars with. Here is where the WWE European Championship will likely be brought back, as a ready made title to be rebranded with a long history and some prestige behind it.
The title has been held by many greats of the past, like Shawn Michaels and Triple H and could be used to help promote the new NXT Europe Brand. WWE have previously teased bringing the title back a few years ago and could bring back the title that has been neglected since 2002.
In July 2002, Rob Van Dam unified the WWE European Championship and WWE Intercontinental Championship during a ladder match with then-champion Jeff Hardy. Once unified, he retired the European Championship and remained simply the Intercontinental Champion.
However, WWE did nearly bring the title back a few years ago but were thwarted by one poorly-timed European Championship-based social media post.
Rusev Was Set To Bring Title Back During 2014 Title Reign
The title has been left dormant since 2002 but WWE seemed intent on bringing the belt back on a number of occasions. Most recently, the belt was said to be planned to return to the main show during the famous United States Championship reign by Rusev.
The Bulgarian, who now goes by Miro in AEW, spent almost a year as the United States champion and ran down the United States on a weekly basis while bragging about Russia and Vladmir Putin (due to his Russian manager-turned wife Lana).
During his championship run, Lana posted regular photos on Instagram to do with her role on the show, with one message in particular hinting towards a return for the famed title.
In December 2014, she posted an Instagram photo with the caption #RAW. The photo in question was a blurry, seemingly quickly taken backstage, photo of the WWE European Championship. While it could have been a photo taken from a previous belt, this title had the updated WWE Logo on it (launched in 2014 to coincide with the WWE Network).
You can see the new WWE European Championship below.
The inclusion of this logo made it clear that WWE had created a new championship ready to debut. It would have been perfect, with hi pro-European and anti-American gimmick and would have landed him with even more heat with the fans who were intent on seeing Rusev lose the United States Championship.
However, WWE reportedly pulled the redesign before it was set to debut and he never came out as the WWE European Champion. It was likely due to the reveal on social media and was a punishment for Lana and Rusev. The post was quickly deleted after she revealed it on Instagram, likely due to instructions from WWE higher-ups, like Vince McMahon.
Would you like to see WWE bring back the European Championship for NXT Europe? Let us know in the comments or click below to read about the 5 star match at WWE Clash at the Castle