5 Potential Surprises For WWE’s Cardiff PPV

WWE comes to Cardiff's Principality Stadium Clash at the Castle

The confirmation of WWE’s first major stadium event in the United Kingdom in over three decades has been met with widespread approval from fans, with a record-shattering number of WWE Universe members already signed up for the ticket pre-sale. Due to take place on Saturday, 3 September from Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, the yet-to-named event is expected to do exponentially well for WWE.

Although WWE previously held regular United Kingdom pay-per-views under the Insurrextion and Rebellion banners, alongside standalone events such as One Night Only and No Mercy, their impending journey to Cardiff will mark the company’s first major stadium show in the nation since the 1992 SummerSlam pay-per-view. Emanating from the historic Wembley Stadium, this famously saw The British Bulldog capture the Intercontinental Championship from Bret Hart in the evening’s main event.

WWE likely won’t be able to recreate the majesty of something quite as spectacular as this; the only thing on its level would be the first British-born WWE Champion being crowned, but that was already ticked off the bucket list two years as Drew McIntyre dethroned Brock Lesnar. WWE can still make the 3 September event a night to remember, however, with a stacked card and a vast array of surprises.

How, exactly, can they achieve the latter, though?

Tyson Fury Wrestles Drew McIntyre

Tyson Fury Drew McIntyre

If – and only if – he’s free to do so, there’s no way WWE will pass up the opportunity to have Tyson Fury involved at their Cardiff premium live event. ‘The Gypsy King’ recently successfully defended his WBC Heavyweight Championship against Dillian Whyte, but he’s now announced his retirement from the boxing ring; in theory, he should be free on 3 September. A match against Drew McIntyre, unquestionably one of WWE’s biggest British stars ever, would be the ideal scenario here.

In a post-fight press conference, Fury told GiveMeSport’s Tom Ward that he’d love to be back in Cardiff for a top fight:

“Don’t rule me out of fighting there! You might see me at SummerSlam. I got to speak to Vince [McMahon] and the boys! I know Drew McIntyre has been saying a lot of things about me! I’d love to be at Cardiff!”

If he’s to return to WWE, then facing a former two-time WWE Champion who carried the company through one of its most tumultuous time periods is certainly a great place to start. McIntyre’s hard-hitting and imposing aura already makes him the perfect opponent for the Mancunian.

Fury last appeared for WWE on the 8 November 2019 broadcast of SmackDown. There, he suggested the formation of a tag team with the now-released Braun Strowman, who he had defeated via count-out at the Crown Jewel pay-per-view the week prior. Regardless of if he steps into the squared circle, an appearance at the very least should be expected from Fury in Cardiff.

Tegan Nox Returns

Tegan Nox

Nixon Newell, the former Tegan Nox, was released from her WWE contract on 18 November, ending her four-year stint with the company. ‘The Girl With The Shiniest Wizard’ signed with Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment empire in April 2017, though she tore her ACL before her scheduled participation in the inaugural Mae Young Classic that summer. This began the injury-based downward spiral of Nox’s tenure in the promotion.

She was far from a huge deal in the confines of WWE, bar her NXT pairing and subsequent rivalry with Dakota Kai, but the possibility of a return to the WWE in front of her home country could be something too good to pass up on. She’s listed as hailing from Bargoed, Wales, which is a roughly thirty-minute drive to Cardiff, making a return not only possible, but a must-have. British wrestling crowds have a reputation for being rowdy from bell to bell, so they’d welcome her back with open arms.

With regards to how, exactly, she returns, that depends on the scenario. If it is just a one night return to Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment giant, then she should be allowed to use her Nixon Newell moniker and be presented as a huge deal against whoever she may face.

Major NXT UK Integration

Ilja Dragunov NXT United Kingdom Champion

This seems obvious. WWE has an established brand in the United Kingdom, so why wouldn’t they utilise this in some capacity on their first major UK stadium event since 1992? Similar to the Tegan Nox/Nixon Newell situation, the question is how WWE pulls this off as successfully as they can for the Cardiff faithful.

The obvious choice would be to have the NXT United Kingdom Championship, currently held by Ilja Dragunov, be defended in Cardiff. Furthermore, WWE has a number of Welsh talent signed to the brand, including Eddie Dennis, and Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster of the SUBCULTURE trio. Andrews and Webster wrestled The Viking Raiders on a November 2019 Raw episode, so they’ve got the experience required, to an extent, for this sort of show.

Then, of course, there’s the unlikely possibility of an NXT UK Superstar competing for a main roster championship in a featured match. Dragunov wouldn’t look out of place in this situation, but he’s about the only plausible option. A defence of his NXT United Kingdom Championship is your best bet here.

A Top British Indie Star Signs With WWE

Cara Noir PROGRESS World Champion

It used to be a stable of NXT TakeOver events for a top independent talent to appear in the crowd as they were announced as having officially signed with WWE. This is how the likes of Keith Lee, Riddle, and Drew McIntyre were all introduced to WWE fans, and now it’s time WWE does the same for a top British independent name in Cardiff.

Once more, the question remains who, exactly, this is. Perhaps the most notable choice would be Cara Noir. ‘The Black Swan’ is a former PROGRESS World Champion and ATTACK! Champion, and is arguably the most popular name in British wrestling right now through his work as the top guy of PROGRESS. Given his character and legitimate background in dance, ballet, and MMA, he’d be a perfect fit for WWE, so long as they booked him correctly.

WWE’s United Kingdom brand could benefit profusely from his addition. Aside from the likes of Ilja Dragunov and Sha Samuels, there’s no real charisma machine on the brand’s roster. Changing that fact would hardly be a bad thing for WWE, and would perhaps even reinvigorate interest in the brand.

PROGRESS World Championship Is Defended

WWE wants to make their Cardiff show as big as possible for their United Kingdom fanbase, so what better way to achieve this than to have the PROGRESS World Championship defended? PROGRESS, through its major but required changes over the past two years, remains the biggest and most popular promotion in the nation, and crucially, has a working relationship with WWE.

Right now, the only thing preventing WWE from pulling this off is that the current champion, Jonathan Gresham, is rumoured to be signed with All Elite Wrestling. There’s no way WWE would even consider putting the championship on the card while it’s held by ‘The Octopus’, particularly considering they didn’t allow a match involving AEW’s Anthony Ogogo from a January 2022 PROGRESS card to go on the WWE Network alongside the rest of the event.

Should Gresham drop the title by August at the absolute latest, then it’s a real, genuine possibility that the PROGRESS World Championship will make it into Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

Read everything you need to know so far about WWE’s Cardiff premium live event.