NXT UK vs. WoS: Which Brand Has The Better Roster?

The battle lines have been drawn…NXT UK and the WoS (World of Sport) rosters have been revealed in some form or fashion and now the new ‘war’ for supremacy on the British Isles has begun.

NXT UK

The long touted NXT UK brand was FINALLY announced as part of the Royal Albert Hall shows back in June with British wrestling legend Johnny Saint at the helm as the General Manager. WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne will be the focal point of the show which is being taped sporadically throughout the year (for the Network but potentially television if a deal can be reached), new Tag Team and Women’s Championships will also be created.

So, here’s the NXT UK roster as we currently understand it:

NXT UK Roster

  • Mark Andrews
  • Travis Banks
  • Tyler Bate
  • Joe Coffey
  • Mark Coffey
  • Joseph Conners
  • Noam Dar
  • Eddie Dennis
  • Jordan Devlin
  • Pete Dunne
  • Jack Gallagher
  • Sam Gradwell
  • Saxon Huxley
  • Amir Jordan
  • El Ligero
  • Dave Mastiff
  • Trent Seven
  • Ashton Smith
  • Tyson T-Bone
  • Flash Morgan Webster
  • Wild Boar
  • Kenny Williams
  • Wolfgang
  • Isla Dawn
  • Jinny
  • Killer Kelly
  • Charlie Morgan
  • Nina Samuels
  • Toni Storm
  • Zack Gibson
  • James Drake

World of Sport

The story behind the second reboot of WoS has been quite an unstable one. With the initial show airing way back on New Year’s Eve there was a huge opportunity for the programme to capture a whole new audience in the mainstream…unfortunately that did not come to fruition and a co-branding deal with IMPACT/Global Force Wrestling and Jeff Jarrett certainly did nothing for the brand.

Fast forward to earlier this year and WoS held television tapings for a new 10 part series that will be airing later this month. With a huge proportion of UK based stars having signed with WWE’s UK division there was certainly skepticism as to who WoS could even bring in. With former WWE Superstar Wade Barrett/Stu Bennett installed as the ‘Executive’ for the show and essentially the ‘General Manager’ they have a recognisable face for fans in the UK and here is the roster that they have amassed:

WoS Roster

  • Will Ospreay
  • Davey Boy Jr
  • Grado
  • Moose
  • Primate
  • Joe Hendry
  • Martin Kirby
  • Iestyn Rees
  • Viper
  • Kay Lee Ray
  • Bea Priestley
  • Sha Samuels
  • Doug Williams
  • Rampage Brown
  • Lionheart
  • Nathan Cruz
  • Kip Sabian
  • Robbie X
  • Adam Maxted
  • Gabriel Kidd
  • CJ Banks
  • Liam Slater

NXT UK vs. World of Sport

Deciding which roster is ‘better’ is of course subjective. Even the idea that WWE and World of Sport/ITV are ‘at war’ is speculative at best but with the way that NXT UK seemingly ‘snapped up’ UK stars to contracts was certainly telling. Looking purely at the starpower on offer you have to give it to NXT UK, the likes of Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, Tyler Bate, Jack Gallagher and Zack Gibson are now well established to the WWE audience and Dunne in particular is seemingly being groomed for a huge run on the main roster when WWE deems him fit.

WoS however is not slouching when it comes to in ring talent, with Will Ospreay leading the charge but huge underrated stars such as Nathan Cruz (PROGRESS’ first ever Champion), Kip Sabian and Martin Kirby having charisma and in ring guile that should translate well to a mainstream audience.

Another area where NXT UK appears to have the edge is in their Women’s Division. Viper, Kay Lee Ray and Bea Priestley are indeed three of the best in ring female performers on the planet but when you line them up against the likes of Isla Dawn, Jinny, Killer Kelly, Charlie Morgan, Nina Samuels and Toni Storm it just doesn’t stack up and WoS are found wanting…IF ONLY we could get all of these stars on one programme.*

Something else to factor in is the fact that WoS will only be running for 10 episodes initially, so do they really need a completely ‘stacked’ roster right now? Granted they DO have an incredibly talented pool of performers but in terms of numbers WWE again does have the edge…but seeing the likes of Ospreay light up mainstream British television is an extremely exciting prospect.

What do you think of the two rosters and who do you think has the edge heading into the summer? Let us know in the comments.

Side Note: The Pro Wrestling: EVE promotion can be very proud of the work they’ve accomplished on the UK scene when looking at these Women’s division stars, most if not all have been featured on an EVE card in the past few years and it has given Women’s wrestling a massive platform in the UK.