There was a time when William Regal was the only well-known name from the United Kingdom. With the launch of Revolution Pro Wrestling (RevPro), Progress Wrestling, and Insane Championship Wrestling (IWC), however, we’ve seen an influx of talents from England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) capitalized on the growing popularity of British wrestling when they launched NXT UK. Now there are more British wrestlers in WWE than ever before. In fact, one could argue there are as many British wrestlers as there are Canadians on the WWE roster today.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the 10 best active British WWE wrestlers.
10 Jack Gallagher
Easily one of the most underrated wrestlers on the main roster today, Manchester-born Gentleman Jack Gallagher has had top-class matches with Neville and Akira Tozawa on 205 Live. In fact, Triple H and co., upon noticing his popularity, have had him perform for the NXT UK brand every now and then.
While he’s nowhere as good as the wrestlers we’ll see further down in this list, he makes up for it with his excellent character work. Those who’ve followed his 205 Live career have put him in the same bracket as some of the best characters in WWE today.
9 Noam Dar
Here’s yet another 205 Live talent! The Israel-born Scottish wrestler already has 11 years’ experience under his belt despite being only 25 years old. Signing for WWE at the tender age of 22, he has gone on to achieve mainstream success in addition to gaining the admiration of the educated fans and critics.
In his injury-ridden WWE career thus far, he hasn’t only had brilliant matches with TJP, Tony Nese, and Zack Sabre Jr., for he’s also found himself involved in WWE-esque storylines with Alicia Fox in a romantic angle and Enzo Amore in a mini-faction war. An NXT UK mainstay, he’ll go on to have a solid career if he avoids big injuries.
8 Killian Dain
Killian Damo, before moving to WWE, ran rampant in the British indie scene as Big Damo. The Belfast-born brawler, despite only winning the ICW Heavyweight Championship once in his 11-year career prior to joining WWE, had a dream start to his NXT career. With veteran Eric Young as the leader, he became a part of SAnitY.
The stable’s terrorizing the NXT roster led the fans to believe he’ll become the breakout star from the stable. Their main-roster run was uninspiring but, if the rumors of his returning to NXT are true, he’ll get a chance to salvage his WWE career.
7 Nikki Cross
Here’s yet another – and the only female – member of SAnitY! Many asserted that SAnitY’s leaving Scotland-born Nikki Cross behind in NXT before moving to the main roster was the biggest reason behind their failure.
With Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, and Killian Dain nowhere to be seen, however, she’s made a name for herself on the main roster as Alexa Bliss’ best friend. It’s only a matter of time before she snaps to become the monster she was before moving to the main roster. One of the best character wrestlers in wrestling today, she’s our seventh-best British WWE wrestler.
6 Zack Gibson
Few wrestlers get actual heel heat these days. Baron Corbin, Brock Lesnar, Alexa Bliss, and Charlotte Flair all only get a new form of heel heat, with the fans favoring the work of their more familiar peers. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Drew McIntyre – heels, in theory – are cheered on by the fans oft-times.
Zack Gibson, however, has proved an anomaly. In an era when Internet fans refuse to be worked, the Liverpool wrestler has managed to make them suspend disbelief and actually boo him. His promos alone make him a top-tier wrestler in world wrestling today.
5 Mark Andrews
Mark Andrews hasn’t had as much kayfabe success as he deserves. Although the Welshman has won the Progress World Championship, he has had little success in WWE, only putting over Drew Gulak, Buddy Murphy, and British Strong Style.
He's been within inches of winning the NXT UK Championship and Cruiserweight Championship but has come up short against the aforementioned names. However, he’s proven he’s capable of putting on four-star matches consistently. He belongs to the rare breed of wrestlers whose status remains unaltered despite eating the pin in decisive matches.
4 Piper Niven
Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm have made the NXT UK women’s division their own. One wrestler who’s managed to win over the fans despite not holding the NXT UK Women’s Championship is Piper Niven. The Scot, a former World of Sport Women’s Champion, announced herself when she reached the quarterfinals of the Mae Young Classic in 2017.
At a tender age of 28, she’s already earned critical acclaim. It’s only a matter of time before the main-roster producers take notice of her talent and fill the Beth Phoenix-shaped void that’s been unfilled for many years now.
3 Kay Lee Ray
Kay Lee Ray hasn’t done anything of note in WWE as of yet, given that she only signed earlier this year. Outside WWE, though, she’s wrestled for most major promotions, including Impact Wrestling and ICW. In fact, she’s the reigning ICW Women’s Champion in her third reign.
The Scottish wrestler has proven the British women wrestlers deserve as much attention as their male counterparts, putting on brilliant displays with Piper Niven, who was frequently known as Viper, and All Elite Wrestling’s Bea Priestly. Given she’s only 26, one expects her to have main-WWE roster success as well.
2 Drew McIntyre
WWE tossed Drew McIntyre out after putting him in a stable with perennial jobbers Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater. Most wrestlers would have disappeared off the face of the earth after being treated like that, but the Scotsman reinvented himself on the independent circuit. He toured the world, performing in Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, America, and Mexico.
He thus became The Scottish Psychopath, winning multiple championships with Impact Wrestling, Evolve, and ICW before promising to become the first British WWE Champion. Naturally, WWE came calling and he’s now become one of the biggest heels in the company today.
1 British Strong Style
Trent Seven and former NXT UK Champions Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne obviously deserve individual entries. However, in such a scenario, they’d dominate the list. To ensure others find their places, we've put the trio atop the list.
Although WWE hasn’t pulled the trigger on the trio yet, Triple H and co. must know they’re money. They don’t have cartoonish characters and aren’t as big as the archetypal WWE wrestler but, despite that, they’ve managed to be over with the casual fan base. If WWE plans on introducing stable wars, we know who would come out on top.