Former NXT Women's Champion Bayley is excited for the brand to bring its enthralling action to the UK and Ireland in June, having been taken aback by the support shown back in December when NXT came to town in December.
In the first UK tour for the red-hot brand, Bayley was in the midst of a game-changing NXT Women's Championship and received a series of raucous ovations in the her matches on the UK loop. All good things come to an end and Bayley lost the coveted prize mere days before Wrestlemania, succumbing to a loss at the hands of dominant Japanese wrestler Asuka at NXT Takeover: Dallas
The 26-year old is desperate to get her rematch and reclaim the belt, but is unsure as to whether that will happen on the UK tour - though NXT live events have a tendency to produce the unpredictable.
Speaking to theSPORTbible, she said:
theSPORTbible were in attendance for NXT's live event in Blackpool on December 13, which featured a host of wild chants for those in the ring. Undoubtedly the craziest chorus was the 15 minute chant for exciting tag team Chad Gable and Jason Jordan - to the tune of 2 Unlimited's hit "No Limit". The duo have since exploded into life and captured the NXT Tag Team Titles at NXT Takeover: Dallas in April.
The UK faithful have a knack for creating a unique atmosphere and really getting behind the superstars whose talents they appreciate. Bayley shared her thoughts on who she thinks the crowds will invest in when the upcoming tour in June comes around.
"I think Tye Dillinger, I'm pretty sure the crowds will go insane for [him] because everyone we've been travelling inside the US and everywhere they go crazy for him and I remember even in the UK in December they loved him. I'm assuming [Shinsuke] Nakamura, they will go pretty insane for."
This year's tour is extra special with the added bonus that UK fans will be treated to performances from a couple of British stars. Recently signed Scottish wrestler Nikki Storm will be making her first appearances for NXT and will be joined by former goalkeeper turned grappler Hugo Knox, who is already being tipped for a bright future due to his impressive physical qualities and cross-over appeal.
Fan favourite Bayley admitted she will be paying close attention to see how the Brit duo fare on home soil.
"I'm really curious because I tell people all the time when I'm doing interviews that there's so many people in NXT that are here working at the performance center and all around the Florida shows that nobody gets to see yet because they are not on NXT TV or they have one match here and there, so they don't really know them and don't appreciate their abilities. Hugo Knox is one of them, he's been here for maybe almost two years or something, he's been working really hard and he has a cool charisma about him that we only get to see on the Florida shows. I'm really excited to be able to see him go home, I'm sure he'll have friends and family there and when you see a home crowd person it always kind of gets the crowd more excited. I think Nikki Storm also, she said she'll be about three hours away from home so it's going to be really cool to see."
NXT have their eagerly anticipated Takeover event prior to this year's UK tour, whereas the last tour finished with a live finale special emanating from the SSE Arena in London. Given the success of London's event, Bayley is surprised that there isn't a live special event this time around, but that doesn't take any excitement away from it.
"I know we have one in June but I wish we had one over there [in the UK]. I don't know how hard it is to do or how much money goes into it and all this stuff, I'm just selfish and like "Man, why don't we just do it there?!" but I'm just excited to be there for a whole week again."
Words by Josh Lawless
NXT will be heading to the UK & Ireland this June on the following dates:
· Friday, June 10 - Sunday June 12 - Download Festival, Donington Park, Derby
· Monday, June 13, 7.30pm - SSE Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland
· Tuesday, June 14, 7.30pm - 3Arena, Dublin, Ireland
· Wednesday, June 15, 7.30pm - Echo Arena, Liverpool
· Thursday, June 16, 7.30pm - Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth
· Friday, June 17, 7.30pm - Plymouth Pavilion, Plymouth
Tickets are available via LIVENATION.CO.UK
NXT is available every Wednesday night live on the WWE Network
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