Blackpool was today basking in the glow of global TV exposure after the WWE wrestling extravaganza was held in one of the resort’s iconic arenas.
Wrestling fans flocked in their thousands to Blackpool as WWE crowned its first ever ‘United Kingdom Champion; over the weekend.
The WWE knockout-style tournament saw wrestlers travel from every corner of the UK to duke it out at the famous Empress Ballroom in a bid to be crowned number one.
Thousands of fans packed into the historic venue, while millions more watched around the world on television.
Pakistan’s heavyweight wrestling champion Shak Khan, who lives in South Shore and learned to fight at the Blackpool Tower, said: “It’s great for the community and really brings the different generations together. Blackpool has a very rich wrestling history. All the wrestlers you can think of who used to be on TV on a Saturday night would come to Blackpool some time in their careers, and they would wrestle at the Tower and the Pleasure Beach.
“It’s fantastic to have wrestling back in Blackpool.
“It’s a sport that’s popular all over the world and it puts Blackpool on the map.
“We’re a showbusiness town, and this just goes to show that showbusiness is alive and well in Blackpool.”
A Winter Gardens spokesman said: “The WWE UK Championship was a huge success and showed the Empress Ballroom at its finest to a global audience via the WWE network.
“The impact to Blackpool and wider area from these events cannot be underestimated, bringing valuable footfall out of season but more so advertising Blackpool to a new international audience.
“We hope to bring people more events like this in the future.”