If you walk by the O2 this weekend and wonder why it’s got no roof, that’s because WWE has blown it off.


The sports entertainment powerhouse is about to bring one of its tentpole events, Money in the Bank, to British shores, and fans could hardly be more excited.

For the first time ever, the biggest names in the industry will climb ladders to grab briefcases outside of the USA.

This is just the latest - and potentially greatest - trip to Great Britain for World Wrestling Entertainment, whose long-standing relationship with UK fans has been blossoming in recent years.

The company has been nipping over to London, Manchester and further afield since 1989, capitalising on the energy, passion and dedication of fans who don’t get to see their idols quite so often.

This list runs down the most-attended British WWE events pre-MitB and, thankfully, those numbers match up nicely with the event’s historical importance.

RadioTimes.com brings you our round-up of the biggest WWE shows in UK history.

5. Smackdown Live Event

  • 19 June 2005
  • Attendance: 17,500

Yes, this was just a regular second show live outing, but there was nothing regular about the show’s content. The WWE ferries superstars to the UK for non-televised events on a near-yearly basis, but these shows rarely feature two matches as exceptional as those seen on this show.

Attendees to the MEN Arena on that balmy Sunday evening were treated to iconic figures Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero doing what they do best, before a stacked main event brought the curtain down.

The light wind whistling through Manchester would have done nothing to calm any fever pitch in the crowd as WWE Champion John Cena defended his title against Olympic gold medallist Kurt Angle and long-time rival John Bradshaw Layfield - all with the Texas Rattlesnake, Stone Cold Steve Austin, serving as special guest referee. That place must’ve been seriously sweaty.

4. No Mercy

  • 16 May 1999
  • Attendance: 18,407

Let’s not confuse this UK-exclusive No Mercy with the pay-per-view they held in Ohio just a couple of months later. This was the inaugural outing of the No Mercy show, one that would get twelve more outings, all in the US of A.

This WWF (I said it) event was crammed full of generational talent. Again, it was Manchester and the MEN Arena who alone were treated to the likes of Mankind, Kane and Edge in the ring. Plus, everyone who bought it on Sky. And everyone who watched the DVD.

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As WWE is oft to do, the night ended with a WrestleMania-worthy triple threat for the WWE Championship. This time, champion Stone Cold was challenged by then-future-Hall-of-Famers Triple H and The Undertaker. Whatever the circumstances, any who got to witness those three in the ring can count themselves extremely fortunate.

3. Mayhem in Manchester

  • 4 April 1998
  • Attendance: 18,514

Maybe Vince is a closet United fan, because we’re starting three for three in Manchester. The biggest city in England’s north was home to another UK-exclusive PPV as the company toured on the back of WrestleMania XIV.

It was another event which followed a house show format - no titles changed hands - but that doesn’t mean it lacked excitement. Attendees and VHS purchasers were treated to the team of Ken Shamrock and Owen Hart beating Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and D-Lo Brown, while the biggest hitters of the time turned up too.

Mayhem in Manchester, like No Mercy the following year, would see Triple H challenge for Stone Cold’s top title, while the last match of the evening would be between the future Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, and Michelle McCool’s husband. Also known as Kane vs The Undertaker.

2. Clash at the Castle

  • 3 September 2022
  • Attendance: 62,296

Post-pandemic, WWE made something a little magic for the UK. Drew McIntrye had been That Guy for the company during the pandemic era, holding the WWE Championship for much of the disrupted year between WrestleMania 36 and 37. Without fans in the arena during much of this period, Drew never really got his crowning championship moment.

Soon after WrestleMania 38, WWE came back to the UK - rocking up to Cardiff, Wales - where the super Scot got a hero's reception. McIntyre and Irish veteran Sheamus were as raucously cheered as ever before, both fighting for titles the British corner of the WWE Universe thought they deserved.

It was WWE’s first major stadium show in the UK for thirty years and its success directly led to Money in the Bank flying over to the UK in 2023.

1. SummerSlam

  • 29 August 1992
  • Attendance: 78,927

It’s the event UK fans have never been able to let go of. WWE’s decision to bring its second-largest show to the British Isles was a huge moment for wrestling fans this side of the Atlantic.

It was the first major pay-per-view to take place outside of North America and it rocked Wembley like never before. Though the actual attendance is disputed, the event was certainly the biggest non-WrestleMania event, and ranks in the top ten most-attended WWE events of all time.

The three-hour spectacular was dominated by two matches. After seeing big stars like The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels in midcard matches, the ‘Biggest Party of the Summer’ gave fans a WWF Championship match between the Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage. It was the event’s final match – and true main event – that was the history maker, though.

Real-life brothers-in-law Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and the British Bulldog, Davey Boy Smith, battled over the Intercontinental Championship to close the show. The crowd was electric and exploded for the finale, which culminated in circumstances wrestling fans will never forget.

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