Former Braun Strowman, numerous other ex-WWE stars and a Brock Lesnar defeater from the UFC: A new show-fighting promotion is starting in England – and has big plans.

They call themselves “the future of sports entertainment”. They want to outdo WWE right away with their first show. And the line-up they are offering is quite impressive.

On 4 June, two weeks from Saturday, a new wrestling promotion called WES (Wrestling Entertainment Series) will make its debut.

Operating in Europe, the first show will be at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, an arena that holds 10,000 – WES is hoping to attract more fans from a standing start than WWE is said to have managed at the biggest show of its recent European tour in London.

A duel between the former Braun Strowman and a former UFC heavyweight as well as numerous other ex-WWE stars is supposed to make sure of that. The backers of the league are also familiar faces with WWE past.

Braun Strowman meets Lesnar defeater from the UFC

The main fight of the first show is a duel between former WWE Universal Champion Adam Scherr (Strowman) and British-born martial artist Alistair Overeem, who defeated Brock Lesnar among others in the UFC. The English-born Dutchman – also a former world kickboxing champion and champion of the MMA league Strikeforce – is making his wrestling debut and Scherr and he will determine the league’s first World Champion. Scherr has been infrequent in action since his unexpected WWE exit last summer, including for CYN, the league he co-founded.

Two other title matches with former WWE stars have also been announced: a women’s champion will be crowned between CJ Perry (Lana) and Lina Fanene – the former Nia Jax. So the cousin of Superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is returning to the ring after all following her WWE exit last year, after actually calling it “highly unlikely” afterwards.

A tag team title match will be contested by Wesley Blake and Steve Maclin – two-thirds of the Forgotten Sons – and Gzim Selmani and Sunny Dhinsa, the former Authors of Pain, now announced as: The Legion of Pain.

Selmani and Dhinsa are also the organisers of the event.

Former Authors of Pain get behind WES

Dutch-born Kosovo Albanian Selmani (in WWE: Rezar) and Canadian Dhinsa (Akam) were active in WWE between 2016 and 2020.

The two heavyweight homegrowns – originally accompanied by Paul Ellering, manager of the legendary Road Warriors (Legion of Doom) held the tag team tiels of the NXT and RAW squads in WWE and had their most prominent role as enforcers for Seth Rollins.

In September 2020, their injury-plagued WWE career ended with a surprise release, after which they had gone quiet.

Now they have created the new project WES, with numerous other WWE companions in addition to the also announced Ellering, partly with their first appearances afterwards. There are also matches between Killer (Karrion) Kross, Samuray del Sol (Kalisto) and Jonah (Bronson Reed), Madison Rayne and Tenille Dashwood (Emma) against Deonna Purrazzo and Chelsea Green, Dean Muhtadi (Mojo Rawley) and Lince Dorado, Mike Bennett (Kanellis) and Biff Busick (Oney Lorcan) as well as Dirty Dango (Fandango) and Levis Valenzuela Jr. (No Way Jose). Also announced as commentators are former WWE men, Jonathan Coachman and Matt Rehwold (Aiden English).

Many ex-WWE stars – and probably also a similar concept

The league, whose first show will be distributed as Pay Per View on the Fite platform, is recognisably very WWE in style, and the marketing slogan “Sports Entertainment” also points in this direction.

It is reminiscent of similarly conceived leagues of the past, such as the Italian NWE (Nu-Wrestling Evolution), which from 2005 onwards also staged various events in several European countries – and caused a stir in 2008 when it was able to sign the Ultimate Warrior, who tragically died six years later, for a last match in Barcelona, Spain.

NWE has been history since 2013; it remains to be seen how viable the concept of the new project is.