NXT Europe & The Future of European Wrestling

Years ago, Paul Levesque showed the world his plan of the global expansion of the NXT brand around the world. His first target of his plan was the UK and by extent Europe. NXT’s global expansion was mechanism for WWE to sign all the best European talents available, as well as Australian wrestlers that had regular bookings in the UK and have a stranglehold on the scene. WWE succeeded on their hold, but it also had a negative effect on the scene and decimated it completely these last few years.

Paul Levesque and WWE have decided to once again relaunch their global expansion and their first target is what’s left of the European scene they helped basically destroy. European wrestling has not recovered from the effects of NXT UK but promising signs were starting to show around Spain, Germany and other European scenes these last few years.

Some people think this is good news for independent wrestlers across Europe but the reality is the well documented fact that most wrestlers and refs weren’t paid that great in NXT UK and there’s no doubts that won’t change with NXT Europe and keep costs of production as low as possible.

The “end” of NXT Uk has been written on the wall for a very long time. The clues were obvious when promising wrestlers like WALTER (Gunther), A-Kid (Axiom), Pete Dunne (Butch) and a few others relocated to the U.S. and started working for NXT or the main roster. NXT Europe will try to sign any free agent and wrestlers with potential left in the European scene to diversify the roster from the very centric UK roster NXT UK has.

The future of wrestling in Europe has a big cloud over it because of the announcement of NXT Europe. It’s worth remembering that during the first year of NXT UK, several promotions in the UK closed their doors due to NXT UK and now with NXT Europe this could happen across Europe. As mentioned before, wrestling in Europe is in a delicate state because of NXT UK and the COVID pandemic.

In terms of product, NXT Europe will not change much from what NXT UK is. The only major change is the fact that there will be more wrestlers from the rest of Europe. When the right time comes, these wrestlers will leave NXT Europe and jump to NXT. This will create a massive whole in NXT Europe like we saw in NXT UK.

The next phase of the plan would probably be set NXT subsidiaries in Mexico/Latam or Japan/Asian markets. Those two are the most likely markets to get an NXT subsidiary in the next 2 to 4 years. This would be a major challenge for WWE because there already strong and established promotions there and have strong wrestling cultures in both Mexico and Japan.

Fans are the ones to talk on cases like this. The best course of action would be to support the local scenes and keep the scenes alive and healthier. It all depends on the fans, but promoters have to work hard too, they need to deliver and show the fans they care about the scene and do the right things from booking show without problematic wrestlers and improve upon criticism.