With speculation running rampant on the future of NXT UK, WWE has confirmed that the brand is not only here to stay, but that the company is planning on expanding the brand and the NXT empire. FOX, a partner of WWE, broke the news this morning after a couple days of speculation on the future of NXT UK.
NXT UK launched in 2016, as the brand has been a staple of the WWE Network and now Peacock in the United States. A rather simple show to produce, NXT UK has been a major part of WWE’s lineup of original content. The show will go on hiatus for a few month after this batch of tapings air and given a soft reset. After the World’s Collide event that airs at 4 P.M. EST on September 4th, NXT UK will transform into NXT Europe in early 2023.
Despite predominantly using some of the biggest names on the British Independent scene at the launch, such as Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate and Trent Seven, the company has already used it to branch into other avenues. For example, Aoife Valkyrie of the independent wrestling scene in Ireland has been with NXT UK since the beginning of 2020, while former NXT UK Champions Ilja Dragunov and WALTER are from Russia and Austria, respectively. Former WWE European Champion and head of NXT creative Shawn Michaels spoke with FOX News about the news.
“Some of it, like everything with the WWE and NXT, that pipeline is always fluid. It’s going to be one of those situations where we’re going to have a lot of representation going into Worlds Collide. It’s what NXT has always been and that is to be a pipeline for the WWE in support of RAW and SmackDown. That process is going to continue. We’re going to use the UK talent that we can to go into Worlds Collide and keep that representation out there for as long as we can. And as we move things over here in the process, we’ll make all those decisions in 2023 about who’s a part of NXT Europe and who continues to stay here in NXT in hopes of getting a main roster call up.”-Shawn Michaels
Michaels is referencing Gallus, Tyler Bate and Blair Davenport appearing on NXT Heatwave this past week. UK performers that have gone over to main NXT before eventually going to the main roster include Judgement Day’s Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm, current Intercontinental Champion Gunther and Butch, while former NXT UK talents such as The Grizzled Young Veteran’s, Pretty Deadly and Alba Fyre. While unlikely, it isn’t unprecedented see a talent skip NXT stateside altogether before appearing on Raw, a la Piper Niven.
The future of the talent itself is unknown, however. The dominos are falling today, with talents such as Morgan Webster and Wild Boar announcing their WWE departures. Meanwhile, Triple H has announced that they will continue recruit all across Europe.
When asked where he’d like to run shows, Shawn Michaels mentioned Germany as a place he’d like to go with the brand. “I remember all the times we went to Germany it was off the charts, just fantastic. But I don’t know. I would love to kind of go to Venice, Italy, but that’s just me,” Shawn told FOX. “But look with WWE and NXT, we just want to go and represent our brand across the world. I certainly have some favorite places I would like to go. Look, I think Paris, France would be pretty cool.”
Bodyslam will continue to keep you updated on all things BritWrestling, including our Tea and Tights podcast with Dan and Andy on Bodyslam’s YouTube Channel.