NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
WWE has its sights set on a larger international market in the coming year.
The NXT brand is set to grow even more come 2023 with the creation of NXT Europe. According to the company on Thursday, NXT Europe will “reimagine the brand and talent pipeline” with a renewed focus on Europe.
NXT UK, the company’s initial foray into Europe which launched in December 2016, will go on hiatus for a few months. WWE will run the premium live event Worlds Collide featuring the current crop of NXT and NXT UK superstars. Tyler Bate, the NXT UK champion, confronted NXT champion Bron Breakker at NXT Heatwave earlier this week while Gallus came out and ambushed Diamond Mine.
Shawn Michaels, the vice president of talent development creative for WWE who oversees some creative aspects of the NXT brand, told Fox News Digital he was “pretty excited” about NXT Europe.
“Given the success of NXT UK, we felt like it was time to expand beyond that,” Michaels said.
The planned launch of NXT Europe means NXT UK will go on a “brief hiatus,” Michaels said, adding the final NXT UK event will be at Worlds Collide. Michaels said the company will work with the staff and talent to launch NXT Europe “bigger and better.”
There are currently 22 male wrestlers, 12 female wrestlers and at least two on-air personalities on the NXT UK roster. Michaels divulged what will happen to the crop of talent.
“So 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,” Michaels told Fox News Digital. “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.”
NXT has been known for some incredible Takeover events across the North American brand and the UK brand. The UK brand hasn’t seen a Takeover event since January 2020 when WALTER, now known as GUNTHER, faced off against Joe Coffey for the NXT UK Championship.
More than ever, NXT Europe could get creative with where it holds future major events. Fox News Digital asked Michaels whether dream matches at the Colosseum in Rome or outside the Louvre in Paris has been thought about.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Worlds Collide is set for Sept. 4 at 4 p.m. ET on Peacock in the U.S. and the WWE Network everywhere else.