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WWE Announces NXT UK Brand

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It might be hard for wrestling fans to believe, but WWE’s developmental program NXT was once seen as a laughing stock of the company – mainly a wrestling show that mostly consisted of skits and contests with the occasional wrestling match. In recent years, it has grown to be a global phenomenon and it appears the brand’s reach is going beyond North America.

WWE announced the creation of its new NXT UK series and brand. This announcement is made in conjunction with WWE’s 2018 United Kingdom tournament, which is currently being taped and will air on June 25-26 on the WWE Network. Although it will have the letters NXT attached, this new brand will feature its own set of championships: WWE United Kingdom Championship, as well as a UK Women’s and UK Tag Team Championships.

When WWE held the first UK Championship tournament in 2017, there were rumors that a UK show would make its way to the WWE Network. During the time, the WWE’s United Kingdom title was defended sporadically by titleholders like Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne. Other UK talents, like Trent Seven, competed on WWE programming, mostly NXT.

Although fans love the trio known as British Strong Style, as well as other featured UK competitors, fans wanted something more whether it was WWE featuring the UK talent more frequently, or at least have their own show.

But while wrestlers like British Strong Style have wrestled at WWE events, they’ve also competed at several independent shows during their association with WWE.

It makes sense for WWE having a footprint in the United Kingdom. The UK wrestling scene is going strong with established promotions like Progress, Insane Championship Wrestling. Other organizations like Pro Wrestling Eve and Defiant Wrestling continue to build steam.

Hopefully NXT UK can be its own entity. While NXT brass could book UK talent for Takeover events, NXT UK should have its own spotlight and events.

That said, NXT UK performers could use the program as a springboard to NXT in the U.S. after they have built some momentum and garnered a fanbase. Likewise, NXT talent who need some time away from Florida, or want the challenge of wrestling outside of the U.S. could go to NXT UK for a spell and return.

Hopefully some talent in NXT UK have the opportunity to take their skills to Raw or Smackdown Live in the future. Most importantly, it brings more fans into UK wrestling. NXT UK could be a jumping off point that could lead fans to Pro Wrestling Eve or Progress. 

Some wrestling fans are probably worried about WWE potentially poaching wrestlers from their favorite European promotions, but WWE has cultivated relationships with Progress and ICW. If the WWE/NXT UK contracts are similar to deals that wrestlers like Dunne are under, fans won’t have to worry about seeing competitors like Toni Storm miss an important indie date.

They may not be featured on programs like Impact Wrestling or Defiant, but they will still have an opportunity to work in front of live audiences outsides of WWE.

Keep in mind, NXT UK hasn’t officially began and it’s not likely going to be a perfect product in the first few months – it took NXT awhile to find their niche.

But if the talent and the WWE brass put in the effort to make NXT UK the place to be, and if fans embrace it, we could see more quality wrestling from around the world under the WWE banner. 

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NXT 2.0 Welcoming Main Roster Superstars Tonight

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NXT 2.0

During tonight’s edition of NXT 2.0 fans can expect to see a number of main roster superstars on the show, which will air from Orlando, Florida on the USA Network.

Raw Superstars Nikki A.S.H and Doudrop will be back in NXT to battle Toxic Attraction, which was setup following Toxic Attraction’s interference that cost Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop the NXT Women’s tag team titles in their match against Katana Chance & Kayden Carter at Worlds Collide this weekend.

Nikki may be finally losing her super-hero gimmick and perhaps return to her prior character in NXT.

On tap for tonight:

  • Ricochet vs. Trick Williams
  • JD McDonagh vs. Wes Lee
  • Axiom and Nathan Frazer will kick off their Best of Three series
  • Meiko Satomura vs. Roxanne Perez

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NXT’s Adam Cole Discusses Creative Freedom

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NXT Champion Adam Cole is at the height of his success with the promotion, recently defeating Johnny Gargano in another instant classic to capture his first NXT Championship, and he is talking about how things go down in NXT.

Unlike much of the main roster, where promos are often scripted and comedy-acts are more common, Cole says that superstars in NXT get a bit more creative freedom, as he had with Gargano for their match.

“One of the coolest things about NXT is we have a ton of creative liberties to come up with the story and the vision we have for the match” Cole said, during an interview with TalkSport. “Of course, there’s input and advice given and there’s suggestions or, you know ‘we need something this way’ (but) we do have a lot of freedom, which is great.”

Cole added that he and Gargano came up with the format for their two out of three falls classic at NXT Takeover: New York.

 

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Fandango, Apollo Crews, Killain Dain Make Returns to NXT

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Apollo Crews

WWE is starting to allow superstars on their main rosters to transition back to NXT, much like they did with Tyler Breeze, who recently returned to NXT, where he had his most success, following around 2 years of meandering on the main roster following his callup.

Fandango, Apollo Crews, and Killian Dain made their returns to NXT tv at Winter Park, FL at Full Sail University for Thursday’s NXT TV tapings.

Fandango, also making his return from injury, made the save for his Breezango partner, Tyler Breeze, who was on the receiving end of an attack at the hands of the Forgotten Sons. Crews made his return to take on Kushida in singles competition, and Dain made a brutal attack on Matt Riddle following Riddle’s win over Arture Rass.

Fandango had been out of action after suffering a shoulder injury back in July 2018.

 

 

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