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WWE has its sights set on a larger international market in the coming year.
The NXT brand will grow even further in 2023 with the establishment of NXT Europe. According to the company, NXT Europe will “reshape the brand and talent pipeline” on Thursday with a renewed focus on Europe.
NXT UK, the company’s first foray into Europe launched in December 2016, will be on hiatus for a few months. WWE will host the Worlds Collide premium live event featuring the current crop of NXT and NXT UK superstars. Tyler Bate, the NXT UK Champion, confronted NXT Champion Bron Breakker earlier this week on NXT Heatwave as Gallus came out and ambushed Diamond Mine.
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Shawn Michaels, the vice president of talent development creative for WWE who oversees some creative aspects of the NXT brand, told Fox News Digital that he was “pretty excited” about NXT Europe.
“Given the success of NXT UK, we felt it was time to expand further,” said Michaels.
The planned launch of NXT Europe means NXT UK will have a “short hiatus,” Michaels said, adding that the final NXT UK event will be at Worlds Collide. Michaels said the company will partner with the workforce 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 revealed what will happen to the talent pick.
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“So part 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 in Worlds Collide,” Michaels told Fox News Digital. “It’s what NXT has always been and that should be a pipeline for the WWE to support RAW and SmackDown. That process continues. We’re going to use the British talent that we can use to move into Worlds Collide and maintain that representation there as long as we can. And as we move things here in the process, in 2023 we’ll be making all those decisions about who’s part of NXT Europe and who’s staying here in NXT in hopes of getting a main roster call.”
NXT is known for some incredible Takeover events with the North American brand and the British brand. The British brand has not seen a Takeover event since January 2020 when WALTER, now known as GUNTHER, took on Joe Coffey for the NXT UK Championship.
NXT Europe could be more creative than ever with where it holds major events in the future. Fox News Digital asked Michaels if any dream matches at the Colosseum in Rome or outside the Louvre in Paris have been considered.
“I remember all the times we went to Germany, it was fantastic, just fantastic. But I don’t know. I would love to go to Venice, Italy, but that’s just me,” he said. “But look with WWE and NXT, we just want to start representing our brand around the world. I definitely have some favorite places I’d like to go. Look, I think Paris, France would be pretty cool.”
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Worlds Collide is set for September 4 at 4pm ET on Peacock in the US and the WWE Network everywhere else.