As noted before, WWE is reported to have offered new contracts to most of their United Kingdom talent, bringing both the good and bad with it. The good being that those who received new contracts were given pay raises and the bad being that those new contracts also included stricter restrictions on where their UK talent were allowed to work going forward.
The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Newsletter that Fight Club Pro is currently not on WWE’s allowed list for wrestling companies even though it is currently run by NXT UK’s Trent Seven and was previously assumed to have been safe. Meltzer reported that Seven, Tyler Bate, Pete Dunne, Jordan Devlin, and Travis Banks have all been recently pulled from Fight Club Pro’s upcoming January 7th event in Tokyo, Japan.
Meltzer also reported that the restrictions placed on WWE’s UK talent are not uniform and instead are split into three different groups. The lower tier talent were reported to have been told little to nothing about the new restrictions and are still able to work elsewhere due to their low salaries. The mid-tier talent were reported to have had their contracts rolled over for another year with no pay raise included and can work elsewhere but no longer against any talent from “competitive promotions.” The top tier talent were reported to have been the group who were given the pay raises and stricter restrictions on where they are allowed to work.
Besides the wrestlers, Meltzer reported that these new restrictions also affect NXT UK’s management with NXT UK’s General Manager Johnny Saint being pulled from a seminar next month for Full Tilt Wrestling due to him recently signing a new contract with WWE. WWE initially approved Saint’s appearance as part of his previous contract but are no longer allowing him to do seminars for outside companies going forward.
In regards to Over The Top Wrestling and PROGRESS’ streaming services, it is currently unknown if WALTER’s championship matches will be allowed to be streamed on those services due to his recent contract signing with WWE. Meltzer said that it is currently unlikely that WWE will allow his matches to be streamed based on a recent statement from a WWE official.
Rights to Purchase and Shut Down Promotions
The major European promotions that currently have working agreements with WWE are PROGRESS (England), ICW (Scotland) and wXw (Germany). According to Dave Meltzer, the terms originally agreed to with these promotions give WWE the right to purchase the companies if they choose to do so within the next several years. The idea, Meltzer says, is that WWE would purchase and then shut down these companies once they’re able to start running a full-time schedule for their NXT UK brand (and possibly NXT Germany brand in the future) so that WWE wouldn’t be “competing with themselves.”