WWE: Current WWE Network Plans for Indie Content, New Writers Hired, Furloughed Staff Update, Leon Ruff

WWE’s Current Plans for Indie Wrestling Content for WWE Network

WWE reportedly is currently working on plans for indie wrestling content to arrive at some point in the future on the WWE Network, according to PWInsider.

Mike Johnson reported that WWE originally had plans to launch a new more expensive subscription tier for the WWE Network this year that would have featured content from their affiliated promotions, but those plans have reportedly been dropped for now. However, the company is still working on plans to roll out indie wrestling content on the regular WWE Network tier within the near future.

Johnson reported that WWE currently has the rights to the libraries of PROGRESS Wrestling, Insane Championship Wrestling, EVOLVE, and Dragon Gate USA. Johnson also reported that WWE likely also has the rights to Westside Xtreme Wrestling due to that promotion being one of the company’s affiliated partners.

WWE Hires New Writers for NXT Brand

WWE reportedly has recently hired two to three new writers for their NXT brand, according to PWInsider.

Mike Johnson reported that the new hirings are part of WWE’s current plans to improve the ratings and direction of their NXT brand in response to AEW Dynamite’s ratings success since its television debut last October.

WWE Extending COVID-19 Furlough Period

As noted before, WWE released a sizeable amount of talent and furloughed a sizeable portion of their staff earlier this year as part of their cost-cutting measures for the coronavirus pandemic.

Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE recently extended their furlough period for most of their staff who have been affected. The company originally had hoped to be able to end their furlough period in early July but then extended it first to early August and now to an August 28th date.

Meltzer also reported that following WWE’s recent extension, a large number of their furloughed staff have started to look for new jobs elsewhere.

WWE Signs Leon Ruff to Developmental Deal

WWE reportedly have recently signed former EVOLVE talent Leon Ruff to a developmental contract with the company, according to PWInsider.

Mike Johnson reported that besides Ruff, WWE officials are also currently working on deals for several other former EVOLVE talents following EVOLVE’s closure last month.