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WWE Announces Launch of NXT Europe in 2023; NXT UK to Go on 'Brief Hiatus'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 18, 2022

Photo credit: WWE.com

WWE announced Thursday that it is set to expand the NXT UK brand with the creation of NXT Europe.

According to Ryan Gaydos of Fox News, WWE is planning for NXT UK to go on hiatus for "a few months" before officially launching NXT Europe in 2023.

NXT UK's final event will be Worlds Collide, which is set to take place on Sept. 4 and will see NXT and NXT UK Superstars face each other in a series of matches, which explains why Tyler Bate, Blair Davenport and Gallus of NXT UK all appeared on this week's episode of NXT UK.

WWE Hall of Famer and NXT vice president of talent development and creative Shawn Michaels provided Gaydos with some additional specifics regarding the transition from NXT UK to NXT Europe, saying, "Given the success of NXT UK, we felt like it was time to expand beyond that."

Michaels also explained what the change means for NXT UK talent, noting that some could remain in NXT Europe, others could move to NXT and some could even get called up to the main roster:

"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. 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."

While NXT UK was mostly confined to the United Kingdom, there are far greater possibilities with NXT Europe, as Michaels mentioned Germany, Italy and France as potential host countries for NXT Europe shows.

The forerunner to NXT UK was the WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament, which was held in early 2017 and won by Bate, who defeated Pete Dunne in the finals.

Then, the weekly NXT UK show debuted in 2018 and saw the formation of several other championships, including the NXT UK Women's Championship, NXT UK Tag Team Championships and NXT UK Heritage Cup.

Multiple NXT UK TakeOver events were held as well, but there hasn't been one since January 2020, which is when NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II took place.

WWE had announced NXT UK TakeOver: Dublin for April 2020, but it was postponed multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ultimately canceled.

NXT UK went on hiatus for part of the pandemic before returning in September 2020 on a closed set, although fans were eventually reintroduced.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t F4WOnline's Ian Carey) reported last week that some NXT UK tapings had been canceled, leading to a feeling of "uneasiness" among the NXT UK crew.

While NXT UK as we know it will soon cease to exist, the creation of NXT Europe should mean there will still be plenty of opportunities within WWE for those involved with NXT UK.

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