Former WWE NXT General Manager William Regal has recently refuted claims that the NXT UK brand killed the British independent wrestling scene.
It was revealed last week that WWE’s NXT UK brand is set to come to an end in the near future and will eventually be incorporated into a new brand, known as NXT Europe, some time in 2023.
NXT UK was never one of WWE’s most watched shows, but did manage to cultivate a small, yet loyal fanbase during its 5-year run. However, there was a portion of fans that were against the brand’s very existence ever since its inception.
WWE launched the brand on the back of a perceived ‘wrestling boom’ in the United Kingdom and signed up a large number of the country’s biggest stars, leaving a significant void in the BritWres scene in the late 2010s.
Speaking on his ‘Gentleman Villain’ podcast, William Regal came to the defence of the brand he helped create, stating:
“NXT (UK) was a good, safe place for people to work, that got paid a weekly wage check which they never normally got. They didn’t get taken advantage of by promoters promising or holding certain things over them that promoters do.”
He also discredited accusations that WWE ‘killed British wrestling’ and offered his own take and what he witnessed during a visit to his homeland prior to the launch of NXT UK:
“And there’s people that will say ‘Well, you killed British wrestling.’ Mate. I’m telling you I went over there in 2016 for two weeks to check out the British wrestling scene. And I found that it wasn’t what it was supposed to be. There was ICW running a few shows a month, Progress was running one or two shows a month. Rev Pro was running one and sometimes two shows a month.
There was lots of work on but I ended up going to all star promotion shows just because I felt bad about not having enough shows to go to. It was a myth that there was only all this incredible stuff going on, when really there was companies running a couple of shows a month.”
A large portion of NXT UK’s roster were released following last week’s announcement and could well be set to return to British independent wrestling scene.
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