While the professional wrestling scene has evolved significantly since the beginning of the 21st century, WWE remains on top of the mountain. The juggernaut promotion purchased its only real remaining competition, World Championship Wrestling, in 2001, leaving the landscape fairly desolate. Young companies like TNA and Ring of Honor rose to prominence as the years went on, with the former even attempting to start another ratings war with WWE, but were demolished so bad that they fled from Monday nights altogether just a little over a month after challenging Vince McMahon.
As professional wrestling re-entered the mainstream in the late 2010s, WWE showed signs of fearing their blossoming competition, evident by their efforts to monopolize the growing British independent circuit and their refusal to release any disgruntled talent.
Today, WWE has the biggest competition since WCW in the form of All Elite Wrestling. Tony Khan's upstart promotion handily-defeated NXT when the WWE developmental program ran opposite its flagship show and has attracted top names from WWE to jump ship.
While WWE has slowed its expansion urges in recent months, WWE Chairwoman and co-CEO Stephanie McMahon confirmed that the company is still interested in purchasing other promotions. Alluding to comments that she made on the WWE earnings call in November, McMahon pointed to international wrestling promotions as an acquisition interest.
"Just to give some examples of what I meant by that, [an acquisition] has to align with our capabilities, whether that's smaller wrestling promotions, say, internationally," McMahon said on Wednesday (h/t Wrestlenomics).
This aligns with WWE's "global localization" strategy, an idea conceptualized by WWE Chief Content Officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque a few years ago. The idea was to make multiple NXTs across the globe, expanding the company's developmental reach to South America, the Middle East, India, China, and Japan. While this concept was shelved for a couple of years, and momentum stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE's planned relaunch of NXT UK into NXT Europe could spearhead that strategy officially being implemented.
When that time comes, WWE could be looking to acquire smaller promotions in those respective international markets to provide infrastructure to their blossoming brands. While WWE did not outright purchase any British promotions to populate NXT UK, they did develop working relationships with the likes of PROGRESS and ICW to help boost their presence in the United Kingdom.
Stay tuned to ComicBook.com for updates on WWE's potential expansions.