WWE announced via a press release on Thursday that its NXT UK brand is going to be expanded and reimagined as NXT Europe. The release reads, "WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced that the NXT brand will grow internationally with the creation of an all-new NXT Europe, with the launch planned for 2023... Launched in 2016, NXT UK has received critical acclaim and developed WWE main roster talent such as Rhea Ripley, Doudrop, Gunther and Butch. NXT Europe will reimagine the brand and its talent pipeline with a Pan-European focus."
Shawn Michaels, who has overseen NXT since last year, was quoted in the release saying, "Following the success of our live events and talent identification efforts throughout all of Europe, we believe this is the perfect time to expand NXT beyond the UK."
NXT UK was first launched in 2016 and stars such as Rhea Ripley, Gunther (Walter), Butch (Pete Dunne) and Doudrop (Piper Niven) have all eventually made their way to WWE's main roster after spending time on the brand. This week's NXT Heatwave event saw other NXT UK stars such as NXT UK Champion Tyler Bate, Blair Davenport and Gallus all confront members of the NXT 2.0 roster. The release also confirmed an NXT vs. NXT UK event, Worlds Collide, is set to take place on Sept. 4.
"Prior to the debut of NXT Europe, Worlds Collide, a premium live event featuring NXT and NXT UK Superstars, will be presented live on Sunday, September 4 at 4 p.m. ET on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else," the release concluded.
A report from FOX that dropped concurrently with the press release states NXT UK's final event will be Worlds Collide, after which it will go on hiatus. As for the wrestlers currently under contract with that brand, Michaels explained, "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."