This might be good for some and bad for others. According to the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, most WWE UK talent has been informed that as of January 1, 2019, they will no longer be able to wrestle for most other wrestling promotions. The only exceptions to this are ICW, Progress and wXw, which are partners with WWE.
To compensate for this, WWE will be giving all of their UK talent raises in their contracts. They were making $20,000 to $25,000 per year, but this number will increase.
Unfortunately, this means that other promotions will not get to see talent like Pete Dunne, which you can see in action below:
While this new restriction doesn’t apply for the current talent until the new year, it does apply to Walter, who was recently signed to a WWE contract.
Although the feeling is that this could hurt the British independent scene, one prominent promoter said that it could actually help it:
“What it does mean is that other guys will have a chance to have a more prominent billing, and greater exposure and more bookings, but also the fact that people can see that British guys can get signed to full-time deals with WWE and make a living from wrestling, has resulted in British training schools getting a great increase in the number of students through their doors, especially when you consider the huge British influence in the WWE Performance Center.”
You had to see this coming eventually. The NXT UK brand is starting to pick up steam, and WWE wants to keep a lock on the great talent that they have over there. This also continues to increase the influence that WWE has on the global market.
What do you think of WWE UK talent not being able to accept independent bookings in 2019? Leave us a comment below, or post a comment on our Facebook page! Also, be sure to sign up for our newsletter and download our App from your favorite App Store!