When WWE launched NXT UK in December 2016, it was seen as a way for top British talent to showcase their abilities on WWE's platform, while also having the ability to work other promotions. But after just two years, WWE has decided to reverse course and will put restrictions on NXT UK talent from working for other promotions.
This news comes courtesy of WrestleTalk, which reports that several members of NXT UK will be given new contracts in the coming weeks with these restrictions in place. While the Superstars will be given raises, their meandering on the indie scene will cease come 2019.
Previously the NXT UK Superstars were only restricted from other promotions with distribution deals, but now they will be barred from all other promotions. The only exceptions are those companies that WWE had partnered with including Progress, ICW and wXw (Germany).
This WWE exclusivity seems to come from disappointing numbers at recent NXT UK house shows. If fans can pay £10 to watch these stars at local shows, then they would be unlikely to cough up more money to see the same Superstars on WWE shows.
WrestleTalk also reports that these new contracts aren't being handed out to everyone, so the new restrictions will also not apply to everyone. Even so, those who are not barred from other promotions are still prohibited from wrestling anyone from ROH, Impact, New Japan or any other major promotion.
With these new contracts and new restrictions set to go into place at the start of 2019, Superstars will still be able to finish up their advertised bookings through the end of 2018. However, talent will only be able to work shows with a licensed paramedic on hand as a couple of members of the roster recently showed up to the NXT UK Performance Center with injuries that WWE was unaware of.
This is a big change from when WWE first established NXT UK as said they wouldn't scoop up all of the top talent in the UK, leaving little else for anyone else. It remains to be seen how this impacts the UK indies.