WWE just opened up a Performance Center in the United Kingdom, and Triple H is over there doing media rounds for it. Naturally, he was asked by Inside the Ropes (in the video embedded above) how NXT UK fits into the bigger picture of WWE, namely whether or not wrestlers can graduate to the main roster someday.
That’s when he went into his sales pitch on WWE becoming its own territory system:
”There are some talent here that you might see come from the UK that might move straight to Raw, to SmackDown. I think right now there’s this sort of kind of perceived system where it’s like Raw, SmackDown, NXT, and then NXT UK or whatever. I don’t believe that. I believe that talent are talent, and I believe they’ll sit where they sit. I believe you’ll see talent over the next few years start coming up to Raw and SmackDown, and I think you’ll see them move back over into NXT or come back into the NXT UK system. I think talent will begin to evolve and rotate through territories, so to speak, and as this expands out to the rest of the globe, as you see this happening in the Middle East, or India, or Japan, or South America, you will begin to see that system take place, where talent can evolved. I think there will be some talent that will become incredibly successful, will be global names, will be global household names that will probably never leave the NXT system because that’s their home base and it’s where they fit. They’ll have incredibly successful, meaningful careers and probably over those careers they’ll gravitate to different locations within the globe, maybe without ever being on Raw or SmackDown but that not being any lesser to their careers.”
With the kind of money WWE is making off its TV deals with USA Network and FOX, respectively, not to mention the WWE Network, this sort of system may not be the pipe dream it would have been just a few years ago. It’s not necessarily guaranteed to work, of course, as these regional promotions will need to operate successfully within their own region while building stars who can be rotated around each promotion, but it’s a strong idea.
That said, it still seems plainly evident that the idea of Monday Night Raw being anything other than the number one show within WWE, the one that gets the most creative might put behind it, just rings hollow. Triple H can say otherwise but Raw is the top show, followed by SmackDown, followed by NXT, and then NXT UK. Of course, this is a long term plan they’ve put together and said plan is still in its infancy.
If nothing else, it should be most interesting seeing just how far they can take this.