When announcing the transition of NXT UK to the new NXT Europe this morning, Shawn Michaels didn’t directly address the status of the current London-based roster.
Now we’re finding out that for some of those people, the decision was already made. Several talents have tweeted this afternoon (Aug. 18) that they’ve been released from their WWE contracts.
As of today I am no longer under contract with WWE. It’s been a wild experience and I’m thankful for everything it’s afforded me - I am excited for what’s next and I am BUZZING to get back in that ring and GO!— The Wild Boar (@WILDBOARhitch) August 18, 2022
After six great years with WWE, my time with the company has now come to an end.— MA92 (@MandrewsJunior) August 18, 2022
Excited to see what’s next https://t.co/wXSMm6sLso
As of today WWE and I have come to terms with the terms of my release.— Flash Morgan Webster (@Flash_Morgan) August 18, 2022
I want to thank them for all the opportunities they gave me over last 5 years and looking after me through injury.
Excited to see what’s next
See you all soon.
I’m now REALLY skint. Thanks for the laughs and it was a joy.— Sha Samuels (@Shasamuels) August 18, 2022
Appreciate the opportunity WWE❤️ pic.twitter.com/RxhDMX4HTE
One hell of a ride ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/E6uxSXAP0w— Ashton Smith (@AshtonSmith_WWE) August 18, 2022
Hope you all enjoyed #TheNinaSamuelsShow, I've recorded some gems for you to enjoy over the next few weeks so tune in tonight to #NXTUK— Nina Samuels (@NinaSamuels123) August 18, 2022
Then, there's a big wide world out there that #NeedsMoreNina pic.twitter.com/yhHLknUnQk
I'm sure I don't need to say it.— Dani Luna (@DaniLuna_pro) August 18, 2022
In a couple months you'll be sick of me already.
Very thankful to @WWE for allowing me to entertain thousands every week. This is just a road bump for me and I solely believe that. I have a chip to prove and I'm going to do everything I can so I can get back to where I belong. I'll be back! pic.twitter.com/mGpPXup97G— Rohan Raja (@RohanRajaWWE) August 18, 2022
Frankly, none of these are a huge surprise. You could see someone like Mark Andrews as a solid midcard piece for the main NXT brand out of Florida, but even under Triple H the future of WWE isn’t going to involve a lot of smaller guys in their 30s.
It’s also not clear if some of these releases are the result of talents not wanting to relocate to the United States, or to wait until next year when NXT Europe launches. We’ve recently seen several wrestlers like Tyler Bate, Blair Davenport & Gallus appear on NXT 2.0, and others like Charlie Dempsey are rumored to be headed there.
There certainly doesn’t seem to be any hard feelings from Andrews, Flash Morgan Webster, Wild Boar, Jack Starz, Sha Samuels, Ashton Smith, Millie McKenzie, Dave Mastiff, Nina Samuels, Primate, Dani Luna, Rohan Raja, Kenny Williams, Sam Gradwell or Amir Jordan — but this probably wouldn’t the outlet where they’d express those even if there were. Best not to burn any bridges, especially when there could be an opportunity to rejoin the company in the future if NXT Europe is a success and needs roster depth.
Outside of that possibility, what’s next for these folks will be interesting. For a variety of reason (WWE’s presence, COVID and the #SpeakingOut movement among them) the United Kingdom scene isn’t nearly as hot or full of options as it was when WWE planted their flag in the country back in 2016.
For now, we’ll wish them well and keep you posted.