Latest Update On WWE NXT Wrestlers Working Independent Events
NXT stars are now able to work "select indies".
Update (6 February)
The plot just keeps on thickening with this one.
WWE's Shawn Michaels moved to deny reports that NXT talent will soon be permitted to work for select independent promotions, as outlined below. Dave Meltzer has now reported via the Figure Four Online/Wrestling Observer Daily Update, however, that while Ivy Nile's upcoming appearance for Booker T's Reality of Wrestling group is relevant only to that specific promotion, the doors may soon open for more.
Meltzer states that other independent promoters have been told that if the Nile/ROW experiment is successful, WWE may start working with additional indies.
It is acknowledged, however, that with WWE CEO Nick Khan recently claiming the market leaders could be sold within three months, new ownership may change the ruling before long. For now, Ivy Nile in ROW appears to be a trial appearance.
Update (5 February)
While there were reports that NXT stars would now be allowed to work independent shows, those reports have been immediately squashed by Shawn Michaels.
Following last night's NXT Vengeance Day, the Heartbreak Kid - who nowadays serves as Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative - informed Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp that there is "no talk" of NXT talent working indie dates.
While Ivy Nile is scheduled to compete for Booker T's Reality of Wrestling promotion next weekend, that is said to be a one-shot appearance that came about after Booker requested Nile for the show.
Shawn Michaels tells me there is no talk of NXT talent working select indie dates.
Booker T asked them if he could have Ivy Nile for ROW, and she's going to Reality of Wrestling for a one-shot date.— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) February 5, 2023
While AEW is happy for its talent to work for promotions other than All Elite Wrestling, that's historically not been the case for those under the WWE banner.
In a somewhat surprising move, that mantra is about to change; at least where NXT names are concerned.
From the Wrestling Observer's Bryan Alvarez, NXT stars are now being allowed to work "select indies".
NXT is going to allow talent to work select indies going forward, which is a pretty big deal— Bryan Alvarez (@bryanalvarez) February 4, 2023
One such independent promotion who WWE will be working with, is Booker T's Reality of Wrestling.
On that front, the two-time WWE Hall of Famer was quick to take to Twitter to confirm a working relationship between his training school/promotion and WWE, including the news that NXT's Ivy Nile will be competing for ROW next weekend.
Excited to merge my @WWENXT favorites with the roster of my students at @TheOfficialROW! Don’t miss a HUGE show next Saturday! Can’t wait to see @ivynile_wwe in the World Gym Arena! https://t.co/9zYvls8WEP— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) February 4, 2023
As alluded to, WWE famously hasn't allowed its talent to work for other promotions. That said, there was a slight relaxing of that approach earlier this year, when Shinsuke Nakamura was allowed to face the Great Muta for Pro Wrestling NOAH at the turn of the year.
It remains to be seen what promotions other than Reality of Wrestling that WWE will be working with, and it likewise remains to be seen what sort of NXT names will be allowed to compete for such companies. For now, though, we at least know that Booker T's Reality of Wrestling - which helped train the likes of NXT Women's Champion Roxanne Perez and AEW's Sammy Guevara - will be featuring NXT talent from here on out.