Shawn Michaels Says NXT Japan And NXT Mexico Are Coming

Shawn Michaels

According to Shawn Michaels, WWE will be resuming its goal of becoming a global wrestling juggernaut by having two more regional NXT brands.

After the original NXT was rebranded under Triple H and became such a hot commodity, WWE wanted to take his ideas further by creating more NXTs. The first sub-brand, NXT UK, lasted four years, from June 2018 to September 2022 when it was rebranded as ‘NXT Europe’. There had long been plans to bring NXT into other big wrestling markets but those plans largely fizzled out after Triple H’s initial loss of decision-making authority within WWE.

That appears to have changed with Triple H now in control of WWE’s creative direction and Shawn Michaels heading NXT. On a post-show media call after Halloween Havoc, Shawn Michaels discussed some of the plans for the NXT brand, and he revealed that WWE intends on entering both the Japanese and Mexican wrestling markets.

“When it comes to NXT expanding outside of the US, NXT Europe is going to be coming in 2023 and I know there have been talks of NXT Japan and NXT Mexico. Those are probably farther down the road but it’s my understanding that those are some announcements that could be coming not too far down the road in 2023.”

“The one thing everyone is excited about is, this company never sleeps and we are constantly trying to grow and expand. I have no doubt, I can’t tell you how I know, but I know a guy that is pretty interested in NXT and its expansion. I’m sure those things are not far down the road at all.”

This wouldn’t be the first time WWE tried to establish its brand in Japan. There were some reports of talks between WWE and NOAH back in 2019 with the intent of establishing NXT Japan that way but those talks fell through.

Furthermore, WWE could have a hard time staying in both of those markets given how saturated they are. Japan has seven companies that could be considered ‘well-known’; not anything on WWE’s level but enough to challenge WWE’s long-term success in that market: New Japan, NOAH, All Japan, STARDOM, DDT, Dragon Gate, and Big Japan.

Mexico might be an even bigger challenge for WWE. Lucha libre is more regulated, especially when it comes to masked wrestlers. There would also be major competition from CMLL, which is the only wrestling company in the world older than WWE.

h/t Fightful for the transcription.