William Regal Reacts To NXT UK Closing And British Wrestling Scene

Inside The Ropes William Regal holding an AEW microphone.

William Regal was a key part of WWE NXT and the development of the NXT UK brand, so now he’s speaking out about how that brand affected the British wrestling scene.

WWE announced that the NXT UK brand will end soon while announcing plans to launch NXT Europe in 2023. WWE has not announced when NXT Europe will begin in terms of a specific date.

While NXT UK is not a very popular show among WWE fans that can watch it on Peacock/WWE Network, it did produce a lot of exciting content while building a strong fanbase over the five years it ran.

When WWE launched NXT UK, some people felt like there was a “wrestling boom” in the UK wrestling sign. That’s when WWE ended up signing several of the UK’s biggest stars, which hurt the wrestling scene in that area.

Regal defended the NXT UK brand while appearing on his Gentleman Villain podcast:

“NXT (UK) was a good, safe place for people to work, that got paid a weekly wage check which they never normally got. They didn’t get taken advantage of by promoters promising or holding certain things over them that promoters do.”

During the podcast, Regal also explained why he didn’t agree with people that thought WWE “killed British wrestling” and commented on what he saw when he recruited talent.

“And there’s people that will say ‘Well, you killed British wrestling.’ Mate. I’m telling you I went over there in 2016 for two weeks to check out the British wrestling scene. And I found that it wasn’t what it was supposed to be. There was ICW running a few shows a month, Progress was running one or two shows a month. Rev Pro was running one and sometimes two shows a month.”

“There was lots of work on but I ended up going to all star promotion shows just because I felt bad about not having enough shows to go to. It was a myth that there was only all this incredible stuff going on, when really there was companies running a couple of shows a month.”

There were many WWE UK wrestlers released last week after the NXT Europe announcement, which means many of them will be back on the British independent wrestling scene while some of them could return to WWE some day.

h/t Inside The Ropes