WWE’s goal with the NXT North American Championship: Infiltrate the indies

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WWE’s goal with the NXT North American Championship: Infiltrate the indies

Post by cero2k » Apr 5th, '18, 16:11

source: http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/20 ... he-indies/

**read the original page since they have pics and videos**

WWE has been a globally dominant brand for half a century now, but independent wrestling has seen a surge of popularity all around the world in recent years. The UK wrestling scene has been on fire thanks to promotions like PROGRESS and ICW, and in the States, Ring of Honor’s partnership with New Japan Pro Wrestling brings some of the world’s biggest non-WWE talent to the US, while companies like PWG create unbelievable buzz from a broken down American Legion hall. WWE has made a habit of raiding these companies to groom the next generation of talent to great success, but there’s still a huge piece of that pie they aren’t receiving; a whole subculture of wrestling fans the conglomerate monolith isn’t reaching.

That all changed when the company established the WWE United Kingdom Championship early last year. What started as a tournament held in a Full Sail-size arena in England evolved into the beginning of a rollout of a cunning new strategy to spread WWE’s brand in promotions they don’t own. The first time the WWE United Kingdom Champion showed up with a WWE title belt on a non-WWE television program, wrestling fans’ heads exploded. It has a dream match, otherworldly feeling to fans, but to WWE, it’s just a new outlet to promote their product. Just look at this promo from PROGRESS:



What’s the most important thing to Pete Dunne, PROGRESS World Champion, here? Being a mid-card champion in WWE. WWE’s brand is elevated above PROGRESS, on PROGRESS’s own show. It’s free advertising, and it’s quite frankly brilliant. The fact that the WWE United Kingdom show never quite came to fruition doesn’t even matter; there are plenty of already existing UK promotions chomping at the bit for that kind of exposure to WWE’s vast fanbase, and plenty of hardcore wrestling fans for WWE to convert into card-carrying members of the WWE Universe. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, and WWE doesn’t even have to do anything beyond being a little more flexible than they’ve been in the past with talent exclusivity.

So that’s WWE’s plan to plant the seeds of WWE fandom throughout the world, but what about capitalizing on the many popular independent promotions inside the United States? Enter: The NXT North American Championship.

NXT General Manager William Regal announced the creation of a new NXT title on March 28’s episode of NXT, the inaugural holder of which to be determined in a five-way ladder match at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans the night before WrestleMania between a debuting Ricochet, a returning/debuting EC3, Lars Sullivan, Killian Dain, and Adam Cole (baybay). It’s the first new championship in NXT since the creation of the NXT Women’s Championship all the way back in 2013, and the only title in the promotion that is anything less than the top tier of the division (that honor for the men’s singles division would of course go to the NXT Championship). So what is the role of a secondary championship on a secondary brand?

It’s simple: World domination.

Think about it: How surreal would it be to see a WWE champion show up in Reseda for BOLA? Or to see an active member of Bullet Club vie for it? Instantly, the conversation shifts from the most anticipated indie tournament or the most popular faction in all of wrestling to WWE. These types of dream scenarios are just business for the company, and it’s genius. Suddenly WWE is the center of attention in circles that are ambivalent to them at best, and vigorously anti-WWE at worst. And all they had to do was let one of their developmental talents wrestle their friends for the weekend. Hell, in that way, it’s also a form of talent scouting: who matches up well with one of our current champions?


The wrestling landscape in 2018 is unlike anything we’ve seen since the 1980s. Did you ever in your life think you’d see the Impact World Champion go up against a current WWE champion in a completely separate promotion for that company’s top title? Here in wrestling Bizarro World, that’s just another main event somewhere in Canada. It’s also part of WWE’s very intelligent plan to subsidize the recruitment process, and have their hand in the development of damn near every indie wrestling promotion in the world, without actually having to buy and manage any of them.

Independent wrestling fans love to rip on WWE — it’s only natural. WWE is McDonalds; independent wrestling is a lovingly crafted farm-to-table meal. It’s Marvel Comics, indiscriminately rebooting and starting event after event just to spike sales, and all your favorite writers are doing their best work for Image. It’s the inoffensive pop artist selling out stadiums while your favorite band who’s ten times more talented self-funds shows at a half-full House of Blues.

But deep down, most every wrestling fan recognizes the importance, the pomp, the grandeur of WWE. Just look this clip from the UK’s ICW, where a smattering of boos upon the mere mention of “WWE” turns into a deafening pop and a “this is awesome” chant once it became evident WWE’s heir to the throne was actually gracing them with his presence:



Truly, this is Triple H’s vision of WWE and professional wrestling as a whole going forward. Vince McMahon’s WWE would never mention lesser competition, and why would they? It’s just free advertising for your competitors. But Triple H sees things a little differently. For pro wrestling to survive, WWE cannot be the only game in town. So initiatives like the WWE United Kingdom Championship and the NXT North American Championship are more than WWE brand awareness, they are WWE’s way of preserving the lifeblood of the business — while also benefitting from it on every level.

It’s fitting that the first-ever NXT North American Champion will be decided in a match featuring one of the hottest indie stars in the world, the former face of Impact Wrestling, a former pillar of Ring of Honor, one of the UK’s greatest exports, and a single homegrown Performance Center graduate. If WWE’s plan works out, it will end up representing all of them.



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Re: WWE’s goal with the NXT North American Championship: Infiltrate the indies

Post by Big Red Machine » Apr 5th, '18, 16:20

We've seen this conspiracy theory before, and what's more, it doesn't even make sense in this case. WWE giving a top indy-name WWE-branded champion to PWG/Gabe/whoever to advertise for their shows will help those indies a lot more than it will help WWE. All North American fans already know about WWE. There might be some areas of Mexico where the exposure could help build trust in the product because of inherent mistrust of a totally different style, but the idea that North American indy fans don't know about WWE is ridiculous.
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Re: WWE’s goal with the NXT North American Championship: Infiltrate the indies

Post by cero2k » Apr 5th, '18, 17:10

Big Red Machine wrote:
Apr 5th, '18, 16:20
We've seen this conspiracy theory before, and what's more, it doesn't even make sense in this case. WWE giving a top indy-name WWE-branded champion to PWG/Gabe/whoever to advertise for their shows will help those indies a lot more than it will help WWE. All North American fans already know about WWE. There might be some areas of Mexico where the exposure could help build trust in the product because of inherent mistrust of a totally different style, but the idea that North American indy fans don't know about WWE is ridiculous.
i don't think it's meant to advertise wwe, everyone knows wwe, like in the world, but now you could have wwe guys go to your local indie and defeat your top guys. it just makes more people talk wwe and make more promotions become your minions like they did with the UK

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Re: WWE’s goal with the NXT North American Championship: Infiltrate the indies

Post by Bob-O » Apr 6th, '18, 23:00

A great read! I think "World Domination" is a little exaggerated, but reading through that, it makes some great points at what Triple H has in mind to keep business moving forward in the future.
Big Red Machine wrote:
Apr 5th, '18, 16:20
WWE giving a top indy-name WWE-branded champion to PWG/Gabe/whoever to advertise for their shows will help those indies a lot more than it will help WWE.
That's the idea, though. WWE certainly isn't going to be HURT by helping ANYONE out at this point, especially lending out somebody not even on the main roster. If it helps out an indie, then WRESTLING wins. Vince is and always has been about "world domination" - going national, taking out the territories, destroying his competition, and rolling over anything dumb enough to get in front of him. I think Hunter wants to see business thrive again, he wants to be on top of it, but I think he sees the problem with how far in front they got.

Paul E often talks about the simplicity of ECW's success being "Us vs Them". It worked in ECW, it worked with The NWO, it worked with Stone Cold, it worked with DX, and it's essentially what the Attitude Era was. "Us vs Them"... with the surge in indie wrestling, people are looking for that "us" feeling again, while as the years that WWE was "cool" fall further and further away, I think it's safe to say WWE as a whole has become "them", the one and ONLY "them", when a "them" is needed.

I don't think the North American Championship has anything to do with "infiltrating" the indies or taking over the world, but I think it has everything to do with bridging the gap between "us" and "them". Getting their name into these smaller shows, not for recognition's sake (c'mon now...) but for the sake of their image.
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Re: WWE’s goal with the NXT North American Championship: Infiltrate the indies

Post by cero2k » Apr 6th, '18, 23:18

I feel like the big difference between Trips and Vince is how they see their 'world dominance', because i'm sure, like any other rich magnate, they do want to dominate everything. I think the difference is that Vince wanted to buy out everyone and kill everyone. Meanwhile, Hunter is more like Xerxes from 300, he only asks that you bend the knee to him. EVOLVE, PROGRESS, and ICW already did and they get the benefit of getting WWE guys now and then, using the WWE UK title, getting showcased at WWE Axxess, etc. Triple H realizes that NXT only works because there are indies making stars for him to raid, so he NEEDS those indies in order to maintain the quality of his show at that level.

So this whole 'infiltrating' is really just a way to have a prop to offer all those promotions that you want to have bend their knee to you. Hey Gabe, we need to use half of your roster to put over our guys at Axxess, oh, and book Angelo Dawkins going over Matt Riddle for the NorthAmerican Title as the main event, you'll fill every seat.

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Re: WWE’s goal with the NXT North American Championship: Infiltrate the indies

Post by Big Red Machine » Apr 7th, '18, 20:34

cero2k wrote:
Apr 6th, '18, 23:18
I feel like the big difference between Trips and Vince is how they see their 'world dominance', because i'm sure, like any other rich magnate, they do want to dominate everything. I think the difference is that Vince wanted to buy out everyone and kill everyone. Meanwhile, Hunter is more like Xerxes from 300, he only asks that you bend the knee to him. EVOLVE, PROGRESS, and ICW already did and they get the benefit of getting WWE guys now and then, using the WWE UK title, getting showcased at WWE Axxess, etc. Triple H realizes that NXT only works because there are indies making stars for him to raid, so he NEEDS those indies in order to maintain the quality of his show at that level.

So this whole 'infiltrating' is really just a way to have a prop to offer all those promotions that you want to have bend their knee to you. Hey Gabe, we need to use half of your roster to put over our guys at Axxess, oh, and book Angelo Dawkins going over Matt Riddle for the NorthAmerican Title as the main event, you'll fill every seat.
Except this never plays out the way you are claiming it does. Keith Lee didn't job to Kassius Ohno. He beat him to retain his title. Whenever WWE sends guys to EVOLVE they're never allowed to appear on the PPV stream- only the live show. The same thing happened when they let wXw use Dunne. That was a match Dunne won, by the way, and you'd think if they wanted the other promotions' guys putting their guys over they'd want it done on the stream. The WWE UK contracts don't work the same way regular WWE contracts do. They only prevent you from working for someone else's TV. British Strong Style have been allowed to work for RevPro, and the they're the UK partner for ROH and New Japan. And when we had WWE guys (Mustache Mountain) vs. New Japan guys (Zack & Suzuki) in RevPro, it was the New Japan guys who went over. The only time I can remember a guy under a real WWE contract being allowed to work for a "minion" promotion it was Gallagher working the NYC PROGRESS show, and that was as a last-minute emergency substitution due to an injury (just like Punk being allowed to do that one-night return to ROH in 2006 when a blizzard wrought total havoc with the card). ICW has been given some major appearances by guys like Galloway and Foley, yes, and they were hot for a while, but who the hell talks about ICW now?
What you are describing with Angelo Dawkins is counterproductive to what Hunter wants. He wants to be on good terms with Gabe/Smallman etc. so that they do their best to talk their talent out of ROH/NJPW/CMLL/RevPro or TNA/AAA/NOAH deals when they are offered and want to go to WWE instead. Just like Heyman did with ECW guys and WWE.
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