Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Global Localization: How Big Can NXT Get in the Pro-Wrestling Industry?

Pro-wrestling companies based in the United States having working relationships with pro-wrestling companies based in other countries is nothing new. ROH works with NJPW, a Japan-based company that has existed for 46 years and is continuing to grow. However, NXT has the potential to become the most international professional-wrestling promotion in the industry since World Championship Wrestling. WCW was not as recognized worldwide as WWE, but WWE usually focuses on only their own expansive roster and only has events outside of the United States on occasion. In the 1990's, WCW simultaneously had a working relationship with not only NJPW, but also AAA, one of the biggest pro-wrestling companies in Mexico. WCW and NJPW co-produced many PPV events, WCW took part in an NJPW-produced supercard in 1996, and the two companies traded talent on a regular basis. Meanwhile, WCW co-promoted a lucha libre PPV with AAA in 1994, and booked AAA talent for WCW events frequently in the mid-1990's. Out of all of the companies that defined themselves as being of worldwide status, WCW best represented that definition.

Now, NXT has positioned themselves where they can potentially be established in the same manner that WCW was as being a true GLOBAL promotion. At the 2018 Business Partner Summit, NXT producer Triple H introduced "Global Localization", his plan of creating NXT brands in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. This plan began taking shape with NXT UK, and with the birth of this brand began relationships with PROGRESS and ICW, two major companies in the UK. This relationship enables NXT UK to present fans outside of the UK to names that they are familiar with as well as talent that they currently are unaware of but should know about. Not only does this legitimize NXT as a global brand, but it also gives PROGRESS and ICW increased exposure as well.

As the NXT brand continues to expand globally, NXT could be used to provide the unpredictability that pro-wrestling fans enjoy, and opportunity that all pro-wrestlers desire. With NXT currently having an NXT North American Championship, the NXT Championship could be elevated to world title status. The blueprint of NXT could be different from traditional pro-wrestling governing bodies, where the main brand stands at the top of the heap, while the affiliates are treated as the minor-leagues. In NXT, each territory could be treated as an equal. The next NXT World Champion could come from NXT. They could come from NXT UK, where Pete Dunne is making an impact. Or they could come from one of the other NXT brands than will be created as a result of the Global Localization project. NXT could feature a form of surprise and excitement that has not been seen in the industry for quite some time.

I look forward to seeing the Global Localization project continue as NXT expands worldwide. I currently reside in Japan, and there many promoters and talents here who would be a great for WWE/NXT. It is only matter of NXT coming into contact with those people. Like I had mentioned in my blog post about WWE shining the spotlight on independent wrestling, every time NXT expands to a different area, people with knowledge of that pro-wrestling scene will need to brought in if the Global Localization project is going to be a success, which of course WWE has the resources to accomplish.

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