WWE is tinkering with all kinds of new ideas to improve their NXT developmental brand. The entire look of the show was changed late last year as the company attempted to distance the brand from the Triple H era. A major focus was placed on developing new talent in-house.

Fans of the black and gold NXT pine for the days where their favorite independent stars might show up to start a big WWE run. Those days seemed to be gone. WWE made a concentrated effort to stay away from signing indie talent.

WWE appears to be softening on that stance a little bit. The original idea for NXT bringing in independent wrestlers was to have them do short runs to pop crowds, attendance, and viewership while giving a rub to developing superstars. Dave Meltzer noted in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the company is now considering using such wrestlers on very short-term deals.

“Another idea being talked about is bringing in outside talent like was the original idea that brought in Johnny Gargano, Samoa Joe and Ciampa, sign them to six week contracts and work programs with the younger guys and that those guys would not be exclusive and could still work indies. Of course they [sic] last time they did that, immediately they didn’t like that guys on their TV were working indies, but that was also ROH and NXT was “in competition” at the time with ROH.”

Vince McMahon’s company has always been careful about allowing contracted talents to work outside shows. These new six-week mini-contracts might be just the solution. WWE can bring in well-known stars to help put over the talent they’re bringing along without any long-term commitment.

WWE has cut nearly 100 wrestlers in the last calendar year or so. Many of them came from the independent scene. These new short-term contracts could be a win-win for wrestlers who want more exposure but aren’t willing to give up their independence to sign with WWE.

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Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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