WWE is locking in talent to longer contracts.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, WWE is now signing new NXT talent to five-year deals as opposed to the previously offered three-year contracts. The goal is to lock in talent for a more extended period before they can hit the free agent market. Meltzer goes on to say that new talent looking to sign with the company have a hard time turning down the five-year deals even if they want a lesser term as WWE offers guaranteed money compared to other promotions.
It is unclear when WWE began offering five-year deals. WWE recently announced new NXT signings that included top Independent talents such as ACH, Shane Strickland, Trevor Lee, and DJZ.
Contracts have been a big talking point this year in professional wrestling with All Elite Wrestling entering the game and signing top talent to long-term, big money deals. WWE has made efforts to keep talent from leaving the promotion, reportedly offering The Revival a five-year deal worth $500,000 per year, a year before their contracts expire, and refusing to grant Luke Harper his release despite a public request. WWE also offered an undercard talent $500,000 per year to keep him from leaving, according to Jim Ross.