NXT UK stars defend their employer.
With news coming out that NXT UK talent are restricted from working for non-WWE partnered promotions, many have wondered how the UK wrestling scene would progress. Some believe that new talent will emerge and the scene will remain healthy. RevPro recently sold out York Hall in record time after announcing a main even bout between Will Ospreay and PAC (aka Neville). Others thought this was the first step in WWE/NXT killing the territory for good.
World of Sport star Justin Sysum wrote an open letter, expressing his opinion on the recent changes to the scene.
An open letter to British Wrestling. Thank you for reading. pic.twitter.com/zRFz6Hazoj— Justin Sysum (@JustinSysum) December 5, 2018
An open letter to British wrestling from Justin Sysum
These words are entirely my own and do not represent any promotion or individual other than myself.
Last week it came to light, through independent UK promotions who have been left uncertain of the future, that WWE NXT UK talent have apparently been signed to new contracts allegedly preventing many of them from wrestling for any promotion outside of the we WWE banner from the start of 2019. Talent may honour independent bookings until the end of the year but are seemingly being prevented from wrestling anyone who is currently contracted to NJPW, Impact, ROH, WOS, and other major promotions. You can read more about this and the potential impact it will have on many wrestling news websites
WWE have a history of trying, and succeeding, to conquer smaller promotions. Many believe that the NXT UK brand was only reignited this year once they caught wind of wrestling returning to British television without them, signing their roster with within weeks of the TV tapings being announced. I personally fear for a future not too far away where WWE has succeeded in its mission and as a consequence destroyed much of our thriving domestic scene.
If they eventually decide that they no longer need the expense of a UK brand and pack up, this will leave us with a decimated British Independent scene. Wrestlers will find themselves with less places to work and yet still have to bow to the king that is WWE, so that one day they may be considered for a job.
I understand completely why my friends in this business would take these contracts, as for many it's been their dream since they were little kids to work for the WWE. I'm very proud of their achievements and wish them the greatest success. Fortunately for me, my dreams are different...
I hereby pledge to follow in the footsteps of the great British wrestlers that have come before me, to continue to build the UK scene into something to be reckoned with, one that can and deserves to stand alone. Despite WWE's best effort, unintentional or otherwise, to halt all the incredible progress, I will not pander to anything that restricts our thriving scene. I will not tip toe around it, I do not want a job with them.
I want to let every promoter, ring crew member, event staff and fellow wrestler know that we can band together and lead our industry out of these potentially stormy waters. We do not have to take anything lying down and we can continue to provide a thriving scene for fans and talent alike.
I encourage the fans of our great wrestling scene to continue to attend independent shows. I promise you, the depth of talent in this country means you will not leave disappointed. It's your choice who the next stars are. All of the NXT UK talent got their start here with the support from you and it doesn't have to end with them.
I'd sooner die on my sword in defeat than watch what makes our industry so free, diverse and inclusive for both wrestlers and fans alike, get eroded away as part of a 'corporate strategy' to Geta bigger share price and global market position.
Thank you, Your #Superhuman - Justin Sysum
The letter didn't go unnoticed by members of the NXT UK roster as Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, and Trent Seven offered a response.
Every step myself and other members of the NXT UK roster have taken within WWE over the past two years has been nothing but a benefit to the independent scene. Don’t disregard that because of hear say and rumours.— Pete Dunne (@PeteDunneYxB) December 5, 2018
You guys are included in the part about the great British wrestlers who came before me. You’re a credit to the independent scene but unfortunately it seems you’re not part of it anymore. This is much more about the organisation and not the individuals. Thanks reading.— Justin Sysum (@JustinSysum) December 5, 2018
NXTUK is a great opportunity for all UK based performers to showcase their talents and make a living doing what they love doing. This open letter to British Wrestling is based off of nothing but rumours, don’t believe everything you read.— Tyler Bate (@Tyler_Bate) December 5, 2018
I was very careful to make sure that I praised you guys for your achievements, it’s important people know. Now I’m trying to get British wrestling to the point where people can make a living without WWE.— Justin Sysum (@JustinSysum) December 5, 2018
Hang your head in shame Justin. We’ve all worked incredibly hard over the past few years to create a thriving scene for all levels of talent to perform on. Delete your tweet and stop attention seeking.— Trent Seven (@trentseven) December 5, 2018
I stand by my words, hopefully you gave it your full attention and read the whole thing? You ARE to thank for the great heights we have reached. I’m making a point that I want it to go even further, without WWE.— Justin Sysum (@JustinSysum) December 5, 2018
NXT coexists with an independent scene in the US. The UK will be no different. Now let’s just take a look at how far British wrestling has come. 12 years ago when I started this was not a career for anyone, now it’s attainable and thus a thriving scene of top quality has emerged.— Pete Dunne (@PeteDunneYxB) December 5, 2018
WWE reportedly has an option to buy and shut down UK partner promotions at any point over the next several years. RevPro owner Andy Quildan confirmed the "buy and shut down" clause and cited it as a reason why he did not partner with the company.