There have been some interesting moves in NXT of late – like changing lots of indie names – and the latest appears to be a direct counter to the perceived threat of AEW.
According to the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, new NXT signees are now being given five-year contracts rather than the previous standard three-year deals.
This sounds like a good deal for the talent on the surface, as it seems to give them more job security and guaranteed money.
That’s only true to a point because the way WWE contracts are structured allows WWE to break them at any point without reason. The talent does not have that luxury.
The reason behind the change is to lock down talent to longer deals to prevent them from leaving after a few years making a name in WWE and going elsewhere to profit from it.
WWE is clearly concerned about losing talent to its rivals, as it should be, so this is not exactly a move out of the ordinary.
The promotion did similar in the mid-90s when Vince McMahon was forced to sign his roster to actual contracts rather than handshake deals and loose written agreements in order to combat Eric Bischoff and WCW signing all of his top names.
The NXT UK deals being offered are not currently five years, rather they are shorter deals that roll over and give WWE the chance to renew if and when they want to.
Thus far that has been the case with almost every NXT UK contract signed since the beginning. The big difference is that the starting salary has changed.
Some recent signings to the UK brand received approximately £50,000 per annum ($63,000) with one as high as £125,000 ($157,000)) with the ability to still work select indie dates.