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India to Get Special WWE Program, 'NXT India' Expected to Launch in Early 2021

News18 Sports

Last Updated: December 14, 2020, 14:04 IST

WWE to launch NXT India early next year (Photo Credit: Twitter)

WWE to launch NXT India early next year (Photo Credit: Twitter)

The series, described as “NXT India”, is expected to air on linear television in India along with a digital window through the WWE Network.

In their effort to expand their reach all around the globe, WWE is set to launch a program particularly targeting the Indian market early next year.

Reports suggest that under the NXT banner, the new series ‘NXT India’, its filming will begin in January next year, at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Once the Covid-19 enforced travel restrictions are lifted, WWE could even launch their very own Performance Center in India in 2022 the reports further revealed.

According to a report from Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and John Pollock of POST Wrestling, WWE are planning to feature an eight-man single-elimination tournament for the new series. This tournament could crown the very first NXT India champion.

The tournament will feature Jinder Mahal, The Singh Brothers, Indus Sher, Jeet Rama, Gurvinder Singh, Sukhwinder Grewal, and Laxmi Kant Rajpoot.

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NXT India is expected to air on linear television in India along with a digital window through the WWE Network. WWE has a distribution deal in India with Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited (SPN), a deal which was extended this past March with the announcement of a five-year renewal. The deal also includes SPN having the rights to the WWE Network for its audiences through their own OTT platform SonyLIV.

This will be WWE’s second branch only after NXT UK that serves the fanbase of the United Kingdom. Reports also suggest that WWE do have plans to expand such branches in other Asian countries as they want to consolidate the South Asian and Southeast Asian markets with properties such as WWE NXT India and NXT Asia because of AEW’s strong presence in the continent.

While there is no word on how WWE would select talents for the NXT India brand, but a few weeks ago it was reported that recruiters from the company will visit the sub-continent to recruit talents.

Earlier, in an exclusive interview with News18Sports, Paul Michael Levesque, Executive Vice President of Global Talent Strategy & Development, also popularly known as Triple H said this when he was asked about India’s role in WWE’s global plans in the future.

“India is a huge market for WWE. We love India and the passion the fans have for the sport is something else. We love hosting events there and interacting with the fans. We have one of the largest fan followings for the brand from India so it is an important market for us. We’ve got some amazing talent from India in the form of Rinku (Singh), Saurav (Gurjar), Kavita (Devi), and the new recruits from the Tryouts last year. We look forward to having more people from India join WWE and want to give our fans there more reasons to engage with the brand."

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first published:December 14, 2020, 13:39 IST
last updated:December 14, 2020, 14:04 IST