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New head writer for WWE's NXT UK brand

WWE's NXT UK brand has a new head writer.

Inside the Ropes reported on Thursday that NXT UK talent were informed that Glen Joseph has left NXT UK due to "personal reasons" and Jim Smallman has been promoted to head writer of NXT UK. Joseph and Smallman are both former co-owners of PROGRESS Wrestling.

Inside the Ropes wrote that Smallman "still has to answer to Matt Bloom and Shawn Michaels, who are running the brand remotely from the US due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions."

Dave Meltzer confirmed Inside the Ropes' report in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

At a zoom meeting on 9/24, the talent was told Glen Joseph, the former co-owner of Progress and head writer of NXT U.K., has left the promotion due to personal reasons and that Jim Smallman, another former co-owner of Progress is now head writer for the brand. Joseph was with Progress through June, when he left his post over allegations by women against him. Smallman left Progress at the end of this past year to work full-time for WWE. NXT U.K., headed by Paul Levesque, is actually run by Shawn Michaels and Matt Bloom, but Smallman will be head writer and in charge of tapings since Levesque, Bloom and Michaels can’t travel to the U.K. and back right now.

ITR Wrestling reported the talent is all together at the U.K gym for a three-week training session prior to the next tapings. Usually the talent is brought in for one week to practice for the tapings. The change is because there was a feeling at the last tapings the ring work wasn’t good. A number of matches ended up being re-shot because they weren’t good on the first shooting. Some blamed this on people not having wrestled for months. It’s also reported that WWE has signed more European talent which will start debuting on upcoming tapings. U.K. talent was also told that they could no longer sell their merchandise, which had been allowed as a way to make money since the U.K. contracts are for a low amount. They also have to follow the WWE main roster restrictions of not working with any third party companies, which were also previously allowed. People aren’t happy because most U.K. contracts range from $24,000 to $36,000 per year, although the top guy (Walter and maybe a couple of others) are believed to be well over triple the higher end because they had to make him an offer of real money to get him. Walter was in the range of most of the high-end NXT guys in the U.S. besides somebody like Balor who gets main roster money but was moved to NXT for the ratings war. Originally this was presented a that the talent would make most of their old money plus they’d get their WWE money and most were barely scraping by on wrestling just working indies, so even that $20,000 boost (which was what the original contracts were for) made a big difference for most.

It was announced in August that NXT UK was returning with new in-ring content. The brand hadn't held any events since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tapings were done at BT Sport studios in London, England and began airing on September 17.