As reported last night, WWE is unhappy with Ring Of Honor and Figures Inc. releasing a Kevin Steen action figure before they could release their own Kevin Owens figure, and as a result, WWE is looking to create a pipeline to independent talent to come directly to NXT — with a merchandise agreement — before they can be scooped up by Ring Of Honor or TNA Wrestling.
WWE is reportedly working with WWN, the parent company of EVOLVE and FIP, and as part of their potential deal they would have WWN continue to sign top independent talents to deals that would now include licensing and merchandise agreements, this way WWE can bring the talent to NXT and they won’t have to worry about the hassle of trying to secure the different rights from other third parties.
There’s talk right now within WWE that if an independent talent has signed a third party merchandising deal with any kind of exclusivity, WWE wouldn’t be interested in signing them, however they are always exceptions to the rule for significant talent.
Additionally, WWE is looking to work with the Florida-based SHINE Wrestling promotion, WWN’s all-women’s wrestling company. The idea is that because WWE pushes the NXT Divas division, they are interested in having a pool of female talent that they can have “official access” to for potential use in NXT.
The basic idea is that WWE would be able to pick up and sign any WWN talents without outside hassles, although the deal is apparently nowhere close to being finalized and there’s no guarantee that it will go through, however talks are ongoing between both sides.