On Saturday, WWE posted an in-house production feed of the day’s TV tapings for its NXT UK series, including closed-door pre-show rehearsals, as an unlisted video on its official YouTube channel.
While behind the scenes WWE footage of many varieties has surfaced over the years in a mix of official documentaries as well as all manners of leaked and intercepted videos, rehearsals have almost never been among them, and WWE keeps them close to the vest.
This production feed, then, is an unprecedented look at how the biggest company in the professional wrestling industry produces its television shows that was accidentally made available to the public via a YouTube or Roku glitch. More on that part of the story in a bit.
The eight-hour production feed featured:
- 35 minutes of rehearsals
- Almost 150 minutes of a black screen
- The entire taping of the event
- Announcers Tom Phillips and Nigel McGuinness’s off-air banter
- Phillips, McGuinness, and ring announcer Andy Shepherd re-recording lines
- Every word said into staffers’ headsets and earpieces by their producer
Contrary to once-popular belief, wrestling fans have long known that what they’re watching is strictly entertainment. Maybe they didn’t know exactly how matches are manipulated or how often the matches are not legitimate contests, but they knew that they are staged in some way.
Reports state that the 8-hour long leaked behind-the-scenes pre-show rehearsals showed UK wrestlers training. The voices of the producers can be heard in the video. The video has NXT UK commentators Tom Phillips and Nigel McGuinness joking with each other. It is also reported that most of the video was filled with a black screen.
The 8-hour long video showed NXT coach Shawn Michaels helping the team set up a brawl between UK fighters Gallus and Imperium. The video showed The Heartbreak Kid instructing the players. The voices of one of WWE’s NXT UK producer Jon Briley can also be heard in the video. Briley can be heard speaking to crew members and even imitated the voice of WWE CEO Vince McMahon. The producers can be seen entertaining the crew members and making their work easier.
According to reports, the rehearsal video somehow ended up in someone’s autoplay even though that should not happen with an unlisted video.
As per the report, a Reddit theory suggests that the video was briefly public on WWE’s YouTube channel and indexed at one point and was not taken out when it was switched back to unlisted.