When it was announced that Impact Wrestling Knockouts World Champion Mickie James would be participating in this year’s Royal Rumble, it quickly became a hot topic.
Impact Knockouts World Champion @MickieJames will be in the #RoyalRumble Match! #SmackDown pic.twitter.com/TXH0jm6QgE — WWE (@WWE) January 8, 2022
After all, WWE has a reputation of never acknowledging or working with other promotions. But the truth is, WWE has had relationships with other promotions on many occasions.
NJPW (1970s-1990s, 2015)
From the 1970s-1990s, many wrestlers in WWE appeared at NJPW events, including Hulk Hogan while he was WWF World Heavyweight Champion. Meanwhile, NJPW wrestlers had WWF championships as well.
Antonio Inoki was a two-time WWF World Martial Arts Heavyweight Champion.
Tatsumi Fujinami and Riki Chosu held the WWF International Heavyweight Championship.
The team of Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura held the WWF International Tag Team Championship.
Seiji Sakaguchi held the WWF North American Heavyweight Championship.
Also, In 2015, NJPW’s Jushin Thunder Liger wrestled at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn.
WWE and AJPW worked together at the Wrestling Summit multi-promotion (WWE, NJPW, AJPW) event, where Hulk Hogan wrestled AJPW’s Stan Hansen.
Super World Sports (SWS) (1991)
WWE talent, including Hulk Hogan as WWE Champion, appeared at events for the Japan-based SWS.
Many wrestlers from WWE appeared in the USWA, especially in 1992 and 1993, during a storyline feud between both promotions, with Vince McMahon doing heel promos on USWA-TV, while Jerry Lawler from USWA made appearances in WWE.
Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) (1993-1995)
In 1993, Jim Cornette made a surprise appearance on, “RAW” and went on to do a promo in the ring about Smoky Mountain Wrestling and his Heavenly Bodies tag team. The Heavenly Bodies and Cornette began appearing in WWE frequently. WWE talent, including The Undertaker, appeared at SMW events during the relationship between the two promotions.
While Vince McMahon helped ECW financially, ECW wrestlers made appearances on “RAW“, and Jerry Lawler appeared in ECW.
Wrestlers from the Mexico-based AAA wrestled at WWE events in 1997, including that year’s Royal Rumble.
Michinoku Pro (1997)
Michinoku Pro’s The Great Sasuke and Taka Michinoku wrestled each other at WWE events in the US, and The Undertaker appeared at a Michinoku Pro event in Japan.
TNA allowed Ric Flair (who was under contract at the time) to appear at the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony. In return, WWE gave TNA the opportunity to choose a WWE talent to appear at a TNA event. TNA President Dixie Carter chose Christian, who appeared at TNA’s Slammiversary event that year. Christian had worked in TNA from 2005-2008, and had gotten along well with Carter during that time, which is why she chose him.
Preston City Wrestling (PCW) (2018)
Apollo Crews appeared at an event for the UK-based PCW in 2018.
Fight Club: PRO (FCP) (2019)
Trent Seven and Tyler Bate wrestled at an FCP event in 2019. On a side note, Trent Seven was the owner of the UK-based FCP.
Evolve, ICW, PROGRESS, and wXw (2019-present)
In August 2020, WWE Network added content from Evolve, the-UK based ICW & PROGRESS, and the Germany-based wXw.
Also, there was an NXT/WWE match at an Evolve event in 2019 as Adam Cole defended the NXT Championship against Akira Tozawa, NXT UK talent has made many appearances in ICW (Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, and Wolfgang) & PROGRESS (Jinny), and NXT wrestler WALTER is the head trainer in wXw.