While WWE has rightfully earned the reputation as a leviathan in the wrestling industry that only eats up other promotions instead of working in a mutually beneficial coexistence with them, there are instances in the past where they've tried to play nice with a smaller dog in the yard. In the 90s, the then WWF had a working relationship with smaller regional promotions like Smoky Mountain Wrestling and ECW, which allowed them to occasionally use each other's wrestlers, as well as for the WWF to get a good look at any promising up and coming talent. For the past 20 years though, this practice has largely been abandoned (except for a very brief deal with EVOLVE), but if word going around is accurate, that may be about to change.
As was first reported by Dave Meltzer in his Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the WWE has had talks with former WWE writer Court Bauer about a partnership with his promotion, MLW. Apparently, WWE is not happy with being seen as the old ogre of the wrestling industry that can't play nice with others (I can't imagine where that reputation came from…) and with rival promotions like AEW, IMPACT Wrestling, and NJPW all teaming up and holding joint events with each other for cross-promotion, WWE feels the time is right to do something like that themselves.
More now has even been revealed about a possible partnership between WWE and MLW, with Fightful Select confirming and building on what Meltzer had previously reported and saying that discussions have taken place between "high-ups" in both companies.
The story then tells us what the reaction has been in WWE's developmental brand, NXT, who would be most affected and used in a potential partnership. They say that NXT talent was caught off-guard and learned about it through the same online rumors we all have and they are unsure about how they would be used. Yet in Meltzer's initial report, he said that some of the less-used NXT wrestlers are a big reason for such a partnership with MLW, as it would give them more to do and a chance to be featured and hone their craft.
This all appears to still be in the very early stages and of course, many things would need to be hammered out here, including tv and streaming rights. But as we've seen many times before, when WWE is motivated to get something done, they do just that. And if they are truly committed to a deal here, then I'd expect to hear an official announcement in the not-too-distant future.