All In, ROH, Impact, and The End of Wrestling Promotions?

Backstage…around 11AM…

Sir Mitch:  Sinclair-Tribune deal is dead. Tribune is now suing Sinclair for billions because they think Sinclair screwed up negotiations with regulators. ROH won’t be on national network in the US unless Sinclair decides to sell. If I were NJPW’s parent company Bushiroad…I’d be making phone calls!  Rumour has it Amazon may buy Tribune!

Baron Botch:  ROH is already on national TV. They’re on Sinclair stations.

Sir Mitch:  You know what I meant…

Baron Botch:  I actually don’t. They weren’t gonna get a huge deal or anything. Not yet.  Hopefully soon…but not yet. If that gets rushed, the results could be disastrous.  MSG has made them sexy. All they need is time.

Sir Mitch:  If Sinclair bought Tribune they probably would have put ROH programming on WGN America. When I said national, I meant one network that was national not multiple affiliates.

Baron Botch:  I highly doubt that. Not yet. That kinda thing can’t be rushed. Rush to market that way and they won’t have a leg to stand on if it fails. At this point, it would likely fail.

Sir Mitch:  Plenty of people in the industry thought they would from Eric Bischoff to the former head of Turner TV (Dr someone or other)

Baron Botch:  I just don’t think they were right. I mean think about it. Truly, if they rush it, no one will touch them ever again if it fails. People don’t forget failure.  Timing is everything. Eric knows all about that.  He also knows what it’s like to get it completely wrong. Though, to be honest, I think he intended to get it wrong. I think that was a case of sabotage.

Sir Mitch:  If the first hour of All In rated well on WGN and the merger was still happening…they would have put ROH on there sooner rather than later.

Baron Botch:  All in as a one time deal. That’s different. It’s like a suoerpromotion of sorts. So is the G1 card. ROH on its own doesn’t have that kind of power.  To be truthful bro, the business is currently being turned upside down. Cody is doing something altogether new. Maybe the end of promotions as we know them is in the offing?

Sir Mitch:  ROH has one or two fingerprints on All In so Agree to disagree!

Baron Botch:  It does…but they aren’t alone. If they were, it wouldn’t work. They’re working in tandem with other promotions.  ROH is cooperating with All In because it too is sexy.

Sir Mitch:  I doubt that! My guess is NJPW or ROH or both are going to look to get on a bigger network before WWE’s deal with Fox starts in October next year. Getting the jump on that by 3-4 months would be HUGE!

Baron Botch:  WWE is a totally different thing in so many ways. We both agree there.  I do think ROH can work that out and be successful. I just disagree that they can do this right now. MSG needs to happen first and they need to use that to do something on their own and see how they does first.

Sir Mitch:  I’ve always believed that the Tribune deal will collapse and Sinclair will sell write offs like ROH to cover whatever losses they’ll have from it. The MSG sell out makes ROH a hot buy now!

Baron Botch:  It’s not just ROH. It’s also an NJPW event. They aren’t doing that alone.

Sir Mitch:  Disagree. I think All In will be used by the promotions participating to pitch their content to Networks.

Baron Botch:  Oh it’d have to be. They’d be fools not to use that footage.

Sir Mitch:  Seriously though, I wouldn’t be shocked if deals are announced before April. Call me crazy…but there is movement happening right now. I can smell it!

Baron Botch:  I will say that I think ROH would do better ratings than Impact. There’s are just atrocious!  I agree that there’s a movement going on. But if somebody makes a false move, that movement will be squelched. Nobody can afford that.

Sir Mitch:  ROH already does 4X better ratings in syndication than Impact does on POP.

Baron Botch:  How impact manages to stay on the air is entirely beyond me. I did an article about that earlier (Note to readers:  it’s here if you want to read it) where I showed that there were TV series in the U.S. that debuted on the air that were canceled after one episode that still got higher ratings than impact ever does.

Sir Mitch:  Networks are desperate for live content so people don’t DVR and skip ads. Pro Wrestling is a cheaper form of Live content all things considered. Like I said, I would not be shocked if by April someone announces a TV deal.

Baron Botch:  What really gets me about All In is the idea that there may not even need to be promotions anymore.  Then workers can truly be independent contractors.  I have this feeling that at some point in the future, the thing we know to be “the wrestling promotion” will become obsolete.

Sir Mitch:  I don’t see that happening honestly! Stuff like All In wouldn’t work if it was a weekly thing.

Baron Botch:  I don’t agree. I think it would generate a level of excitement is it traditional promotions can’t generate. What if you didn’t know from week to week who was going to be on? I think that would be fun.  Or maybe just have workers for maybe a month and then move on to completely different workers. It would certainly give them the opportunity to create completely different storylines with completely different people constantly. So nothing would get stale if it was done properly.  The fans don’t get bored and the workers are constantly being shifted around so storylines can’t get old.

Sir Mitch:  Sounds like a return to the territory days!

Baron Botch:  It kind of does. But what I’m thinking of would be even more volatile than that.  In my world, the workers, the fans, and whatever entity signed the TV deal all win.  The product would always be fresh.  All the ideas I’m having right now…


So what do you guys think?  Am I completely nuts?  Sound off below.  I’d love to debate it with you too!