Here is everything we know regarding Impact Wrestling’s parent company Anthem Entertainment acquiring the majority stake in AXS TV:
– Impact Wrestling will move from the Pursuit channel to AXS TV the first week following it’s Bound For Glory PPV event to be held on October 20 in Chicago. They did not announce whether it will air in its usual time slot of 10 pm Friday’s or if the show will have a new time slot. They did announce that the show will continue to simulcast through Twitch.
– While Anthem did acquire the majority stake in the company, original investors Mark Cuban and AEG will retain a minority stake in the Network and will handle its advertising and sales department while Anthem will run the network’s operational arm.
– As part of Anthem’s plans for the network, it has closed AXS TV’s offices in Dallas Texas (with the network’s Los Angeles office now being its main headquarters) and laid off all 40 employees who worked there. The most high profile of which, Adam Swift, was instrumental in getting Pro Wrestling programing on the network in the first place.
Swift organised Ring Of Honor’s TV deal with the network which ran from 2009 to 2011 before the promotion was bought by Sinclair Broadcasting and he also Executive Produced New Japan Pro Wrestling’s show on the network.
AEW VP Cody posted a tribute to Swift after the latter announced his departure from AXS on Twitter:
Thank you for helping bring wrestling to AXS. A lot of folks(myself included) benefited greatly from an alternative wrestling product being on tv. Thanks for being an ally to the sport. https://t.co/kwqOSAhD2H
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) September 10, 2019
– Speaking about other Pro Wrestling promotions on AXS TV, there is some concern amongst fans of New Japan Pro Wrestling and WOW: Women Of Wrestling about the future of both shows on the network. I talked to a source close to the situation and here is what he had to say: “We don’t know much yet. We’re still doing our shows just as scheduled so we are just gonna keep going until someone tells us not to.”
The source added: “Everything is a bit touch and go right now. WOW didn’t have a season three order before the sale, so there is exactly the same amount of uncertainty over that as there was prior. But I think it would be a bad PR move to cancel WOW. As far as NJPW goes, I know they still have a bad relationship with Impact.”
– Speaking of New Japan, we last heard that they still want nothing to do with Impact and will probably never let go of the bad history between them due to the way Kuzuchika Okada was treated back when he worked for Impact as part of a talent exchange, even though just about all the executives and booking staff who were around during that era are long gone.
The current heads of Impact Creative and Management Scott D’Amore and Don Callis have made multiple appeals to NJPW about this fact in an attempt to start a new working relationship and even apologised profusely for how Okada was treated by the old administration. Sadly, those olive branches were roundly rejected, and NJPW chose to stick with their current working deal with Ring Of Honor. However, if a recent rumour is true…they may not have much choice.
– Some reports are speculating that Anthem Entertainment may be about to buy ROH as well and merge them with Impact. Ever since the formation of All Elite Wrestling ROH has seen a quick and dramatic downturn in business and Sinclair Broadcasting may indeed be looking to sell.
According to the reports, the thinking by Anthem here is if they can’t get NJPW to drop ROH and work with them, they’ll just buy ROH and force them to. If NJPW still refuses to play ball, not only will they lose their U.S. partners in their expansion but possibly their U.S. TV home as well!
Sir Mitch Says: Can Pro Wrestling in 2019 get any wilder?