To open the March 2nd AEW Dynamite on TBS, company President Tony Khan made the announcement that he has signed a deal to become the owner of Ring of Honor. Khan acquired the video library, brand assets and intellectual property.
Video library ownership sis huge (although they’ll have some work to do cleaning it up). But that along with their library, definitely makes the idea of a streaming service a whole lot more believable.
Since ROH doesn’t have anybody locked to contracts, this certainly makes a ton of sense for having so many people under AEW deals. ROH can totally function like a development promotion, while remaining a super indie.
I assume that they will be off Sinclair, as they no longer have an ownership stake. I wonder where things end up then for TV.
Fantasy booking… Joe back in ROH? Joe & Regal running things? Joe vs. Punk… Just give me ROH Joe.
And… By proxy - AEW is now running Mania weekend events.
I think it could exist somewhere between what Dark is and what AEW is.
They have a huge roster. This gives a chance for guys to work in front of decent crowds (assuming they tour? Or run TV) and have the matches be seen by people. And not just regulate people to Dark, etc.
Also, considering ROH has zero talent under contract, it leaves everything wide open.
This is exactly what I expected, can’t say it was much of a surprise. Makes a lot of sense from a business perspective as the video tape library does have a lot of value. From a on-screen perspective, I dont think it really makes much of a difference, maybe they trade some talent back and forth, but its not like AEW is in need of talent at the moment. Good move.
ROH only needs to be what NXT was to WWE back in the day. A different offering from what’s on TV weekly with a self supporting touring business targeting hardcore wrestling fans. With no talent costs, can keep production costs lower and focus on a stripped down product true to ROH core.
It is a little ironic though that on social media, so many of the people who complained about NXT being pointless (and I don’t mean the current garbage version), are now saying how AEW having a developmental brand would be such an amazing idea lol.
Either way, I 100% agree with you. ROH is now likely NXT.
As far as I know - heading into Final Battle 2021, it was announced all contracts expired either in December, and some of the bigger ones in April. So my assumption is that no contracts are included in that. My guess is Briscoes, and others end up with ROH, but as far as I know, there are no current long term ROH deals.
I like the NXT comparison. But, imagine a main roster that actually embraced the success of their developmental, instead of constantly ignoring it ? That would be the ideal scenario here…
Oh exactly…NXT was great until Vince and co. got their hands on it which IMO was around the time it went to USA. I feel like Tony and Hunter have very similar visions as to what wrestling should be which obviously differs from the opinions of Vince and his inner circle. Just seeing how much NXT 2.0 is promoted on Raw/SD is proof that there were people in WWE who tried to hold NXT gold and black down.
Had the main roster embraced NXT like AEW will undoubtedly embrace ROH, to be completely honest, I don’t think we even have an AEW (at this level at least) right now.
NXT only became pointless when they screwed up 98 per cent of all call-ups and hoarded guys like Adam Cole for years.
Actually creating a proper development territory makes a ton of sense. The problem is Vince doesn’t understand pro sports and how that developmental model works. He thought NXT (which he owned) was competing against WWE and buried them.
I have a ton of confidence that someone from the sports world like Tony Khan can make a developmental territory make sense.
That surprises me, I can’t tell you how many times I had to debunk that false narrative.
I think the problem is that a lot of fans have a hard time viewing wrestling as a fan, but instead attempt to view it as an analyst.
Ill give you an example. I have one buddy who stopped watching WWE around 2010. He thought/thinks that WWE is cartoonish and that the acting is horrible (can’t blame him lol). I told him about NXT (pre USA) and he loved it. He watched it in the same way a lot of us used to watch ECW, a place where talent come, perform at a high level, then leave. He didn’t care about what happened afterwards. I think there was a segment of fans that hate the main roster (again, I get it) but wouldn’t stop watching it, and couldn’t separate it from NXT. I have said this on this board before, and Ill say it again. Back in the hay day (even just a year ago to a lesser degree), if you were able to separate the two, there is no reason why you couldn’t love NXT, in its prime there was no better wrestling then anything that’s been out in years IMO and I include AEW in that. BUT, if you are trying to watch it as a sister show to the main roster, then of course it’s frustrating. I was able to watch both and separate the two, but some just can’t do it.