A new war is brewing in professional wrestling, and it is not one that we expected.
WWE is going up against ROH.
World Wrestling Entertainment is by far the biggest wrestling promotion on the planet. New Japan Pro Wrestling and Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion are big companies, but they pale in comparison to the power and reach that WWE boasts.
While they are not as low as the local independent wrestling promotions that pay their performers less than $20 on some nights, Ring of Honor is a couple notches below WWE, New Japan, and AAA.
The Grand Canyon sized gap between the two companies has long prevented WWE from considering ROH as being a legitimate threat in business.
ROH, however, is considered a nuisance to WWE. The former has been running their shows in the same cities as Wrestlemania each year in an attempt to capitalize on all the tourists that travel to see the biggest wrestling pay-per-view extravaganza each year.
World Wrestling Entertainment is striking back, according to Wrestling Inc.
On January 14, 2016, WWE will be running an NXT live event for the very first time in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The venue is the Turner Hall Ballroom, which is the same place ROH books whenever they are in town.
Since Vince McMahon has a history of wanting exclusivity, the belief is that Triple H will be doing the same thing with NXT and their live events. If forced to make a choice, most venue operators would choose to do business with WWE over other companies because it’s a safer bet.
Exclusivity was the weapon that Vince McMahon used when he turned the then regional WWF that he purchased from his father into a national promotion, making him a target of regional promotions across the country. The extremely risky strategy worked out just fine as McMahon is the last man standing from that war.
All eyes in the pro wrestling world will be on ROH to see how the company battles back against such a large corporation.
While worshiped tremendously by their rabid fans, ROH has long been criticized by fans who comprehend business. The feeling is that the promotion does not do enough to grow their business. Up until their deal with Destination America, which has now been terminated, Ring of Honor was not available in all 50 states in America.
Hard to believe, but Ring of Honor was actually founded a couple of months before TNA made their debut. The latter company has been on Spike TV and has several international broadcasting deals around the world, while the former has struggled to get to the same level.
ROH is going to have a very hard time competing with NXT, especially since they have the backing of resource heavy WWE. With Samoa Joe, James Storm, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn, and Hideo Itami on the developmental roster, they can compete with the in-ring action that Ring of Honor is known for.
Another thing that might make it harder for Ring of Honor to compete with NXT is the fact that several of their performers, including top stars such as Michael Bennett and Matt Taven, are working without a contract at the moment. That means that Triple H and company can easily come in and sweep them up with more favorable contracts.
The internet wrestling community has a tendency to believe that the sky is falling whenever something bad happens. It is much too soon to declare the death of ROH simply because they are going up against NXT. While their chances of beating a WWE brand are very slim, it is possible for Ring of Honor to figure out a way to stay alive.
[Featured Photo by WWE]