WWE VS. ROH Industry War, Are Evolve And PWG Involved?

A week ago it was reported by the Inquisitr that the WWE was going up against ROH (Ring of Honor) using their own developmental group NXT. In the report, it explains how WWE is running a NXT show on January 14, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in a regular ROH venue called the Turner Hall Ballroom. On the surface, that may not seem like such a big deal; but, the report went on about how WWE likes to get exclusivity over venues. It is possible that WWE could push ROH out of performing future shows at the Turner Hall Ballroom. Many people may write-off this report as speculation, but it is important to recap and think about all the skirmishes between ROH and WWE that have happened in 2015. Once fans look at the background behind the assessment, it is pretty hard to deny that there is not at least some heat between the two companies.

Current Evolve wrestler Tommaso Ciampa wrestling former Olympic and current NXT wrestler Chad Gable. [Image via WWE]
Kevin Owens facing off with John Cena in his WWE debut.

On August 22, during the Summerslam weekend events, WWE held an NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn show that Friday in direct competition to ROH’s Field of Honor show in the same city. If running on the same night wasn’t bad enough, WWE also booked New Japan Pro Wrestling talent Jushin Thunder Liger against NXT wrestler Tyler Breeze in the first match on the card. This is noteworthy due to the fact that ROH and New Japan have a working business relationship and also had New Japan wrestlers on the Field of Honor show that night.

It was reported by Wrestlezone via the Wrestling Observer that WWE management was upset by the ROH Kevin Steen action figure incident and was planning on possibly signing indie talent before they had signed deals with ROH or TNA. This could be where a wrestling company called Evolve came into play.

Apollo Crews wrestling Johnny Gargano

These days, it seems as though Evolve has mostly been running shows in Florida, which is also the home state of NXT. In the past year, fans have seen somewhat of an unofficial business relationship form between WWE’s NXT and Evolve. NXT has used Evolve wrestlers such as Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa as enhancement talent and has also signed former Evolve wrestlers Apollo Crews, Rich Swann, and Biff Busick. There have also been public statements between the two companies both stating that Evolve may be acting as sort of a “feeder system” to NXT. It is also interesting to note that for Wrestlemania weekend in 2016, Evolve is running a show at the Eddie Deen Ranch at 4 p.m. on Friday. That location is only a two minute walk away from the NXT TakeOver: Dallas show that night at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center. As of this writing, NXT TakeOver: Dallas is booked for a 9 p.m. start time. It is quite possible that both companies booked around their respective shows in a way to allow fans the option to attend both. Just up the street that same night, ROH is running their Supercard of Honor X show in direct competition at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

A lot of these incidents may be blown a bit out of proportion by the pro wrestling media. It is possible that there isn’t an industry war, but it’s fairly clear that WWE is not on the best of terms with ROH and have clearly chosen to work with Evolve instead of ROH. WWE’s NXT developmental brand is seemingly modeled after ROH in a lot of ways. NXT has seen a ton of success and has been able to attract die hard indie wrestling fans who have really been into promotions such as Ring of Honor, Chikara, Evolve, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.

ROH and PWG

[Photo via WWE]