This week is a huge step in the right direction for professional wrestling as a whole. The WWE is in its own tiny bubble of success that markets globally and gets millions of people every week to watch their product. All they need is proper booking, and the rest will take care of itself. As far as their television deal, it’s with NBC Universal and broadcast on the USA Network Mondays and Tuesdays. Each week, WWE Raw and Smackdown Live garner over 1-million viewers.
The thing is, that’s just for the WWE. There is no other wrestling promotion in the entire world can follow that example because the bar raised by World Wrestling Entertainment hasn’t been surpassed since WCW closed its doors in the early-2000s. So, it will obviously take creativity and money to do that. TNA Impact Wrestling attempted to be competitive with the WWE, but everyone knows how that turned out. Dixie Carter drove the company into the ground.
Reverting back to the one move that changed professional wrestling for the near-future was one that shouldn’t shock any wrestling enthusiast. It’s difficult to find a website to stream Indie wrestling on a consistent basis. Lucha Underground and Ring of Honor are on national television, but that’s about it. But now, FloSports.com has announced a partnership with World Wrestling Network Live to stream all WWNLive properties, including EVOLVE, SHINE, Full Impact Pro and WWN Supershow. It begins on November 4.
That’s only the beginning of streaming Indie wrestling online. Soon, expect other promotions around the globe to jump on board with websites like FloSports to accomplish the same thing. Now, where does the WWE factor into all of this? According to David Bixenspan of SEScoops.com, Dave Meltzer said the WWE isn’t happy with indie shows “skyrocketing” in interest after the partnership.
“Pro Wrestling Guerrilla refused to even talk to Flo and “turned them down flat without a conversation.” (PWG is one of the few promotions that still does strong DVD sales, and not doing streaming allows them more flexibility in matchmaking, like booking Evolve and ROH wrestlers in the same matches).”
“WWE is not happy that the price value has just skyrocketed (and that word is not exaggerated) if they want to get into the indie content game, and they obviously did based on their surveys.”
The report also mentioned that the WWE is a “silent partner” in FloSports with zero influence, and this was the deal the company agreed to when signing on as an investor. That’s especially significant when dealing with the WWE’s reported frustration, considering the importance of this deal to Indie wrestling promotions’ marketability. PWG not wanting to be included isn’t a big shock as they release dvds to their customers.
Bixenspan goes on to say that he doesn’t believe the WWE knew this was coming. Even though they are a silent investor, the notice of a partnership with a big wrestling company wasn’t made known to the WWE before being announced to the public. Rovert, a wrestling analyst, brought up that FloSports was contacting bigger Indie groups to stream their shows, including what is starting on November 4.
In a recent article by the Inquisitr, Joe Burgett went into deeper detail on the partnership between FloSports and WWN Live. It will be interesting to see how the WWE reacts to this huge news in the coming months. Without access to a library of Indie wrestling, they are held to their own product on the WWE Network. Sure, they have a partnership with Evolve, but they haven’t streamed or promoted any Evolve events on the network. Perhaps, this will spark a change in Vince McMahon’s mind.
[Featured image by WWE]