WWE may be adding another promotion to the WWE Network. As reported by Wrestling Inc. (via Pro Wrestling Sheet), Ring of Honor may be the next promotion that WWE purchases.
For the past few months, there has been a series of talent coming and going, as the company has been a revolving door. As Matt and Jeff Hardy, as well as Bully Ray have entered, names such as Lio Rush, Donovan Dijak, and Kyle O’Reilly have left. In addition, Adam Cole and Bobby Fish might be in the process of departing ROH as well. Moreover, Roderick Strong and Cedric Alexander recently departed ROH to go to NXT to be a part of the Cruiserweight Division.
Speculation of WWE purchasing ROH is due to the belief that Sinclair Broadcasting does not have any interest in being affiliated with the pro wrestling market anymore. Although it was a valuable acquisition and many felt that the production value would increase and the presentation would be better, Impact Wrestling still far exceeds ROH from this standpoint. As a result, ROH has rarely been seen as a No. 2 threat in the American market, even though the list of talent has been a breeding ground for rival promotions.
According to PWInsider, the details of the discussions are as follows.
“One of the rumors that we have been asked about over the last 24 hours is one claiming that WWE is negotiating to purchase Ring of Honor from Sinclair Broadcasting. The story actually began circulating about three weeks back and was a topic of conversation among wrestlers at the 15th Anniversary PPV in Las Vegas. At the time, numerous sources within each company denied there were any sale talks, much less a deal in place. Last night, when the rumors began floating around online, we were again told there was nothing to a sale story.”
It should be noted, however, that according to a WWE source, there have been off and on conversations between the companies in recent months but those talks were surrounding the possibility of the WWE Network carrying the Ring of Honor TV show, similar to deals in place that will eventually see PROGRESS Wrestling and Insane Championship Wrestling broadcast as “independent wrestling” content on the WWE Network.”
In addition, the deal will entail licensing material from Ring of Honor, something that ROH COO Joe Koff has been open to for a while. If this all becomes official, ROH will be aired on the WWE Network, similar to how it is on Comet and the FITE app.
As reported by F4WOnline, there have been some legal issues stemming between WWE and ROH as of late. Although WWE is a major brand, especially compared to ROH, previous attempts to pursue things legally seemed insurmountable. However, with WWE featuring NXT, ROH has made sure to address any time that they felt WWE was discussing with any current ROH talent, which would be a violation to do.
The next major event for ROH is the Supercard of Honor XI in Lakeland, Florida, on Saturday, April 1. It has also been reported that Matt and Jeff Hardy will be dropping the Ring of Honor Tag Team Championships and debuting in WWE shortly after.
Currently, the Ring of Honor World Champion is Christopher Daniels, and this is the first major world championship in an over 20-year career. If WWE indeed buys ROH and retains the talent so the show can be on the WWE Network, Daniels would be the perfect person to introduce those who are not aware of the ROH product, as he was there when it all started.
[Featured Image by WWE]