WWE has the worldwide leader in pro-wrestling for years now, and it appears that there is a possible purchase likely involving Ring of Honor Wrestling being sold to WWE. WWE has been trying to build up the WWE Network for years now, which many obviously know. However, the company seems to be pushing it even more over the last year now, resulting in Triple H among others to talk with companies about possible partnerships.
There were surveys sent out asking people if they wanted to see the likes of ROH and TNA on the WWE Network. Many took this as WWE either attempting to purchase the companies or at least add them to the WWE Network on a regular basis. The attempt to buy TNA fell through last year when they decided to sell to Anthem Sports and Entertainment instead, who was already a minority owner in the business going in.
Now it appears that Sinclair Broadcasting is willing to sell ROH Wrestling, which is kind of a first. Joe Koff, who works for Sinclair but basically runs ROH, did say that he would be willing to partner with the right people. He has also been open to the idea that they would listen to serious offers to buy ROH, but it did not seem like he was admitting that Sinclair was planning to get out of the pro-wrestling business at all.
The original report regarding a possible sale was reported by Pro Wrestling Sheet on Wednesday, which shocked many people. The report stated that WWE had the idea of adding a regular ROH product on the WWE Network each week similar to that of WWE NXT now. They also planned to do a full takeover with the deal and not an aide program like they have with WWN Live. They also claimed that ROH and WWE had been in secret talks regarding a possible sale since January.
However, The Wrestling Observer elaborated on the report. They claim that WWE first contacted ROH about a possible sale as far back as August of 2016. The idea at the time was to buy ROH for their tape library, which they could use for various reasons. Mostly, it could be used for people like Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan, or Seth Rollins who the WWE would love to make more DVDs of. In fact, two big ones, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens, have DVDs coming up that would need ROH material.
WWE is not just speaking with ROH as other independent companies have also been in talks for a buyout with WWE as well. There is no concrete evidence that WWE will buy ROH or even if ROH is seriously considering the possible idea of selling. The main situation is that ROH has not yet decided on anything and WWE has yet to officially offer a deal to buy. ROH made sure to not help themselves at all with rumors, despite a statement being released. They claimed…
“Sinclair’s corporate policy is never to comment on speculative rumors and unsubstantiated stories.”
The random John Cena post that had ROH top guy Jay Lethal involved made sense to fans after the fact now. When most saw it originally, it seemed odd as it made no sense out of context. However, once the news of ROH came about, it all made sense. That means John Cena clearly knew there were talks and probably knew that news on them was going to get out soon.
PW Insider differs from The Wrestling Observer and Pro Wrestling Sheet regarding a buyout. They claim that WWE is more so in talks with ROH regarding their show being added to the WWE Network more than anything else. On top of this, they want to license material for other projects as well. Interestingly, if they owned ROH outright, they could put the show on and save money they would spend in licensing. Therefore, a buyout would be smarter for WWE to push.
If WWE is indeed in talks with various promotions regarding a buyout, that is a huge deal. WWE would have the chance to absorb a huge library with a lot of matches with some of the best wrestlers in the world. However, they could absorb some major names in the deal too as contacts could come with a full takeover. This did happen when WWE bought WCW back in 2001. So if WWE does buy ROH, don’t be shocked to see interesting names absorbed in the deal.
[Featured Image by Jessica Hill/AP Images]