Wrestling #1: A change in the US scene

Talk about a huge announcement that came out of thin air!

Last week Ring of Honor Wrestling ( told the world they have come to an agreement with EchoStar, InDemand, and TVN to air six PPV's throughout 2007-08 (1 every 60 days). This statement prompted a domino effect on the US independent wrestling scene. Mainly due to decision made with in TNA.

The report prompted to immediately pull all TNA talent from RoH, which was down to only Austin Aries and Homicide. Unlike the previous situation when TNA did this (see Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, etc), this time I can completely understand. They want to protect their investment and their company. Having TNA wrestlers on another company's product that will be available national would be a bad idea. RoH has seen this coming and slowly started phasing the TNA workers out of main angles over the past few months.

What I don't get is the TNA verdict to pull talent from PWG ( because they make their DVD's available through High Spots (, a website that also distributes TNA merchandise. Unlike RoH, PWG uses a lot of TNA midcard talent in major storylines. Only time will tell, but it appears that if a promotion sells DVD's on a outside distributors website like High Spots or Smart Mark Video (, then the TNA will be pulled. For the record, Smart Mark tapes and sells DVD & tapes for various promotions including IWA-MS, IWA-DS, CZW, Chikara, and several others.

Who gets hurt most by this...well the answer right now is both fans and wrestlers. TNA westlers will suffer because they wont be able take other booking to subsides their incomes. With TNA only doing one PPV and two TV tapings a month, that's not a lot money for some of the workers, especially low card workers. The fans may get resentful because they cant see these workers anywhere but TNA. Unless TNA plans to start running house shows on a weekly basis, which I cant see them doing, the potential backfire could be immense.

Back to the Ring of Honor. The huge difference with RoH's deal is these are NOT LIVE events. These will be taped shows, edited down (though no editing will occur in a match itself, just the entire card) to meet the two hour time slot. This gives the company the chance to create this event for DVD release, then make the necessary changes for the PPV. Not much extra work will go into the process.

This can only be a good thing for the company. If the deal fails, they can always go back to the original business model and try again later. But if the deal succeeds. We could have another national alternative in US wrestling...which is a great situation to have if you're a fan.

RoH has said they have no interest in taking on the WWE. They cant. They don't have the financial backing. They just want to carve out a piece for themselves. The promotion is different in how it presents itself than both the WWE and TNA (which are very similar in styles). As a fan of wrestling and of Ring of Honor, I hope the promotion gains new fans and makes more money thus making all wrestling fans the winners.

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