Being a journalist myself, I always keep a watchful eye on the news of wrestling. From all the rumors to the updates, I have to get myself clued up on the backstage goings-on in the world of wrestling… even if it does get me in a right mood sometimes doing so. However, as I was scrolling through NoDQ.com, I saw an article with the headline… “WWE Trying to Counter-Program ROH with Takeover?”.
What the story was is NoDQ mentioned the fact that “Good Ol’ JR” Jim Ross had updated his blog recently, particularly his Q&A section. A user called “Parlay_King” asked JR a question on this section, talking about the WWE’s decision to have the next NXT Takeover event in Brooklyn. This happened to be on the same day as a ROH event which prompted Parlay_King to ask this question:
“Do you think that by setting the NXT Takeover in Brooklyn on the same day & time as ROH’s Field of Honor that the WWE is using predatory tactics against Ring of Honor?”
I’ll get to what JR’s response was in just a little bit but I just want to address this question head on. I’m sorry to have had to call this guy out by name but his question is representing a view-point of a lot of optimistic indie fans who believe that Ring Of Honor will one day rise up to challenge WWE for superiority. To believe in your stomach that a wrestling company can rise up to battle the mighty WWE is something we’d all love to happen. I’m not bashing WWE here, but competition can drive companies to put on better products and trump their rivals. Hell, WWF and WCW pulled out just about every trick in the book to try and win the Monday Night Wars. It made for compelling competition. So it’s fair game to want a company to succeed like this.
Speaking as a TNA fan myself, through thick and thin, I’ve always wanted to see TNA rise and become the top dogs of professional wrestling. Even if it’s dumb wishful thinking, that’s what we fans do. Not because we want to see WWE fail, but because we want to see these companies push each other to do more and up their game.
However, let me ask you one simple question. Do you really think WWE cared ONE bit about TNA losing their television deals? Do you really think WWE cared about the success of Lucha Underground and what’s happening in their next tapings? Do you really think WWE cares who Jeff Jarrett and Global Force Wrestling are going to partner up with in the next few months? The short answer is no. Vince McMahon does not have a teeny tiny whisper of interest in the television programs for TNA, Lucha Underground and GFW because they’re not competitive with them.
I’ve just posted a link to a YouTube video of Bryan Alvarez, who at this time was discussing the supposed new “Monday Night Wars” between WWE and TNA. What Bryan said about WWE and TNA here in 2010 outlines better than I possibly could about the mindset of WWE in regards to their competition. They likely wouldn’t have cared that last week’s edition of Impact Wrestling featured a 30 minute tag team ironman match between The Wolves and The Dirty Heels, a Knockouts title match and Ethan Carter III winning the TNA World Title. Because TNA’s content is not gonna make WWE counter-book and change up their shows because Ethan Carter III won their title. They’re not gonna have Sheamus cash in Money In The Bank or something to counter TNA’s offering that week. So explain to me this….
Why in god’s name would the WWE care that their next NXT Takeover show, the first one to be held outside of Florida, is on the same day as a ROH show? Why would WWE use “predatory” tactics in fear that the people of Brooklyn would turn up to ROH rather than WWE? The truth is… they wouldn’t. They wouldn’t change their main event to counter a main event like Jay Lethal vs Jay Briscoe or something. No disrespect to those two guys. In fact I actually loved their recent match at Best In The World. I’m a huge Jay Lethal fan. But with the momentum that NXT is building and with all the production and build they’ll be putting on this show. The promotion they’ll probably do on RAW and SmackDown! will likely send the NXT view-rates over the roof. If Finn Balor lost the NXT title that night to Zack Ryder or something, it’s not going to make a lot of fans say “Eh. I should have went to see ROH.” Because the gap between WWE and ROH is just TOO big for them or ANYBODY ELSE to “compete with”.
The fact that these two shows are on the same day is not gonna make Triple H and the NXT writers think, “Oh my god. They’ve got Jay Briscoe vs Lethal. We need Kevin Owens on the card,” or something like that. Hell, Kevin Owens, an NXT star, was recently named the 2015 WWE Superstar of the Year by the magazine Rolling Stone…. and he’s been on the main roster for less than two months! He was the NXT Champion when he got that honor. That tells you how much of a following NXT has. Why would WWE need to worry about ROH?
Because truth be told, ROH have signed up some top wrestling stars in recent years. Austin Aries recently re-signed with ROH, joining the likes of Alberto Del Rio, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin, Evan Bourne and many others making the jump to the company. However, look all of the former ROH stars that have jumped ship to the WWE and NXT? KENTA, Kevin Steen, Claudio Castagnoli and El Generico all left ROH for WWE and have become superstars in their own right. Generico and KENTA still have quite a way to go in terms of star power as Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami respectively, before they become stars in the WWE. Hell, Samoa Joe didn’t last long in ROH before signing a full-time contract with WWE. WWE has the money and the backing to pluck these stars and take them to that level. ROH… does not.
And ROH will struggle to stand out as one of the elite wrestling companies and a “rival” to WWE unless they get the major promotion and backing that they need. That’s not to say that ROH are a financially-messed up company. They’re certainty not in a situation like TNA is. But they wouldn’t be able to compete with WWE even if they tried. And WWE is not going to use “predatory” booking to try and trump ROH… because they simply don’t need to. There’s little point for the WWE to be predators when there’s no satisfying prey to feed them.