Something About Pro Wrestling!


#566

Hey, Waypoint is a progressive site and cares about business practices of our favorite capitalistic entertainment enterprises so thought I’d bring up the recent situation happening with the WWE in the UK. I recommend reading this https://www.voicesofwrestling.com/2018/12/03/new-information-on-nxt-uk-deals-wwe-network-additions-tiers/

What they are doing is signing up a whole lot of European talent to deals that give the WWE a whole lot of control on what they can do. WWE has been stockpiling talent for the past 5 or so years in a big way and now they essentially have control of an entire scene that was thriving after being in the dark for so long. With WWE having the ability to purchase the two biggest UK promotions at any time means they could clear the way for their NXT UK brand which hasn’t taken off the way they expected. Presumably because they are accessible elsewhere.

So hey, curious of your thoughts on the WWE pretty much enforcing an iron grip on continually growing area for wrestling.


#567

It’s repugnant, imo. They’ve basically read the room and realized that the casual crowds are dying out and soon they will be fighting the growing indy scenes over the same audience. What Trips has been doing is no different from what Vince did back in the 80’s with the territories. He’s raiding the competition and trying to establish a new monopoly. It bothers me a great deal, because so much of the “Papa Haitch is bringing in all your favorite Indy stars” schpiel is just a different way of saying “Hi, we’re actively cannibalizing the market” and people are eating it up.


#568

Monopolizing the wrestling scene isn’t great, it certainly kills competition. But their will always be local indies to go see. Zack Gibson and James Drake both signed to NXT UK, run the school I train at but also run shows every 2/3 months with some pretty big indy names and then local talent and people coming up in the school. Then we Have TNT in Liverpool also, so we have 2 promotions here alone that are both seemingly doing well.

A new indy darling will always come along, Daniel Bryan, Steen, Generico, Devitt, Styles, Ricochet, Cole. There will always be talent coming through, just be sure to support it, the British scene at the moment is still amazing


#569

It’s true indy wrestling won’t die any more than DIY music won’t die when bands get signed, but wwe has been particularly bad the past few years in signing a ton of talent and really letting them sink once they hit the main roster. They’re hoarding talent, which is harmful to wrestling overall imo.

What they did in the UK is just gross. The scene started to get off the ground and once someone started a TV show there wwe moved in and signed a few dozen of the best UK wrestlers to likely pretty low paying contracts if they’re anything like US nxt to quash World of Sports momentum. it’s gross imperialism.


#570

Oh yeah, the World of Sports connection is the most laughable and gross part. NXT UK only comes because World of Sport was coming back. At least at the speed it did. The rush starts during a World of Sport holiday special…but then it stops more or less because WoS might not air an actual series. Welp, when it looks like something will come you NXT UK has to pick up steam again and start recording tapings. Tapings that sit on the shelves because WoS doesn’t look like it is being successful. And now they’ve started again seemingly because they already put the wheels in motion and now they have to go again.

And indie wrestling won’t die but UK indie wrestling was reaching certain unexpected heights. This is going to hit that rather hard. And if you don’t want to be tied in with the WWE? Well that’s highly unfortunate.


#571

Just want to state I don’t think what WWE has done here is all positive. It’s a gross use of their market share. But it’s hard to argue with the talent who have literally give blood, sweat and tears to get that WWE contract.

It sure as hell sucks when a performer is destroyed or swallowed by WWE as well. Seeing Shinsuke, Itami, Balor, Zayn, Owens, and Roode all linger in a weird limbo. There’s literal too many cooks.

But on the other hand, there’s never been a better time for those who want to give it a try in Indies and succeed. Drew Galloway, Cody, Juice all doing/done great stuff far from WWE


#572

Damn, I fell asleep during the Wrestle Kingdom 13 preshow cause I’m such an old person. Nearly finished the replay. LIJ being the huge Wrestle Kingdom winners. Draped in hella gold.

Although I think I’m feeling a bit of sadness because this WK seems to be an end of an era. Like who knows if the AEW guys will have a working relationship with NJPW? Kushida maybe on his way to NXT. And new rumors about Kenny Omega going to WWE.


#573

The AEW guys by all accounts are working very hard to get the same kind of relationship with NJPW that ROH have right now, so hopefully they’ll still be around for a while, and Kenny’s been playing the “possibly going to WWE” song every time his contract comes up for negotiation and never does it, so at this point i’ll only actually believe it when he’s jobbing to Dolph Ziggler. Even if they aall leave, though, that whole show gave me confidence that NJPW can survive and thrive without those guys, great as they are. WK13 was a definite step down from the past couple of years and was still by far one of the best shows of the past 12 months.


#574

NJPW gotta do something about these contracts ending shortly after WK. I do agree, they’ve survived huge departures and come back. LIJ is the best thing going right now. My love of the Bullet Club has def died down, but I enjoyed the Switchblade vs Okada story line.


#575

It is currently a wrestler’s market and it probably won’t be long before we are more or less retiring the phrase, “can’t believe they haven’t been signed already”.

Between WWE, AEW, ROH, MLW, and Impact, things are getting spicy very quickly.


#576

I don’t worry at all about possibly losing the Elite guys in terms of New Japan being able to fill the gaps in the roster. One of New Japan’s greatest strengths is developing guys on the bench that they can push at any time. Wrestle Kingdom showed them definitively putting over guys that they have locked down for the time being:

Ospreay, Shingo, Zack Sabre Jr, EVIL & SANADA, Juice, Ishimori, White, Naito, Tanahashi

Ospreay, Sabre, Juice, and White are all non-Japanese stars that they can push in place of the Elite guys. And whether or not they did it they way they did because they knew the Elite were gone at some point soon, they have been getting all four of those guys ready for big pushes over the last year or more.

Ospreay has been pegged as a potential heavyweight star since at least the Shibata match in early 2017. Zack has been well protected for his whole run with the company and got a major push with the New Japan Cup last year. Juice has been built for years, slowly and surely, and he’s reached this point of his arc at a perfect time, where he can start looking like a serious contender and not a plucky underdog.

And Jay White is the best example of this. Debuts in his first match back from excursion in a match against Tanahashi at the Tokyo Dome. Pins Kenny Omega clean one month later. Picks up pins over Okada and Tanahashi in the G1. Pretty much is the main focus of New Japan throughout the fall in his feud with Okada and Tanahashi. Now the leader and new ace of the Bullet Club, along with Okada’s former manager as his personal second. Just pinned Okada clean at the Tokyo Dome. And he could beat Tanahashi for the title in February at New Beginning.


#577

Tokyo Sports are reporting Kenny is definitely leaving NJPW, probably for either AEW or WWE:

Not really surprising, what with losing the title and with the rest of the Elite leaving, but still pretty big news. i’m guessing he’ll be going to AEW so depending on whether they managed to get a deal with NJPW it might not actually change much. It also leaves me wondering what Ibushi will do; go to AEW, sign with NJPW, or stick to freelancing and try to work with both? i’d guess the last one, but who knows.

e: press conference on right now just confirmed the rumours of Kushida leaving for WWE.


#578

I’m most definitely projecting my personal feeling on the matter here, but I can’t help but think there’s a good chance this is a work.

I believe Kenny made similar comments after his Dome match with Okada two years ago, and with how he and New Japan in general treat kayfabe, it’s hard to take what they say at face value.

This is for sure the most likely him leaving has been yet after so many years of rumors, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him gone, but I probably won’t really believe it until he actually starts working with another company.

I will say that Kenny Omega is one of my favorite wrestlers working right now and I regard him as a personal inspiration for myself, but not even him going to WWE would make me go back to watching that promotion.


#579

I’m with you I can see it being a work. Probably goes with AEW but I can see a solid working relationship between them and NJPW so he probably would have some form of deal to still do shows for NJPW.

Just please don’t be a surprise Royal Rumble entry, the thought of Omega at WWE makes me so sad, I know he wants that dream WrestleMania match with AJ and there is the option of so many good matches but too often have WWE done this.


#580

i was thinking it was probably true because even when he was talking about leaving after WK11 he didn’t actually put out a press release about it, but then there wasn’t a mention of it at the press conference. Plus it’s supposedly not being reported by anyone but Toyko Sports and Meltzer, both outlets that are notoriously willing to go along with a work like this, while the Kushida departure and Iizuka retiring have both been covered. So now i’m thinking i got worked like a jabroni ass mark


#581

Over the holidays I went to visit my fiance’s family in Mexico City and my fiance surprised me with tickets to CMLLs New Year’s Day show. Here are some photos they took.


#582

I dreamed last night that Kenny Omega signed with WWE and was on tonight’s RAW. He had a very Mega Man inspired entrance. Although on further reflection it might have just been TJP’s entrance theme.


#583

So the AEW press conference thing just happened. Audio quality was really bad (mics too quiet, music too loud) but here’s the main announcements i caught:

  • Double or Nothing is on May 25th in Las Vegas
  • They will have a women’s division, which will have equal pay to the men’s division. Only talent announced so far are Brandi Rhodes and Britt Baker, but they hinted at an upcoming partnership with some Japanese women’s promotions.
  • They’ll have a second major show later this year in Jacksonville, no date announced. Majority of profits to go to gun violence charities.
  • They’re working with the Chinese promotion OWE to share talent.
  • Newly announced/confirmed signees include: Joey Janela, PAC, Jericho and MJF.

Of them the most interesting things to me are the committment to equal pay between women’s and men’s divisions and the partnership with OWE. Paying women well is always good, of course, and will also be a significant draw to women currently stuck spinning their heels in WWE’s undercard and to indie stars for whom WWE has always been the only option. Only announcing two wrestlers in the division suggests they’re really banking on a partnership with Stardom or Sendai Girls or something coming through right now though.
As for OWE, they’re a promotion that seems really great from the little i’ve seen (mostly gifs on twitter) so them having more exposure and more ways for me to watch them is pretty exciting.
Pretty notable that Kenny wasn’t there, though, as it pretty much eliminates any chance that he’ll be going there for now. He’s either re-signed with NJPW (likely) or going to WWE (probably not), but he’s not Elite anymore.

edit: oh also SCU opened the conference. i don’t remember if they’d been officially anounced as part of AEW before but either way they’re confirmed as signed now.


#584

Wow, this is pretty exciting stuff. Really glad they’re paying women equally. Hopefully that puts a fire under the butts of WWE to do better.

I like their new signings. Only saw Joey Janela during the All In show and he’s awesome. Looking forward to seeing more of him. Curious what Jericho says on his podcast, he’s really loyal to Vince McMahon and went out of his way to get approval from him last year when he signed with NJPW.


#585

I believe Kenny’s contract with New Japan isn’t up until the end of this month, so it would be bad form to have him sign a contract with another company before his current deal is up. And according to Meltzer (whose word we should probably take with a grain of salt) Kenny is pushing hard for an AEW/NJPW partnership, and New Japan wants to keep Kenny badly enough that they are willing to play ball.

The most exciting announcement for me, at least in terms of talent, is the partnership with OWE and bringing in Stronghearts. CIMA and his group have been on fire throughout 2018, shaking things up in every promotion they’ve appeared in. CIMA is a really ambitious guy with a great eye for talent and recognizing new trends in the business, so I think partnering with the Elite makes perfect sense. Plus all the Stronghearts guys are great workers who will help fill out the AEW roster.