A few months back WWE was in the news regarding a potential TNA buyout before Anthem “swooped” in and bought the brand. Now it seems WWE finds itself again looking to buyout another wrestling company, this time it has its corporate eyes on Ring of Honor. While the initial “OMG THE DREAM MATCHES,” has plenty of fans hyped, the reality of the situation and potential aftermath has me far more apprehensive about the entire situation.
The list of pros to WWE buying ROH isn’t a long one. We get ROH content on the network and we get some very cool and comprehensive documentaries on some top WWE talent. That’s about it. As much as I want to see some full packages on Samoa Joe, Austin Aries etc. it does not outweigh the very real possibility a lot of talent will lose some good paydays.
I have been reading a lot of different ways this could go down. WWE could continue to run ROH and provide another weekly show on the network. I don’t see this even being a remote possibility. Why would WWE run NXT 2.0?
The other more realistic and likely avenue is WWE buying the tape library, the name and a few contracts. Specifically a few contracts, which I will cover shortly. Ring of Honor ceases to exist as it is known and either goes on as a different entity or shuts down entirely.
I will be the first to say that WWE needs talent right now. Injuries and the brand split has left NXT thin, and both RAW and Smackdown have seem to already ran through most of their marquee feuds. But a buyout of ROH is not going to net the talent pull or dream matches that some expect.
Realistically I see Adam Cole, Dalton Castle, War Machine, Jay Lethal, and Marty Scurll, ending up in NXT. I think it is safe to say that The Young Bucks would not want to give up NJPW or PWG for a WWE run. The Briscoes ship has sailed (as much as I love them), Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian are in the same boat as the Briscoes. Looking at the roster I don’t see anybody else WWE should take or probably want to take. Possibly Will Ospreay, but I don’t know if his contract is with NJPW more so than ROH.
The upside is little and the downside is massive. For purely selfish reasons it would be awesome to have all the great ROH content on the network, but looking at the potential impact a buyout would have on the industry as a whole makes it seem far less lucrative as a fan.