We continue our look at some of the biggest stories of 2018 with a look to a potential future power player.
WWE may dominate wrestling, but alternatives have become more abundant over the past few years.
While 2018 saw concern for the indies late in the year due to WWE’s continued sucking up of talent from around the world as well as limiting options for UK talent.
Still, All In was a massive success and ROH and NJPW booked a show at MSG in 2019. And indies continued holding interesting shows with true depth.
ROH and NJPW (while not indies) were not immune to some big swings in the industry, however. Notably at the end of the year when All Elite Wrestling became a thing.
When news broke involving Jacksonville Jaguars ownership before eventually seeing “All Elite Wrestling, LLC” and potential TV show and PPV event names all trademarked and linked to the Jaguars stadium.
Everything lined up with the promotion centering around the top end of the ROH roster, including Cody Rhodes (who suddenly popped up in the Jaguars owners box during a game), The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and others.
At the conclusion of ROH’s year ending Final Battle PPV, All Elite Wrestling was further teased during a curtain call with the departing wrestlers.
While there are many details we don’t know, one truth is a multi-billionaire backing a wrestling promotion while being deeply invested in that promotion’s success could be a game changer.
As David Bixenspan wrote for Deadspin:
The Khans, whether with their own money or the kind of investors they can bring in or or a combination of the two, have the resources necessary to back a wrestling company that can challenge WWE. Sinclair could have, too, but ROH has always been cheap programming to them first and foremost. After being acquired by Sinclair in 2011, ROH shows were infamously still being shot in standard definition long past the point when that should have been considered an option, and have only been professionally lit with a full lighting grid for the last few years. Sinclair seems to have allocated more resources as interest in the promotion climbed, but that’s also where things start to get complicated.
Could the future be filled with bidding wars and battles for wrestling TV rating dominance? Or is this just another promotion to be added to the heap littering the landscape?
Alternatives for fans and alternatives for wrestlers. These are never bad things.
Last Friday of the year. Live it up!