The Elite have absolutely lit up the independent circuit, becoming top draws in company’s like Ring of Honor and New Japan. Here’s a case for why WWE would actually be a great next step for the faction.
People may look at this title and think I’m condescending or a delusional WWE fan but after looking at several of factors, I believe the Elite going to WWE would be more interesting than if they stayed put.
I look at the factors of fresh opposition, the internal chaos of NJPW and ROH, the reevaluation of the wrestling business, and the fact that they’re ready made stars are reasons I have more interest in them going to WWE.
The first reason of fresh opposition for all parties is a bit of an obvious one. You look at the potential matchups whether it be an Omega vs Cena, Rollins, Strowman; The Bucks vs Usos, New Day, The Bar, The Revival; Marty vs Balor, Almas, Styles; even Cody facing some guys he hasn’t faced yet has me excited.
The Elite would be the injection that the main roster needs because almost every match-up with this roster that you can logically do has been done. I feel that this roster is world class but has gotten complacent with effort because they haven’t had things to sink their teeth into. The Elite brings a different element of excitement for not just the fans but the wrestlers as well.
The second reason is the fact that they’re the ready made stars that WWE needs right now. With the unfortunate leukemia diagnosis of Roman Reigns, WWE now is starting back at square one with creating a Megastar.
The problem that has been a bug-a-boo for them this decade and now the guy that they have built to be that position for a half decade is gone for now. People may say heat someone else up and give them a rub but the problem is that WWE doesn’t know how to create stars in 2018 for multitude of reasons.
At this point, I trust WWE protecting ready-made stars that they didn’t create rather than them creating a star. The Elite bring a name-power that WWE needs at the moment to carry them for the next half decade. They sell more shirts and merchandise than probably all of the WWE roster, and they have transcended pop culture equally to what WWE has done in the last decade.
WWE needs that type of star power to continue to survive even in a television rights fee era and The Elite possess that factor more than any of the other wrestlers available to them.
The third factor is the direct impact of The Elite leaving New Japan and Ring Of Honor. I believe New Japan would go on without much of a hitch without The Elite. Looking at how New Japan is booking, they always look to create stars and elevate homegrown talent.
Kazuchika Okada is only 30 and barring any horrific injury, will be that company’s top guy for the next decade. They do a good job of anyways having supplementary stars like Tetsuya Naito, Jay White, an aging Hiroshi Tanahashi, Will Ospreay, Zack Sabre, and others.
The only impact I see on New Japan is in its international expansion and even that I would question based off of the other international stars they have. I see not that much of a drop-off for New Japan because they would never be able to compete for the top spot with WWE even with The Elite.
I also see NJPW figuring out that they wouldn’t have to westernize its product to attract hardcore wrestling fans in the west. My belief is that a lot of the westernization of the New Japan product has to do with how The Elite want to be used.
My feeling is that if the Elite leave NJPW, it would cause them to maybe reallocate their approach and resources to delivering a more pure NJPW to the west instead of a westernized one.
For ROH however, the loss of The Elite would be hurt business but I see it only for the short term. I see that they have managed to keep the NJPW relationship strong and will continue to be strong as long as NJPW needs them.
If the Elite leaves, I feel that NJPW will still see the value of having a relationship with ROH rather if they stayed. My reason behind that is that The Elite gives NJPW the leverage to cut the ROH relationship at any time while if they leave NJPW may see ROH as a necessity to keep as an affiliate.
Remember ROH is owned by Sinclair and can survive not having a couple of “bad” years compared to this run because I do not think Sinclair would get rid of ROH based off of losing some wrestlers. I believe the Ring of Honor still has that cache with fans and it would force the company to think outside of the box with how they do business. I do think losing the Elite would hurt ROH but honestly like NJPW I think in the end it would fare out better.
The fourth and most important factor is how people would look at the wrestling business if the Elite went to WWE. I believe losing the biggest independent stars to WWE would make people evaluate WWE in a way that I don’t think is possible if they were to stay.
It will make promoters, wrestlers, fans, and non fans look at how WWE conducts business. Especially with WWE growing to have ICW, PROGRESS, and EVOLVE under their wing, people might look and see that WWE is either a monopoly or an oligopoly.
I believe the Elite leaving would change people’s perception of how WWE is hoarding talent and keeping them away from competition even though there are only distant threats. The way WWE has signed talents, partnering with satellite promotions and the process of homologating wrestling overall is bad for wrestling. Wrestling was always better when there was competition from promotion to promotion.
Overall, I believe the Elite leaving for WWE would be the more interesting to see than if they were to stay. If you were to ask me what they’re actually going to do, I’m at about 50-50 right now. It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out and I’m excited to see how it plays out either way.