Tonight Evolve 25 will go live at 9pm. One of the best independent companies in the country is about do what they do best and put on an awesome show. The first big event since the WWE rocked the wrestling world with the new of the Network. Gabe Sapolsky shared his thoughts on how Evolve, DragonGate USA, FIP and Shine will handle the changing landscape. Here are his thoughts posted below.
“Everyone is talking about the WWE Network, and rightfully so. It is an out-of-the-box, game changer. WWE is basically sacrificing it’s DVD and PPV revenue in an effort to gain leverage to negotiate sky high TV rights. They believe their future business model will depend on TV right fees and not the traditional DVD/PPV market. They might be right, this might backfire on them, but either way this is the gutsiest thing they have done since the late 90s and the biggest game changer since Vince McMahon wiped out the territories and went national in the 80s.”
“So where does this leave independent wrestling?”
“Promotions like Dragon Gate USA, EVOLVE, SHINE and Full Impact Pro are as mom-and-pop as it gets. WWE is Walmart. The WWNLive Family are the neighborhood grocery store that prides itself on delivering the highest quality and more personal service while adding to the community.”
“We are dependent on your DVD, iPPV and ticket sales. There will never be a huge TV deal in our future. You can see what happens when networks get involved. Then we wouldn’t be who we are. So we are not in a position to take the gamble WWE is sucking us all into with the WWE Network.”
“Just like Walmart did to the mom-and-pop, WWE is giving you a product at a price that the small guy can’t compete with. WWE’s goal is to use all this content for $10 a month to bump up the subscribers and then leverage that into more TV fees. In the process, they are lowering the price expectations consumers have for DVDs, PPV and iPPV, similar to what Walmart did for a loaf of bread.”
“Now we can whine and cry, beg for your business cause we “deserve” it because we bring you good wrestling, or we can do something about it. We can get fired up and figure out ways to produce a more interesting, exciting and creative product to you. This is our attitude going into EVOLVE tonight, tomorrow and Sunday nights.”
“Whether we like it or not, WWE just aggressively changed the game. They are taking a major risk and doing it balls-to-the-wall. We must adapt to keep your support and interest.”
We here at Ring Time are huge fans of Evolve, DragonGate , FIP and Shine. Having attended a DragonGate show live I can tell you it is one of the best live experiences in professional wrestling. We can’t wait to see what happens next.