The internet loves to talk about what company can possibly compete with the WWE. There is new talk about Jeff Jarrett’s possible new deal and fans always are rooting for TNA. Every other wrestling organization needs to concentrate on having the best possible promotion they can have and grow organically. The WWE will not have any competition for their market share anytime soon. Maybe sometime in the future but trust me it will be the distant future.
Let’s look at the number 2 wrestling company in United States. Easily TNA stands in second place by a couple of miles of course. They are owned by Panda Energy. Panda Energy as a company is not as big as the WWE. Panda is a private company and their earnings are not public record. Most of the websites that I checked estimate that their last year’s earnings were between 19 and 50 million. Now that’s nothing to laugh at but in contrast to the WWE who earning 152 million dollars in the 2nd quarter of last year. Yes in just a fourth of the year they made 3 times as much as Panda. TNA does not appear to be turning any major profit from its wrestling operations hence the talent shedding at the end of last year.
The last company that competed with the WWE head to head and had them on the ropes was WCW. After the territory system began to die it left only 2 companies standing. WCW and WWE both were the only 2 companies that appeared to grasp the landscape of cable television and build national brands. WCW’s roots were in Jim Crockett Promotions which had been around since 1931 before being purchased by Ted Turner. So a lot these companies who only have less than ten years in the game are not going to compete right away.
One big advantage that WCW had was Ted Turner who was committed to having a successful wrestling company. He was a billionaire who owned television networks. The television networks were the ones that his company was being broadcast. Having that kind of ability allowed him go live when the WWE was pre-taped and Nitro never got bumped for a dog show. Turner also owned the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks and in the 1990s the Braves became extremely profitable. Having multiple streams of revenue allowed WCW the freedom to fail and also having such deep pockets allowed them to purchase top tier talent.
For an up and coming promotion they would have to do a couple of things. Build a home grown talent base and hope that they don’t bolt for the big WWE money before the company can really grow. They would need to secure some type of national television deal on a network that can be seen everywhere. Once again not saying it can’t happen but we are a long ways away.
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr