The world of professional wrestling changes quick, fast and in a hurry. The original idea behind what I was going to talk about today was just the Hardys leaving Impact Wrestling. Their leaving was just the top of an all-out bleed out of talent for the company. Drew Galloway, Jade, Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis-Bennett are all gone from the company. Now it is understood that the organization is still reeling from its ownership shake-up but a wrestling company has to retain its talent.
The most important components for a successful wrestling company are talent and television. You have to have a way to distribute your show and then you have to have the horses make it all work. Impact Wrestling is suffering in both areas. Pop TV has not expanded its reach with cable providers and since the move away from Spike TV, the company has failed to draw anywhere near a million viewers in any given week. Now over the past few years they have shown an inability to retain top tier talent.
The Hardy Boyz were prized free agents whom felt they were not handled correctly. Now it’s one thing when talent leaves for the greener pastures of the big money WWE. It’s a completely different story when you cannot out negotiate Ring of Honor. Now understand that ROH is the new number two wrestling company in North America. As it seems with each passing day they are creating more and more distance with Impact, which as at one time held down that coveted position.
Not only did ROH snag the coup with the Hardys but they also pulled in Bully Ray. There was speculation that there were negotiations between Impact and the Bully but he ended up with Ring of Honor. This could work out really well for all parties involved. He just had a recent run in WWE that successful but he was not used to full potential due to the WWE’s PG constraints. That company could not endorse a character named Bully with their “Be A Star” campaign.
With Ring of Honor’s partnerships with CMLL and New Japan they are only going to keep growing all over the world. Their show on distributed by SinClair Broadcasting has way more reach than any other company outside of the WWE in North America. Impact has not made such strides and now are bleeding talent. They had the recent signing of Alberto El Patron (Del Rio) but who are going to be his dance partners. They will have to figure out how to navigate this uphill climb.
Keith B. Holt
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