Jim Wrestle here.
Fans are excited, wrestlers are getting excited. One Smackdown Live ends Tuesday evening April 3rd, we are on our way to WrestleMania week.
If you are in production or on the business side of things you will probably arrive Tuesday or Wednesday before most of the festivities begin.
For the rest of us we’ll mostly arrive between Wednesday to Friday. Many of the other wrestling organizations take advantage of the largest weekend in pro wrestling and have events nearby or in the same city as WrestleMania. Why not take advantage of the wrestling economy?
There are many points and scenarios post WrestleMania, the shakeup/draft, spring storylines, SummerSlam, who will get called up from NXT the night after WrestleMania.
New Japan-Off a successful Strong Style Evolve event in Long Beach last Sunday, with the opening of the New Japan dojo, is New Japan a threat? Depending on who you ask, you can argue that WWE hasn’t had any direct competition since the demise of WCW in 2001. Others can say TNA/Impact has or is #2 pro wrestling organization but a distant #2. With the rise of NJPW World site (I am a happy subscriber), social media has played a part as well. New Japan has become a great alternative to WWE. With New Japan willing to sign ex WWE stars Rey Misterio & Chris Jericho to short term deals and with working relationships with ROH & CMLL, New Japan Pro Wrestling has slowly captured the imaginations of Wrestling fans. With wrestling fans upset at WWE for example, fans can watch the alternative with emphasizes more on the wrestling aspect of the business. New Japan’s next wrestling show is Saturday July 7th at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. From one time in 2017 to two shows in 2018. It is only a matter of time where New Japan penetrates and comes to the Midwest or even the East.
How will WWE counter?
How will they react?
Time will tell there.
Ronda Rousey/Fox-Ronda Rousey suffered back to back losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes. We never got a proper sendoff in the UFC for Ronda Rousey. Would it have been nice for Ronda to have one last fight to prove to herself and her doubters that she can overcome those two losses? Absolutely. However, she has always dreamed of being a WWE superstar. Especially after getting a taste of it during WrestleMania 31 with The Rock and the Authority, also her presence in the Mae Young Classic, it was a matter of time that she would sign a deal with the WWE.
When Ronda showed up at the Royal Rumble, it was mainstream attention. More media outlets whether it is TV, Radio or online, everyone was talking about Ronda Rousey and WWE. Now with the NBC/USA deal expiring on or by 2019, Ronda’s signing is perfect timing. Fox has not been able to renew UFC’s contract. There would be more ratings from having WWE on Fox over UFC.
With ratings declining for the UFC Fight Night, Fox would be looking for new content to increase ratings. Higher ratings, Fox can charge companies an arm and a leg for advertising time during Raw and Smackdown. I know it’s a business.
Rumors are Raw would be on Fox for two hours (because of 10 o’clock news) and Smackdown LiVE on Fox Sports 1. I am assuming that NXT and original specials would also air on FS1 as well.
In conclusion, wrestling companies, WWE, hotels, restaurants, souvenir stands, taxi cabs will all make money next weekend at WrestleMania. Post WrestleMania, WWE has to step up its programming and its network to stay ahead of New Japan Pro Wrestling because slowly, they are coming. Smart move signing Ronda Rousey, smart move with the Mixed Match Challenge on Facebook Live showing Fox and other media outlets that WWE is in with the times. All this does is provide leverage for the WWE when it comes to signing with NBC or Fox on their next TV and McMahon & Company will make millions off the deal.
Enjoy Mania weekend everyone.