The rumblings of a third big promotion starting have been going on for quite some time. This opens the obvious questions of having one, and it’s viability. Competing with promotions like WWE, AEW and to a lesser extent IMPACT, ROH is not an easy task.
People think starting a promotion is easy, but in reality it’s far from it. Starting a new promotion takes a lot of work and key things need to be addressed.
If another big promotion rises, talent is one of the most important aspects. The indies have plenty of talent available and ready for TV wrestling and they are just waiting to be discovered. A third new promotion needs to have their eyes and ears open for this type of talent waiting to be discovered. The hidden gems so to say.
WWE in the last year has released tons of talent with TV experience and that helps. A new promotion will need to sign some of these new talents because of their experience and recognition. A balance is also necessary though, too many former WWE wrestlers and you could end up looking like TNA in the mid-2000s.
Another important part to the talent pieces are the big stars. Wrestling has very little of them, especially as free agents. A new promotion will need established stars to help build the promotion and also help create new stars/draws. If a third were to come to fruition to try and compete with the bigger wrestling promotions, it will also compete with them in the race of signing talent. There is the fact that WWE will stop recruiting indie talent and that gives an upstart promotion the chance of getting talent.
Wrestling, just like any upstart business, needs a big investment. When you start a promotion, you need plenty of money during the company’s inception, but most importantly, you need to know that it takes around 4-5 years until you make a profit.
Being smart with money and how you use it is necessary for any upstart promotion. A TV deal will be necessary for investors to come in, but that’s a separate point.
Wrestling outside of the WWE bubble has open borders. Promotions like NWA, AEW, NJPW and IMPACT with the “forbidden door” stuff has been a success for all promotions involved. A new promotion will need open borders and working relations with all these promotions.
Going the isolationist route like WWE is not the right idea, especially with how open the wrestling world is right now. A new promotion needs to have a good relation with others and know how to play ball.
The most important thing here is a TV deal. A great TV deal is what’s needed to be a big promotion and those don’t come easy, especially with how saturated the wrestling TV market is right now. Getting one is not easy, not even a promotion like NJPW could get one, and the one they eventually got was a disappointment for a lot of people.
Stations are looking for content to add for their channel and streaming services, so this is probably the best time to get a good TV deal for any upcoming promotion.
Booking is a very important factor. You can have the best TV deals or roster in the world, but booking will always be important. Great booking minds are hard to find. Having writers is a route an upstart promotion could go, but if they don’t have wrestling knowledge it can go terribly wrong, just like in WWE.
Having the right booker can make a promotion, but the wrong one can kill it. Finding the right booker is also a hard task and there aren’t many out there that understand perfectly modern wrestling and fans. Some upstart promotions sometimes make the mistake of hiring someone in the booker position that are not in tune with modern wrestling and it always ends up backfiring.
Can It Work?
This answer depends of the person you ask. For me, it could, but there’s too many factors in the air that makes this question had to answer. Things like getting a booker, TV Deals or people involved are very important. Only time will tell us more about this new promotion and it’s direction…
What are your thoughts? Can a new promotion work today that could compete with WWE and/or AEW?