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I and many others have said countless times on countless occasions WWE has no real competition. This has rang true for over ten years. Companies such as TNA and ROH have given their best shots but fallen short. WWE could look back and see no one was even close to being real competition. Now if we factor in a number of variables and situations that seems to be changing. If WWE looks in their rearview mirror today the road behind them is getting crowded and busy here is why.
Fans seeking an alternative:
For years fans have allowed WWE to dictate what they are able to see and watch on television. WWE always putting forward the best show they thought the fans wanted to see. The opinions of Vince McMahon and his staff were and still are seen in the everyday product. The fans have come tired of the same old from WWE and are seeking other alternatives to cure their wrestling appetite. Luckily for fans Vince McMahon is not the only person in professional wrestling with a mind for business. The decision makers at AAA in Mexico and NJPW in Japan saw this as a perfect time to strike. AAA put their money and backing behind a partnership with the El Rey Network and created Lucha Underground. NJPW took this opportunity to join forces with AXS TV and create a one hour program every Friday night. Lucha Underground has made headlines with their edgy new feel and high flyers from Mexico. While NJPW changed nothing with their product accept added American commentators. NJPW also was unique because instead of new matches recorded just for AXS TV they have had the keen sense to re-run classic matches American fans have never seen. Add the new look of TNA on Destination America and there are more options for WWE fans.
Last week Monday Night was live but not from an arena as planned because the East Coast was hit with a monumental blizzard. The show aired from WWE headquarters in Connecticut. They replayed the Triple Threat match from the Royal Rumble and the Royal Rumble match itself. Other time on the show was filled with interviews. With the announcement coming early Monday afternoon that the show was being postponed this led to other promotions getting on board. FWE offered a free viewing of FWE Refueled on their YouTube channel. CHIKARA got in on the action also showing free content on their website. By using Twitter and hashtags many fans were notified of these shows. Both of them were entertaining and full of great wrestling giving the average WWE fan a look at what is out there. I am not suggesting millions of fans are going to go flocking to FWE and CHIKARA shows but they got people’s attention.
Former WWE Stars making an Impact:
John Morrison (Johnny Mundo), Alberto El patron (Alberto Del Rio), Drew Galloway (Drew McIntyre), and Justin Gabriel are just a few names to recently start making headlines with other promotions. Johnny Mundo is one of the top talents currently in Lucha Underground. Alberto has made an impact in ROH and is now heading to Lucha Underground fulltime. Drew Galloway has impressed on the independent seen but he recently made his TNA debut. Justin Gabriel grabbed headlines because he wasted less than 48 hours to be booked for a show. Now throw in MVP, Bobby Lashley, Kurt Angle, Matt & Jeff hardy, and EC3 you have six of TNA’s top wrestlers all from WWE. These are wrestlers fans know and in many of these cases have loved to watch. The name value alone is going to get people watching.
Now I am not suggesting WWE start shaking in their shoes and push the panic button. In all reality I think we are still living in a world where WWE has no real competition. What I am saying is competition is coming and if WWE does not pay attention than in 5-10 years we could see a real battle between these companies. If WWE keeps letting top-tier talent leave it could be sooner. WWE, no need to adjust your rearview mirror, objects are approaching.