Everyone and their mother has “inside information” about the All Elite Wrestling television deal it seems. Everyone, from Sean Ross Sapp to Raj Giri feel they have the truth about the situation. But who’s got the best inside information?
On one hand, there are numerous reports coming out about the alleged t.v. deal with Turner Broadcast and that it’s a “t.v. buy”. What a t.v. buy is, for those unaware, is when an entity or outfit buys time with a television station. This is how infomercials work, and how old school syndicated t.v. shows used to work.
The deals would fluctuate all the time, with shows like Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journey. garnering a nice payday (because they had a shoe-string budget), while other shows like the 1990’s Tarzan: the Epic Adventures not being as vaunted or in demand.
There were rumors that was the case with IMPACT Wrestling and Pop TV but those were claimed to be false.
AEW however is (allegedly) in talks with Turner Broadcast and Showtime. Showtime makes a lot of sense, as they’ve lost a lot of prime packaging in recent years and just recently shuttered their boxing outfit.
Turner however makes less sense from first look, as they have a large and vaunted slate themselves. They air everything from original dramas, to highly successful second-run-syndicated offerings like Supernatural, and sports like soccer, the NBA and just recently ONE Fighting Championship. They’re not hurting for programming.
Yet, many speculate that the Turner deal is the deal to look at, and according to some would be highly lucrative.
Sean Ross Sapp is sourcing a man named ‘Les Moore’, who claims that TNT and TBS were in the running until the outlets found out about how involved ROH was with the production of All In and the fear that they couldn’t achieve the same success without ROH’s production team attached.
Sapp indicates on his own that ROH didn’t believe All In would be the success it was. That two people in ROH firmly believe that had ROH known the success it was going to be, they wouldn’t of helped out. It’d be fair to say that ROH and members of Sinclair Broadcasting (ROH’s parent company) are probably trying to poison the well of fan anticipation, and might even be trying to cut down AEW with potential TV partners. Sinclair is a larger company than many realize, even bigger than the WWE. Though, would ROH be this petty? It’s not like they would go to lengths to just screw over anyone, right?
Well, Ring of Honor is also again getting into it with David Starr. Apparently ROH and Starr agreed that he’d face the ROH World Champion at the event in Jerusalem for Israeli Pro Wrestling Association’s Passover Bash 2019 event.. Originally that was supposed to be Jay Lethal, but he lost the belt to Matt Taven. Now, instead of facing the new champion Taven like Starr was promised, he’s stuck with Lethal. Starr won’t bail on the match, as he’s been hugely behind the match and show in the first place but has now gone after Sinclair again, and again called them a “far right wing extemist corporate propaganda machine”. Those are comments he made before and was told to take them down, or the match would be cancelled.
Obviously, he’s no longer complying.
So do I think ROH is attempting to hurt The Elite and their promotion? Yes. ROH is in shambles at the moment. Top talent are leaving in droves, long time employees are quitting or being phased out. It’s not a good time for ROH or their fans.
So what’s the truth then? What’s the real truth about AEW and their t.v. contracts?
Well, look at Dave Meltzer. I can’t “confirm this” but I can, Dave’s sources are the Elite. Not guys within the industry. Not guys on Turner. Not guys at Ma and Pa’s Roadkill Roadside Cafe; the god damn trio themselves.
The Bucks and Meltzer have been on great terms for years. He’s accurately and to the letter reported on everything about them right when it would benefit the guys, and the guys even named their finisher for Dave Meltzer. There is a closeness here that no one is really addressing.
This isn’t shady, illegal, or even unprofessional. This is how it is in media. You make friends who trust you. You show them that you can be trusted and they give you information. When sources talk, they talk for a reason. Most of those reasons are to dictate the conversation. To change the narrative. When handled right, it becomes gold and a promotion’s perception can change over night. Yet if you try to do it yourself; i.e. the AJ Styles/Karl Anderson/Doc Gallows press release about how they reneged on a deal with IMPACT Wrestling in 2016, it blows up in your face.
Meltzer is denying anything and everything to do with AEW being a ‘time-buy’. The problem however is that fans either believe Meltzer or they don’t. There’s just as many who don’t; which gives rise to others to make a name for themselves on misinformation. One of those men is Tony Maglio of The Wrap. He’s never been anyone of note in the world of pro wrestling, yet people are flocking to him in order to prove that Meltzer is wrong and AEW will be a failure.
Yet, as much as people might hate to admit this, Meltzer is rarely wrong. And considering who his (probable) sources are, I doubt he’d report something that isn’t the truth.
Now yes, there is the chance Meltzer is being lied to. Look at the Sasha Banks story, Ryan Satin was clearly fed misinformation by Bank’s co-workers to make her look bad. Yet he ran it anyway. You think the tabloid gossip columnist wasn’t the only one to get contacted with that story? Don’t kid yourself. Others simply passed on it.
Why? Because it was obvious what that story was. And a columnist as respected as Meltzer isn’t going to be taken for a ride by anyone, no matter how close they are. He’s been a journalist for years, and he knows what he’s doing.
So the real answer to this AEW story is that there is no answer. Not really. Not one that can be confirmed. Yet, if you’re going to reach into the darkness to justify your point; remember that Meltzer is liked within the industry, especially by the Elite. If anyone has the real inside scoop, it’d be him.