Here’s the Dirt
When it comes to the indie scene, there are always rumors about the WWE taking over this or that circuit. This time, ROH is claimed to be of interest to the WWE, with rumors floating around that the independent circuit and their talent may be bought by the most powerful wrestling promoter. With so many rumors going around, we decided to take a closer look at recent interactions between WWE and ROH and separate fiction from fact.
The Secret Negotiations
Rumors have been going around about WWE looking to buy ROH. The news was originally broken by Ryan Satin of the Pro Wrestling Sheet, who stated that WWE officials were negotiating with the Sinclair Broadcasting Group to buy ROH. The rumor was eventually published in the Wrestling Observer, so there is certainly some degree of truth that the negotiations that were taking place. Did it go any further than that?
Statement of Dave Meltzer
ROH’s Dave Meltzer confirmed that they’re in negotiations with WWE. However, it doesn’t concern purchasing the entire company. Meltzer claimed that WWE is mainly interested in the company’s big promotional tape library, which features a lot of footage of current WWE superstars like Seth Rollins, CM Punk, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, and others who worked for ROH before making it to the WWE.
Despite Meltzer’s statement, he didn’t explicitly deny the notion that WWE is trying to buy the entire company. The purchase could certainly have a negative impact on other indie wrestling promotions, like New Japan and CMLL, who currently work with ROH. It would also mean an insecure future for the roster of ROH, since the acquisition of the wrestling promotion does not necessarily mean WWE will employ the talent, too.
Sale Denied by ROH COO Joe Koff
In a statement made to a local CBS station, Joe Koff adamantly denied rumors of a sale to WWE. Koff stated: “No. No, no, no. It’s very flattering and humbling to us. It validates what we’ve done. A lot of their current performers and stars are ROH guys and we have their history. So, maybe the content of the backstories of Kevin Steen before he became Kevin Owens or AJ Styles run in Ring of Honor, Tyler Black, Claudio… All the guys who have wrestled for us. We have their backstory and where it began. That’s our content.”
It’s difficult to determine the truth. The COO of ROH could be keeping the sale on the downlow to prevent the talent from panicking and jumping ship, or Meltzer could be drawing more attention to ROH with the rumors of a possible sale.
Wrestling fans will need to wait until a formal statement is made by either ROH or WWE. Since both parties are being tight-lipped about the negotiations, only time will tell if ROH will become part of WWE. Until then, I’ll keep my eyes and ears open and keep you in the loop on the latest!