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GoFundMe Set Up For Ailing Wrestling Observer Live Host

Edit: Jim is thankfully doing better. He is now in a rehab facitily but still has a long road to recovery.

Wrestling Observer Live Host Jim Valley has been fighting for his life on a ventilator fighting for his life. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help him and his wife, Kari.

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Road Warrior Animal Passes Away

Road Warrior Animal (Joe Laurinaitis) has sadly passed away since our last update. The sixty year old Joe Laurinaitis was a part of one of the greatest Tag Teams ain modern wrestlong history, The Road Warriors ( along with the late Road Warrior Hawk) . Pro Wrestling Central sends its condolences to Laurinaitis’ family and friends.

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Business Speculation

Fox Should Buy World Wrestling Entertainment

Fox would be an ideal candidate to purchase World Wrestling Entertainment in due to its need for valuable intellectual property and more of a streaming presence. Such a move would be beneficial within the next four years..

The move would guarantee Smackdown remained on Fox Broadcast Network well beyond when there current tv deal expires. It would also allow them to move Monday Night Raw to Fox Sports 1. A move that could dramatically improve the stations ratings average. Fox would gain a valuable over the top streaming service with the WWE Network. It would also protect the company from getting involved in bidding wars for WWE television rights down the line.

Fox would also benefit from being acquiring a profitable publically traded company in World Wrestling Entertainment. With the potential to profit off of PPV, Streaming, house shows, and merchandise revenue long term.

World Wrestling Wrestling Entertainment moved it’s Smackdown Television Program to Fox after several years on USA. The lucrative deal saw Smackdown become the Friday Night Staple for Fox. The program previously aired on Syfy Channel after years on My Network TV. The original homes for the long running series were UPN and CW Network.

Fox added Smackdown after it got outbid for the WWE Monday Night Raw television series by USA Network. This came after Fox sold its studio assets to Disney..And commited to a greater a emphasis on live sports and reality programming.

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Anthem Should Buy Fuse Media

Fuse Media would be a good buy low opportunity to add to Anthem ‘s portfolio. Such a move would give Anthem another television network to pair with AXS TV. Fuse Media’s financial struggles, it would be an excellent buy low opportunity for Anthem. Such asset acquisitions could pay big dividends to Anthem over time.

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WWE Relaxs Third Party Rules

Dave Meltzer reports that WWE has relaxed their ban on talent using third party social media. Talent can continue to use their own twitch and youtube channels…But must fo so using their real names as opposed to their WWE owned names. Its unclear if talent will be able to still use Camo.

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Business Speculation

Dwayne Johnson and Redbird Capital Partners Should Buy NWA

An ownership group led by Dwayne Johnson should consider buying the NWA. Such a move could pay massive dividends to both parties.

NWA seemed to have some momentum before the covid pandemic . A ownership group led by Dwayne “Rock” Johnson would give the brand considerable momentum and create a tremendous potential gain for the new ownership.

Such a move would be of great benefit to Dwayne Johnson, as a successful expansion of the NWA franchise would open the door for a long term gains for the theoretical investment. Especially with Redbird Captial Group helping with the financing. Both groups recently buying the XFL along with Danh Garcia. Backing the NWA at this stage would be far cheaper then investing in the XFL. But if both investments work out here could be a synergy between the two that could be used to grow both. Imagine a successful NWA and XFL being sold as a group to tv networks or for ad inventory?

If the former Rocky Mavia led a group to buy NWA ,they would at least have chance for a good tv deal. Its hard to can’t to see television executives turning down the chance to work with the Rock. It would be just be a matter of proving it to get paid,. At the very least people would listen to DwayneJohnson’s pitch.

Johnson just got in business with them for the XFL, so buying a wrestling promotion is very possible. Especially one with low overhead like NWA. Johnson gave them some encouragement on social media when Powerrr first launched. So he likely would be onboard with current NWA President Billy Corgan’s vision.

The potential deal would no doubt give the NWA a boost. Something the company could use after the departure of Vice President David Lagana and Covid closedown . Corgan could stay on as President and maintain a minority stake in the company with a big incentive laden deal if this thing gets big. If NWA ever gets a major tv deal…Its possible Corgan’s minority share could be much more valuable then his full ownership stake is now. This would give the NWA security in a time where there really isn’t any for small businesses. This could give the promotion the resources in needs to produce NWA Powerrr in a bubble environment.

Billy Corgan purchased the National Wrestling Alliance from Bruce Tharpe after a rocky devorce from Impact Wrestling. Corgan brought along former WWE and Impact writer Dave Lagana. Lagana produced a series of documentary style videos to promote the brand as they relaunched. Slowly the group began to work with idependent promotions . They eventually went on to have a close working agreement with Ring Honor. Before beginning to run their own shows.

Their biggest undertaking to date was producing the NWA Powerrr Youtube series…. A studio wrestling show based on the format of George Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett’s World Championship Wrestling. The series was put on indefinite hatius due to the Covid Shutdowns that rocked the world. The promotion did begin to produce non wrestling content but that was halted when Dave Lagana resigned.

The former NWA Vice President stepped downed due to Twitter allegations of sexual assualt from a former roommate named Liz Savage. Allegations Dave Lagana has denied . The NWA has begun to continue without its former Vice president. As it is partnering with Dave Marquez UWF to produce a weekly PPV series in an empty arena setting.

Dwayne Johnson recently made headlines when he purchased the XFL before it went on auction for bankruptcy. Joined in his investment by Redbird Capital Partners and Dany Garcia. Garcia ( Johnson’s long time business partner and former Wife) is said to be the one who spearheaded that deal. Who is set someone that woukd be a major part if any NWA investment was ever attempted by the new XFL owners.

Johnson has found success in many different business venures with Garcia. The two own a small movie studio known as Seven Bucks Productions. As well as produce the successful Titan Games Reality Game Show for NBC.

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Business Speculation

AEW Should Start FTW Promotion

AEW would benefit by using the FTW Title to create a secondary promotion. This new promotion would serve as a developmental and secondary promotion.

The second promotion would give them another potential.show to sell. But would also give a place to work for AEW talent not focused on in Dynamite. It would also be a place for more inexperienced talent to get expect ring time . Much like what NXT has done for WWE. With AEW’s huge roster size it is inevitable that they will need a place to work for their extraneous talents. Especially ones that need seasoning.

AEW could run the promotion out of Daily’s Place in the beginning. Even after touring finally resumes for AEW. Daily’s Place is owned by AEW owners Shad Kahn. Where Dynamite is said to be Tony Khan’s tribute to WCW, FTW could be the same to ECW

The FTW Title was reintroduced by Taz when he awarded the belt to Brian Cage…During his feud with World Champion Jon Moxley. He had continued to hold the title since after the fueid ended.

The FTW Title first made its name in ECW. Taz debuted the belt when he declared himself the uncrowned Wprld Champion. Once he won the real belt FTW was retired. But Taz still owns the rights to the belt. Thus allowong for its return on AEW programming.

AEW signed a TV extension in early 2020 that saw its rights fees triple and promised a second series on a Warner Media station later in the year. It remains to be seen if the real FTW pans have anything to do with this.

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Business Speculation

Anthem Should Buy Bellator

Anthem would be wise to buy Bellator to boost content for AXS TV. With Bellator being phased out of Paramount TV and the risk of losing their lucrative DAZN deal.. Now wouked be the perfect time for Anthem to buy.

Paring Bellator with Impact would help both brands. It would make AXS TV stronger and increase the portfolio of Anthem as a whole. The move would give Anthem more content for Impact Plus and possibly standalone PPVs. It is also possible Anthem could save the DAZN deal or work with a third party. AXS TV could sell ads for Bellator and Impact Wrestling as a group.

There are rumors that DAZN will not renew their deal with Bellator when their current contract expires. Paramount TV( formly Spike) has begun phasing out MMA and sports in recenf years. The current plan is to move Ballator programming to CBS Sports Network. Which has lower exposure ( source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter).

Bellator began as a small MMA promotion that aired programming on MTV2. After UFC left Spike, Viacom bought Bellator and brought it pver the Spike TV Cable Network. Often times Impact was used to push the product. Later a deal with DAZN to air events on it’s streaming service helped make the MMA company profitable.

Impact Wrestling once had a long term run on Spike TV. Airing in Primetime for several years before Spike opted not to continue airing the series. The series has jumped around from Destination America, PopTV, and Pursuit TV. Before ending up on AXS TV. The companyhas been on a creative upswing for the past few years.

Anthem bought a majority interest in AXS TV. Which was bought by Anthem in a deal that included Steve Harvey, AEG, and Mark Cuban remaining a minority holder . They cut AXS traditional MMA programming from Llegacy Fighting and ultimately ended their deal to air New Japan Pro Wrestling. Impact was immediately brought over to AXS and has become their number 1 show since . Bellator would get AXS TV back into the MMA business and likely be another strong first run program for them.

AXS TV was originally founded by Mark Cuban to be the home of HD programming and had a large focus on MMA in the beginning. ROH even had a short run on the station. Later he brought in Ryan Seacreast and other partners…leading to the station becoming AXS TV. MMA remained a huge part of the station until the Anthem purchase. For a time AXS had success with New Japan Wrestling, which also ended after the sale to Anthem.

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WWE Talent Told To Stop Using Third Party Apps

Vince McMahon has sent an email out to talent explaining that they are no longer to use their real or WWE names in certain third party ventures. This is presumably referencing youtube channels, twitch channels, Tiktok and anything on social media not associated with WWE. McMahon calls some of the behavior detrimental to WWE. Talent has 30 days to end there side projects or be subject to fines. Many talent of used outlets like twitch and youtube to make additional money outside their WWE deals. It is expected more details on this will be explained to talents at the next set of tv tapings.

source:

Wrestling Observer

PWinsider

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Business News

Tony Khan Has More Plans For FTW Title

On his recent conference call for All Out… Tony Khan mentioned future plans for the FTW Title. He has some concepts that may be used in additional AEW programming as some tpe of spinoff. No more specifics are known at this time.

Taz awarded the FTW Championship to Brian Cage during his recent fued with AEW Champion John Moxley. The belt was originally worn by Taz during his ECW days. As he used it to declare himself the unofficial World champion ( before actually winning the ECW title). The rights to the FTW title are actually owned by Taz himself.

source: PWInsider and Khan’s Conference Call