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AEW shopping for Ring of Honor is nice for everybody in wrestling


AEW proprietor Tony Khan stood in the course of the ring on Wednesday night time to ship a “large announcement” he’d teased for over every week. Voice quivering, it was unclear whether or not his nervousness got here from pleasure, or talking it entrance of a stay crowd and large tv viewers. Then got here the information: Khan had bought Ring of Honor (ROH), a vanguard of contemporary skilled wrestling since 2002 that has just lately fallen on onerous instances resulting from a drain of expertise and poor possession.

There was at all times an expectation Khan could be fascinated with making a take care of ROH, however the assumption had largely been that he would search to accumulate the corporate’s 20 yr tape library, containing matches of among the greatest stars on AEW’s roster like C.M. Punk, Bryan Danielson, and the Younger Bucks. Nevertheless, the twist got here with the revelation that AEW was shopping for every thing, the library, the model, emblems, heck, even the ring and manufacturing tools would come beneath his possession.

That is the place issues get thrilling, and the place the panorama {of professional} wrestling has the chance to alter. The speedy enlargement of AEW has come at a time the place business chief WWE has tried to scale back prices and run a leaner operation. It’s resulted within the launch of sensible wrestlers, large names, all in service of saving cash. Because of this, AEW’s roster has swelled within the final yr, signing dozens of unbiased, and former WWE wrestlers, bumping a few of its younger, up-and-coming expertise down the cardboard, and even off TV consequently.

It’s unquestionably been the largest problem for AEW because it continues to develop. Even with its talent-friendly scheduling, which permits wrestlers to take day without work away from TV, the sheer variety of performers has exceeded the three hours of programming AEW at the moment has. It’s led to hypothesis whether or not the corporate would want to chop a few of its personal expertise, out of equity to the wrestlers as a lot as anything, particularly if they’ll’t get matches frequently.

The acquisition of ROH probably modifications all of that. It must be famous that we don’t actually know what the plans for the corporate are, however there’s a possible path right here that’s fascinating: Rebooting ROH, offering a showcase for AEW’s younger expertise, including programming consequently. It coincides with rumors the wrestling firm might be finalizing a streaming take care of HBO Max, which might make ROH intriguing unique programming for the platform, together with the tape libraries of ROH and AEW.

Extra importantly, it might provide a house for these youthful abilities to get matches. There’s an enormous swath of wrestlers on AEW’s roster who’ve the potential to be future cornerstones of the business, however who aren’t but able to predominant occasion a significant present. Wanting on the tea leaves, we will think about a situation the place ROH turns into, I don’t need to say developmental, however extra of a minor league model to return to its roots as a showcase of unbelievable wrestlers who want extra seasoning.

No matter whether or not you’re an AEW fan, a WWE fan, or watch each corporations equally, there’s little doubt that the wrestling business as an entire is healthier for having extra well-run organizations for wrestlers to work. It’s a rising tide that can proceed to elevate all ships, and as a fan {of professional} wrestling, it was unhappy to see ROH decay right into a husk of its former glory. Now we will see a proud return of a wrestling firm with a legacy, and historical past that deserves celebration.

There’s nobody occasion guilty in all this. Because it stood, ROH nonetheless had superb wrestlers placing on unbelievable matches, however years of prime expertise draining out of the corporate, paired with an incapacity to fill their roles, put ROH on life help. Then in 2021, it was introduced that the corporate was occurring hiatus, with a tentative return schedules for April — although many believed the operation would stop all collectively.

Tony Khan and AEW didn’t simply throw a lifeline, they gained the flexibility to convey again a legendary wrestling model. Time will inform what that appears like, nevertheless it’s undoubtably thrilling to think about the chances transferring ahead.

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