FEATURE: The Wrestling Streaming World Tour Part Two

Categories Uncategorized

The Wrestling Streaming World Tour Part One

US/Canada
It goes
without saying that here in the US and Canada that the WWE is King but we’re
not here to talk about them.  In the US,
outside of WWE there’s four promotions you really need to know about (Five if
you count New Japan’s expansion but we’ll get there.)  Those four promotions are: Ring of Honor, Impact, Chikara and Shimmer. 
There’s two other things I’ll mention but they’re not quite
promotions in the same way.
Ring of Honor, depending on who you
ask, is either the Number Two or Number Three Promotion in the US.  They were started in the early 2000s after
the collapse and buyout of WCW and ECW. 
ROH could be argued to be the spiritual successor of ECW not because of
a hardcore style but more of them going out and finding young talent that’s
just starting to make a name and building around them.
CM Punk,
Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan (as Bryan Danielson,) Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens in WWE,)
AJ Styles and Seth Rollins (as Tyler Black) all made names for themselves in
ROH but if you want to talk about ROH today, you have to talk about Bullet
Club.
Bullet Club
began as a stable (a group of more than two wrestlers that work together) in
2013 when Prince Devitt (a pre-WWE Finn Balor) joined forces with Bad Luck
Fale, Tama Tonga and Karl Anderson.  One
of the first acts to join them were the Young Bucks and the group quickly
gained popularity in Japan and later the US. 
The Young Bucks returned to ROH after joining Bullet Club and quickly
became one of the promotion’s biggest acts.
Cody left
the WWE in frustration in 2016 and after going on a tour of several promotions
to wrestle one-off “Dream matches” he hooked up with the Bullet Club and the
Bucks and soon found himself on top in ROH and the Bullet Club stable is pretty
much the centerpiece of Ring of Honor.
ROH has a
weekly syndicated television show, they also tour the US, Canada and even run
shows in Europe and Japan.  This spring,
ROH launched “Honor Club” where you can watch their weekly television show,
their backlog of PPVs and stream their PPVs and select House shows.  Honor Club also provides discounts on live
event tickets and merchandise.
 
Like ROH, depending
on who you ask Impact (Pop TV,
Thursday 8/7central) is either the
number two or number three promotion in the US. 
They also started in the early days following the collapse and buyouts
of ECW and WCW as TNA (Short for “Total Non-Stop Action” not what you’re
thinking) like ROH is the spiritual successor to ECW, Impact was very much the
spiritual successor to WCW.
TNA was
started by Jeff Jarrett and his father, Jerry and took a lot of people left
over from WCW as well as castoffs from WWE. 
TNA/Impact has a rocky history, they had the foresight to hire AJ Styles
and Samoa Joe from ROH but often used them to prop up aging guys like Jeff
Jarrett and Kevin Nash.  They hired Sting
but often misused him.  They had some of
the best cruiserweight and women’s talent but always seemed to treat them as
unimportant.
Impact fell
on hard times in the last three years, going from Spike TV and monthly PPVs to
where they are now.  On Pop TV and
running two PPVs a year.  However there’s
hope, Impact has changed ownership (Anthem Sports and Entertainment) and made
some positive changes.  Impact also runs
shows on their Twitch channel and runs the Global Wrestling Network streaming
service where you can find their back catalogue of PPVs and weekly television.
Impact has also developed working relationships with several international
promotions like AAA and Japan’s Pro Wrestling NOAH.
Chikara is a smaller promotion based
out of Philadelphia and while they don’t have television they do run a lot of
internet shows and maintain their own streaming service called
Chikaratopia.”  Chikara also runs a very-well
respected training school and as a result they build shows around promising
younger wrestlers and tag teams.  Chikara,
despite using the kanji for strength as their logo, is a lucha-style promotion
so if you found CMLL and/or AAA to your liking Chikara should be right up your
alley.
This brings
me to Shimmer.  Shimmer is currently the premiere women’s promotion in
North America, WWE stars like Asuka, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Candice LeRae,
Becky Lynch, Bayley and Ruby Riott all wrestled there.  Shimmer doesn’t have weekly television rather
they run two day shows three to four times a year and release the shows on DVD
and Blu-ray however they announced plans to launch a streaming service very
soon.
Now I said
that there were two companies I would talk about despite neither being
wrestling promotions in the traditional sense. 
First up is Pro Wrestling Guerilla (PWG) out of Los Angeles. 
 

PWG runs shows every couple months and are considered something of a
super-indie because of how they release content.  PWG doesn’t stream live.  Instead they release their show a couple
months later and because of this release strategy nearly every wrestling
promotion, including WWE, allows their talent to be booked at PWG.  Kevin Steen, the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega,
Adam Cole, Jushin Thunder Liger, Zack Sabre jr, Daniel Bryan and Tommaso Ciampa
have all wrestled there frequently over the years and the company has gained a
reputation for top notch wrestling with a large side of comedy.
Lastly,
there’s All-In.  Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks have put
together a show this Labor Day Weekend in Chicago at the Sears Centre.  The 10,000 seat venue sold out in under an
hour, making it the biggest selling non-WWE event in North America since WCW
still existed.  The event, despite
support from ROH and New Japan has been self-funded by Rhodes and the Bucks and
will feature wrestlers from around the world (along with Green Arrow’s Stephen Amell) and the Main Event will be Cody vs
Nick Aldis for the NWA World Title (One of the most prominent titles in all of
wrestling.)
I included
All-In not merely because the event will be broadcast live… somewhere but the
event has set the wrestling world on its ear and everyone’s not only taken
notice but are waiting eagerly to see what the fall-out will be.  All-In could very well end up being a turning
point in the history of wrestling and I would be doing you a disservice if I
didn’t put it on your radar.
For Part
three, we’re going across the pond to discuss the emerging European/British
wrestling scene.
Just another guy on the internet.