Hello everyone. I hope everyone has had a great holiday season thus far. It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. 2015 was definitely a time of the highest highs and the lowest lows. All things considered in ring action never was an all-time high like this before. Whether it was WWE, ROH, TNA and New Japan work rates are definitely at a pinnacle. Where things suffered for the most part was creative direction. WWE was probably the biggest culprit of this as it seemed they were not understanding how outdated their philosophy had been. Whether it was in how they handled their women regardless of what they call it. Add this with their booking of talent to be top stars and you can see why most fans are frustrated with the main WWE product.

Ironically, with all this turmoil regarding WWE’s main product, NXT still seems to grow. It’s simplistic presentation and no-nonsense booking has captured the minds and hearts of many lapsed fans. The little development system that could has really become the secondary promotion that WWE wishes they had 10 years ago with the brand split. Looking at the crowds they’ve gotten while touring the United States things keep looking up. Hopefully, WWE NXT’s philosophy will take over not only arenas across the country but the main roster’s lackluster direction. Seeing video packages on personalities like Finn Balor, Bayley and others shows how much differently NXT is from the main roster. You feel for those characters want them to succeed. They are just people playing a role their living breathing three-dimensional characters that are missing from WWE proper. However, as the promotion really begins to take wings and fly can they keep up the quality 2016? Only time will tell.

It’s no secret that a part of NXT’s success is a more independent open philosophy. Whether it’s WWE’s partnership with Evolve, using Ring of Honor or New Japan footage or acknowledging past outside of WWE, Triple H and company have understood that without the independent wrestling scene they would have no talent to pull from. With this endorsement, it seems that independent promotions saw a groundswell as well. And that’s mostly in part to the rise of the streaming subscription service. Starting with New Japan World in January more and more online video-on-demand subscription services popped up in the year 2015. Whether it’s the hottest UK promotion or your local US Indy, there are plenty of alternatives. As I said in months past, it’s an amazing time we live in.

Not only that but more and more promotions are on television.

Lucha Underground caught fire with the Internet crowd as the presentation was something different than ever before. It was a cinematic wrestling tele-novella with AAA Lucha libre talent that was truly episodic. When the second season starting in January it’ll be interesting to see whether fans will still be worshiping at the temple.

New Japan, capitalizing on their Internet popularity, even got an American television show recapping their most notable matches. All this shows how much more our world is getting. And It’s great for the modern wrestling fan to see all these different styles. New Japan focused more on the English fan with commentary through their live events. Many raved over the hard-hitting action and really brought the top Japanese promotion bigger recognition than ever before.

Ring of Honor really strengthened their brand internationally with their partnership to New Japan Pro Wrestling. Not to mention the further growth of the pay-per-view business making the company a stronger presence than ever before. In the five years that Sinclair Broadcasting has in the company this is without a doubt been the most banner year in strategy and positioning the brand of what they consider the best wrestling on the planet. Add this to their awesome pay-per-view events and you have a strong argument for Ring of Honor being promotion of the year.

TNA unfortunately had to once again tighten its belt keep themselves afloat in 2015. The company once again bootstrapped another year losing more mainstream talent and limiting their live event schedule. For the second time in one year, Impact Wrestling will debut on a new network with hopes of revitalizing the brand. And truthfully I hope it works because more places for the guys to apply the craft is better for the business overall. The company is really made the best of bad situations the last few months having to tape month of television in advance due to poor planning by management.

It’s been a a rough year in news for the wrestling fan. Whether it be the racist scandal involving Hulk Hogan or the loss of legends Dusty Rhodes and Roddy Piper, 2015 was a tumultuous year for the history of the business. The trials and tribulations of Jimmy Snuka, Sunny and others makes you sad for the heroes of our childhood. But while the past seems to be mournful, the future does look great for professional wrestling’s credibility in Hollywood. Sheamus, Batista, John Cena, The Rock and others have transcended the spotlight of professional wrestling ring and really become big players in entertainment. This further gives legitimacy to the art form we all know and love.

WWE has been a juggernaut in regards to the presence of social media. Their Twitter and Facebook account get massive amounts of numbers. Add to this their YouTube channel which is month after month one of the top channels on the site and WWE has their foothold in the future. The addition of Xavier Woods gaming channel furthers their commitment to being an entertainment brand overall. I imagine we will see more diversification in their social media strategy going forward. Emma has been doing a cooking show on her own YouTube channel that I imagine will be part of their strategy going forward. Their social media is a good way to keep in touch with the millennial that doesn’t have traditional TV. I think the weakest part of WWE strategy in 2015 was WWE Network overall. While I enjoyed originals like Swerved, Table for Three, Breaking Ground and some of the Stone Cold Podcasts, I feel like there still money left on the table. I feel like they can do so much more with the content they have in repurchasing it using personalities from their roster to act like hosts on the live stream. They really need to give context to the younger fans why they need to watch this older content. Plus this would give don’t doing good creative direction a role in the company without WWE just making them sit at home. If they can make the live stream something that you should tune into other than live wrestling events I have a feeling they would get on the more subscribers using a lot more content other than the live pay-per-view. But it is still a great value even if that’s the only reason you use it.

All in all this is an interesting year to say the least. I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store. Thanks, for the time to let me ramble on the year that was. Hope you guys have a Happy New Year.