Hello everyone. I hope you all are doing well. Wednesday was quite interesting day in the same point of the amount of wrestling that is on in one night now. And it also brought some interesting news regarding WWE and its future plans regarding live events and WWE Network.

NXT announced Wednesday night that WWE would be live streaming their July 4 Tokyo Japan show at 6:30 AM exclusively on the over-the-top streaming platform. There had been discussions of broadcasting weekend house shows to add to the growing content catalog the WWE offers. However nothing really came of that discussion until now. Some question why not do an American themed patriotic event in honor of the celebration of Independence of the United States, but given the fact that Brock Lesnar is being announced for the show and that the former Prince Devitt a.k.a. Finn Balor challenging for the NXT Title against Kevin Owens in the country that he came to prominence in a few years ago. WWE had the chance to do a few things with this.

I think first of all this will give the NXT brand more of an international sensibility. As the third brand begins to do more touring outside of Orlando the scope of the talent gets put on a grander scale. I definitely see given Kevin Owens status on the main roster that a title switch is coming .  I mean it’s a great moment for the brand and Balor if that happens. The Irish born star made his name in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and the reaction you can expect will be amazing. Those who haven’t latched onto The Demon will do so following July 4.

Streaming the Tokyo show has another benefit and that one is pretty simple. This is a test bed for WWE to see if subscribers would be willing to watch international touring events at weird hours or video-on-demand. This can lead to shows being broadcast from the European tour which WWE does twice a year, Australia, Singapore or other international territories where a new audience sees the WWE product maybe once or twice a year. I think we get jaded as Americans because there is wrestling everywhere in the US not realizing that we are supposed to have fun. And it’s crowds like the ones primarily at Wrestlemania/the UK that remind us of that fact every year.

Who knows, the UK has been clamoring to get a pay-per-view back in the region since the early 2000’s maybe this opens the door for those events to happen. WWE’s statement was that the time difference would cause problems as they would have to run the show on tape delay for traditional pay-per-view in the US, but if Tokyo proves successful that may not be an issue. With VOD readily available after the fact this takes away that inconvenience for the American audience. Just looking at New Japan World they run their shows at 3 AM US Eastern time and people are willing to watch them live as they happen. So this may be WWE’s response to that in some way. In the modern world time zones don’t really matter as much they use to. We are more interconnected than ever before.

I can only imagine when WWE goes back to China them broadcasting one of the events and showing the massive crowd that appears in Beijing. I can’t wait for July 4 because this may open up a brand-new chapter and how WWE looks at themselves globally.

But that was not the only thing that happened Wednesday. Of course, Ring of Honor made their debut on Destination America. And while the company has a strong history with the Internet fan base, those same names finally getting access to the Sinclair broadcast company nationwide has brought forth less than stellar reviews. Everything from commentary, the lighting even the match quality has been parsed by punditry around the Internet. ROH had said that this would be the same program broadcast on their syndicate stations around the country there would be no special broadcast made for Destination America. And that’s exactly what it was the same broadcast that aired over the weekend. I honestly think that was a faux pas by Sinclair in a lot of ways they should’ve produced a special primer for those who never seen Ring of Honor television before. Get them acclimated to what the program is going to look and sound like for before the debut episode. You can’t just treat it like another syndicate because now you’re nationwide.

I know that people have trouble with how Ring of Honor looks on television. Mainly the lighting. And while the company has invested in a new rig to make things brighter for television. Those were the pitfalls of taking your television on the road. Sometimes things are not going to be a uniform especially when you’re on a smaller budget. Remember when TNA would go on the road things would always not look the same. WWE are masters of the live event game and no one will ever be able to touch them. So you really have one of two choices if you’re Ring of Honor. Do you go back to taping television in one arena and just doing live events on the road. This would cause television to be taped months in advance much like Impact Wrestling. Or do you hope that fans get acclimated to the production differences and really settle into the wrestling product? I honestly would go with the latter we see how taping months in advance really harms the energy than Impact Wrestling is trying to foster. As with anything I think ROH would take the feedback from the first episode which did pretty solid numbers for that fledgling channel. And change their strategy on how the product is presented to the different market.

And while we’re on Destination America I want to discuss something that I don’t think will ever get said much about TNA. I think they’re doing a great job of utilizing the roster better than they have before. Albeit it is more out of necessity then creativity given their limited roster size. But one of the most compelling things I think about the TNA product right now is the fact that characters have multiple feuds with multiple different people.

Example: Eric Young has a feud with Bobby Lashley but also has a story line going with Chris Melendez. Ethan Carter is similar as he’s at odds with his former friend Rockstar Spud for using Option C and Austin Aries for his involvement while chasing the TNA World Title and Kurt Angle. Also on the female side The Dollhouse has feuds with Awesome Kong, Gail Kim, Brooke, and Rebel . Not to forget what now seems to be the storyline involving Madison Rayne, Angelina Love and the enigmatic Velvet Sky. Austin Aries is now both in the tag team Add this with the multilayered James Storm/Magnus storyline (which admittedly this week went off the rails a bit no pun intended) and you got some pretty good programming.

All these connective tissues and all these complex interpersonal relationships are very reminiscent of what made The Attitude Era so great because it made wrestling feel like a living breathing entity and not something where feuds are just in a vacuum. Guys and girls on the roster can have two or three storylines going at once that way it is not the same thing every week. People do enjoy storytelling that is simple they can understand however if you look at shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men or Game of Thrones, characters have multiple different relationships with varying degrees of contentiousness so why not add that more into the wrestling side of things. TNA is definitely on to something I hope they can really keep these multiple threads going because it makes the program much more vibrant than it’s been in the past.

I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. Be sure to check out everything we got going on here on the website. Until next time.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.