The WWE recently added another weekly program to their growing WWE Network, announcing the project as the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament. It will increase their presence in the United Kingdom, and some are of the belief that more of these territory specific tournaments could be coming soon.
“WWE strategy 1: raise roughly 2 billion Yen from the network to create a network of global territories and tie up talent. It’s very possible WWE purchase a promotion in Japan. WWE are shoring up their network because of cable cutters and prevalence of streaming, meaning declining TV ratings. The cable TV structure as is will collapse in the US within 3-5 years. There are many reasons for WWE to create local territories. It cuts cost just to send talent on international tours and not the whole infrastructure. WWE are only functionally profitable in the U.S., Canada and U.K. They have TV elsewhere but that’s all. By creating territories, they’re able to actually create products with awareness of cultural differences and characteristics of markets. WWE have had difficulty in creating new stars. By going to local territories and broadcasting them, they can create network stars. WWE are taking big gambles, in IT for one”
New Japan Pro Wrestling has lost several stars to WWE in recent years, with AJ Styles, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Shinsuke Nakamura all departing (and around the same time) for the pastures of WWE after long stints with New Japan. Kidani continued to say that it feels like the time for being in the middle is gone, and they're either going to go full steam ahead at WWE or become a part of them.
“This isn’t the platform to discuss NJPW strategy fully but we will announce something soon. We are entering a phase where you are either with WWE or against them. WWE have a lot of weaknesses and time is not on their side”
The wrestling business is far better off with numerous operations keeping things competitive, and New Japan has been able to steadily build and harness superstars. Hopefully, this means that they're ready to do battle with the wrestling goliath because no one wants to see them simply absorbed into the WWE. No one really wins if that happens.
Listen to Comicbook.com's Over The Ropes wrestling podcast:
MORE WWE: UFC's Paige VanZant Wants To Take On The Rock When She Gets To WWE / WWE Roadblock End Of The Line Predictions / Bray Wyatt Wants To Take The Miz's Title / WWE Teases Lana Becoming An NXT Wrestler / 5 Greatest Trios In WWE History / Chyna Autopsy Results Revealed / Triple H Confirms Talks With Ronda Rousey / Jerry Lawler Reveals Why He Is No Longer On TV / Brock Lesnar Suspended For One Year