SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWNLive head booker Gabe Sapolsky often tweets that the independent scene is in “unchartered territory” with WWE linking up with WWNLive/Evolve and other independent promotions, such as Revolution Pro and Progress in the U.K.
On the other side is Ring of Honor partnering with New Japan Pro Wrestling to strengthen their U.S. and international presence.
There’s also Lucha Underground in their own galaxy doing a true alternative product that drew its largest-ever TV audience last week and is a featured TV show on iTunes/Apple TV, creating more exposure.
Somewhere in the wrestling landscape is TNA Wrestling, which has gone through three TV networks in three years, needs an “image rehab,” as described by current TNA Hvt. champion Drew Galloway to Sports Illustrated, and is rumored to be on the market.
TNA has rarely been acknowledged by #1 promotion WWE and has historically turned away from working with other wrestling promotions like New Japan, ROH, and PWG trying to grow into their own shoes.
But, is Drew Galloway a potential link to get in the mix of promotions playing nice with each other?
Galloway is currently the TNA Hvt. champion and EVOLVE tag champion with NXT wrestler Johnny Gargano. Galloway was at the EVOLVE show where WWE executive Triple H showed up and famously peeked into the arena from behind the curtain while talking to Gabe Sapolsky.
In an interview with Rob Leigh for TalkSport in the U.K., Galloway noted the interesting position he found himself in representing TNA and WWNLive while a WWE executive was a feet away from him.
“During that period WWE got involved with EVOLVE which everyone was pretty intrigued by since I was the face of the company. And then, inevitably, Johnny Gargano and I won the tag team titles in EVOLVE while pictures of Triple H showing up were being shown and myself being a TNA guy. [But] I’m not just a TNA guy now and an EVOLVE champion, I’m the TNA World Heavyweight champion,” Galloway said.
“I’ve been very lucky and you never know what’s going to go happen. But WWE’s always going to be fine. It doesn’t need anybody – John Cena’s probably the only one who makes a difference if he’s there or gone. It is the name [of WWE] that matters.
“Right now, I’m very lucky that I’m a guy that can make a difference in companies and I’ll work my arse off to make a difference in those companies. And I take pride in being an ambassador for wrestling, so we’ll see what happens. But right now, the way I see it, it is my responsibility to keep doing what I’m doing and just see how far we can take this thing.”
It seems like C.M. Punk has a better chance of returning to WWE than WWE acknowledging/working with TNA. But, instead of WWE working with TNA, there might be a situation where WWE works with a TNA talent like Galloway through the WWNLive partnership.
NXT is essentially its own land, yet it occupies the same WWE Network space as a main roster PPV/Network special. It’s that interesting situation where NXT can do its own thing outside of the main roster storylines, yet still bring in a big audience to make it feel important.
Drew Galloway might fit in there as someone who isn’t identified as TNA Hvt. champion, but everyone watching an NXT special would recognize Galloway as TNA and Evolve champion appearing on a WWE show.
It would be quite the journey for Galloway, who was cut from WWE two years ago and decided to do his own thing after striking out with the #1 promotion.
“Wrestling is so unique and intriguing, so many exciting situations and you can make an incredible living. It used to just be WWE where you could be full-time to make money but I’ve been so, so, so, so fortunate to presented with opportunities where people believe in me and let me be myself, let me be Drew Galloway in every single situation,” Galloway said.
“And that’s how I believe wrestling should be, it was how it was back in the day when it was successful and that’s how it pretty much is across the world now. It is just an incredible time.”