SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE has sent a survey to their Fan Council asking which indy promotions on the list they watch. The list included:
-Pro Wrestling Guerilla
-CHIKARA Pro Wrestling
-Dragon Gate USA
-Ohio Valley Wrestling
-All American Wrestling
-Combat Zone Wrestling
-SHIMMER Women’s Athletes
-Squared Circle Wrestling
-Ring of Honor
-Full Impact Pro
-I do not follow any independent wrestling
This continues WWE’s “sudden interest” in the indy viewing habits of their fanbase as it relates to possibly pursuing relationships with indy companies to provide access to their shows on WWE Network. Surveys have floated with different pricing scenarios for a tier of WWE Network that would include non-WWE programming, some included in a higher-priced tier just that is differentiated only by the indy wrestling available on it. So WWE is interested in at least exploring bringing indy wrestling distribution into the WWE Network model.
Keller’s Analysis: The first survey I saw mentioned “Independent wrestling such as ROH and TNA,” which was odd, and seemed to be worded by someone in WWE’s research department who didn’t really understand that fans don’t consider TNA indy wrestling and fewer and fewer look at ROH as part of the indy category, either, considering they have national TV clearances and run national cable PPVs. This list actually includes what would be considered indy wrestling companies. I’m not sure that asking fans which indy companies they “follow” is a good gauge on the potential interest level in good indy wrestling. The idea of any national streaming platform is to create interest, not exclusively inherit it. The following for NXT has grown exponentially because of its accessibility on WWE Network, for example. In any case, WWE continues to show interest in knowing more about their fans’ interest in indy wrestling. I wonder how many fans are interested in these indy groups who are not at all likely to be on WWE’s “Fan Council,” though.