SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Remember the episode of Seinfeld when George Costanza feared his life with his friends, where he could be friend-George, was beginning to bleed into his life with his girlfriend, where he had to be boyfriend-George? The Worlds Colliding theory? Yeah, that’s kinda how I’m feeling after reading the SESCoops Story reported by Brad Davis this afternoon, where the seeds for a new wrestling promotion have been planted, fronted by Jacksonville Jaguars NFL owner Shad Khan.
If you follow me on Twitter (@gregmparks) or listen to Wrestling Night in America (Sundays at 8pm EST, pwtorchlivecast.com), you’ll know that I’m a Jaguars fan. So this is really pretty weird. As someone who covers wrestling, this is great news – seems like a big story that could develop and is worth following over the next several weeks and months. As a wrestling fan, this could be a promotion, based on the above report, that would almost immediately jump to #2 status if it ever gets off the ground.
As a Jaguars fan…I’m a little stunned. Sure, Khan is a billionaire, but he didn’t get to that point making stupid decisions. It’s not a fun feeling to have your favorite team’s owner already being referred to as a “money mark” by wrestling fans who have seen this show before. Khan is coming off an unsuccessful bid to buy Wembley Stadium, which was supposed to be a major revenue stream for his NFL franchise, so his reputation is smarting a little.
Ah yes, the Jaguars. The reason they play in England every year, the reason Khan wanted to buy Wembley, is to pump that money back into the Jaguars. Jacksonville is a small-market city when it comes to the NFL, which means the amount of money to be made is somewhat more limited than other cities. It’s strange to then have your team’s owner decide to bankroll an expensive wrestling project that would be projected to lose millions of dollars in start-up costs alone, with no guarantee to ever see the black.
Shad’s son, Tony, could be the point-man for the new promotion. He was put in charge of the analytics department of the Jaguars when Shad bought the team. Like his father, Tony is no dummy – which is why it’s so strange to see these two men apparently getting into a business that has such a track record of failure for these types of projects.
The one thing going for the Khans are the wrestling-related names reportedly attached to the project: Chris Jericho, Jim Ross, Barry Bloom, and perhaps even the stars from All In. Of those who are (or will be) free agents, these are the names you’d want to go into battle with you in creating an organization from the ground-up.
Who knows where this story will go? It could end up being much ado about nothing. Or it could set into motion a real change in the wrestling business in the next few years. Maybe the Khans saw Vince McMahon getting back into the football business and thought they’d try the reverse of that. Whatever happens, my hope is that Shad Khan gives Vince a ring to tell him he’s getting in the ‘rasslin’ business. Worlds colliding indeed.
Greg Parks hosts the “Wrestling Night in America” Livecast every Sunday night on PWTorchlivecast.com. Read additional columns from him at PWTorchVIP.com. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.