With all their missteps and mistakes, there’s one unavoidable truth when it comes to the WWE. They are still, easily, the biggest wrestling company on the planet. The gap between what the WWE can earn and everybody else is absurdly large. While plenty of companies and individuals find success, it still doesn’t reach WWE levels. That’s why what the Bullet Club are doing now could lessen that earnings gap and potentially change the state of wrestling.
In May of this year a wrestling fan asked Dave Metlzer if Ring of Honor could sell out a 10,000 seat arena. It seems like a typically random question asked to Metlzer which he routinely answers in his straightforward style. Metlzer said it wouldn’t happen anytime soon. That’s because ROH, ECW, and TNA have never even come close to selling out arenas of that size. Smaller, more cozy, venues typically fit their styles and anything too big would painfully reveal that, despite fan enthusiasm, their following just isn’t big enough. Cody Rhodes thinks differently.
Cody spotted Metlzer’s tweet and took it as a challenge. Rhodes' arrival in the indies, along with other established Bullet Club talent, has rocketed ROH’s trajectory. Cody was ready to put his money where his mouth is, literally. Cody Rhodes, along with The Young Bucks, has been searching for an arena to rent out, using their own money, in hopes of hosting a ROH show. There are still plenty of hurdles however and the show is far from a sure thing. They still need to finalize a venue, preferable in a town known for their ROH or Bullet Club fervor, and they need to clear ROH’s existing contracts in hopes of making it a true ROH show. Any number of factors can have a show of half this size come crashing down, let alone one created for the very purpose of selling every ticket.
Fraught with pitfalls or not, the Bullet Club’s potential investment could cause waves throughout the already revitalized indies. Sure, ROH, NJPW, Progress, ICW, and the other promotions experiencing a wonderful resurgence won’t be leaping to rent out huge arenas any time soon. But if this special event is a success, even just a small one, it proves just how much non-WWE wrestling has grown. It would no longer be the obsession of “true” wrestling fans, but instead a commonly accepted alternative to the drudgery that is the WWE.
Maybe this will on end as a false start, or a never was. A good idea at the wrong time, or a bad idea that could never work. Maybe the WWE is too big, too extensive, too widely known to fail anytime soon. Maybe 2017 isn’t the year and we’ll have to continue to attend intimate house shows for smaller promotions until one day wrestling is a true competition again. Or maybe this will work. I don’t expect a sudden carbon copy of the late 90s when WCW and WWE competed and grew this business to great new heights. But perhaps we’ll finally get just enough growth that for once the WWE will have to pay attention and compete.