We are back from assignment and have returned to Sheet Sandwich World HQ… and what a day to be back.
Just a reminder, before we get things under way, that you can get our 4th episode of our podcast Talking Sheet here. We should be recording another edition of the show sometime later this week or this weekend that I am certain will be JAM PACKED with a ton of insight and analysis into what has gone on over the last week and a half.
We’re also working on a special edition Sheet Wars feature, delving into the details of what went down last week, from Pro Wrestling Torch signing Todd Martin away from Wrestling Observer, to how PWInsider’s Mike Johnson and Dave Scherer found a way to make themselves the center of attention when it came to Dave Meltzer’s TNA cancelation report.
All that plus the next edition of our Deep Insider column documenting my experiences becoming an Elite member at PWInsider.com.
Comments? News Tips? Email me at Les@sheetsandwich.com
Big news coming out of today is obviously the story regarding Ring Of Honor getting a national cable television deal with Destination America—the same channel that was the subject of a controversial report in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter just one week ago today claiming that the channel would effectively be canceling its multi-year deal with TNA Impact effective in September, leaving the show without a home.
Of course, we don’t report the wrestling news here at Sheet Sandwich, we report on how that news gets reported to all of you, so without any further adieu, let’s jump right in.
Wednesday News Update
** Wade Keller put it best this afternoon when he said there are a lot of different angles to cover on this one… Early this afternoon Destination America sent out a press release announcing that next week, June 3rd, Ring Of Honor would be premiering on the network as a lead-in to the newly moved TNA Impact Wrestling, creating a three hour block of pro wrestling on the network.
** This has to be considered somewhat ironic considering all of the news out of last week, particularly from the way F4Wonline.com was covering it, that Destination America wasn’t having any luck selling ads for pro wrestling.
** It didn’t take long for the site to pivot from this, however, into the new position that Destination America wants pro wrestling, they are just having a hard time selling ads for IMPACT.
** Bryan Alvarez keyed in on something that I think is a key detail in this story, though he framed it more or less as advertisers are balking at buying ads for TNA Impact making the deal not financially viable for Destination America, so they’re going to try a deal to syndicate ROH. The key detail here would not be that Destination America can’t sell ads for Impact, and it’s more like they are finding it difficult to sell ads on a wrestling show, and so they want to spend LESS on wrestling (but keep similar ratings) so they are syndicating tv from ROH / Sinclair Broadcasting.
** All of the big news sites jumped out on this one with multiple updates and pieces tracking the blockbuster news.
** James Caldwell at PW Torch jumped out on the story shortly after the press release came out from Destination America here.
** Shortly after news broke on the deal, another angle of the story broke loose in terms of how TNA would react, and it was announced on multiple news sites that she Dixie Carter would be holding a meeting with her talent roster later that afternoon, and each of the sites were poised to jump on the details as soon as they were known.
** F4WOnline announced that they’d be offering a breaking news audio update immediately following Carter’s talk with talent. While there weren’t a ton of details of what happened on the call, Alvarez had a number of interesting tidbits including that the ROH deal with Destination America is only good through the end of the year, and that the two parties had been talking for “months.”
** Sheet Sandwich has confirmed with Alvarez that he learned this news today as part of his reportage for the story, and did not know prior to today that this would be happening. So for readers concerned with the idea that a premium news site was holding back on reporting news to their members—according to Alvarez that is not the case. He found out today, and in digging for details about how everything unfolded confirmed that it was a long negotiation.
** According to Dave Meltzer, he only knew Jeff [Jarrett] was talking to Destination America, and only found that out un the past few days. It wasn’t until earlier today that he learned how long ROH had been talking with the network.
** Wade Keller indicated the same thing, even going so far as to underscore the notion that the talks between Destination America and ROH predated any public falling out between Destination America and TNA came to light.
** He also mentioned in his VIP Hotline update today that ROH is interested in producing original programming for Destination America, not just syndicating their Sinclair show (as currently is planned). Keller speculated that it’s possible that Destination America is going with the plan to syndicate the non-original show until they can be out from under the TNA deal, at which time they might reinvest some of that money into an original programming deal with ROH.
** After Carter’s conference call, Wade Keller at PW Torch had a quick site update outlining what had happened during the call, including that the duration was really more like 40 minutes, and not an hour as previously reported.
“Carter led the conference call with a ten minute introduction and then fielded questions from talent for another 30 minutes, roughly.”
** Keller mentioned that one of his sources also told him that as many as half the talent may have hung up after the first 10 minutes of Carter’s call because they felt like it was all “BS.”
** He also confirmed the recent rumors, first reported by Voices of Wrestling, that Dixie Carter had accidentally forwarded an email string in which she had made “snotty” negative remarks about a Destination America executive to one of the higher up programming executives at Discovery Networks (the parent of Destination America).
** Keller also had a blog reacting to the story and what it might mean here.
** PWInsider went crazy with eight updates regarding the ROH deal, TNA reaction, or some combination of both this afternoon.
** According to Mike Johnson, in his coverage of the TNA Conference Call, “Carter noted they had been given no word of any issues and were in good standing with the Network and were planning for 2016 currently.”
** Johnson also reported, “Regarding Ring of Honor being added to the Network, the impression given was that TNA, due to their relationship with DA, could not speak on the show until it was announced. I’ve heard from a few people who didn’t buy that explanation and the general belief among those I’ve spoken to who were on the call is that TNA didn’t know about ROH until it was announced.”
** He also seems to think that the call lasted an hour and a half, not the 40 minutes Keller indication, or the hour Alvarez mentioned:
“Still another told me it was over 90 minutes of nothing of substance truly being addressed while noting the company was adamant they wanted things kept private while asking talents not to speak out and leak things.”
** Johnson also had a report up talking about how TNA talent had been tweeting to plug ROH coming to Destination America, and how it may have been either a TNA or Destination America request that they do so, but then saying they were doing it on their own. Or something.
** David Bixenspan had a report about TNA talent MVP’s tweets regarding the whole thing:
— MVP was tweeting about the news, saying none of the TNA talent received advanc notice, sarcastically called the move “classy,” tweeted his booking contact information, and promised to retire within a few years. But morale is great!
** Mike Johnson covered another MVP tweet here, under the headline “Internal TNA Reaction to ROH TV Deal” and included the line, in the update, “MVP is the only TNA talent or official to comment as of this writing” before reprinting a tweet reading:
At no time was TNA talent (that I’m aware of) notified of ROH airing on @DestAmerica . I’ll refrain from commenting until after “the call”.
** In other news: Did you hear Rusev was injured?
** Raw ratings DoomWatch™ for Memorial Day were dire, but not bleak as it was the second lowest number of the year, but was also a holiday, and up against a monster 8.28 million viewers for the Warriors-Rockets NBA playoff game.
** Today’s News vs Plugs = News: 430, Plugs: 3487 (unreal).