Thomas Fenton Reports:
WWE has already been eyeing and keeping track of major contracts from ROH,NJPW, and other Indies. WWE may have become a little more serious in acquiring more at a much higher price due to their new rights deals.
While WWE currently does not have to toss and turn at night in regards to ratings or how their product and ratings are perceived. However moving forward to major network television WWE will have to do a better job of giving fans what they want that turn into ratings.
Hunter has done an amazing job recruiting talent and signing talent from all over the world and at time while Vince McMahon may have an issue with size or a look it is not arguable that there has never been a more talented group of workers under a WWE at one time.
While we can all sit here and argue about how some talent is being used, the fact of the matter is that the talent today on the roster just continues to grow.
While at times WWE has walked a fine line with expiring deals, and even at times, got caught through a 3rd party with near tempering. It is no doubt that WWE has continued to stock up on UK talent and making sure their presence is felt they have not forgotten about stocking their talent here in the US as well.
WWE has had an eye on Marty Scrull, Hangman Page, Dalton Castle, and others in ROH in the past however either the timing was wrong or talent re-upped with their current company. Dalton who signed a long-term deal with ROH and them became champion.
Marty turned down offers in November 2017 when his deal was up. He opted to stay where he was and even turned into a bigger star. Marty's deal is up once again on November 1st and WWE will be coming hard after him. WWE also just signed Marty's significant other Deonna Purrazzo, a very talented female wrestler in her own right.
Depending on the NJPW side of the contract Adam Page's deal will expire in the next few months with ROH and, depending on the NJPW terms, will also be free of a contract by the first of the year or sooner. Adam Page's stock has skyrocketed within agents of WWE, he has a little more size than others and he just continues to improve. At only 26 years of age, this is a top talent that eyes are wide open on.
Flip Gordan just re-upped a short-term deal with ROH this week, and the time there was not much interest from WWE and Impact was not committed in letting him work anywhere else.
Nick and Matt Jackson after signing the most lucrative deals in ROH are on expiring deals this January after their 2-year contracts. Matt and Nick have transformed how to market yourself and to brand yourself outside of WWE. Nick and Matt's business sense should be admired more than even their in-ring talent. In whatever decision Matt and Nick make they are due for a huge pay raise. The questions will be for them is can ROH pay them their worth, and is it time to keep the travel to the US 4 days a week on the road for WWE. Let's make no mistake about this WWE would love to sign them, and this does not come down to just money. It will be down to Nick and Matt thinking it's time or do they think they can continue to revolutionize the way we all see independent Wrestling.
NJPW with their US expansion or lack or US expansion has done them no favors in keeping their US talent happy. It's has left many workers vocally questioning if NJPW knows what they are doing when it comes to the States, as many felt at this point in time they would have some type of a foothold here and running much larger venues already. The Cow Palace will be a major test as the shoe is still not close to sold out.
We will reach that time of the year again on January 5th when many NJPW contracts are also up. The biggest and best of them all will once again be Kenny Omega. Omega arguably the best wrestling in the world will once again open his negotiations. On this current contract, Kenny has criticised NJPW US expansion, has got to work with Kota Ibushi which is something he felt he had to do prior to ever leaving NJPW. Omega will face Okada at Dominion in a 2 out of 3 falls no time limit match. If Omega does not capture the NJPW championship you really have to question besides his one on one match with Ibushi what else does he have left there. Omega is also critical on WWE's booking on social media frequently and did not sign with them before not because the money was not there, but because they did not have a plan for him. Omega the artist that he is wants a plan and a future so he knows how to grow and develop his character and where to go with it.
WWE has also had an eye on Toma Tonga and Tanga Loa collectively known as The Gorillas of Destiny and a possible return of DH Smith. All deals expire after Wrestlekingdom.
Walter has been deep on WWE's radar for a while and some even reported he was signed at one point. I think it is safe to say Walter will be there sooner than later.
Austin Theory, Matt Riddle, and Shane Strickland who are all already on Evolve deals are all on the list and there is a reason they are in Evolve and not elsewhere at this point.