The word leaked late last night that there has been discussion of the WWE looking to buy Ring of Honor. The information was very vague last night and a story we were interested in covering. However, to due to hush clauses and private negotiating, we stayed away from this. Now that the story has leaked let's give you all the information you've have been craving. We first reported here on WNW in August that not only was FLO sports making offers to ROH, but WWE also made its initial offer at that time as well. Let's take a step back before we get into the potential sale and the why behind it.
When Sinclair bought majority of ROH there was never any intention to support the company or put money into it. Sinclair got the property for cheap and had more things to air on the networks - it's that simple and easy as far as that goes.
This takes us up to now and the information you're looking for! WWE officials including Vince and Hunter have had 3 separate meetings with Sinclair in regards to the sale of the company. These were closed door meetings with confidentiality agreements signed on all ends. The 3 meetings were in mid-January, one in late February, and then one last week.
WWE was originally just looking to acquire the tape library as well as the talent, and would just end what we all know as ROH. More recently, an idea was brought up where WWE would run NXT as the true developmental and use the ROH brand in the style of the current NXT with talent that just needs polishing. This would also allow them to grow new characters at the Performance Center and then put them on TV when they are ready, instead of putting them on TV before they're ready.
What does this mean for talent? Any contracted long-term deals which are really only The Young Bucks and Jay Lethal would transfer with the sale.
What about the NJPW working deal? That was never discussed, however there will be no WWE/NJPW working agreement. Saying there is still bad blood between WWE and NJPW is a massive understatement.
It's interesting to note now that from what I'm told the reason ROH sent letters in regards to tampering with contracts to WWE in December was just to keep the negotiations honest and protecting their talent. I can say that there was discussion far enough in advance that WWE has creatively talked about who would be running the ROH brand if they did keep it mostly as is to keep fans happy with it. The ROH brass is not happy this information was leaked as their moral level is already not that high heading into one of their biggest shows of the year. I can confirm they will meet again in person prior to WrestleMania.