Is it just me, or do independent wrestling promotions not want to make money? I’m no wrestling business expert, but from my personal point of view some independent can be making more money than they are if they just realize the potential sales they can have from releasing older shows in their catalog. This article will talk about that aspect of wrestling, and will kind of bless the WWE Network but at the same time rant on the Indy promotions to don’t realize money they are losing.
I’m a person who’s against piracy. I believe that a person who works hard on a product, be it a CD, a DVD, a book or whatever should receive compensation for it. In fact, I believe piracy is a big part of the reason of the economic crisis that the world is slowly recovering from. However, this doesn’t take away the fact that I believe that DVDs and CDs (which I still buy) are expensive. This doesn’t take away that the Internet is a great tool, for various reasons, including YouTube, which can help people get into and get introduced to independent promotions other than WWE.
I think I’ve mentioned it various times (sarcastic comment), that I’ve been collecting Ring of Honor shows since the very beginning of the company’s existence. At this time, I own a total of eighty three shows, which start from “Era of Honor Begins” and currently ends at “Night of the Grudges II”. The problem I’m having now is that I cannot, by any means, find the next show I need which would be “Dragon Gate Invasion”.
I have searched eBay, amazon and the ROH website, but the only time it was on eBay, the seller did not ship to Spain, and there is one on Amazon.com but the seller does not ship to Spain. I had a similar situation a few years ago with the show “Revenge on the Prophecy” which took me almost a year to finally obtain. Therefore, during the following paragraphs I will comment on the following things that bother me about this situation.
Not Available on ROH
This is a criticism against most independent organizations. Why is it that ROH does not have any shows available prior to 2008? I have bought some 2002 and 2003 shows on their site years ago, but since then nothing. How much does it cost to make a few DVDs? I’m not saying to mass produce, but damnit I’m sure some 1.000 per show would be a reasonable amount and I’m sure there are some fans who are all willing to buy them? Plus, don’t do all shows at once, do it show by show.
The same goes with PWG. I want to buy the first show, but the first show is only available on V.H.S. I own a V.H.S. but I think it’s pointless to buy a V.H.S. tape this day and age. The stranger thing in this case, is that there is a wrestling distributor that sell P.W.G, so seeing how this distributor dedicates itself at selling DVDs from various promotions why can it not re-produce out of print shows? On the flip side, there are two distributors that have every single C.Z.W. shows available, even the first ones from 1999. Could someone please explain to me this contradiction?
As I said, I want to buy and watch every show in order. Therefore, the longer the delay on being able to obtain the next show, the higher the probability of future shows becoming out of print, or harder to find. I’m at 2005, so many shows I need until 2014, and who knows which “future shows” are going to be as difficult as or more so than “Dragon Gate Invasion”. When I finally catch up to September 2014 shows what year will it be? 2020? 2030? Damnit, six years of shows to still catch up on. I agree, that my idea of purchasing each show in order is a personal choice which the independent promotions don’t care about, but I’m sure there are many fans out there who want all the shows from a certain promotion.
Furthermore, since this particular ROH show is not available anywhere, I’m slowly trying to buy the first Chikara, C.Z.W., Dragon Gate USA and P.W.G. (reference problem above) shows, however, money is limited, so If I go back to purchasing ROH shows, how will this affect the availability of the DVDs from these other promotions?
What Shows were distributed via DVD
This is basically a rant on Chikara itself, because with regards to ROH there is specific case with one ROH show. Chikara is a promotion that does not run regular shows. It’s a very special promotion, I understand that. However, despite that, there are shows that they did not release on DVD, however I do not know what shows were released and which weren’t. I have their first DVD with the first two shows, but how do I know if which shows from 2002 where released and which weren’t. There’s a show database in various places, but there are no databases on the internet on DVDs, and you never know if a DVD distributor is missing some of the shows or what. I don’t get it.
Show me the Money.
Amazon and eBay are two of the greatest inventions of the modern era. Due to the fact that ROH does not make old DVDs available, I have the benefit that sooner or later some person will sell them on one of these websites. There are two problems with this. The first, with very rare DVDs the price will sky rocket. The most expensive DVD I ever paid for was 100 Euros (about 160 dollars Canadian). It was very rare occasion and besides that it usually doesn’t go over thirty, but it pains to pay this amount. Second of all, the money does not go into the company. I want the company to make money, so they can mass produce DVDs, hire better wrestlers, produce better shows, and thus make more money. This way, however, the companies make no money.
Why do some eBay and amazon sellers not ship outside of the U.S. or Canada? If they have to charge more, charge more, but today’s shipping is safe and should have no problems. If it wasn’t for this lack of interest to not ship outside of the regions mentioned, I would be able to buy more frequently including the show I currently need.
Thus comes the benefit of the WWE Network. The WWE has more than 50 years of shows and back catalog, without mentioning the rights to W.C.W., E.C.W., etc that it has obtained in the past years. Obviously this makes it difficult to have on sale all the shows its every produced ever. Thus the next best thing is the WWE Network. A place where you can access almost every match ever produced (taking into account some stuff still has to be uploaded). I’m published to the network, and despite not having much time, it is a great buy for fans of professional wrestling.
So why can’t ROH do this? Some DVD distributors are now selling Video on Demand for various products, and I can tell you that I am interested in buying Chikara, C.Z.W. and other promotions via this service. I think it’s a great idea. ROH had this service a couple of years ago, and it seems to be eliminated after Sinclair Broadcasting bought. Why not bring it back, if the production of DVD is so expensive? I imagine maintaining a video service is way cheaper.
However, know the problem from my point of view? I’m very weird, and having all the ROH DVDs from 2002 to the show previous to Dragon Gate Invasion, I’m not willing to download shows even if ROH made them available. I want my collection to be total DVD. Chikara, C.Z.W., Dragon Gate U.S.A., I don’t care what format they are, but don’t touch my ROH.