This should be taken with a Rumor Roundup-sized portion grain of salt, but it’s just too ripe for discussion to hold for Randall Ortman...
SEScoops’ Brad Davis just published a report saying Chris Jericho and Jim Ross are working with their agent, Barry Bloom, on launching a new wrestling promotion. The project is said to be backed by Shahid Khan, the billionaire auto parts magnate who owns the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C. of the Premier League. According to Davis, Jericho is recruiting New Japan talent for the new company - and already has Cody Rhodes, the Young Bucks and Hangman Page in the fold - while JR is “sending out feelers” to WWE Superstars.
Other big items from the Scoops story:
- Ross has turned down an offer to renew his current WWE contract, presumably because of his involvement in the Bloom-orchestrated, Khan-financed effort.
- While we’ve heard a lot about the ALL IN/Being The Elite crew signing their next contracts as a group, Davis says “Kenny Omega’s status is unclear” despite Cody and the Bucks being committed. The report still maintains this is the project The Elite are talking about when they say they’re sticking together.
- Shahid Khan’s son Tony is personally involved with getting the project going, as he’s a big wrestling fan... with a dad who’s one of the richest people in the world.
- Bloom was supposedly in Japan recently “taking meetings” on the deal. AXS TV is already in talks to televise the product, with their vice president of business affairs, Adam Swift, said to be “fast-tracking” things on that side.
- Ring of Honor owners Sinclair Broadcasting are not only not involved, they’re completely “in the dark” on the effort.
- The group understands they’ll lose a lot of money in the early years of the project.
- The goal is to “go live” by late next year or early 2020.
- Davis says he’s reached out to the parties for comment, but not heard anything back yet.
The next phase of this, as a news story, will likely involve other websites either refuting or saying they’ve heard similar things. Jericho and others will call bs or stoke the flames with tongue-in-cheek teases.
What are we supposed to believe?
Personally, no offense to Davis, but I’ll wait for writers with a more established track record to chime in. Just going on the details, it seems possible... WWE’s last television negotiations proved there’s money to be made in offering live television content, and there are enough big names allegedly involved to get folks to tune in initially.
But it also seems like there as many wrestling industry insiders working websites as there are wrestlers working matches these days.
Let us know if you’re buying this story. And if you’d buy into watching this product if the story is correct, and the project comes to fruition.