With All Elite Wrestling being officially announced this morning, there's plenty of speculation as to what kind of television deal -- if any -- they could land.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer stated last night that there are several deals on the table, but no names were dropped in that regard.
What we do know is that Cody and the members of All Elite Wrestling have previous relationships established with both AXS TV and WGN America. When the initial report of All Elite Wrestling dropped in October, AXS categorically denied their involvement in the promotion. AXS has a limited reach, but have shown a willingness to expand pro wrestling content, as WOW Women Of Wrestling launches in weeks on the Network.
I had the fortune of speaking to a couple of WGN employees who were familiar with the company's history with pro wrestling, and said that their officials and executives were very impressed with the success and delivery of All In: Zero Hour on the network. Keep in mind, this is a network that has been in and out of the wrestling game for decades, and many there thought they were sold a bill of goods on the WWE Superstars deal in 2011. That deal originally had the likes of Undertaker, Shane McMahon, Edge, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and title matches featured on it in a prime time slot and didn't take long before the quality of programming decreased. WGN also had less-than-desirable experiences with WWF Blastoff and Wrestling With Death. They currently air Ring Warriors as well.
When Fightful spoke to Cody Rhodes ahead of All In, he explained the situation that surrounded him as he negotiated with WGN America while its parent company Tribune Media was trying to make a merger happen with ROH parent company Sinclair Broadcast Group.
"None of this could have happened if it were a company -- a WWE, a Ring of Honor. This happened because it was three guys. That's why none of this situation surrounding the madness (of Sinclair-Tribune) -- we were quiet. People wanted All In and Zero Hour on. We were outside of the politics. It was something that was heavily discussed. They wanted wrestling and we had the best wrestling thing to give them."
I would be remiss to not mention Turner, as well. Although they've not aired wrestling programming since WCW left in 2001, they're very clearly open to that type of demographic now as they're at least dipping their toes into the MMA game by airing one-hour taped editions of ONE Championship MMA.
There are also no shortage of digital platforms available to All Elite Wrestling, which is to be expected. They've filed trademarks for "Tuesday Night Dynamite," and there will be a major gap on cable and network television from Tuesday to Thursday this year, with WWE Smackdown and Impact both moving to Friday.
You can check out Fightful's breaking news podcast on the matter at the top of the page. We'll be providing constant updates on the subject as they unfold.