Well, if this is true it would be one of the most surprising stories in recent wrestling history. According to an IMPACT insider, the promotion is in talks to buy Ring of Honor.
Earlier this week, Anthem, which owns IMPACT announced they had acquired a majority interest in HDNet LLC, which owns AXS TV and HDNet Movies.
It was stated that Anthem:
“Will assume operating management of the two popular channels… [that] includes AXS TV’s extensive library of owned programming, including wrestling, MMA and entertainment content.”
The library mentioned includes Ring of Honor’s weekly TV archive from their HDNet shows between 2009 and 2011.
Another promotion aired on AXS is Women of Wrestling, a GLOW-like promotion which is largely built around IMPACT wrestler Tessa Blanchard, and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
A link already exists between New Japan and IMPACT, with IMPACT’s executive vice president Don Callis being an occasional commentator for big New Japan shows.
There have been talks of working between the two dating back to early 2018, after Callis put together the Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho match at WrestleKingdom.
But New Japan already has a working relationship with another US wrestling promotion, Ring of Honor, putting on a joint Madison Square Garden show over WrestleMania weekend this year.
How to get round that, you might ask? Well, according to one rumoured insider on Reddit, just buy Ring of Honor too.
KingofGeorgia95, who has a decent track record of behind-the-scenes IMPACT scoops, has resurfaced on Reddit for the first time in almost a year, with some added details about the AXS deal. They write
“Anthem has planned this for awhile and was finally able to pull it off… Impact will air on AXS but the date is still not set, I would say it’ll happen in October though.”
This would be an incredibly positive move for IMPACT, as their viewership has heavily declined over the last year on the Pursuit channel. But KingOfGeorgia95 adds that relationship will be maintained, with IMPACT making a new studio-based wrestling show for Pursuit to present new wrestlers that will eventually be called up to the main roster.
And the insider claims Anthem’s ambitions go far beyond just a developmental promotion.
“The talks are in the very beginning stage but Sinclair [Ring of Honor’s parent company] is listening and seems interested. If this was to go through I’d expect Anthem to fold ROH completely and place the entire library on the Impact Plus app. Another thing that has been thrown around would be a Split type situation where Impact and ROH are the same company but ROH will be placed on either AXS or Pursuit (more than likely AXS) as its own show and have Impact guys appear on and off.”
While this is a very juicy piece of news, and the source does have a decent track record, it’s important to take this with a pinch of salt, as it’s just an early stage rumor for now.