Last week, the wrestling-related media had a field day with the rumors of Global Force Wrestling “hemorrhaging” money and likely being on the seller’s market. Within 24 hours of those reports first hitting the Internet, GFW’s parent company Anthem sent out a press release spotlighting all of the bright happenings ahead for GFW. In other words, pure denial.
If you have been following GFW and its prior iterations over the past decade, rumors about the company’s demise are nothing new. However, many of those rumors have proven to have truth to them over time. As no one wants to see GFW go out of business, here are four things the company may want to do if they want to succeed on a long-term basis:
1) Decide Its Brand – The company has had multiple identities over the years, including Global Force Wrestling, Impact Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. These different brands have led to different abbreviations and nicknames as well. Pick a name and stick with it. Otherwise it confuses your fans and leads to inconsistent branding.
2) Practice Effective Media Relations – When I received the aforementioned press release from Anthem — I am an active writer and editor beyond my work with Still Real To Us — I submitted an interview request. I told the company that I wanted to write about its great new developments. No response has come back. When was the last time you saw a positive news story related to GFW? All I recall seeing lately from GFW-related officials are denials, social media recaps, Matt Hardy-related rumors and reworded press releases. WWE executives, on the other hand, do interviews regularly to tout accomplishments and what the company has coming up.
3) Get Its Network Launched ASAP – That press release from Anthem hyped that GFW has a stand-alone network in the works. Make it happen. You have archives which include some of the biggest names of the last three decades, like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, Kurt Angle, The Hardy Boyz and Kevin Nash. Big names from New Japan and ROH have also passed through there at various points. Repurpose that content if there are no rights issues. Create new original, low-cost content a la Table For 3 or Ride Along using current GFW talent. Make that content available to the key DSPs as part of licensing deals.
4) Run House Shows Wisely – Reportedly TNA lost a lot of money when regularly running house shows. As far as I can tell, the only house shows GFW has been running in the United States lately have been in minor league ballparks. Undoubtedly those ballpark shows have favorable financial terms to GFW. But if ROH can regularly draw well over 1,000 people to house shows, why can’t GFW? Its roster includes people who worked towards the top of the card for WWE so it’s not like the star power isn’t there. Much like how WWE has monthly pay-per-views for its two main brands, why can’t GFW do that for “special” house shows? A big sold-out theater (or arena) in a major market would surely look better than an empty ballpark in a tertiary market. And that show can be filmed for later usage on GFW’s network.
Global Force Wrestling and Anthem, we the fans are rooting for you to prevail. But get your act together!