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Why the territory system worked and why it could still work

Mesme Rize

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NWA_Professional_Wrestling_Territories.png

 

Before the WWE and WCW became global powerhouses in Wrestling during the late 80s and early 90s, there was the NWA, or National Wrestling Alliance. NWA wasn't a Wrestling promotion, but more of a governing body that held historically, the most independent wrestling promotions in history. These promotions back then, where called "territories," because they all had control over a specific area in the United States. All those territories had there own champs and their own superstars and Titles. But the NWA, choose from all the their territories THE NWA World heavyweight Champion and this guy, would go through all the territories to defend it against the number one guys, of each territory.

 

Now of course, they don't exist anymore. They where either going bankrupt, because they couldn't make as much of money as the WWE or WCW, or they where just bought out by either of those. Some people gave up on Wrestling at that time, because for them Wrestling wasn't wrestling anymore, because WCW and WWE where exposing the business.

 

The wonderful thing about the Territories was, is that they all had a different style of Wrestling. Some where more Hardcore, some where southern, some where cruiserweight, etc. and that's what the territories made so great. You always had the right Wrestling for you, anyway you looked.

 

With the WWE now being the International force of everything that is Wrestling, there is barely any wrestling that you can find. You got TNA, which for one reason or another, always escapes his grave. You have ROH, which is kinda the breeding ground for future WWE employees. We have Lucha Underground, which is awesome, but is also partially a TV show, so you can't see it every week and you have NJPW, which shows the best Wrestling in the world, but has also seen better days. You have a few very small indie league, but you won't get any sort of Television exposure from them.

 

So i ask myself, "can't there more Wrestling for everyone and can't there be the type of Wrestling that people like?" And i said to myself "Yeah. If the WWE brings back the territory system." It could be something like this. The WWE is buying out the rest of the Competition, meaning TNA, ROH and Lucha Underground. The TNA Roster gets reduced to a half, with the most talented guys remaining and gets put together with the NXT guys and that's the Florida Territory. Lucha Underground will be the California, or Pacific Territory and ROH will become the new Northeast territory. The WWE will put other territories throughout the country, even a few in Canada and even in Puerto Rico and they will all have their owns local championship.

 

The WWE will still make their normal shows Raw and Smackdown and PPVs, where they get certain guys from the territories and where they can wrestle with other guys, from other territories. The WWE will have the womens championship, the tag team championship, the Intercontinental Championship and the WWE Championship, with the WWE title really determining the absolute best of all the territories.

 

Would Vince do that? Absolutely not. Vince has too much of an Ego to go through with this plan. But i think Hunter would go through with this plan. This guy eats, sleeps, drinks and breaths Wrestling and has a very Old School thinking. He remembers the territory days, because he was a big fan of Ric Flair, who was the poster boy of the NWA during the 80s. The WWE has large amounts of money and i think it wouldn't cost much to build these independant territories and we would have more alternatives then we have now.

 

Do you think it would be a good idea?



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I think it would be a great idea to bring it back to smaller local territories. Obviously the impact of WWE is huge, and it's still a big product.  Even though I've always been a WWF(E) man myself, I think it was better when they had to rise to a certain level to compete with the other big boys of WCW and the rising ECW. 

 

Now would this same thing work for your proposed territory branding by WWE? I'm not sure. But it might. 

 

I wouldn't want them to open the WWE Championship Belt up to territories in general, but I think that it would be a fun gimmick if they competing to join WWE, like...temporarily on loan from the territory?

 

What do you think if territory wrestlers were allowed to compete in the Royal Rumble, and then could fight the champion at Wrestlemania? That would make a great underdog story - and if they won the WWE Championship, they could remain for the reign of the title until being booted back down, almost like contender rankings in boxing.

 

Also watching wrestling live is always a thrill, and to be able to bring more people affordable wrestling that means something would be great. If they charge full WWE prices though, then it's almost like wearing the product even thinner than it is.

 

I for one wouldn't mind limiting the Pay-Per-Views. Back when it was Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summer Slam & Survivor Series each year, it made them more special. 

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I think it would be a great idea to bring it back to smaller local territories. Obviously the impact of WWE is huge, and it's still a big product.  Even though I've always been a WWF(E) man myself, I think it was better when they had to rise to a certain level to compete with the other big boys of WCW and the rising ECW. 

 

Now would this same thing work for your proposed territory branding by WWE? I'm not sure. But it might. 

 

I wouldn't want them to open the WWE Championship Belt up to territories in general, but I think that it would be a fun gimmick if they competing to join WWE, like...temporarily on loan from the territory?

 

What do you think if territory wrestlers were allowed to compete in the Royal Rumble, and then could fight the champion at Wrestlemania? That would make a great underdog story - and if they won the WWE Championship, they could remain for the reign of the title until being booted back down, almost like contender rankings in boxing.

 

Also watching wrestling live is always a thrill, and to be able to bring more people affordable wrestling that means something would be great. If they charge full WWE prices though, then it's almost like wearing the product even thinner than it is.

 

I for one wouldn't mind limiting the Pay-Per-Views. Back when it was Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summer Slam & Survivor Series each year, it made them more special. 

 

Okay, i need to break your comment down. :P

 

It wouldn't be really competition for the WWE, because they would be all governing bodies of it. So, it's kinda competition in the company itself, showing which is the best territory product, while Raw and smackdown remain at the top. But yeah, it would make Wrestling more interesting.

 

The WWE Championship would remain on the Raw and Smackdown shows. It would certainly be put on the line at the PPVs and from time to time on the Raw and Smackdown. But how about the WWE Champion could maybe do a little guest appearance in certain territories and make a challenge to the top dog of that territory. For example, John Cena goes over to Los Angeles to Lucha Underground and challenges Mil Muertes, during a show in the Temple? It would be awesome.

 

The Rumble would be filled with alot of Territory talent, together with the top guys and somebody, you wouldn't expect to win, wins the Rumble and battles for the title at Wrestlemania. I really like this idea, because i love underdog stories. And yes, your performances in the ring, whether they are good or bad, will effect you on going up in the ranks.

 

The WWE tickets would remain the same prices, because it's for a mainstream audience and they obviously want to sell out 15000-20000 audience arenas. When it comes to the territories, they won't be as expensive, because the arenas won't be so big and the promotions rather live off their TV Ratings.

 

I also agree with the WWE PPVs. Just make 4 super cards, with Wrestlemania being still the ultimate Super Card in a big Stadium and maybe from time to time, do some kind of Saturday Nights Main Event special show. Raw is just 2 hours again just like Smackdown and the territories will all have their one show a week for maybe an hour and everybody would be happy, to have so many alternatives.

 

So yeah, good comment. :P

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If it happened, it wouldn't go down for a very long time. And frankly, not everyone wants to do things the WWE's way. Some companies like having independence. ROHs' way, LU's way, even TNA's way are all different than the WWE or even NXT products. 

 

The real issue is that wrestling has fallen from mainstream grace. Even if you did implement the WWE territory system, it woudl still need the same public backing it did in the 70s and 80s. And it's just not there anymore. The days of 15 million people watching wrestling each week are long gone. America just doesn't care about wrestling anymore. We are a niche product. So sadly, I don't think it'll work, as wrestling has gone the way of the silent film. 

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