For a couple months now, FloSlam, the streaming over-the-top service owned by FloSports, has been going strong. They carry a handful of the top independent wrestling promotions in the world, including EVOLVE, Shine, and WXW. It’s possible that WWE has been feeling the heat, because they are reportedly close to announcing a special “independent wrestling” section of WWE Network, which would be led by content from three top promotions from across the pond.
There was some grumbling in the wrestling community recently when Tyler Bate, Pete Dunne, Trent Seven and other talents who appeared in the U.K. Championship Tournament were pulled from bookings that were set to appear on FloSlam. This was inevitable, and the potential addition of those U.K. indies to the Network would placate a lot of fans. But those moves may just be the first in a line of indie company partnerships for the streaming service. Next on the agenda: getting EVOLVE into the fold.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reports that although WWE does own a minority stake in FloSports, and they didn’t initially block the EVOLVE-to-FloSlam deal and have been lenient about letting some of their talent appear on FloSlam events in the past (and Chris Hero is set to work his final independent dates on FloSlam this weekend), WWE is currently attempting to get Flo to drop EVOLVE from its programming so WWE Network can pick it up. In Meltzer’s words:
WWE has a relationship with Evolve and has been trying to work out a deal with Flo Slam for them to drop Evolve and for them to be able to get Evolve for the WWE Network in exchange for WWE being nice to them, whatever that means.
WWE officials have told Meltzer that it was clearly communicated to all U.K. talent that have recently signed that they are free to work with certain other promotions, but those bookings cannot be “televised, streamed, transmitted or taped, unless authorized.” I mean … makes sense!
In a few months, we might have ICW, This Is Progress, OTT and EVOLVE all on the Network. What’s next? CHIKARA? PWG? Come on, Super Dragon, take the check.