Back at the beginning of 2019, the WWE Network changed digital delivery services, and ever since then vague talk has been swirling around that some kind of “tiered” subscription model is on the way, with people who pay more getting more content, but what that content might be has remained vague.
Then the other day, PWInsider reported that the more expensive “Premium” tier is expected to launch in January 2020, and to include shows from indie promotions including Evolve, ICW, Progress, and maybe even Chikara. Evolve has already streamed one show on the Network, and like ICW and Progress, it has a talent-sharing deal with WWE. Chikara is owned and run by Mike Quackenbush, who has been a recurring presence as a guest trainer at the WWE Performance Center recently, so it’s not to out there to think he might make a deal with WWE as well.
Now news has come out from Planeta Wrestling (and translated from Spanish by Wrestling Inc) that WWE is in talks with CMLL (Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre) to acquire their tape library for the WWE Network as well. There’s no word yet on whether CMLL is likely to agree to WWE’s terms. CMLL has previously had partnerships with Ring of Honor and NJPW, so going into business with WWE would be a major shift for them.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I was previously very skeptical of paying more for a Premium WWE Network Tier. I have to admit, however, that if they really manage to offer CMLL, Evolve, ICW, Progress, and especially if they really get Chikara, I’d probably shell out a few more dollars a month.