As I am writing this, I’m watching Cody Rhodes vs. Scorpio Sky at WrestleCircus (Austin, TX) for the Ring of Honor World Championship. The match itself isn’t shocking, but where I’m watching it is. Twitch. A site known for video games, speed runs, and casual eating is now known for Professional Wrestling. WrestleCircus is Twitch’s first fully partnered professional wrestling channel. Twitch knew that with YouTube deeming Pro-Wrestling “unfit for advertisers” and putting them in the same group as hate speech, they could capitalize and get the content that YouTube is driving away.
Wrestling on TV these days is safe for children, parents, grandparents, the whole family. There is no blood, vulgar language, and little to no usage of weapons. It’s truly a haven for people to suspend their disbelief for a few hours and be entertained. But, there are a few things that the WWE leaves out that people crave. Combat Zone Wrestling has it’s hardcore wrestling audience. Chikara and Wrestlecircus have the inter-gender wrestling. AAA have their lucha style unique to Mexico. Yet, YouTube has pulled advertising money from most shows providing wrestling as a basis of their content. The What Culture Pro-Wrestling channel released a video on May 22nd 2017 in regards to this, and they were slammed against the wall hard. With a video that featured Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Alberto El Patron that got 1.08 million views (1,080,410 to be exact), they got $43.20 American Dollars. As they are based in the UK, the conversion puts that at around 33 GBP at a average rate of 1 GBP (or $1.30) per 32,700 views. This caused them to eventually postpone all show tapings for their show “Loaded”. The podcast “Going in Raw: with Steve and Larson”, who do their show in audio and video form, had to go exclusively to outside crowdfunding like Patreon to keep their show going. If you found something you love on YouTube, there’s a shot that that particular channel is not going to survive for long, especially if it’s the only form of income that the people involved get in order to live their lives comfortably.
Twitch is picking up the slack as both WrestleCircus and WCPW are airing their shows on the once exclusive gaming platform. As far as WCPW goes, their channel broadcasts brand new episodes of “Loaded” and the “Pro Wrestling World Cup” shows BEFORE YouTube gets it the day after. With WrestleCircus, you get their entire back catalog of shows with a subscription for $4.99. It’s currently unknown how many other independent pro-wrestling companies are trying to get their hands into the Twitch pool. It just might lead to something bigger in the long run for everyone involved.