By: Andrew Thompson
FITE TV is playing host to a weekend of Starrcast stage shows, New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Royal Quest event, GCW, RISE and All Elite Wrestling’s ‘All Out’ show. Coming off the helms of ‘Double or Nothing’ this past May, AEW is headed towards their next pay-per-view before they begin weekly television in October on TNT. I had the opportunity to speak with FITE TV C.O.O. Mike Weber ahead of All Out to grab his thoughts about a number of topics including his thoughts about the aforementioned shows and events that’ll be streaming live on FITE throughout the weekend.
When asked about the growth and demand for AEW content, Weber stated that he has been involved in his field for 30 years and has never seen so many back-to-back sellouts. He shared his thoughts about the success of AEW and ended his response by jokingly commenting on AEW not selling out their Charleston, West Virginia show which takes place on October 30th.
“Well, they’ve done a lot of the right things. They’ve really been billing the key guys. Cody and The Young Bucks started to build that fan base — probably as far back as two years ago and they slowly started catching on and man, just rolling downhill in a positive way right now.” Weber said. “Snowballing and I’ve been doing this stuff for almost 35 years, I’ve never seen so many people do back-to-back sellouts in less than 30 minutes. It’s like all of a sudden, ‘Well we haven’t sold out Charleston, [West Virginia]’ but the show is two months away and you’re worried about [if] you haven’t sold it out yet? Come on.” Weber laughed.
August 31st is a day that wrestling fans will bear witness to New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Royal Quest, NXT U.K. TakeOver: Cardiff and AEW All Out. Royal Quest kicks the day off at 12:30 PM EST and Mike Weber expressed his excitement about the show. It will be FITE TV’s second exclusive NJPW event with the first being Southern Showdown which emanated from Australia. Weber also went on to promote the upcoming Game Changer Wrestling and RISE shows that are slated for this weekend.
“Well like AEW, a good way to gauge the interest in a show is what the ticket sales are, and that event is taking place in a place called the Copper Box Arena in London and it’s over 7,000 seats and it’s already sold out, and they gave us just a stellar card for this event so we’re excited about that. That’s also exclusively available on FITE in English and Japanese so we’re hoping everybody around the world can see it and hardcore Japanese wrestling fans are going to love this event so yeah — we’re very excited about that one, and I don’t know if you’re going to ask me about it but I’m going to tell you about it.” Weber continued, “We [have] a big wrestling weekend because we also have the GCW 2 Cups Stuffed. I had to look it up in the dictionary what that means. I’m not going to disclose it, and then on Sunday, Chicago is like the hotspot for wrestling this weekend. We also have RISE women’s wrestling live from Chicago so it’s a heavy wrestling weekend.”
Along with collaborating with Ring of Honor, AEW, GCW, RISE, and the National Wrestling Alliance, it was recently announced that IMPACT Wrestling’s ‘IMPACT Plus’ app will be available through FITE. Weber added that he is a former employee of IMPACT and went on to praise IMPACT and Ring Of Honor for taking a chance with FITE during the early stages of the streaming service.
“I’m actually a former employee of IMPACT/TNA Wrestling myself, so we had a long relationship with them that actually predates the launch of FITE. IMPACT and Ring Of Honor were the two first companies that we worked with for programming just to test the concept of streaming it live and since we launched three-and-a-half years ago and thanks to those guys taking a chance with us [at] the beginning to test our technology and ways to stream events. We’ve done over 2,500 live events on our platform.” He shared. “So when they say practice makes perfect, we’re very pleased with the production values that we are able to deliver [to] our fan base here on FITE.”
To listen to the full interview with FITE TV C.O.O. Mike Weber, head over to the Andrew Thompson Interviews’ YouTube channel