Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Danny Davis to Sell Ohio Valley Wrestling

Davis sells the company he founded.
For the first time since its founding in 1993, Ohio Valley Wrestling will not be under the principal ownership of Danny Davis. The Memphis/Mid-South wrestling stalwart and legendary trainer will sell his majority share in the company to "private investors." The news release states that Davis will "step away" from the company immediately. Assuming this story isn't a work, it is truly the end of an era that has spanned two decades, developmental deals with two nationally televised companies, and the production of several wrestlers who have made splashes on the national scene.

OVW was an indie promotion at a time when indie promotions didn't have the glamour attached to them for the first seven or so years of its life. Then, in 2000, it became a subsidiary developmental organization of WWE, which it remained until 2008, when all operations moved to Florida. It remained afloat as an indie company again until 2011, when it became a developmental territory for TNA for two years. It still is televised locally in the Louisville, KY area.

OVW's legacy as a developmental territory may end up being checkered at best, but it was the place where Brock Lesnar, Batista, John Cena, Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Ryback among others came up and where Evan Bourne and CM Punk settled in as stopgaps between the indies and the main roster. It also had a run in the mid-'00s booked by Jim Cornette (before he got his ass canned from WWE for threatening Santino Marella) that was critically acclaimed.

Still, no matter who wrestled for the company or booked the territory, the place was distinctly Davis' baby. His stepping away feels like a big deal, and hopefully, it's because he wants to enjoy retirement rather than for health reasons or some other cruddy reason. Perhaps OVW will transition more into the indie scene at large and integrate itself with the other promotions doing work. Not a whole lot was revealed about the investors, so the future is pretty up in the air.