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Title pretty much says it all. I imagine the term originated with the NWA, with rogue promotions such as the WWWF and WCW being seen as the original indies. Nowadays, I see a lot of people referring to pretty much anything that isn't the WWE as an indie, even though I feel TNA and companies such as NJPW and AAA aren't exactly indies either.

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well vast majority of people refer to anything not wwe or trained by wwe from scratch an indie company/worker

definition of independent obviously means working on your own which means anyone owned by a corporate parent surely can't be independent e.g

tna owned by panda energy
roh owned by sinclair
new japan owned by bushiroad

the ironic thing is wwe are technically more independent than tna, roh or new japan. they are still 100% run and owned by the mcmahon family despite being a public entity
 

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Well the idea of indy wrestling stems from the old "outlaw" promotions who ran small shows in NWA territories. So my assumption has always been that an indy promotion would just be any promotion who ran against a bigger company in their region.

But the wrestling scene has changed so much since some of these terms were coined. Companies like ROH run most of their shows out of the east coast but they have the occasional show in places like Texas and Nevada so are they national or still regional. I think some people in the industry just need to sit down and come up with a whole new set of terms to describe stuff because the terms like indy have become outdated. I mean ROH and TNA are owned by companies, they both broadcast nationally and internationally, in what way are they independent? You have companies like LU that run one arena yet broadcast nationally and there is a much bigger focus on international wrestling in places like Japan, Mexico and the UK where these terms don't really cross over effectively.
 

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Different interpretations

1) Anything 'smaller' than WWE. So TNA, ROH, GFW, CMLL, LU, NJPW, Noah, AAA, etc... are all "indies"

2)Promotions with limited reach/scale. Ie. they don't have large TV deals or work larger venues. So TNA, RoH, NJPW, LU, etc... listed above would NOT be indies. But your Dragon's Gate, Evolve, CZW, all of the corny overdone 'extreme' local feds working the high school gyms of America (Super-Hardcore Kansas Kickass Awesome Wrestling Association Federation/SHKKAWAF or whatever), and all of the similarly small wannabe serious promotions with wonderfully generic names (Insert state or city name and follow it with Wrestling Association).
 
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Independent wrestlers who are not signed to a promotion and own their own gimmicks/name. Most of the smaller feds in the US it would be more like "Alternative Wrestling" rather than indy, although WWE is the only one that can book enough shows for their contractors. So they would be alternative federations using independent talent...

In Mexico it used to be anyone not in EMLL - in the 70s many big names gathered together in "Lucha Libre Internacional" and were known informally as "Los Independientes".
 

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For me an independent is as follows:

- Crowd average of under 1000

- Very little or no performers contracted exclusively

- Not an attractive long term option to most performers

- Looks like an independent (Cheap stage set up, cheap buildings)

So going by that logic I'd say ROH isn't an independent but TNA definitely is. AAA and NJPW are not indies but CHIKARA and PWG are. I think that works out well.
 

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Not mainstream. So anything not WWE.
 

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A non-WWE company that is small (i.e less than 1000 per show, on average), has limited reach (both in distribution and areas they tour) and limited pay.

That’s why companies like NJPW, AJPW, NOAH, CMLL, AAA and TNA are generally not considered indy companies, even if they don’t draw like they used to, since historically they have regularly drawn over 2000 to their shows and have been on national tv networks, plus they usually pay well. ROH is considered a big indy, because they have a tv deal and can regularly draw 1000 to their shows, but they don’t exceed that at all. However, with their international expansion into Japan, and growing presence in the US, they are on the verge of being a national promotion, like TNA or WCW.

LU isn’t an indy. It’s an extension of AAA and is a tv show, not a wrestling promotion.

It should also be noted that the indies are associated with more freedom in the ring for the wrestlers compared to WWE, hence why there is a term called indy style, which is associated with excessive spots and no selling. Due to the small size of the promotions, they are also able to be more creative as to what style of wrestling and storylines they want to have.
 

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The definition of an independent promotion in wrestling is one which is independently funded, sans corporate backing.

There have been "outlaw" wrestling promotions as they were called in the territories since the beginning of wrestling.

Nothing to do with mainstream. Just because it's not as big as WWE, doesn't mean it's independent. It just means it's not as big as the WWE.
 

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As stated above, “Indy” means “independent”, so it has to be independent from whatever organization, corporation, funding, etc. It was probably also used to describe promotions not affiliated with NWA, or other pomotio

Now it’s generally used to describe any organization that has a small fan base, no tv, etc.

Like the term “Mark”, it’s changed over the years.
 

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The definition of an independent promotion in wrestling is one which is independently funded, sans corporate backing.

There have been "outlaw" wrestling promotions as they were called in the territories since the beginning of wrestling.

Nothing to do with mainstream. Just because it's not as big as WWE, doesn't mean it's independent. It just means it's not as big as the WWE.
i can agree with that, but cmll is still a big wrestling promotion, hell even if it's not mainstream, your right it's not an indy, i'm sick and tired people calling other people who likes non WWE wrestling "indy" and calling what we enjoy it "smarks" i hated that with a passion, yet i don't hated them i'm just pity them with respect. i still don't understand why NWJP being labled "indy" by "anti smarks" just because it's "japanese"? well that's a messed up way to hate it..😠 and no i don't mean you just those guys who think we're "smarks" because we like Japanese wrestling
 

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i can agree with that, but cmll is still a big wrestling promotion, hell even if it's not mainstream, your right it's not an indy, i'm sick and tired people calling people who likes non WWE wrestling "indy" and calling what we enjoy it "smarks" i hated that with a passion, yet i don't hated them i'm just pity them with respect. i still don't understand why NWJP being labled "indy" by "anti smarks" just because it's "japanese"? well that's a messed up way to hate it..😠
That'd be like calling Bollywood "independent films"

Stupid way of thinking. NJPW is a huge wrestling promotion.
 

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i know this would make me an "idiot" to say this but, WWE could be an indy, in foreign countries, it's not mainstream world wide... just north america
I have a friend in the Maldives who watches WWE every week. He knows two things about America and that's Major League Soccer and World Wrestling Entertainment. In bigger countries such as mine here in Australia we can walk into any major retailer and buy WWE DVD's, Figurines and other merchandise.

Some countries would of course reject it but I think WWE is mainstream in more countries than it's not.
 
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