LaBar: Corgan rumored to be TNA Wrestling buyer
“Today is the greatest day I've ever known.”
The famous lyrics from the band the Smashing Pumpkins have been repeated virally this past weekend. On Friday, I went public with my knowledge of TNA Wrestling having an interesting potential buyer for the company.
The famous rock band frontman Billy Corgan is heavily rumored to be a serious candidate to purchase the wrestling company from the Carter family.
Corgan is a well-documented lifelong wrestling fan. He got into the business some years ago when he started an independent wrestling operation in Chicago called Resistance Pro.
From all I've gathered, Corgan funds and is the public face of that company, although he doesn't run every aspect of the wrestling operation. This is the best philosophy possible for him and his potential new property.
A wrestling person must make the wrestling decisions. This was a consistent problem in the failures the Carter family experienced over their past decade in the wrestling business. Anybody's money is good, but not everybody's opinions.
If Corgan does buy TNA, he is stepping into a big operation. We're talking weekly television, several pay-per-views a year, merchandise deals, international television and massive public relations. The best thing he could do is hire and surround himself with the smartest people possible.
As of this writing, nothing has been confirmed, but I feel confident Corgan could be the owner soon. He has the money and the passion for wrestling. Plus, the Carter family is ready to get out. I've been saying for months that Janice Carter began taking over daily operations from her daughter Dixie in order to shape up the company and make it as attractive as possible to buyers.
Corgan's purchase would be an interesting PR move. The only people who know about TNA wrestling are hardcore wrestling fans. WWE has both casual and hardcore fans, but book to the casual fan.
TNA only has hardcore fans' interest. They're not a mainstream entity. They're the alternative to WWE. The typical TNA fan would know who Corgan is and his career.
When the news broke days ago, TNA suddenly became exciting again. Fans want more options and want wrestling to thrive the way it once did. The thought of someone they like for reasons not even relating to wrestling buying the company makes the bandwagon more appealing.
If Corgan buys TNA, he has the attention and support of the fans ... for a little while.
Interestingly, the best part of a potential deal for Corgan is that there's a lot of cleaning up to do. He would be walking onto a badly damaged ship. There would be a lot of work ahead, but the only direction to go is up. At least, I think it can only go up. It's a scary thought otherwise.
Corgan would be rewarded for whatever progress he can make, and he will be given more time by the fans because they want to see him succeed. Fans never cared about Dixie Carter succeeding.
This is a chance for the company to start fresh. I wonder how valuable TNA's name is and if totally rebranding it would be a better option. There is a lot of snickering at TNA's expense in the wrestling community. The only people who praise it are diehards who think they're starting some type of movement to overcome Vince McMahon and WWE, and those followers are going to love the smell of whatever you put in front of them.
TNA is built on guys who are nearing the end of their career: Kurt Angle, Sting, even AJ Styles. People talk like he's the next big thing in wrestling, but they've been talking that way for 10 years. He's 36. Let's move on.
TNA, or whatever it would be called, has to find a way to stand out. WWE is known to go after a certain look and type of guy. The bigger guy who will work the WWE style. There are a ton of reports concerning WWE and its interest in bringing in football players and having fewer guys who are “stars” on the independent wrestling scene due to size or other factors.
If I'm TNA, I build the focus around a foundation of those top guys from the independents who WWE won't hire. Don't fill the whole company with them, but make them a prominent portion of the lower- to mid-cards. The way the WCW used cruiserweights in the 1990s is a good template for TNA to follow.
The company won't become the financial success any buyer wants without having some big stars, homegrown or otherwise, but the independent wrestler foundation will give it a positive start. It also will be economical as you can pay those guys more than they were making out on their own but don't need to break the bank for a 40-year-old who wants to work minimal dates.
Exciting times are ahead for TNA and its inevitable sale. I only wish WWE was into more provocative content like it used to be. It would be a guarantee Vince McMahon would hire Dixie Carter like he did Eric Bischoff and would use television scenarios for his own personal amusement.
If this were 2002, Carter would be McMahon's mistress on television. Be a star!