Oh Billy: TNA Wrestling’s Fight to Stay Afloat

1If you haven’t heard of Total NonStop Action, or Impact Wrestling, or NWA: TNA, or whatever it’s called this month, there’s a pretty good reason. WWE, has taken great pride in being not only the leader in sports entertainment, but the only player in sports entertainment.

The goal for the WWE has always been total domination of the professional wrestling market, and with the demise of WCW, options for potential superstars who were left behind began to dwindle. It was around this time that Jeff and Jerry Jarrett decided that a National Wrestling Alliance that focused solely on pay-per views would be the business plan of the future! Fortunately, by 2004, this awful idea went tits up and they started their own series called TNA: IMPACT! on the Fox Sports Network.

By this point, the entire organization was owned by Panda Energy, a firm that built environmentally friendly energy plants (and whose logo was ironically very similar to the World Wildlife Fund which usurped the WWE‘s claim on the trademark WWF).

auto2All that matters from here on out is that TNA split from NWA, and Dixie Carter of Panda Energy became the lone shareholder, owner, and president of the second largest pro-wrestling property in the world.

TNA made massive waves, acquiring premium talent in the form of Japan’s Wrestle-1, A.J. Styles, former WWE champions Ric Flair and The Hardy Boyz, and even the Gawker-crippling Hulk Hogan. They were going strong on Spike TV, and then they hit a wall. They partnered up with Discovery Networks, and were eventually picked up by CBS to launch Impact Wrestling on their brand new network: POP!

Now, if Pop doesn’t sound like a familiar network, you should be fucking ashamed of yourself. Pop has been around for over 3 decades–but you would’ve probably known it better as: The motherfucking TV GUIDE channel.

This year, the TNA company formally changed its name to Impact Ventures, LLCwith Dixie Carter (the majority shareholder) acting as Chairman and CSO, and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins and PAWS Chicago fame becoming a secondary shareholder…and President.

Billy‘s got big ideas, despite the LLC leaking money–such as a feature film based on the Broken Matt Hardy story arc, which fans are absolutely loving…in a Sharknado-meets-trainwreck kind of way.

But according to the folks at ComicBook.com, negotiations for the WWE to usurp Corgan and purchase Impact Ventures outright is back on the table. What makes this so interesting is that Impact Wrestling is gearing up for their final pay-per view of the year (Bound for Glory 2016) as well as their next block of weekly programming…and they are yet to figure out how they’re going to pay for it.

Naturally, I put this all in context to show that TNA Wrestling has been getting the short end of the stick for a while, and usually comes out on top. But this time, they have a very important choice to make.

Dixie Carter doesn’t have to sell. Billy Corgan wants to buy the company completely and keep TNA intact. According to a CelebrityNetWorth, Billy Corgan is worth a cool $50M, but the WWE is an organization valued by Forbes at over $1.5B. To put this into even more perspective, UFC was recently sold for upwards of $4B, and Impact Wrestling hovers around a $20M evaluation…or at least it did…in 2013.

True “smarts” in the know about pro-wrestling aren’t overly hype about Impact Wrestling so much as they appreciate its value in existing against the mainstream empire. But maybe WWE re-acquiring the reprobates of yesteryear won’t be such a bad thing. The Hardy Boyz come back to Monday (or Tuesday) nights…

…and Billy Corgan can make another ZWAN album. Win-win.

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