It looks like Billy Corgan is back in the wrasslin’ business.
When I first heard that Smashing Pumpkins frontman had agreed to purchase the National Wrestling Alliance, I couldn’t help but think this could be another failed attempt to revive a struggling promotion. Corgan has had his issues with TNA and now diverts his attention to a promotion that is steeped in tradition.
The NWA has been asleep at the wheel for some time, which makes me wonder whether Corgan’s name is enough to make a difference in how fans perceive the brand.
Per PWInsider.com, it’s the tradition that Corgan and others hope will bring back fans from its heyday. “Formed in 1948, at one point the National Wrestling Alliance was the largest and most well known governing body in professional wrestling, a group put together by promoters to share one World champion and help share talent and protect each other’s interests.
“The NWA Board of Directors would control who the shared World champion was and winning the belt was legitimately a feat in itself, because the champion was chosen for legitimate toughness, drawing power and the ability to enter member areas and help spark their business. For decades, the NWA champion was considered the most important champion in the business, often touring and traveling the world to defend the belt for member promotions. For older fans, the NWA championship was the belt in professional wrestling and was the measuring stick for greatness and what defined old school professional wrestling.”
I cannot help but get excited about of what might be. As one of those “older fans” I wonder if it will be the same. As a youngster, watching Gordon Solie call matches like Vin Scully calling Dodger baseball was magic to me. Listening to Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair and countless others promote the hell out of the business was a song I could listen to for days and never grow tired.
Today’s business is different. Kayfabe is a distant memory. Matches last an average of eight minutes and the belts champions wear mean little or nothing because the lines of good and evil are blurred. There is no recreation. If that were the case, the Attitude Era would be forever etched in Monday and Tuesday programming. Will the masses like myself come to accept a new version of the old scene?
While Corgan and TNA had a marriage made in hell, it did have an “impact” – yes I know it’s a bad pun.
After he failed to take control of the company during their high profile legal battle, Corgan left, Dixie Carter stepped down, and now Impact Wrestling is run by Anthem. Now, he must take the lessons he learned by default and apply them to a new project with the hope it sells.
Corgan is hoping for a number one hit when he has to compete with WWE, ROH, TNA and the hordes of independent promotions. There is still plenty of excitement of the news for this struggling promotion to build on.
Former women’s superstar Leilani Kai is part of this new rebirth, having a stake in the Florida promotion.
“I am extremely proud to announce that I now have a ownership stake in NWA Florida Wrestling Alliance. I would like to thank Tony Halligan and the NWA for allowing me a opportunity to take my career full circle. I started my career in the NWA,” she said. “Looking back on my career, I’ve accomplished many things and held many titles. But what I cherish more than any titles I’ve held, any great matches that ive had, what I cherish more are the relationships that I’ve made, the people that I’ve worked with, the wrestlers that I’ve wrestled alongside, the friends and family…that’s what I cherish most.”
I for one will have plenty of interest to see if it can pass muster. Not just this promotion but the others that will pop up across the country. If Corgan and NWA can spark some interest, any interest, of days gone by and memories of Dory Funk, Jr. and Jack Brisco, the sale of the business will find its niche. Maybe TNA wasn’t the right fit for Corgan. Maybe this is and hopefully it’s the right move to stir memories of the past that seemed gone forever – until now.