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The Battle for TNA Wrestling

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The future of TNA Wrestling is very much in doubt. Smashing Pumpkins’ leader Billy Corgan has stepped up to the plate in hopes of acquiring the company but the intentions of Vince McMahon may stifle those hopes.

One of the hottest stories in the industry is the battle for TNA Wrestling. Rumors of a sale have been rampant for months, with Corgan recently making his intentions public. While other suitors have been rumored, it was until recently that Vince McMahon and the WWE were named as bidders, making the acquisition more complex than ever before.

In an interview with ESPN.com, Corgan revealed that his plans to purchase TNA Wrestling may take a few weeks. “Much of Corgan’s plans are dependent upon whether he ends up purchasing the company, which he calls a “very complicated situation” with many moving parts. He has secured the resources to do so, he says, and hopes to have a resolution in the next three weeks as a signal to talent regarding the company’s true direction.”

Unfortunately for Corgan and TNA fans, three weeks may be too much time to compete with the team of lawyers and accounts from the WWE. Dave Meltzer speculated on the situation on a recent Wrestling Observer Radio podcast and believes that Vince and company will close the deal much faster than the three weeks needed by Corgan.

Meltzer also reported that the company is carrying a lot of debt. This makes the purchase much more complex than WWE’s acquisitions of ECW and WCW. ECW was bankrupt and McMahon was already a creditor. WCW was shelved with no television deal and an afterthought of a large corporation. Vince won’t likely get the same pennies on the dollar deals he got in those aforementioned takeovers.

While nobody has reported on it, I can only speculate on what the future of the TNA would look like under McMahon. I can’t imagine that you would have the same fanfare with a TNA takeover as we had with the WCW acquisition. Most speculate that the company would be shut down with the sole interest being in the tape library. While the company does have a deal with Pop TV, I have to think that a settlement could be worked out if needed.

What about an invasion angle? I wouldn’t hold out any hopes for anything of the sort. I don’t believe that those in the WWE see TNA as a viable competitor to the WWE, thus they would be unlikely to prop up TNA stars as equals to the hometown heroes. In addition, other than the Hardy brothers who could you book an invasion around that would resonate with WWE fans?

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Could they bring talent over and simply assimilate them into the company? I am sure they could, as they have brought over several ex-TNA stars over the last twelve months without any kind of an invasion storyline. There have been rumors about interest in Jeff Hardy returning for years. There have also been recent rumors about the WWE having interest in bringing Matt back with his new character. Other than the Hardy brothers, I just don’t see any kind of a big talent acquisition.

While TNA is a small blip on the radar screen, the loss of any kind of a large promotion outside of the WWE in the United States hurts the business. It gives talent less options and while there aren’t a whole lot of fans that see TNA as an alternative, it reduces choices for fans, thus hurting the entire industry.

The irony of all of this is that we didn’t have to be here today. The mismanagement of TNA and gross negligence of Dixie Carter makes for a great case study. There was a time where TNA could have signed the next generation of WWE stars like CM Punks, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins. The company already had guys like AJ Styles and Samoa Joe under contract. Yet the mismanagement in talent evaluation and strategy allowed the company to focus more on stars past their primes, missing the future cornerstones of the business.

And for that, there is simply no excuse.

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