Last week, it was reported that Billy Corgan, the President of Impact Ventures, is suing TNA and filed an injunction to freeze any transactions within the promotion. Yes, the president of the organization is suing the company, only in pro wrestling.
Among those named is owner Dixie Carter, and Corgan also filed a restraining order, but details of the legal action are official sealed so most of the circumstances that prompted the lawsuit won’t be public until the court proceedings take place.
However, considering that during the promotional efforts for the Bound For Glory pay-per-view earlier this month Corgan spoke about his bid to buy the company, it’s safe to assume that this injunction is related to his stock in the promotion. This is just my two cents on the situation, but if I had to guess, I would say that Billy Corgan was under the impression that the money he invested to pay for TV tapings was going to be put towards his eventual purchase of the organization and that the funding prior to the official sale was only to keep the company afloat until all the negotiations could be handled.
Again, I’m just guessing here, but it basically sounds like Dixie Carter was trying to swindle Corgan into paying to keep her company in business without any real intention of actually selling to him. Maybe she was hoping he would pick up the tab and she could remain the owner? When you take into account Dixie’s history of generally terrible decision making, it seems at least possible that all of these “negotiations”might’ve been nothing more than Dixie trying to find someone to fund her vanity project after the owner of Panda Energy, Bob Carter decided to stop paying for his daughter to be a TV star.
Whatever the case, none of these scenarios will improve the perception of Dixie Carter, who was criticized after she allowed Hulk Hogan to run roughshod over TNA and collect a ridiculous paycheck, a decision that ultimately contributed to the group’s current financial struggles. Fans saw Hulk show up when he needed the money, work Dixie for major cash, and then leave before his own ignorance destroyed his status in the business. As a result of Hogan draining TNA, many cornerstones of the promotion were asked to take a substantial paycheck, but most opted to seek employment elsewhere and have done well for themselves. After Hogan collected his cash, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, and others left TNA for a chance at better opportunities. It’s obvious the type of talent that Dixie let walk out the door instead of pay them a reasonable contract, but just as an example, you can consider where those three are now. AJ Styles is the WWE champion, Samoa Joe is a former NXT champion, and Christopher Daniels just recently stole the show in the main event of an ROH pay-per-view. Clearly, Dixie Carter made the wrong decision when she chose to pay Hogan to do nothing to improve the company since the ratings were stagnant. She paid a 60-year-old that has a history of draining as much out of a promotion as he can instead of some of the best athletes of this generation.
Corgan made it clear during interviews before Bound For Glory that while he funded the previous three sets of TV tapings, he wasn’t going to continue to invest more money unless there was a plan in place to move the organization forward, which was probably a reference to his purchase. Just days before the pay-per-view there was speculation on if the show would take place and how TNA would pay for the TV tapings the following week. According to The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, The Fight Network, based in Canada, paid for the most recent tapings that will provide episodes of Impact for the rest of the year.
Billy Corgan somehow getting the opportunity to completely buy the company is probably the only result that would allow it the chance move forward, as his dedication and passion for the sport is something that fans can rally behind. If Dixie remains the owner, there will be the perception that she tried to rip off one of the few allies she had that tried to help the promotion and after this debacle, who would be willing to invest more money into TNA? It’s possible that The Fight Network will try to buy the group, as it could be a way for them to expand into the US market, but it would depend on if they are willing to invest money into TNA beyond the initial purchase, unless they are trying to buy the tape library to provide more content to the network. Either way, Dixie Carter doesn’t have the money to fund TNA so what exactly does she expect to happen? She’s going to have to sell TNA and get at least some compensation for it or the company will simply close when she can’t afford to pay for the next set of TV tapings.
Some might be asking, is TNA really worth the hassle of a lawsuit?
While the “brand” of Total Nonstop Action doesn’t have substantial value, the TV contracts, both domestically and internationally, are essentially the difference between the possibility of a national company or an independent group. As I’ve written before, it’s extremely difficult for pro wrestling to get a TV deal in 2016, and proof of that is Global Force Wrestling taped a pilot last year, but still doesn’t have American distribution. The bottom line is, the WWE is the undisputed top sports entertainment company in the world and most TV networks don’t consider a perceived “minor league” show worth the TV slot. Impact Wrestling has TV contracts in the United States and overseas, which is the key for any potential sale. Corgan already mentioned changing the name, which would be a very smart move, and technically you can name the show anything, the actual TV contract is the true value on the table. Attempting to start from scratch without a TV deal in place would be exponentially more difficult than it would be to reshuffle the deck and start fresh for Impact Wrestling or whatever name is used.
Granted, this lawsuit could simply be a matter of Corgan getting repaid the money that he invested and then he leaves the company. I’ve said it many times and I will say it again, there’s not much upside if TNA shuts down, and nobody, not even the WWE, benefits from one national company. When is whole situation is resolved, Dixie Carter could be known as the most inept owner in wrestling history. Hopefully, Billy Corgan gets ownership of the company because at least it would give TNA a legitimate chance at a fresh start and the possibility that it could move forward as a company.
Until next week
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