1979. It’s the year The Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” rose to the top of the charts. It’s the year President Carter proposed Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday be recognized as a national holiday in the United States. It’s the year Neptune became the outermost planet. It’s the year Willie Mays was elected into the MLB Hall Off Fame. And it’s a year that inspired the Grammy nominated song “1979” by rock-and-roll group Smashing Pumpkins. The origins of the song are simple: Billy Corgan, the Smashing Pumpkins front man, felt 1979, where at the time he was a 12 year old child, was the year he began his transition into adolescence.
2013. It’s the year Lance Armstrong admitted to doping in all seven of his Tour de France victories. It’s the year Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. It’s the year Barack Obama officially began his second term as the President of the United States of America. It’s the year George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin. And it’s the year that rumors began swirling that the second largest pro wrestling promotion in North America, TNA Impact Wrestling, was up for sale.
What do these two years have in common? It’s the year where negotiations began that could result in Corgan owning a majority stake in TNA. According to a new article reported by eWrestlingNews.com journalist Ryan Clark, Billy Corgan is interested in buying TNA.
What does this mean? Well, the short answer is this: TNA might hang around a little bit longer. Whether it’s Corgan, or another rich dummy willing to lose millions in hopes of turning TNA into a profitable business, the reality is TNA doesn’t have the greatest chance of surviving. Many insiders give TNA another year, or two, at best, before the company ultimately goes under. Optimists will claim TNA only needs to change a few things, and everything will be Hunky-dory. Not true. TNA needs so many things to change, particularly on the business side of things, that it’s almost a lost cause. That’s the pessimistic point of view. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth. The truth is, TNA needs to change a ton if they’re going to survive, and more importantly, thrive, as a profitable business.
Billy Corgan’s interest in professional wrestling doesn’t begin with the aforementioned rumors of potentially becoming a majority owner in TNA. Corgan actually has a lengthy history in being involved, in one form-or-fashion, with the business. Back in the early 2000s, Corgan made a couple of appearances in the original Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion. In fact, right when ECW was about to go under, the promoter of the company, Paul Heyman, went to Corgan and tried to get him to buy a stake in the company to keep it alive. Corgan, realizing it was a bad business decision, opted not to. In 2011, Corgan formed the independent pro wrestling promotion, Resistance Pro.
According to the aforementioned report by eWN’s Ryan Clark, “A current TNA wrestler and two former workers are said to have verified that Corgan’s name is making the circles behind the scenes in TNA.” According to Janice Carter, mother of TNA president Dixie Carter and an executive at Panda Energy, the parent company of TNA, the rumors of a TNA sale are not true. In fact, the elder Carter reportedly sent out a memo to current TNA contracted talent and employees claiming that Panda Energy was not looking to sell their ownership stake in the company.
So which rumors do you believe? One thing is for sure: where there’s smoke, there’s fire. There’s far too much discussion behind-the-scenes currently, both among insiders and journalists who cover the business, as well as actual wrestlers and executives involved in the business, for the TNA sale rumors to be completely false. The real question is how true are the rumors of the TNA sale. And more importantly, if there are parties interested in buying an ownership stake in the company, what is their vision for TNA? What do they have in mind that will save the company. Because if the signs that led up to the sale of WCW in 2001 are any indication, something crucial needs to happen, and fast, if TNA wants to live past 2014.
By the way, remember how I said Corgan was 12 years old when he was inspired by the year 1979, when he felt he was beginning his transition into adolescence? For you stat junkies out there, TNA was officially founded in 2002. That means 2014 will mark the year TNA becomes 12 years old. For the sake of the business, let’s hope in 2014, the 12-year-old TNA promotion will finally begin its transition into adulthood as well. Enough child’s play, it’s time to grow up, and hopefully, grow old. Together.