TNA/Impact Wrestling closed yet another chapter of their tumultuous history earlier today when it was officially announced that Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp. provided credit facility to TNA to fund operations. In essence, Anthem Sports—a global media company that operates Fight Network among a multitude of other properties—are now the principle owners of TNA Impact Wrestling.
Anthem Sports and Entertainment has just put out a press release, states that Billy Corgan is no longer with TNA https://t.co/M1FeoOYnlP
— Live Audio Wrestling (@LAWradio) November 3, 2016
The agreement appoints Anthem Executive Vice President Ed Nordholm to the Impact Ventures (parent company of TNA Impact Wrestling) Board of Managers.
Ignoring some of the more intricate details, the big story for most wrestling fans are these two nuggets:
“Billy Corgan is no longer with the company”
On yesterday’s VOW Flagship podcast, we discussed a tip from one of our sources that Corgan had yet to be paid. This was of particular consequence after Monday’s ruling that Corgan had no legal right to stop any TNA business dealings, including this sale. Presumably, the next step for Corgan and TNA was for Impact to repay his debts and absolve Corgan from any further responsibility. More on this later.
The Wrestling Cockroach
The biggest story through this entire release is the following:
“Dixie Carter will continue as Chair of the Company, as well as her position on the Board of Managers.”
Teflon. Unbreakable. Unstoppable.
There’s not enough adjectives in the world to describe Dixie Carter’s ability to withstand any and all adversity and still find herself atop this company. Think about this, Dixie Carter was installed as president of then-TNA Entertainment in spring of 2003: 13 years.
- Ted Turner owned World Championship Wrestling for roughly the same amount of time as Carter has ran TNA.
- WCW’s Monday Nitro ran for roughly six years, less than half the amount of time Carter has been in charge of TNA.
- Extreme Championship Wrestling’s entire existence lasted just seven years.
- If we add, the pre-Extreme Eastern Championship Wrestling, it’s nine—four years less than Carter has been at the helm.
Where these companies, shows, entities couldn’t survive, Dixie has.
When those companies lost TV deals, had too much debt to handle, couldn’t pay wrestlers, etc., etc. they were gone or they were no longer supported by their parent companies. All that and more has happened to Dixie and TNA, yet, here she is, still standing. Regardless of your thoughts on her as a person or a businesswoman, she’s the embodiment of pro wrestling’s cockroach—she can survive anything!
The troubling thing is this continued ability to maintain her post—whether it still holds power or is simply a paper title remains to be seen—is that things likely won’t change. That she’s still hanging around, that she’s still the public face of the company is one of the key reasons TNA has struggled to carve out a niche in the wrestling world and why the walls are seemingly a light gust away from crumbling.
Today’s news offered Anthem to ability to turn a new leaf with TNA. Instead, we’re looking at much of the same… well…maybe.
What about Billy?
Circling back to Corgan, this ruling effectively removes him from Impact immediately. Without looking at spoilers, I do believe he is apart of future episodes of Impact Wrestling. Whether or not his portions are (or can) be edited out, we’ll see. Corgan was rumored to have many allies backstage, in particular wrestlers, who far preferred Corgan’s vision, business acumen and direction over Dixie.
Those wrestlers may be in luck as it’s not all the way over with Billy yet.
When the announcement of TNA’s sale was released, Corgan was quick to tweet the following:
FACT: I have still not been paid, and I'm exploring all remedies including new filings with court and converting to 36 pct. equity
— WPC (@Billy) November 3, 2016
Per that tweet, Corgan has STILL not be paid, despite the judge requiring payment to Billy before November 1. Presumably, TNA needed money from Anthem before they could pay Corgan and yet, here we are.
The last part of that tweet is perhaps the most interesting. Corgan is not giving up. In particular, he wants to convert his standing debt to 36% equity in TNA!
Why anyone, particularly Billy Corgan, would want 36% equity in TNA given the transgressions of the last month are beyond comprehension but here we are.
How boring is pro wrestling is going to be when—hell, I guess IF is apt given the context of this article—TNA eventually goes out of business.
We’ll have more on this story as it develops on both VoicesofWrestling.com and our discussion forums VoicesofWrestling.com/forums.