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Does Billy Corgan get anything from buying the NWA name?

Is there any value to the National Wrestling Alliance that Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan is reportedly set on purchasing?

billy corganProbably very little, if any.

Corgan is dead set on becoming a player in the wrestling business, as his run with TNA (now Impact Wrestling) would suggest, so on paper, buying the rights to the NWA brand name would seem to be a logical move.

But that would seem to be pretty much what Corgan would get from the move – a brand name, and one that has long since lost any cachet with modern pro wrestling fans.

Now, yes, the NWA world title has a lineage that goes back to the early days of wrestling as it emerged from its carny days, to Ed “The Strangler” Lewis, Lou Thesz and the rest.

But its value was at its height in the territory days, back when wrestling was essentially a cartel run by promoters who agreed to divide the country up into regional territories for business purposes, with the NWA providing legitimacy in the form of a “world” champion who defended the belt across the country.

Vince McMahon put an end to the territory era in the 1980s, along with Jim Crockett and Ted Turner, whose roles get obscured because they ended up on the losing side of the ledger in their battles with McMahon.

Paul Heyman literally buried the NWA world title in the 1990s, though the letters continue to live on in licensing deals.

The hope here is that Corgan isn’t committing much in terms of actual dollars for the rights to use the NWA moniker for whatever purposes he may have in mind.

Because the fans who would remember it are getting to be fewer each day.

Which is a nice way of saying, they’re getting older, dying off, et cetera.

The contemporary fan barely knows what the letters even mean, and if you account for the ones who associate the term with the 1990s West Coast rap group, well …

Column by Chris Graham

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