Are we finally near the end of the TNA Impact Wrestling era?

tna-bound-for-gloryRumors are swirling about what is going to happen to TNA, the Nashville-based company that has been trying since 2002 to gain a foothold in the pro wrestling business.

And of course, rumors and wrestling go along together well, to the point where you’re always left to wonder, Is that a work?

Some are suggesting that the controversy over whether or not TNA will even be able to go forward with its planned Sunday Bound for Glory pay-per-view extravaganza is some sort of clever PR stunt, but to think that misses a key point.

A company that has been fighting for legitimacy in the eyes of mainstream wrestling fans can’t be so desperate for attention that it would have to tease its own demise as a company just to get attention.

Could it?

Reports are that, in fact, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, who has been involved in creative and on-air on TNA TV programming, is among the suitors for the company, along with industry giant WWE.

A Corgan purchase would be good news for TNA fans, because his interest is in keeping the company moving forward, with Bound for Glory and beyond, building on a promising roster that includes world champion Bobby Lashley, and WWE castoffs Aron Rex, Cody Rhodes, Drew Galloway and EC3.

Any kind of announcement involving WWE would be bad news, because The E would likely do what it did when it bought out WCW 15 years ago, namely, shutter the doors on a competitor.

WWE is almost certainly interested solely in the tape library of TNA, along with the contracts of a few top TNA superstars. TNA talent has provided an interesting lifeblood for WWE of late, with former TNA mainstay A.J. Styles now holding the prestigious WWE world championship, and long-time TNA superstar Samoa Joe having a reign with the NXT championship that ended recently.

The talent currently in TNA, and the creative team, both do a good job of putting together compelling wrestling programming week in, week out. The problem for TNA, dating back many years, is not what you see in the ring, and on the TV screen, but rather in the front office, and more pointedly, in the lack of capitalization on the business side.

TNA has struggled to gain a foothold in terms of a consistent TV deal, and made a disastrous foray into live-event house shows that we have to presume (based on attendance) was a money drain.

The money issues are such that it would take someone with much deeper pockets even than a bona fide music icon like Corgan to be able to fix.

It’s admirable that he wants to be the next one to try to keep the ship afloat and work to going full steam ahead.

TNA has been the subject of countless obituaries over its 14-year run, so don’t give up on the company just yet.

You have to think it has at least a little life left in it. The product is too good to just have it all go quietly into the night.

Column by Chris Graham


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