Developing: Billy Corgan purchases the NWA
In case you missed it, Billy Corgan, best known to many as the frontman of Smashing Pumpkins, and one-time frontman of TNA, has purchased the National Wrestling Alliance, this according to PWInsider.
Although Corgan gained his greatest fame as a musician, he has a number of ties to the wrestling industry. Corgan was one of the lead founders of Resistance Pro Wrestling, an indie promotion in the Chicago area. At one point, cable network AMC expressed interest in airing a reality series about Resistance, but those plans were scrapped when Corgan left the company in November 2014.
Next came TNA, and Corgan took over Creative for that company in April 2015, and is said to have played a role in helping to flesh-out the Broken Hardys gimmick. A little over a year later, in August of 2016, Corgan was named President of TNA. Many believed Corgan was poised to purchase TNA, but in Novemeber, Corgan quit the company amid pay disputes and rumors of shady dealings. Still, Corgan gave the incoming owners of TNA, Anthem, a loan to keep TNA running.
According to reports, this new deal gives Corgan rights to the nearly-70 year history of the NWA, or rather, what’s left of it.
The NWA of Old was system of regional franchises, of course, known as Territories. Those territories generally stayed in their own regions. But, in 1983, WWE, then the WWF, withdrew from the NWA, where they originally represented Washington, DC and the New York Tri-State, but later took over most of the Northeastern US, and then went national.
The NWA was more Sports than Entertainment, but the WWF was the opposite, and combined with glitzy rock stars and Hulkamania, Brother!, made for tough times for the NWA. Billionaire Cable channel operator Ted Turner bought the NWA’s largest remaining franchise, Georgia Championship Wrestling, turning it into WCW in 1988. WCW, too, left the NWA, transitioning out during the very early ’90s.
During the late ’80s and early ’90s, old Territories were replaced with new ones; the territory covering the Philadelphia area, the Tri-State Wrestling Alliance, formed in 1989, gave way to Eastern Championship Wrestling in 1992, which then broke away from the NWA in memorable fashion in 1994, and became Extreme Championship Wrestling not long after.
The potential for the NWA under Billy Corgan is endless. As a known supporter of small indie promotions, we could a return of proper regional franchises, working together. Or, Corgan could use his celebrity to give the NWA a national push, potentially rivaling Impact and ROH, and perhaps one day, providing the threat of real competition for the WWE.
Or, maybe Corgan just collects vintage Belts. Who knows?