The former front man for the Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan, has been a huge fan of professional wrestling for decades. After some ups and downs, he seems to have brokered a business deal that piqued the interest of the entire wrestling community. Earlier this week, PWInsider broke the news that Corgan purchased the National Wrestling Alliance. In their words, “the idea is, once Corgan and the NWA finalize the sale and Corgan owns the assets, is for Corgan to evalutate and assess the brand and build a plan for going forward.” What does this all mean? And how can the storied wrestling company make a push forward in 2017? First of all, we need to take a look at what exactly the NWA is.
The National Wrestling Alliance was formed by Paul George, Al Haft, Anton Stecher, Harry Light, Orville Brown, Sam Muchnick and Don Owen in 1948 out of Brownsville, Texas. It was set up as a governing body for the national territory system. It was essentially a league of independent wrestling promotions. One world champion represented the alliance. Consequently, many cite the national expansion of Vince McMahon’s then World Wrestling Federation as the primary contributing factor of the demise of most of the original participating member promotions.
The NWA saw its ups and downs. Jim Crockett Promotions backed them in the 80s. Turner Broadcasting bought out JCP. Hence, it became World Championship Wrestling. They also aligned with Total Nonstop Action for a few years. The company had many owners, from Robert Trobich to Bruce Tharpe to most recently Chris Ronquillo and finally Fred Rubenstein. Now, Billy Corgan will be helming this ship known as the National Wrestling Alliance.
Corgan purchased all NWA rights. As a result, he owns all championship belts and trademarks. However, one thing most noteworthy is the absence of the tape library from the deal. Billy Corgan not opting to purchase that valuable footage, containing some of the greatest feuds, promos and matches in history, is bewildering, to say the least. Seems like Corgan is taking a slow “starting from scratch” approach to build the company back up. In the end, I respect him for doing so. Much as I respect Corgan’s drive, I have more questions than answers.
Why did Corgan not just start a new promotion? It would probably have been more cost effective to do so, rather than purchasing all of the NWA rights and trademarks. Is Corgan going to set up a governing board of independent territories? Is he just going to run it as one large promotion? Who are some of the talent that Corgan will be eyeing to add to their roster(s). The next few weeks should prove quite interesting for fans old enough to remember the heyday of the NWA. Only time will tell if Corgan will gain the trust of those fans, or blaspheme against something old school wrestling aficionados hold near and dear to their hearts.