There is a somewhat one-sided bidding war for control of TNA happening at the moment. On one side of this monetary fistfight is musician Billy Corgan. On the other, world-renowned money-making marvel, Vince McMahon.
As Corgan put it recently on the Dan Le Batard Radio Show, if McMahon wants to buy TNA, nobody can stop him. Not even god.
While Corgan is doing his best to secure the majority ownership of the company, if McMahon decides — even if only on a whim — he wants TNA’s video library, or whatever, he will get it because his pockets are deeper than the depths of the ocean.
On the surface, that seems fine. Capitalism is meant to work that way, but only to a certain level.
With WCW long gone, ECW a distant memory and both entities owned by the WWE as of this moment, there hasn’t been a true second power wrestling company in the United States for over a decade. Even though TNA is barely a blip on the national radar, if McMahon were to buy it, it would be yet another step by the WWE to create a domestic wrestling monopoly.
Furthermore, it creates an environment for even less wrestlers to have fairly sizable platforms to apply their craft. In turn, this can directly result in far less indie-darlings. With guys like Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, and many others being beloved figures at the top of the WWE, there will be less work for guys who are currently like them to become such die-hard favorites.
In a way, the organically, naturally built stars we see inside the WWE today will no longer be a thing because of logistical issues. With there potentially being one less domestic place of work, anyone who shows any potential will either be swallowed up by the WWE well before they had a chance to create a loyal following, or there will simply be no real work available for them — at least in terms to keep applying their craft while earning fair wages.
Yes. Obviously, ROH and a few other promotions would still function, but they won’t be doing so as they normally have. A new precedent will have been set.
Vince McMahon is no longer abiding by his past model of only creating WWE-made guys, but is willing to completely devour a mostly benign company — even if it is only for something as “small” as its video library or the two or three talents he wants from that federation’s roster.
This creates an atmosphere that’s an overall bad vibe for wrestling. We already know, as a fact, that the WWE product suffers without having a legitimate contender to its throne. It is why the same tired, lazy, and clichéd angles happen over and over again.
But there’s even more to it than that.
If the purchase of TNA happens, it not only eliminates another competitor (even though it barely is/was), but it will also hurt younger performers’ chances at reaching the WWE in the traditional “pay your dues” sort of way. Instead, everything will — not completely, but more so than ever — run through the WWE’s Performance Center.
That, or many domestic talents will go abroad, and we may never even get to know them.
There is good reason monopolies are against the law. It isn’t just to protect the consumers from prices being hiked, but it is to protect the workers — current, former and future — from having less places of potential employment and the ability to have their services bid upon.
Not that TNA was ever able to outbid WWE for talent in the first place, but it was a realistic option for some wrestlers who already made money to continue to work while making reasonable loot. No TNA? No more reasonable options. ROH, or what have you, isn’t going to be able to give “promising” talent fair deals.
That’s all a bit doomsday-ish. Maybe McMahon will let Corgan buy TNA, then see how that plays out down the road before going after it again. Or, maybe, he will buy TNA, things will go horrible, but another federation will rise from the ashes.
Still, the reality of the situation remains much bleaker. Unless someone with incredibly deep pockets, and as deep a love for wrestling, wants to create, run and control a wrestling federation, the WWE will continue to trample all over the domestic wrestling scene. This leaves talent with less options for employment, viewers with less options of which type of wrestling to consume, and for the empire that is the WWE to continue to grow to the point of it reaching a level of being “too big to fail.”
As wrestling fans, we should be rooting for Billy Corgan to gain control of TNA. Sure, it might still fail, but he — as well as non-WWE wrestling as a whole — needs a shot.