When rumors broke last week that Panda Energy may be selling their stake in TNA I have to admit I was morbidly excited. Anything that shakes things up, even the complete overhaul of the brand – in fact especially a complete overhaul of the brand – could finally give hardcore wrestling fans hope of a decent second promotion. Turns out it’s hard to nail down even one quantifiable fact verifying the rumors, so until then it’s all just speculation and wishful thinking.
Amidst newz sites quoting anonymous sources, or newz sites quoting Dave Meltzer, who in turn is quoting his anonymous sources, or links being shared to fan blogs clearly making things up, or to Examiner – a site that often fools people in to thinking it’s a mainstream media outlet when it’s nothing of the sort – Panda Energy itself has explicitly denounced that a sale of the wrestling company is in the works.
Josh Stewart of Newsday received a statement directly from TNA saying Janice Carter (Dixie’s momma bear) remains committed to the promotion:
“An unfortunate aspect of this business is that there are wrestling ‘reporters’ who consistently post ‘news stories’ without proper facts. I want to assure you these are just rumors and that I am committed to TNA and its future.”
Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan, who is apparently lead suitor to buy in to the company, or take it over completely, also released a statement through a spokesperson …
“There is no reason to comment on rumors, Billy is completely focused on Resistance Pro’s upcoming 2nd anniversary [show on Nov. 23].”
Despite the suggestion that there is no reason to comment on the rumors, he just did, and failed to denounce them completely. “I’m not buying TNA nor considering it” would have been suffice Billy!
Corgan of course is a life long wrestling fan who made a few entertaining – though Mr. Burns levels of weak – physical appearances in the original ECW, and has provided songs for TNA in the past. His Resistance Pro promotion has earned medium success in Illinois. Regardless of booking or production philosophy, if he was to take over TNA he would at least presumably bring over his concussion policy, which follows guidelines provided by Chris Nowinski’s Sports Legacy Institute. As far as we know TNA leaves it up to the wrestler to report concussion symptoms.
Rumors of a TNA sale first appeared on Wrestling Observer Radio on October 27. In the latest edition of the Newsletter (buy here) Meltzer denounced websites making wild speculations, but reaffirmed that there is a “potential buyer” made up of a “group”, who have been to the TNA offices and things are at a “significant stage”. He also claimed that it’s none of the names circulating down at the free to read recesses of the web – taking Billy Corgan, Jerry and Jeff Jarrett, Hogan and Bischoff, Mark Cuban, country singers Toby Keith or John Rich, Howard Stern, The Wilpon family who own the New York Mets, Spike TV or Viacom, WWE, Chris Jericho, Jim Ross, and my girlfriend’s mother all off the table.
Speaking of good old JR (who once actually had a meeting with the Carter’s about being brought in – but turned them down because he wanted enough control to shake things up), he chimed in a little on his blog …
“The reported sale of TNA to a seemingly endless list of potential buyers is getting ridiculous. My friend Billy Corgan is ‘allegedly’ one of the latest suitors for the company who’s own backers say isn’t for sale. I have it on very good authority that Billy is not in the mix. Is there even a mix?”
“TNA could utilize a makeover, for the lack of a better term, and a new approach to their presentation of the product in the opinion of some but that’s not an exclusive, TNA issue and is something that many wrestling fans regularly say about other TV wrestling companies.”
Unlike others who claim to have sources, despite the hatred he sometimes gets big Dave really does have sources, and half of internet wrestling news is re-written or pasted directly from his work. That doesn’t however mean all of his information is correct, and this certainly isn’t a done deal.
While it would be naive to take TNA’s memo at face value (private companies are by definition private and will quash stories if they want to), it would also be silly to think Billy Corgan is going to show up on Thursday as the owner of the company.