According to filings released to the public this week, TNA President and Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan’s lawsuit against the company has revealed that TNA wrestling is unable to pay back debts and is apparently in talks to be sold to WWE. Corgan filed an injunction arguing that he should be granted full control of TNA, saying that he made a loan agreement to TNA chairwoman Dixie Carter, who in turn pledged 100 percent of her equity interest in the company.
“Impact Ventures is insolvent,” Corgan’s lawsuit stated. “Its liabilities exceed the value of its assets, and Impact Ventures is unable to pay its debts as they come due in the ordinary course of business.”
TNA made its debut in 2004 on Fox Sports Net in the aftermath of the “Monday Night Wars” that saw Vince McMahon and WWE buy his competition, Ted Turner’s WCW in 2001 and ECW in 2003. Although an indie wrestling company, TNA Impact! was broadcast on network television, thus making it a new rival to McMahon’s empire.
A rival, sure, but maybe more a thorn in the side of WWE. While the ratings couldn’t quite compare, TNA was founded by Jeff Jarrett, a wrestler who has a real-life rivalry with McMahon that is said to extend beyond wrestling storylines. TNA also became a home for former WWE superstars Jeff and Matt Hardy, Kurt Angle, Hulk Hogan and also helped make others like current-WWE Champion A.J. Styles a hot property.
There was talk earlier this month that TNA, along with popular indie Ring of Honor, was in talks with the WWE to strike up some sort of partnership where the promotions would have their shows broadcast on the WWE Network, a deal that some saw as a win-win for the bigger WWE who would be getting viewers who prefer indie wrestling to the big muscles and pyrotechnics of Monday Night Raw and also the smaller indie promotions looking for a bigger audience.
According to Corgan’s lawsuit, the WWE is looking to buy TNA assets, with a big focus on the company’s video library. Whether or not they’d want to continue the program or poach any of the talent was not mentioned. Although anybody who knows their wrestling history recalls that while there was hope that WCW and ECW would remain in some capacity (and ECW did stick around as its own thing until 2010), eventually the WWE folded up shop on both promotions, and the best of both of them are distant memories you can access on the WWE Network.
WWE has been contacted for a response to the news, and we will continue to update this story as it develops.
Update: WWE has declined to comment.