For the first time in a long time, there’s some optimism among wrestling fans regarding TNA.
As we’ve seen with WWE all week, trying to decide who’s responsible for something backstage is as difficult as figuring out what’s scripted and what’s not on screen. But it’s pretty clear that as Billy Corgan’s role in TNA has increased, so has fan engagement with Impact Wrestling.
Is that because Matt Hardy’s broken brilliance just happened to occur after we found out about Corgan’s growing role backstage, or is the Smashing Pumpkins founder the driving force behind the kind of outside-the-box thinking which led to #FinalDeletion?
Seems like we’re about to find out. Corgan was given the title of President of TNA’s parent company a little while back, while Dixie Carter moved into a more strategic/less hands-on role. The new President discussed his job entails with Vince Russo’s The Brand podcast (h/t 411mania for transcription), and it’s an interesting, if not entirely straight-forward, conversation:
First, Corgan confirmed his new role for Russo:
I am the President, I do have an ownership stake. It is a fluctuating situation, which I cannot talk about certain details because of it, but I would say it is moving progressively into the right direction... but the one thing that I can tell you is that I am the President and I am running the operational part of the company.
And confirmed that includes complete creative control:
That is the role. That is the power I have inherited and that is the power I intend to execute.
In discussing how exactly he intends to execute, Billy is definitely critical of what came before:
I am a firm believer that if you can’t get everyone into the same direction, power doesn’t mean much anyway. You can use your power, you can throw your power around, and you can intimidate, but it doesn’t really mean something on the other end of it then you are not going to get your message across, so I believe that TNA lacks a systematic approach from creative down and that runs through the business, and because of that you get kind of these weird things that people don’t know who is calling the shots, who to turn to, and I think that has really hurt the business. That has hurt the business from the time that I got into the business, essentially as an employee, underneath that structure, so I have every intention of synergizing the business from Creative to the Talent, and back through.
I think we have an incredible roster of talent. I want their input but at the same time I have to balance out the business concerns, which are plenty well documented, but it is my job to sort of synergize their position that will help the company grow. I believe that I know how to do that and believe that I am tough enough to not only take the heat when I make a mistake, and to raise my hand and admit to when I make a mistake, but at the end of the day, I only took that spot because I have the control and the power to make those calls, and without those calls I wouldn’t have taken it.
Given how long Carter’s been the main backstage figure for TNA, and how many criticisms of her reign have involved taking advice from whatever ex-WWE veteran she saw as the way to build the company at any given moment, it’s hard to read Corgan’s comments without inferring criticism of her time in charge.
And it wasn’t just the on-screen product Corgan talked about in that fashion:
I will say that organizationally TNA is behind the curve, so my first job is really to get some sort of consistent organizational flow so we can maximize the opportunities we do have, and then I have to go out into the world and have to beat that drum and have to bring people to the table and I do believe that the tech future and wrestling future is going to be very bright.
Check out the whole show for more of how Billy plans to create buzz and use technology to capitalize on it.
In the meantime, how do you think Impact Wrestling is doing? If there’s a change in your opinion, do you think Corgan deserves credit? Does Carter deserve blame?
Is the future bright for TNA?