Billy Corgan in talks to become majority owner of TNA wrestling
Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan wants to be the new front man for a pro wrestling group.
Corgan is in talks to become the majority owner of cash-strapped Impact Ventures, the producer of pay-per-view TNA and Impact Wrestling, which also appears weekly on the Pop cable and satellite network.
His transition from rock star to wrestling impresario may not be as crazy as everybody thinks.
“There’s a rebel spirit in wrestling that has gone out of rock ‘n’ roll,” he told The Post.
Corgan, whose band has sold more than 30 million albums, joined Impact as a senior producer in May 2015. He upped his commitment last August by investing in the company and becoming its president.
On Oct. 2, the night of Impact’s banner pay-per-view event, “Bound for Glory,” he hopes to take that commitment to the max.
“I would love nothing better than to stand up in front of everyone and give a clear picture of where this company is and where it’s going,” he said.
While Corgan wants to make the presentation as Impact’s new majority owner, he admits there’s still “a lot of people at the table.”
WWE and Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of the Ring of Honor wrestling organization, are rumored to have made recent bids.
A complicated ownership structure also poses challenges in getting every stakeholder on the same page. In addition to majority owner and Chairwoman Dixie Carter, Corgan, Aroluxe Marketing and Canada’s Fight Network all have equity stakes.
Meanwhile, the Nashville, Tenn.-based company is so financially strapped that investor and working-capital provider Aroluxe has reportedly taken over its “TNA” (Total Nonstop Action) trademark.
Corgan says the relevant parties have agreed on a sale price. Although he can’t reveal the figure, an estimate based on publicly traded WWE’s market value of two times revenue would put it at around $40 million.
“You ultimately have to rely on your own calculus about what something is worth,” he said.
Ultimate Fighting Championship’s $4 billion sale to entertainment and sports talent agency WME-IMG factored into his math.
“After signing up MLB, the NBA and soccer, who do you call?” he said.
Corgan believes wrestling is under-appreciated in the digital era, particularly in light of its being a driver of traditional TV from the beginning.
“Our providing story lines in people’s lives is overlooked,” he said. “So is the multicultural aspect of wrestling as a perfect sell to advertisers.”
Corgan plans to use his celebrity to change that.
“I can get anyone I want to listen to my vision,” he said.