NWA President Billy Corgan has claimed that WWE once refused to buy the NWA, shortly before he became President of the promotion.
Speaking to Chris Jericho on the latest Talk is Jericho podcast, Corgan claimed that WWE thought the NWA was so worthless, there was no point in even getting it off the market by buying it.
“I’m proud to carry the mantle of the business in this way. It’s a very specific thing, and of course, the business is far different than it was in the heyday of the NWA. There’s no pretend there. When I bought the NWA and that was coming out of the whole situation with TNA and the debacle and lawsuits, and there was a lot of kind of public acrimony there.
“And then I purchased NWA. Crazily enough, it was owned by one person. It was so devalued. He tried to sell it to everybody. Nobody wanted it, as far as I know. He certainly offered it to WWE. They thought it was so worthless that they didn’t even just buy it just to take it off the market.
“Then when I bought it, Jim Cornette and other people, and I loved Jim. ‘What the hell did he buy? He might as well have bought air. He bought three worthless letters.’ A lot of that type of stuff and certainly I sat around at one point and thought, ‘Well, if I started, Billy Corgan Wrestling or SP Wrestling’, and I thought, no, I want the history. I’ll take that history. I’ll take that on. I like the challenge of that.”
Corgan also spoke about how its been to run the promotion during the pandemic which has hit pro-wrestling so hard over the past year.
“Wrestling has never been a great financial model. It works in the short term for a little while, but long term, it’s very very difficult to sustain,” Corgan admitted. “Talented people like yourself and Nick Aldis require the compensation that they’re due for being elite at their business and so suddenly, I’ve got all these people under contract and no way to run. We shut down for a while. I kept paying people.
“It didn’t buy me any loyalty, that’s for sure, but we held together, and I think I took the time to kind of think, okay, now if we are going to come back and there were certainly dark days where I thought, ah, this just isn’t worth it, even though I love the NWA and I love the history. But it really kind of steeled my mind. ‘Okay, if I am going to do this and I do get back, what is it going to be? How are we going to tweak it to go in the direction I really wanted to go.’ And so I think that’s been effective. And certainly the early indications are sort of stronger belief in the product and also now with a relationship with Fite, actual pay revenue model for the first time.
“I think it’s all there, and look, what you guys are doing with AEW, the business is moving in this completely new direction, you guys are opening up new vistas that wouldn’t have been there a few years ago. Before AEW I would go in and have meetings in Hollywood, and they’d be like, ‘No one cares about wrestling, no one’s gonna pay for it. If it’s not WWE, right, hit the bricks.. You’re on your own,’ and now suddenly, people are calling me. It’s wild. It’s like, it’s this new era of new eras. It’s fantastic.”
Credit to WrestlingInc for the transcription.