Rumours have been circulating rapidly in the past few weeks that Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling, also known as TNA, are close to bankruptcy following a string of financial troubles.
Dixie Carter’s promotion used to be seen as the alternative to WWE in the mid-2000s, but following this recent string of financial problems, the future now looks grim for the company.
Speculators and critics are still unsure over TNA’s future, but many are wondering how much longer the company can go on. If TNA were to go under, then what would happen? Well, there are many possibilities; one which may both excite and terrify fans of the promotion.
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There is the possibility of TNA moving to the United Kingdom, where operating costs would be lower, or perhaps moving its product online or maybe even just folding entirely, but, the one prospect that, although it hasn’t been discussed much, if at all yet, could present the most interesting option to Dixie Carter is a buyout from none other than Vince McMahon himself.
As mentioned, there are no discussions surrounding this yet, but if things do get worse for TNA, could Vince decide to make a bid?
In recent years, WWE has seen a huge influx of former TNA stars: Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, James Storm etc. Vince has also expressed an interest in other top TNA talent, most notably former TNA-employee Bobby Roode.
A chance to scoop up the remaining TNA talent, which includes many former WWE stars such as The Hardy Boyz, might prove irresistible to McMahon, who might see this as an opportunity to pull in TNA fans, whose favourite stars would now be appearing on Raw and SmackDown.
The possibilities for storylines would be interesting too; perhaps a second attempt at the fabled invasion angle, this time featuring TNA stars, could be attempted. The possibilities for a WWE-owned TNA are certainly intriguing, but would it all be good?
As with the last major buyout conducted by WWE, what would the fate of the “other guys” be when they turned up for WWE?
Whilst some WCW and ECW stars did flourish in WWE, others like Scott Steiner, Dallas Page, Rhino, Taz, Goldberg and many, many more, failed to reach their potential. This was down to McMahon’s ego; he couldn’t allow a creation that wasn’t his own to succeed in his company.
Would this affect former TNA talent if a buyout occurred? It’s highly likely it would, even if by the time of a buyout, Triple H was more in control. Triple H lived through the influx of outside talent in 2001 and it’s highly likely the locker room mentality of hostility towards talent from another promotion is still with him today, which would undoubtedly affect TNA talent heading to WWE.
Also, if WWE did buy TNA, then would this lead to a monopolisation of the American wrestling market? TNA is the second biggest wrestling promotion in the US and WWE’s closest rival in terms of TV and Pay-Per-View sales, so if that became a part of WWE, who would really be able to stand in their way?
As touched upon earlier, TNA offer an alternative to WWE, but if TNA became a part of WWE, would that lead to the American wrestling market becoming stale and homogenised?
Boost For NJPW
However, this may not be a bad thing. With less options in America, this could lead to a surge of American and European fans turning to Japan and promotions like NJPW. Whilst insanely popular in Asia, New Japan has never really achieved the same success in the West.
Anti-WWE fans who would previously have turned to TNA might instead be turned onto Japanese wresting, leading to an increase in popularity and maybe a shift in focus by American companies to include more Japanese talents and styles in their programming, something American mainstream wrestling has lacked for so long.
For the time being, the fate of TNA is uncertain, let alone whether WWE will swoop in and make the purchase. Sceptics need not panic yet and hardcore WWE fans hoping to see Abyss, EC3 and Eric Young in WWE shouldn’t get their hopes up, but as a hypothetical situation, there’s no denying a WWE buyout of TNA is nothing, if not interesting and, dare say, exciting.
Should WWE buy out TNA? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!