IMPACT Wrestling is several years into its shift from TNA to its current name, but the story of this move could have played out quite differently.
During an appearance on One on One with Jon Alba, which is available on Ad Free Shows, Billy Corgan, the former president of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, explained that he felt like he had to attempt a hostile takeover of the company because they still had a lot of his money. He recalled how the TNA name was a “millstone” around the company’s neck, so there was a strong push to change it in order to escape the negative association with the brand.
“Okay, so this is reality, now I’m trying to do a hostile takeover of TNA and they got a bunch of my money and based on legal documents, I’m now running TNA, not only legally but literally because it’s my money keeping the company alive,” said Corgan. “So, ya know, in-house and Matt was sort of part of the inner core of where this thing was going to go, if it was going to go, and of course it didn’t end up happening, we started talking about well, what are you going to do?
“Because for years, they’ve been talked about getting rid of the TNA name because it was kind of this, millstone around the company’s neck and if you look at the workers who were there at the time, Drew Galloway, Bobby Lashley, Matt and Jeff Hardy, Decay, Eli Drake, I mean there were a lot of great workers there…EC3, so it wasn’t like you were thinking like you didn’t have the forces to run if you could get some momentum coming off the Hardy’s.”
Corgan went on to describe how The Final Deletion played a part in the original plans to change the name. He explained that the initial pitch called for Matt Hardy to throw TNA’s world title out of a boat and into the water, as this process would launch the shift to the new name. By having Matt in this role, both Hardys would have been associated with the company’s transformation. Then, as Corgan recalled, the plan would have been to do an invasion angle between the representatives of the new company and the “old guard” who wanted to keep the TNA name. Corgan noted that the storyline would have brought his real-life clash with Dixie Carter onto the television product.
“So, what I did, is there was supposed to be this scene where Matt’s in a row boat and it’s the morning on the lake and you kind of see him rolling out there and then he picks up the TNA Title, and he was going to throw it in the water,” said Corgan. “And the idea was then the company would change names and through the process of him throwing the TNA Title in the lake, he would either bring out the new title or that would be the set up. Then when it came back running again, it would be that they’d have a new name for the company and the Hardy’s were going to be the vehicle by which there was going to be this transformation of the company and then we talked about even better.
“Then you can do an invasion angle with people who want to keep it TNA, the old guard versus the new guard. Yeah, do a whole inner company battle and then maybe even Dixie’s involved in one side and I’m involved in the other. Because my whole argument was while we’re fighting for control, we might as well turn it into a television product because we might as well take all the squabbling behind the scenes and put it in front of the cameras and actually do some business. It just never got there.”
The move from TNA to IMPACT Wrestling didn’t play out as Corgan envisioned, but it’s fascinating to wonder what could have been.