Historical Shocking Sales of Wrestling Companies
Promotion sales from WCW to the AEW and those between. Take a walk down memory lane as we revisit 5 sales that came as shocks to the industry and fans.
What an opportune time to review sales that have taken place in the wrestling world. As the WWE is potentially on the brink of being sold.Here are five times that a wrestling company has been sold to the shock of many.
1. Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) to the WWE in 2001. ECW was the highest rated show on TNN in August of 1999. However, that did not last long when the WWE wanted to return to the network it had previously called home. While this was not the start of ECW’s financial woes it did compound them with no TV revenue it made paying the bill much harder. Vince McMahon and the WWF even helped keep the doors open previously by subsidizing the company in order to borrow certain talent. One such talent was Rob Van Damn. Once the dust settled on the sale of ECW the asset included the video library, a 1998 Ford Pickup, and $4 in merchendise. The love of ECW does live on as many unofficial reunion shows occur every few years.
2. WCW to the WWE in 2001. Another case of knowing that a company was up for sale, but still a shock at who bought the company. Eric Bischoff and some other investors were the front runners for purchasing the company. Bischoff was the president of WCW after all. The nail in the coffin for Bischoff, and his investment group, that kept AOL Time Warner from selling to them was that; at the time they wanted out of the wrestling business. Ironic since just under 20 years later they would bring on AEW and it flourishes. The final sale of WCW came to $4.2 million. $2.7 million for trademarks and logo and an additional $1.7 million for the library of footage.
3. Jim Crocket Promotions to Ted Turner 1988. The shock here comes because not even a full year before Jim Crockett bought the UWF, which was Mid-South Wrestling after Cowboy Bill Watts decided to go national, because that was the craze at the time. By all accounts this sale was a fumble, both financially and creatively. Creatively, mid card wrestlers from Crockett were beating top guys from UWF. Unlike when the WCW was sold, there were options if Crockett didn’t pick up the contract. Many talents went north to Connecticut. This was the same issues Vince McMahon faced when he bought the WCW in 2001.
4.TNA to Anthem Sports (2017). The shock here comes from the fact that Dixie Carter and Panda Energy had floated along and kept TNA alive since 2002. More people expected the company to just shut its doors like the AWA did in 1993. TNA had brought on several investors throughout its time, most notably Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins. Corgan left the company shortly after when Fight Network, out of Canada, got involved with the promotion. Corgan would later file a lawsuit against Impact wrestling as it was now being called. This seemed to all but doom the wrestling promotion until Anthem Sports flew in and purchased the company and put them on AXXES TV. Impact wrestling finding a home on AXXES TV seems to have saved them for now.
5.NWA sells to Billy Corgan in2017. Everyone knew that Mr. Corgan was bit by the wrestling bug after he bought into Impact Wrestling. The shock here was that the NWA was still around. While it had fallen far from the glories of when Dusty was battling the Four Horsemen it did still exists. After WCW left the alliance in 1991, it was effectively dead. The NWA made a small resurgence with Jeff and Jerry Jarrett used it to form TNA back in 2002. Essentially Corgan bought a name. Due to the nature of the NWA most of the library for the NWA was and is owned by various entities primarily the WWE.
That ladies, gentlemen and nonbinary individuals is five shocking sales of wrestling companies. At this point the only shock for the WWE sale may be who it is sold to and how it is run after the sale is complete. Do you know of any more shocking sales? Does the choice of what companies made the sale flabbergast you? Thank you for reading this article and feel free to leave a comment below.