The Biggest Pro-Wrestling Question Asked Today: When Will WWE Buy TNA?

Joe Burgett @JoEburGett_WESenior Writer IIIMarch 15, 2011

Now, if you're like me, you're a wrestling fan. A big one at that, one who, in a word, could be called that of a fanatic. Do I want to be a Pro-Wrestler? Hell no! But do I enjoy the product? That would be a big yes. Which is why I've always been for the growth of other wrestling companies besides WWE.

It's not that I hate WWE or am unhappy about the product, in fact it's quite the opposite. I quite enjoy WWE's product, but obviously it gears itself toward a certain taste or audience. Some like certain types of wrestling that WWE does not offer, yet another company can.

People know that Pro-Wrestling is a big draw. This is why the top two cable companies in NBC Universal and Viacom have Pro-Wrestling on their program guide. Viacom with TNA Wrestling and NBC Universal with WWE.

Viacom used to have WWE when they were with TNN. TNN grew into the new TNN, then into what we see today in Spike TV. WWE was once with USA Network, but it seemed that they saw new heights with Viacom and went for it. Spike TV garnered many views and ratings were through the roof the entire time WWE RAW was on Spike TV.

Then one day, Spike TV dumped WWE RAW. Viacom pretty much killed off all connections to them, and no one really understood why. WWE RAW was consistently one of the top shows on cable every week. We never saw a replay show and things were always new and fresh.

Considered a cable dream, it is uncertain if WWE saw bigger heights with NBC Universal once again with USA Network or Spike TV decided to drop them. Obviously the WWE RAW cable contract came up, and WWE or Spike could say yay or nay in the re-signing of the show.

However, this was the top show on Monday Night, considered THE night for TV. Why would Spike TV, a channel geared toward a male audience, dump a popular guy show and one of the top shows on all of television?

This is why many believe WWE backed away from Spike, not the other way around. Especially when Spike came out and said they didn't want wrestling, just to soon after sign TNA Wrestling to a deal.

This was huge for pro-wrestling fans, seeing as NWA TNA needed a major channel. Being on FoxSports was nice, but not a channel a ton had. Spike TV was apart of many cable packages and NWA TNA needed this deal to move up.

This is around the time we saw many big names come in, including Sting. So basically, if Spike backed away, they backed away from one of the top shows on cable and took a show that doesn't really get close to a 2.0 weekly, while WWE RAW consistently gets in the 3.0s every week or higher.

Now a part of NBC Universal, and on the top cable channel for the past five years in USA Network, and being PG, WWE has reached new heights, and is at a level that hardly any company can get to. Only big time sports companies like the NBA and NFL garner more views for games on cable than WWE RAW does on a weekly basis.

That is saying something. This is why WWE makes over 200 million dollars a year after taxes and talent contracts. They could easily buy whatever they want. Which has many fans asking, when will WWE buy TNA?

Well, it's a little more complicated than TNA just being bought because Vince McMahon wants it. For all we know, he may not care one bit about TNA.

But, for those who have asked, it's not like UFC buying Strikeforce, Which by the way, was a brilliant business move. UFC now has no competition in America and has opened it's international audience two fold. And now it makes to where MMA can reach new found places and grow even more so as a sport around the world.

But enough about my love for MMA, back to wrestling.

See, when Dana White and UFC bought Strikeforce, they didn't just go up and say give me this company and I'll give you this amount of money to do so.

Strikeforce was owned by multiple people, and a majority owner was able to make the deal. But, others have to give approval too if their ownership calls for it. See, some people who invest or own part of a company, upon signing a contract to buy said company, make sure in the clause that they are consulted and/or have a vote in all actions made by the company, such as selling the company for instance.

If they say no to buying it, then the company cannot sell. However, if they know it's a good business move to sell, then they will. It's business people, not rocket science. Strikeforce was losing money in the end, even with top MMA fighters and the Showtime and CBS deals.

UFC was brilliant in their move to buy Strikeforce now because they still have 2 years under their Showtime contract and it is said CBS has a deal with them too. Because Strikeforce was privately owned and made the deals already, UFC now will get all the money Strikeforce draws in from these events.

So, UFC made a great business move in all of this. So, would WWE go out and buy TNA? Well, it's kind of complicated.

Some ask, well, it's like WWE buying WCW if WWE bought TNA. No, good Lord it's not.

See, when Time Warner merged with AOL, AOL became the major owner in it all, and because they merged in with AOL, Ted Turner and all of the owners with Time Warner became powerless with everything Time Warner, including WCW, TNT, and TBS, as well as CastleRock.

WCW was on TNT, under the Warner Bros banner. Like how TNA is under the Viacom banner.

Time Warner owned Warner Bros, so, they could kill off all TV deals on TNT and WCW period. So, Time Warner owned everything they were killing off, so no outside force could stop it.

When AOL didn't want WCW, Vince McMahon, obviously it's biggest rival, and excellent business man, bought up all of WCW. Anything WCW was now Vinny Mac's, and he got it for a mere few million dollars. This included most of the contracts, all of it's library, and rights of all kind.

This is why some of the WCW names came into WWE, then you saw some leave within a year or two. Vince kept some on board like Booker T and DDP for instance, but only did so for business reasons. He could kill off their WCW contract if he wanted. But, seeing as he didn't have to pay it if he chose not to, he really just killed off many deals and re-signed them to WWE contracts.

Some made deals with Time Warner, and because AOL still owned it, they had to pay off all the contracts these WCW guys had with Time Warner. Guys like Kevin Nash said he sat home for a year drawing money because he made his deal with Time Warner and not WCW.

Smart move by Nash.

But, you see TNA is different than that of WCW. They can't just up and sell off, unless they want to do so. And with their hatred for WWE, it's highly unlikely they'll sell to anyone, especially Vince McMahon.

TNA is owned mostly by Panda Energy and Dixie Carter, but mostly Panda Energy. Jeff Jarrett sold most of it off for business reasons. However, he does have a minority ownership.

Like I mentioned earlier, he probably would have to be dealt with if his contract calls upon it. If not, and Panda Energy feels it's not making money, they could sell it off if they chose to do so, but Jarrett and Dixie would have a say in it being sold most likely.

Because Viacom has TNA on it's Spike TV Channel, they'd probably have first dibs on buying it. Like how Turner owned TNT and WCW. Whoever TNA did sell to if it wasn't Viacom, would have whatever TV deal with them that they had left on the Spike TV contract. Because they recently renewed that deal, whoever bought it, say today, would have a few years left on that Viacom deal.

And unless both parties wanted to cut that deal, whoever bought it would have whatever is left on that TV deal. Now, obviously Viacom wouldn't have to renew the deal.

WWE is owned by Vince McMahon and is publicly traded, however Vince remains it's majority owner. However, he does everything under the NBC Universal banner. He could never do anything to end that relationship simply because it draws incredible money for both WWE and NBC.

However, NBC Universal probably wouldn't like WWE operating a show under a Viacom banner seeing as they are cable rivals. Obviously Vince would have to pay off the Viacom deal. Viacom would keep TNA on Thursday night in it's current primetime slot because it does get good ratings for them. They may not be massive ratings, but they are good enough to keep them at the timeslot they are in.

NBC hated that SmackDown was on the CW, but the WWE couldn't help that the WB bought UPN. UPN was not a threat to NBC Universal, so they allowed WWE to keep SD! on the network. When their CW deal expired, WWE moved to MyNetwork TV.

MyNetwork TV is what took UPN's channel slot on many American markets, however, some cable systems didn't have it. This is why NBC didn't care for it being on the network, seeing as Vince McMahon wanted a show on regular non-cable television.

However, after the Digital Transition, many decided to get cable/satellite, and now around 70% of Americans have that in their home. And that has been going up every year.

So, Vince saw a better channel in SyFy, under the NBC Universal banner, who'd be a better fit and obviously help take SD! to new heights, so, he moved the show to SyFy.

Now, all WWE products are under the NBC Universal banner. That's not to say WWE stars to not guest star on other programs non-NBC Universal. But, all major operations stay there. This is why WWE doesn't have a show on a major network like FX for instance.

So, business-wise if Vince wanted to buy TNA, he could speak to Panda Energy and probably get them to convince Jeff and company to sell. But, TNA currently is not losing millions and all of their issues are killing them.

If Vince waited until their deal with Spike ended, he wouldn't have to pay off the millions the TV deal has currently on it to remove TNA from it's programming. And, he could get a product worth far less than it is right now, as we are seeing the beginning of the end in many ways currently.

Unless TNA doesn't clean up their act, they'll be worth less as every day passes. Which makes anyone who wants to buy them happier, because they won't pay as much for them.

So, to answer the question asked, when will WWE buy TNA?

If they wanted to, sure, they could buy it right now if the owners said OK. But, they'd pay more to kill off TV deals, contracts, and pay more for the promotion. A promotion with a TV deal is worth more without, so, if TNA currently does not have a deal upon the time WWE wants to buy, they will pay less.

Business-wise, it's better for WWE to wait at least a few years once Spike TV's contract with TNA ends.

But hey, we don't even know if Vinny Mac even cares to buy it, so, don't get your hopes up.

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