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By Mike Johnson on 2016-10-01 11:06:00

 "The plunge into this pit I had avoided by the merest of accidents, and I knew that surprise or entrapment into torment formed an important portion of all the grotesquerie of these dungeon deaths." - The Pit and The Pendulum, Edgar Allen Poe

 The latest on the TNA Bound For Glory PPV and subsequent TV tapings next week that will see the company film through December 2016 is that everything is moving forward and will be taking place as scheduled at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.  Certain disaster has been avoided, for the moment, although staving off disaster is one thing.  Compete safety from it is another.

The New York Post ran an article this morning, citing that an unidentified third party, not Billy Corgan or WWE, provided a cash infusion that is allowing the TNA PPV and tapings to take place.  The article featured Corgan commenting on the events, noting, "It’s a go, as far as I’ve been told."

 Corgan has been quite open in media appearances over the last week in stating that he had the capital to run the shows but wasn't going to put it in unless he was getting something for his money.  He wanted majority ownership and it was quite obvious based on his comments during different appearances that the roads had not been cleared yet for Corgan to achieve that goal.  His comment in The New York Post this morning may very well lend the impression that Corgan and others involved in the convoluted ownership of TNA are not yet on the same page leading into the PPV.

So, the first question that remains to be answered is: who is paying for all this?

The Post article claims that TNA had been in discussions with WWE for WWE to float TNA the funds to run the PPV and TV tapings.  Personally, I don't buy that.  I cannot see a publicly traded company handing a competitor that airs on a competing network from WWE's own television partner NBC Universal, cash so they can have a PPV and TV shows.  WWE did help ECW out in 2000, but that was a completely different scenario where WWE was replacing ECW on TNN (now SpikeTV) and depending on who you believe, Paul Heyman was already working for WWE and/or WWE was being left in an actionable position, so to help ECW try and survive as they looked for a new home, WWE lent them the money.  That loan did end up helping WWE gain the ECW assets when ECW's parent company filed for bankruptcy in 2001, but this was a completely different scenario with a completely different corporate relationship when it came to WWE's TV partnership. 

The landscape even in a year as weird as 2016 has been for pro wrestling, is completely different.  I personally don't believe for a second that WWE is going to be benevolent towards TNA, not when they could just purchase it, gobble it up and use the video library to enhance their DVD and WWE Network offerings.  We know that there were discussions between the two sides, but does anyone really believe that it was for WWE to financially support TNA?  They already have NXT and an entire generation of talent training at the  Performance Center - there is no need to float for a AAA feeder system when you look at it from WWE's perspective.   If WWE wants the footage, they can by it outright or they can wait for the TNA ship to finally run aground and salvage it in bankruptcy court, a la ECW.

I noted in a previous article about TNA that we had to follow the money.  So again, if it's not Corgan (and I certainly don't believe it ever would have been WWE), the question remains, who's money is it?

That is a question that only Dixie Carter can answer.   While Corgan has been as transparent as he can be without getting himself in a legally actionable position as the President of the company, Carter instead is Tweeting out that she "doesn't respond to speculation."  That would be fine if, again, the President of her company wasn't already commenting on it.  Again, signs the sides are not synched.  Could you imagine Stephanie McMahon saying she wouldn't comment on something after Vince McMahon has already spoken on the subject?

In an article I penned several days ago, I stated that the next few days will go a long way towards determining not just the future of TNA but Dixie Carter's legacy.  I noted at the time that if she was able to get the shows to come off, it would be one of the greatest hail marys in professional wrestling history.  I believe that to be the case, but if we are going to credit Carter with the shows taking place in the face of what could have been oblivion, we also want to know how it was accomplished.

That's the second question that should be raised: What deal did Carter make in order for all the moving parts to move again?  The New York Post says it's an "unidentified third party" who is not WWE or Corgan.  Certainly the Carter family would fall under that umbrella.   Did Bob and Janice Carter tap into their personal accounts?  Did Dixie tap into hers?   Did Carter sell another piece of the company in exchange for a cash infusion?  Did she allow Aroluxe to get a bigger piece of the TNA pie and then convince them to move forward?  Did she call Jeff Jarrett and ask him to get Toby Keith on the phone?

The reason it's important to ask who is paying for the shows this weekend is this: previous business moves and decisions made by Carter have led TNA to this point.  So, while the shows will take place over the next week, what were the business moves that had to be made in order for the doors open tomorrow for Bound for Glory....and, most importantly where does any of this leave TNA a week from now when they have all of their TV footage in the can?

It's great TNA will have the PPV - it looks to be a great show on paper- but for those who are heading there to do their jobs, they certainly deserve to know that TNA isn't Wile E. Coyote about to run off the cliff.  

As of this morning, TNA talents are en route to Florida right now.  Based on all we have heard from sources we have spoken with, nothing has been communicated to them about where things stand.  Talents have been given details on when to arrive at Universal Studios tomorrow and that's it.  They deserve to know.

Billy Corgan noted earlier this week that he didn't want to make a deal that would leave TNA back where it started and having to look for "consistent capital" a few months or a year from now.    We know that Corgan didn't make a deal.  We also know that based on his comments this week, it sure sounded like there was, at the very least, as he said, a standoff" among the different sides, one that doesn't appear to have been resolved as we go into this week's PPV and tapings.

So, if Corgan didn't make a deal and the tapings are going to take place, obviously Dixie Carter made a deal of her own....but what was that deal, what led to it being made and what are the ramifications of it for TNA's long-term outlook?  Where does this deal leave the different members of TNA ownership as their "standoff" continues?

Those are the questions that still remain to be answered and no matter who wins the main event of Bound for Glory, until they are answered, TNA remains in the pit as the pendulum swings.

Mike Johnson can be reached at

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