Billy Corgan and Dave Lagana were recently interviewed on Not Sam Wrestling in which they discussed how NWA Powerrr is already close to being to being profitable, maintaining control over the product and why they do not need a TV network behind them.
Below are the highlights, transcribed courtesy of 411Mania.
Billy Corgan: “The message I got from it [the wrestling bubble] in the beginning was, well, if you’re not going to blow money, we’re not that interested. In essence, blowing money equals activity. And I’m like, ‘But I just came from a situation of someone blowing money and you see where that went.’ Back to the TNA thing for a second, think of the amount of money that TNA actually spent through the years, I don’t know how much they spent as a company, a couple of hundred million? For a brand name they kept trying to change but would never pull the trigger. They had incredible opportunities to actually move forward in the market and seemed to blow themselves up every time they would actually get some traction. So the idea that blowing money equals some sort of success, so we kind of had to weather that first storm of like, what is it.”
Dave Lagana: “If we would have booked a 4000 seat arena and papered it and done just what everybody else did, I don’t think it would’ve had that impact. And as much as it’s retro, he said it to me last week, on last week’s show, this show feels like it’s Instagram, where you’re literally segment-by-segment going through, and it’s designed that way. As retro as it is, we live in a communication world where people watch things 30 seconds to 90 seconds to 2 minutes at a time, and only our main event is longer than a normal segment.”
Dave Lagana: “It’s like the Russo crash TV, it’s not that, and everyone has their opinion on Vince, Vince did a lot of very good, unique things in the 90s, and I think the format does always need to evolve. So here we took a format from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and everyone is like, ‘Oh, it’s an old school format,’ yeah, but it’s run at a 2020 pace.”
Billy Corgan: “Go back and watch an old Georgia Championship Wrestling and watch the pace of that show. Everybody who thinks this is retro, you’ll learn in about five minutes it ain’t that.”
Dave Lagana: “There are a lot of very talented YouTubers who are making a lot of money. And our growth on the platform, I gave him some predictions on numbers as we keep growing, we do, every episode has done over 200,000 viewers, we have 150,000 subscribers.”
Dave Lagana: “We don’t have an office, we don’t have a this, we don’t have a that, we don’t have a Chief Marketing Officer, we do it all. Because as we scale, this product, we’re so much closer than people think to being a very scalable product. I ran the numbers for him on Powerrr, I was like we’re maybe six months away from really being profitable on this show, on our own, without having to take an investment from anybody, and it may even be faster than that.”
Billy Corgan: “It will be interesting to see if we can find ourselves in a place where we don’t need a network to support us. If we can create a, if you remember when TNA first started with Jarrett they were running the PPV model, which I was interested in just from a consumer point of view, it was like whatever, $3 to watch an episode or whatever, and I would watch a lot of them, because I wanted to support the idea that they were trying to do something different as far as the market place, so I think we are in the same position, where we might be in a situation where we can continue to grow the NWA, be able to do live shows, and not actually have to serve any particular master as far as a network would go. I talked to somebody quite powerful recently whose name I won’t drop but they were talking about whether I wanted to be on a network and I said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t want to give up all the freedom that I have, I love the freedom that I have,’ and they joked, ‘But yeah, it’d be nice to get that check,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, well I don’t see anybody throwing around that kind of money.’ Even from what we know about the Tony Khan deal, he’s heavily invested in his side of the deal with Turner, and that’s what most of the deals that are available out there is you’ve got to come in with some serious capital or some serious cash because networks just aren’t going to write those checks anymore because they’d rather have a show that they have total control over and total IP on, where wrestling is always a bit of a weird thing for a network because like, who are we in business with and we got all these independent talents and this old construct of the independent contractors. So yeah, when I’ve done network deals, all they care about is their IP because what they want to be able to do is turn to their boss and explain to them how they’re going to make money off all the mugs, and t-shirts, and all that type stuff. So not having complete control on IP, that’s why anybody entering the market, including Tony Khan, is going to learn the one thing that Vince McMahon figured out 35 years ago, where if you don’t have enough social brand leverage in the market place, you cannot control the market place like Vince has controlled it all these years. Whether it’s AEW, whether it’s the NWA, whether it’s Sam Roberts Wrestling, we’re all going to have to figure out how to create a new economy because that network economy is very difficult to navigate if you don’t have the history and the leverage and the cash flow that Vince does.”