As more and more brave individuals speak out about abuse, the wrestling landscape continues to change irrevocably.
We have seen once beloved wrestlers become hated pariahs due to their contemptible actions coming to light. In other cases, a cloud of suspicion has been cast over those within the industry as as yet unsubstantiated accusations have been levied at scores of performers and executives.
One such individual to have been accused of sexual impropriety is the now former Vice President of NWA, Dave Lagana.
It is very important to note that Mr. Lagana has vehemently denied the allegations made against him, but even with that denial he has still stepped down from his role within NWA.
During his time with the company, Lagana helped to breathe life back into the long since deceased alliance. His forward-thinking tactics when it came to the promotion and utilisation of YouTube to get the buzz going saw a surge in popularity that allowed Powerrr to take the weekly wrestling world by (Tim) storm. The result was the NWA making a name for itself once more and becoming a home to one of the more impressive rosters in wrestling.
With Lagana now gone the question becomes what NWA can do to keep the ball rolling going forwards?
That question may never actually get answered as the company is no longer running events after what has transpired. Surely they plan to return in due course, but the recent release of NWA World Television Champion Zicky Dice could point to the beginning of a snowball effect over in Carnyland.
Reportedly, NWA top brass sent out an email to talent stating that they are free to request their release if they don’t agree with the company’s vision for the future.
While they are subject to a non-disparagement agreement, which will stop more bad press circulating for the time being, the loss of any roster members will be a huge blow from which it could be hard to recover.
It is an aging roster and young guns are more likely looking to AEW and Japan for their opportunities, giving them license to pursue that might be disastrous.
Should disaster be avoided however, there is one clear name to step up and take total control of operations moving forwards: Billy Corgan.
The Smashing Pumpkins frontman came out of nowhere with Resistance Pro Wrestling and later as an executive for Impact. Despite being a career musician, he clearly had an aptitude for pro-wrestling that very few possess. Despite the tumultuous time with Impact, Billy went on to purchase NWA in 2017 and has been a literal saviour to the brand.
All of the praise previously heaped upon Lagana also has to be bestowed upon Billy. His vision for a return to the glory days of studio wrestling resonated with a large section of fans who flocked to the revived promotion.
It is thanks to Billy that the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship means something again. It may not be what is was in 1979, but he has positioned Nick Aldis to speed Sweet Charlotte there like a bullet with butterfly wings.
His background in the music industry could make him the perfect man to continue Lagana’s work with the YouTube content too. He understands how to draw the eye of the viewer to a product, and if he has learned metrics such as keywords and metadata then he could easily continue to grow the audience by properly utilising algorithms.
Most important of all is the fact that his employees clearly trust and respect him as a leader. That is invaluable, especially in this business. With the loyalty of the roster, Billy can continue to work wonders.
What we may find is that Billy wants a second in command to help mould ideas and oversee areas that he perhaps isn’t as strong in. One name that pops to mind is Nick Aldis. The current World Champion has proven his dedication to the NWA time and again, going above and beyond to put the brand over as much as possible. He knows the audience and the roster in great detail, meaning he knows what the best moves are to please everyone.
Aldis may not have experience in this role but some of the best wrestling visionaries have learned on the job. The fact of the matter is you’re not going to find another person who cares as deeply for the NWA as him.
His promos have proven that he is eager to put over the rest of the talent in the back, recognising potential in the likes of Ricky Starks before AEW came calling. He’s young and motivated, exactly the qualities you want in a leader. He’s also my top pick for the role.
There are likely plenty of names that aren’t even on anyone’s radar who would be a good fit as VP.
Whoever does end up taking the reigns will need to be braced for a difficult time ahead. Wrestling is never going to be the same again, and it’s important that industry leaders create the change that is demanded from them.