On Tuesday’s edition of Super Powerrr, NWA owner Billy Corgan announced the launch of new show, Carnyland, to start airing in the Powerrr timeslot of 6:05pm ET on YouTube.
But what actually is Carnyland? Mr Corgan would give very little away, advising that the show was almost impossible to describe. He did drop the interesting tidbit, however, that it was an idea they originally had when they first bought the company.
Any new show the company makes is obviously going to be dictated by the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of the form it takes. Whilst this doesn’t help us to work out what the show is, we can most likely rule out live TV or in-ring action.
So, with nothing more than a name, a logo and a twitter account to go on, let’s see if we can hazard a few guesses at what we might be able to expect from Carnyland.
A Social Distancing, Wrestling Soap Opera
The difficulty in running a wrestling promotion during a health pandemic is that for the safety of the wrestlers and the crew, most promotions can’t run shows with new in-ring action.
If you take out the in-ring action from wrestling, what does that leave you? Essentially a soap opera with some damn fine talkers taking care of business.
We’ve already seen other promotions feature their wrestlers cutting promos from home. There’s even Being the Elite. Could Carnyland be built on this concept, fashioning a kind of high-testosterone soap opera out of homebound promos? It would certainly help to keep feuds on the boil, if nothing else.
A Documentary Series on the Carny Origins of Pro Wrestling
This one is less likely, considering how much value the NWA rightly put on respecting tradition, but the title ‘Carnyland’ puts me in mind of the good old days of grappling being a fixture at carnivals and funfairs, my own cultural example being Bobby Baron’s famous wrestling shows at Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach (where a certain William Regal cut his teeth).
A documentary series on the carny origins of pro wrestling is a really good idea, but considering the NWA always presented themselves as the serious, organised and sporting side of pro wrestling, with world champions having to be voted in by committee, it wouldn’t make sense for the NWA to make that show. It would also, contrary to Billy Corgan’s description, be easy to describe.
A Wrestling Analysis/Talk Show
WWE’s Backstage programme for Fox has proven that it is possible to run an analysis and interview based programme during a lockdown, even if the public desire for such a show is questionable. Could we see the NWA follow in a similar format?
The difference with WWE, I guess, is that they are still running live programming and in-ring action and so they still have events they can talk about. NWA, meanwhile, is not in a similar position. Could they adapt the formula to make something more tailored, more suited to their situation at the moment? They could bring in a Ten Pounds of Gold vibe and show/discuss people’s backstories, let us in to the lives of the people behind the grapplers.
I’d watch that, and I’m sure others would too.
Fantasy Wrestling with Audience Participation
Could William Corgan be the ultimate carny? Could he put the booking into his audience’s hands and sit back as he reaps the rewards and the views?
Carnyland could possibly work as a fantasy wrestling show, with Corgan presenting us with the options and potential talent and matches and allowing the audience over the following week to vote in and leave on social media their booking choices. The NWA could take the most popular opinions and present them the next week on the show.
It would really bring the NWA fan community, already close knit, even more tightly together and the fan interaction element would be really unique and fun.
How would they present the action? That I don’t know, but they do have a relationship with the Retromania makers…
Rock ‘n’ Wrestling – Grunge Style!
Wrestling is, of course, not the only thing William Patrick Corgan is known for. As the main man for The Smashing Pumpkins, he has been one of alternative rock’s figurehead’s for almost 30 years now.
Rock music itself has played a big part in Corgan’s NWA, with Dokken’s ‘Into the Fire’ playing a massive role in making their Powerrr show such an appealing proposition (since replaced with Pantera, a further link in the rock chain).
Could we see some sort of fusion between Mr Corgan’s wrestling and rock interests? And how would it work? I don’t know, but there’s certainly an interesting idea in there.
What format do you think Carnyland is going to take? Let me know your ideas in the comments!