NWA Powerrr’s David Lagana talks NWA business model; working with WWE
This week on Prime Time with Sean Mooney podcast, we welcomed NWA Vice President, David Lagana to talk about the rise of NWA Powerrr, their unique business model, his time as as a WWE writer, his relationship with Vince and Stephanie, and more! Below are a few snippets that you may find particularly interesting.
On NWA’s business model: “This is not a sustainable model. Meaning spending what we spend per episode, and putting it on YouTube…. I’ll be transparent; the production is not being paid for right now on YouTube money alone. But what has happened since we launched was, the audience has grown so quickly, that we are a lot closer to being sustainable than when we started.
Paying for this is ticket sales, merch and YouTube ad money. Our breaks will evolve…as long as it fits the genre, and we produce the content so it fits inside of our world, this show can be a marketing tool to anyone who wants to sell to this kind of audience.”
On talent needing to fit the NWA format: “I said to everybody, ‘You’re all here for a reason. You were all selected, or have a relationship with us because, very much like Moneyball, everybody that’s here can execute in this format.’ We don’t have a lot of six star pro wrestling guys. It’s just not this format; and because the market is over-saturated, between NXT and AEW and WWE, they’re all doing sort of the same genre of wrestling. So, we went with – and Eli Drake said it, and Nick said it – we went with men; like real men that, when I started watching wrestling, these were the type of men that were on television. Star-looking talents. Eddie Kingston looks like a guy you would see sitting at the end of the bar, that you don’t want to F with. Everybody has a touch of something that’s familiar.
I’ve had probably 500 people reach out, wanting to be on this show, and what I say is ‘We work off strong recommendations, of talents that are on our show, that would put their name on the line, saying ‘This person’s can’t miss’ or ‘This person deserves a chance’. And you have to be able to talk.”
On Stephanie McMahon running for political office: “I see someday, like her (Stephanie) mother, she’ll run for political office someday. She is in her early 40s, a mother of three daughters, and has worked in successful businesses. She’s a great brand ambassador. She’s a very unique human, and she’s just about to start whatever the next journey of her life would be. She obviously has the skill set to do a lot in this world.”
On Vince’s reaction to John Cena’s XFL promo at Wrestlemania XIX: “I remember John was the first person to mention the XFL in a negative tone in that company. It was 2003, and the pain was still fresh. It was actually WrestleMania. He did it on Heat, and I remember, this goes to the ‘Vince would like to see you’. That WrestleMania, Gorilla was in either center field or right field, and Vince’s office was on third base, and so it was a 20 minute walk, to Vince’s office. There he is, he’s wrestling that night, and he’s f***ing jacked up, he’s in his black pants and his wifebeater, and he goes ‘What the hell was that XFL line?’ and he goes ‘From now on, I need to know everything he’s gonna say’. No problem. I took it on the chin, and went back to John, and we learned.”