Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins was on with Dave LaGreca and Doug Mortman on Sirius XM's Busted Open, Sirius 94, XM 208. Here are some highlights from the interview with Corgan, who is launching Resistance Pro Wrestling on November 25th.
On going national:
I want a national promotion. I want a promotion that can run on national TV.
Now, it's interesting though. I think there's a dichotomy because some of these guys; The Steens, The Briscos, The Nechrobutchers, The Colt Cobanas, El Generico. I mean It kind of all plays into both sides, I mean telling the tale. I mean there's nobody better right now than Kevin Steen. We think he's brilliant. There's nobody better than El Generico. We think he's an amazing storyteller, and somebody that easily could've gone to the next level to let's say a TNA or even a WWE at some point, but these are also guys that at ROH, they take incredible risks, and I've seen Kevin Steen go through 3 ladders, and a table all on the same spot. So, I'm sure there's some things that maybe you want to teach these guys or show these guys that they need to control or even alter as they go forward to stay healthy as you were talking about before.
My argument is, and I've had these conversations with some of the wrestlers I know personally, and of course my partners. That stuff only should be involved if it involves the storyline. My biggest argument against some of the independent promotions which I'm a fan of, and I go to the shows, so it's not like I'm talking like I don't know, is if it doesn't have an angle to it, what's the point other than the HOLY s--t FACTOR!, right?
I've been to ROH shows where the athleticism is so incredible. I mean, I jump out of my seat because I'm like, "How is that even possible?" Believe me, I pop for that stuff too! But from the side of the fence that I'm on now, not just as a fan, but as somebody who's responsible on some level. Because at the end of the day, they're going to make those decisions for themselves, you know what I mean? I'm not going to be telling people what to do on that level. That's why they're the creative people just like I don't want people to tell me how to write my songs, right?
But if there are people doing things in our ring that don't have a reason other than just that pure need to adrenalize, I think that's a disservice to them, their longevity, and will ultimately be a disservice to my promotion. There are promotions out there that that is their calling card. That is their business. I support them if they think that is what they need to do. In our promotion, we're going to be more storyline, angle-based. I would say hopefully, our talent is going to take less punishment, and get over more. Now I have to prove myself right, and I have to prove the public right, and let's see if I can do that. And if I can, then I can say, "See, this is a good thing!" At the end of the day, if the fans are going to another promotion because they'd like to see that kind of athleticism, just for the pure athleticism of it, then I'll tip my hat and say, "You know better than me!" But I've watching wrestling now for 40 years, and if you ask me what are your favorite angles? What are your favorite moments? It doesn't involve a guy doing a 630 corkscrew. It involves the moment where somebody turns on somebody, and you go, Oh my god! I can't believe that just happened!" That's the way I remember it.
On the direction of his company:
I think the first thing that we would emphasize is that wrestling still matters to a real wrestling fan. I mean, we all know it's fake, right? No one's under any illusions anymore. It's the ability of these incredibly gifted and talented people to suck you into where you forget what you're watching, and you think, "wow, who's going to win this contest?" And then you start thinking how are they going to win? When you watch Randy Orton, who in my estimation is one of the best storytellers in the world right now, I don't care if it's real, fake or not. He's from another planet. I just get totally sucked into the way he tells that story. So, we kind of want to go back a little bit old school into slowing it down a bit into telling a little bit more of an old school -style story, but at the same time, we're in 2011 going into 2012. We want to use social media in a different way. We want the product to come across in a fresh and entertaining way. Just like ECW, we need to push boundaries and barriers. So, to me, take the old school values about how to work, how to draw the crowd in, how to really make fans of your promotion, and at the same time, really be on the cutting Edge of where your promotion can go. Because of my access in the entertainment world, there's opportunities there for us that probably most people would never have a chance to. And I'm excited because it's a way to get a lot of people over maybe that don't fit in in certain ways, and I think that's my job at the end of the day is to help some of these great, talented people get over in a different way.
How he got started in wrestling:
Because of the early days of cable in the early 80's we started getting Georgia Championship Wrestling. So, you know, Flair, Anderson. So, I also got to see those guys in their prime as a kid. Now I understand that Flaire's a legend and in my estimation, maybe even the greatest wrestler of all time. But as a kid, you're like who is this guy? I got the pop for Ric Flair before I knew who Ric Flair really was. I grew up on all that. I grew up with a real love for the business, but then when I got cool and alternative in my late teens & early 20's. I thought, that's kids stuff, I'm not into that anymore. Then towards the end of the 90's, I remember I was flipping channels one night about 3 O'clock in the morning, and on the Sunshine Network, and there was ECW. I thought what the heck is this? I'd never seen wrestling like that. It reminded me of what I loved about wrestling, but at the same time I thought, "Wow, this is really different." Then of course the Attitude Era. Stone Cold, The Rock, all in their prime. Incredible promos! Mick Foley. All these guys that are all legends of course & it really rekindled my love of the wrestling business. Started going to ECW shows behind the scenes. Started to get to know the guys in the WWE etc. Became friends with certain people; became more intimately involved in the business. So, it's been sort of a decade in the making that I would have my own promotion.
Well, I met Chris probably right around the time he was figuring out that he had a serious problem. He had been a Smashing Pumpkins fan. So, we would talk backstage, but this was when he was injured of course, but he was hoping to return at that point. I would see him maybe 3 months later, still wasn't active again. What are you doing, how you doing? "Oh man, it's horrible. I got headaches every other day, I've gotta sit in a dark room." I mean I saw him at his lowest. Now fast forward 8-9 years. He's at the forefront of bringing the concussion issue to the mainstream. He is forcing the NFL to change their policies. He soon will be forcing the NHL to change their policies. I've hooked him up with some people that I know in the NBA. This is something that needs to change. Concussions are just as serious as a knee injury, but it's harder to diagnose, and it's probably a little easier to look the other way. If a guy's limping, well he can't get back in the game. If the guy's got his bell rung, that's a little bit harder to tell. There was a game recently where Vick had maybe had a concussion, and they brought him back in, and The Eagles said he wasn't concussed, and then the other team was mad. This stuff's all got to come to light because look at what's happened. Chris Benoit, who I was a fan of, and certainly was a friend of some of my friends in the wrestling business who looked up to him as a good person and a talented person. Chris Nowinski told me that Benoit's brain, when they got it at the brain bank for the sports legacy; he had the brain of an 80-year-old guy.