It’s no secret that pro wrestling influences many things from pop culture to even other sports. One of those sports is MMA and specifically the Ultimate Fighting Championship. There are aspects of UFC that are seemingly taken directly from pro wrestling and fans of both sports have noticed.
NWA President Billy Corgan pointed out the paraelles between wrestling and UFC in a recent interview with the Remotely Interested Wrestling podcast.
“You’ll see it with UFC matchups – they don’t work babyface-heel. Sometimes, they work heel-heel,” said Corgan. “Some of the biggest matches are heel-heel. Just guys cutting the sh*t out of each other. Look at Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and [Conor] McGregor – I mean who is the baby face in that? To their fans they’re baby faces but from a wrestling point they are both heels?”
Corgan is coming upon his two-year anniversary as NWA’s owner and he admits the first two years have been more about developing NWA into his own vision. He talked about being patient in building out the company and stressed that how the company looks now isn’t necessarily how it will look in the future.
“It’s very hard for people to understand. And, I don’t mean it in any condescending way? If you’re gonna truly grow a business, there are things you are going to do that you are just gonna have to accept in Year 2, you are not going to do in Year 6,” stated Corgan. “But, if you do it right in Year 2 you are going to get to Year 6?
“You know, we have had very good partnership relationships with Ring of Honor and stuff like that where we have been able to use their stage and to work within their world. So, this is a big thing. Now, we are stepping out on our own stage. It took a long time to get here. I could have blown this money right out the door. And, we could have done exactly what we are doing. But, it took this much time to actually build the relationships with talent even or talent to buy into the idea of like why would I sign with you as opposed to another company when I could be on national TV, even though I am making less money? to explain to talent this is a different vision here.”
Under Corgan, NWA is embracing the old-school presentation of wrestling that many other promotions are shying away from.
“We think there’s a balance point between what’s called the traditional value of wrestling, which never gets old, and then an innovative position which I think only I would take on. And, we think in that balance point – and where we have shown flashes of it ? we think we can not only exist as a standalone brand within the market? We are going back to the old school Saturday morning format? No ring entrances. No music. Old school,” said Corgan.
“We want the rough and tumble atmosphere.”