NWA owner and promoter Billy Corgan appeared on Busted Open Radio. Corgan explained his wrestling philosophy, believing that wrestling has swung so far in one direction that the old has become the new.
“I’m kind of reaching a point where, to me, the old school is the new school,” Corgan said. “Professional wrestling has swung so far in the other direction. I can’t believe I’m actually making a case that the tradition that existed for seventy or eighty years is the future. But I’m a firm believer. And I have a lot of meetings with people behind the scenes who feel very disconnected by the current wrestling product on television. And I don’t necessarily mean that as criticism. Every company that’s successful at the top level is doing what they think is best to best serve their fans. But traditionally professional wrestling was a very mainstream product. And many people have made the case in the last ten years, as wrestling has kind of marched off in different directions, you’ve left a lot of the common people standing on the sidelines, wondering what happened to the ‘wrasslin’ they grew up with.
“I’m not trying to bring that back, I’m just looking around going ‘you mean no one is doing this? At this level?’ I don’t want to speak for Bully (Ray) but I think he and I believe that what we believe in is the thing. Yes you can do other things but at the end of the day, the guy in mainstream America is gonna pay for a Trevor Murdoch and a Nick Aldis all day long. You don’t have to convince them of anything. You just have to listen to them talk, see them stand there, and there’s your match up. You don’t have to believe a bunch of stuff that you have to follow eighteen things down the rabbit hole. So I just, I can’t believe I’m saying that, I feel the old school is the new school.”
Co-host Bully Ray went on to ask Corgan where he sees the NWA a year from now. Corgan instead talked about where he saw the NWA five to seven years from now, as well as calling for all the promotions, including NWA’s partner AEW, to come together to take on WWE.
“Well let me start here,” Corgan said. “First of all, and I feel like the little guy running around ringing the bell. It’s gonna be a hot second here, but pretty quickly, all the non WWE forces out there are going to figure out there at play are going to figure out, if they work together, you can topple the giant. Now you might not topple them to the ground, but you can bring them to the knee. And that has not been a possibility for over twenty years. It’s been twenty plus years since the WWE had real competition. Now if you want to say AEW vs. WWE I can respect that, but I think WWE would beg to differ on the bottom line part of it all. But if you want to talk about a public perception, where you let this wrestling revolution of the last five years really kick in. And they let talents like yourself, Bully, or Mark Henry step up into this new vacuum, which Triller is also creating with the fight club model. And suddenly you can offer fans matchups that are complete dream matchups, and can rival WrestleMania on any given night? I think it will blow this industry wide apart, in a good way.
“And I think Tony Khan is very smart. He’ll figure that out pretty soon. Now he might be in the catbird seat and think he doesn’t need anybody, but I think he’s going to quickly figure out if he can get everybody under the same tent, and he’s got a lot of people under the same tent already. I’m working with Tony, Impact’s working with Tony, New Japan’s working with Tony. I don’t think there’s any hostility between Tony and Ring of Honor. You put all the non WWE players at the table and one night, how does the world not stop and watch for that one night? That’s a mind blowing concept that wouldn’t have been possible five years ago. So to answer your question, I think the NWA is just kind of playing the wave that’s coming. But, and as I’ve said to Tony privately, our product is what it is. We’re going straight up the middle. And I know there’s a lot of wrestling fans that like what’s going on. All power to you. I’m going to ride the bet that the old school is the new school. And when all is said and done, it might be five years, it might be seven years. There’s going to be a new player at the table and it’s going to be the NWA. Because a mainstream broadcasting platform is going to look and say ‘if you can deliver this quality with this level of consistency to this wide an audience, well here’s a seat at the table.’ Cause I don’t have to sell them anything. You just look at the history, look at the brand and look at what you’re presenting. As long as you can figure it out behind the scenes, then you’re good to go.”
With AEW’s Serena Deeb recently holding the NWA Women’s World Championship and NWA star Thunder Rosa appearing regularly in AEW, the question was posed as to whether NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis will wrestle any AEW talent. Corgan revealed he has pitched a match between Aldis and Kenny Omega, though he’s really hoping for a rematch between Aldis and Cody Rhodes.
“I’ve pitched it to Tony a few times,” Corgan said. “It’s Tony’s world, I respect him for what he’s building. But yeah. And look, I’ll say it again; Nick vs. Cody Rhodes for a third time. That is an epic, epic match up waiting to happen. I saw it happen twice in front of my eyes. And when you combine Cody with the NWA World Heavyweight Champion and that history, I’m sorry, I saw a look on Cody’s face that I’ve only seen when he was fighting for that title. You cannot tell me that history doesn’t mean something to him.
“I mean, his father’s nickname is tattooed across his chest for a reason. When you’re dad is Dusty Rhodes, I’m sorry. I get goosebumps just talking about the thing. So I hope we see Cody and Nick down the road at some point. Because that to me is just, it’s waiting. It’s just waiting.”
Wrestling Inc. will have live coverage of NWA’s When Our Shadows Fall PPV this Sunday.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open Radio and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription