Of all the music stories you didn't think you would read this week, the headline "Billy Corgan Signs with TNA Wrestling" is probably headlock-and-shoulders above the rest. Especially one week after the news that the Pumpkins will be going on an acoustic tour that brings them to Pantages on June 25th. While the former Smashing Pumpkins lead singer may seem like an entirely left field choice for Destination America's Total Nonstop Action's Impact Wrestling program, the medium of professional wrestling is one that Corgan has over a decade of experience with. And we're not just talking licensing Zwan songs for the superstars' entrance themes. Corgan has stepped in-between the ropes as a personality and even cracked a guitar or two over opposing grapplers' heads.
Corgan is expected to begin his tenure as a Senior Producer of creative and talent development for TNA shortly, and to bring you up to speed before he implements his ideas into wrestling exploring storylines covering "race, ethnicity and gender," we decided to bring you up to speed on the Smashing Pumpkins' frontman's history inside the squared circle. This is Billy Corgan's Wrestling Past.
Billy Corgan in ECW - 2000
The year was 2000 AD. After Y2K failed to destroy human civilization, we rejoiced by putting on our finest Jnco jorts, cracking open a Surge and watching the ever popular world of wrestling. With the industry big enough to carry three federations' nationally televised weekly programs, Corgan was contacted by the renegade "third party" of the wrestling world, ECW. A brand built on embracing counter-culture, they'd had celebrity guests ranging from Fred Durst to Jenna Jameson on their programming. When ECW had their shows set for New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, Corgan was the special guest, kicking the event off with a performance of "New York, New York," which in turn lead (as being anywhere near a wrestling ring tends to do) to Corgan being in the middle of wrestler Steve Corino's feud with Justin Credible and Lou E. Dangerously. When Dangerously began berating Corgan to his face, Corgan (in some genuinely great wrestle-acting) acted insulted and responded as any composed adult would: smashing a guitar over Dangerously's head.
Billy Corgan Opens TNA Lockdown Pay-Per-View - 2009
While recently being named as a producer for TNA, Corgan's had a relationship with the company going back at least as far as 2009. For the company's major Lockdown pay-per-view, an annual event featuring three hours of nothing but steel cage matches, that year's incarnation had the prestige of Hall of famers Mick Foley and Sting meeting in the six-sides-of-steel. To further make the moment more special, the company has a special video montage with Corgan open the show, performing a growling version of "Bullet With Butterfly Wings."[page]
Billy Corgan: Wrestling Promoter in Resistance Pro Wrestling - 2012
Being a proud Chicago boy who was also a longtime wrestling fan, it seemed only a matter of time until Corgan found himself operating his own wrestling promotion. Resistance Pro Wrestling, a Midwestern independent which has had numerous past-and-future WWE talents on its roster, was founded by Corgan with brothers Jacques and Gabe Baron. Corgan spoke of making the promotion more focused on the stripped down tough guys with grudges style of wrestling in the 70s, but updated with the health of the performers in mind. Corgan left the promotion in November of last year.
Billy Corgan: Wrestling Talking Head in Barbed Wire City - 2013
As the world was getting used to Billy Corgan: Wrestling Promoter, it soon began to emerge how he was at one point approached to purchase the now-defunct ECW back around the time he was making his appearances for the company. Appearing in the 2013 documentary Barbed Wire City, Corgan has an interesting take on the business, both with his understanding and admiration for it as a performer, as well as the lifelong joy he's received from its sheer spectacle.
Billy Corgan: Wrestling Furniture Salesman - 2013
Corgan's Resistance Pro Wrestling was actually slated for an AMC reality series about the behind-the-scenes activity in running its operations. Unfortunately, when the network scrapped their entire reality programming division late last year, Corgan's untitled wrestling project was among the casualties. His time with Resistance did manage to give us some memorable television though, thanks to this unforgettable commercial for Walter E. Smith furniture.
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