Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan Talks His Passion for Pro Wrestling!

Matthew HesterSenior Writer ISeptember 1, 2010

In what may come to a shock to some fans of the Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan is a huge pro wrestling fan.

He recently did a spot with AAA. During his promo, he was interrupted by Hernandez and Alex Kozlov. Of course, this was a work, but it just goes to show you that even some stars love rasslin.

He did an interview and discussed a variety of subjects. He talked about the angle with Hernandez and Kozlov. He also surprised me at just how knowledgeable of a fan he was. He talked about his days growing up in Chicago, his favorite wrestlers, and more.

Here are some of the quotes from the interview with Billy Corgan.


Corgan on wrestling itself:

"Wrestling is one of those things that, to the mainstream culture, it's misunderstood," said Corgan this past Sunday morning in an exclusive interview with

"The average person has no problem suspending their disbelief for Bruce Willis in "Die Hard," but the fact that wrestling is sort of live and came out of this carnival culture, it's sort of this tainted thing. I'm constantly trying to explain to people what I find fascinating about professional wrestling and why it's a high art form."


Corgan on the run in from Kozlov and Hernandez:

"I thought it would be cool to have some of the AAA stars do a run-in. I reached out to my good friend Jeremy Borash of TNA and asked, 'Do you know anybody there?'"

"He said that one of his good friends was "Moody" [Melendez] the booker and he put me in touch with Moody," Corgan said. "I realized how big of a surprise it could be. I know how big the Luchadors are in Mexican culture and it would totally pop the crowd to have them come out."

"So, I got in touch with Moody and then," Corgan said laughing, "It was all downhill from there."


On being attacked by Hernandez:

"Well, I didn't really let them know until the day of the show because I know how these things work... somebody in the chain [of command] could shut it down. At one point, MTV came back and was asking, 'What are you guys going to do?' and I said, 'they are kind of going to come out' ... I knew that if they were told what we were going to do, they probably wouldn't have let us do it."

"I was concerned because I didn't really tell them what we were going to do," Corgan said.

"If I had told them Hernandez was going to jack me up in the air, I know they would have said no. So, we just went ahead and did it. Afterward, I had to go and meet with all the MTV brass and do a press conference and whatnot. So, you know, you are kind of walking down the hallway going, 'OK, here it comes' but they were all, 'Oh, we loved it. That was so cool' and everyone was totally happy," Corgan said.

"For MTV, in Mexico particularly, they got massive press the next day," Corgan said. "I can see the paper right here and on the front page of the entertainment section is me and La Parka and Mesias and Extreme Tiger all with our hands in the air. Just massive press in Mexico."


Corgan’s roots as a wrestling fan:

"When I was a kid, I still don't know the name of the promotion. I think it was Bob Luce Promotion in Chicago. I grew up with Baron Von Raschke, Dick The Bruiser, The Crusher, Bob Brazil...sort of a lot of guys towards the end of their career and we also used to get, on cable, whatever it was back in the day, the NWA with Ric Flair and Arn Anderson and all those guys."

"So, I grew up on all that and I thought it was so much fun and of course, back then I didn't realize that it wasn't real," Corgan said. "I thought it was real back when I was a kid."

"I sort of fell out of love with it as a teen. One night when I was recording a Smashing Pumpkins record towards the end of the 1990s, I was flipping channels and came across "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and it brought back everything that I loved about wrestling as a kid, but there it was in a modern context. It was something that I could understand and appreciate as an adult and I got sucked in by "Stone Cold" and The Rock."

"Late one night, I came across—I think they were on The Sunshine Network—ECW at about 1 o'clock in the morning and I remember watching that and thinking, 'Oh my God, this is exactly what I've been looking for," Corgan said.


Corgan talks about his first ECW and how it impacted his career:

"After the ECW angle, MTV ran [that story.] It absolutely hurt my career; [treating it as if] I had lost my mind. It absolutely treated me like I was Andy Kaufman, in that type of way, but I didn't care because the one thing I love about wrestling and the people I come into contact with [in wrestling]...there's a lot of honor."

"There's a lot of craziness that goes on behind the scenes, but there's a lot of honor," Corgan said. "That kind of honor, amongst the peers of wrestling, is exactly what's lacking in my business—the music business, so I take a lot of pride in my relationships in wrestling because I think they oftentimes do things the right way."

"I don't want to say wrestling's the underdog. Vince McMahon runs a billion dollar company so he's hardly an underdog, but I like the rebellious attitude of wrestling. The nature of it. I like that it makes fun of things in the way that it does. It takes on all sorts of things in a very interesting way. Wrestling is at the forefront of a lot of cultural tension and that's sort of sociological stuff."

"At the end of the day, it's just a lot of fun," Corgan said. "I couldn't give a f*ck. I just wanted to have fun. I've really enjoyed my connection to wrestling and I've done everything in my power to bring glory and more respect to something I really love, passionately."


Corgan on the state of wrestling today

"As a fan, I can't stand the way some things are booked and the way certain people are used, especially when they are in the prime of their career and their assets aren't being fully taken advantage of.

"Who knows?

 Maybe things are changed forever and you'll never see that wide open era of the late 1990s and 2000s where they would hand someone like The Rock a microphone and he could just go out and cut a promo or even a Shane Douglas who was a great promo guy —guys who could just go out and let it rip."


Corgan on being at last year’s WrestleMania:

"I was in the fourth row. To be able to watch guys work at that level—it's a work of art. I don't care what anyone in the mainstream culture thinks. To see two guys that are just so gifted at what they do work at that supreme level, particularly with each other, in trust."

"Incredible. Just incredible. I was totally honored to be there for that match. That's something that gets lost a lot of time in the Indies with all the highspots. I love the highspots too, but when you see guys work like that, at that level, it's unbelievable.... when you think about two guys in their 40s, with all the years under their belt and all the road trips and all the bullsh*t they had to put up with in their lives—and there they are with 70,000 people in the palm of their hands."

"That's unbelievable. I'm 43. I've put my miles in on the road and I know what they've been through—at least from my perspective. I know how much it means to those guys to reach that moment in their career. That's a peak moment, especially for them."

"To be able to see that, and to know what it means to them and to see them pull it off on the biggest stage at the biggest moment, it's incredible. That's when it's great to be a wrestling fan. When you are able to be in that moment."


To read the whole interview click here


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