Billy Corgan has explained why he is confident the NWA can be the “next big company” in wrestling.
Back in the territory days, the National Wrestling Alliance was the biggest company in wrestling, with many regional promotions falling under its umbrella. That all changed as WWE made the decision to expand nationally, buying out or out-competing many of the smaller promotions.
The final blow to the governing body’s dominance came when WCW left in September 1993. While the NWA survived for many years afterward as a partnership between several independent wrestling companies, it was never the same again.
In 2017, Billy Corgan purchased the brand and changed its model to a standalone promotion. Six years later, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman is confident there is space for the promotion to become a major force again, fitting somewhere between WWE and AEW.
Billy Corgan has high hopes for the NWA’s future
During a new interview on Insight with Chris Van Vliet, Corgan explained that he plans to use his mainstream media access to work out the right business model to create a “mainstream wrestling product for the average person.”
“I think we’re probably positioned to be the next big company. I know will kind of go, ‘How does that work?’
“I think it has to do with my access to mainstream media. I think it has to do with my access to every network in the world who’s interested in what I’m doing, and I’m just trying to find the right business models with them. I think it has to do with presenting a mainstream wrestling product that the average person, if presented it on television, will respond to.
“I think once the NWA can get in that position, if we can get in that position, you can argue that’s a big if, but if we get in that position, I think we will run side-by-side with the biggest companies in the world. Because wrestling by in large is a cheap product to make. That’s always been its great attraction to television.
“It has a consistent audience that will show up week after week. So getting from let’s call it the bottom of the pile to the top of the pile, that’s a vast distance. But if you can cross that desert and get to the other side, well, it’s pretty wide open.”
Although WWE and AEW are currently the top companies in the US, Corgan says he can see there’s space for a mainstream product.
“In terms of product, I think the NWA fits quite comfortably between AEW and WWE. WWE has a very hardcore fanbase, but they do business in a very particular way. Of course, that’s much debated through the years. Vince of course is the only promoter that’s ever made money in wrestling, so we always have to pay tribute.
“AEW of course is running a brand-specific product. Tony’s found business where people didn’t think business could be found, and all credit to him on that. But again that mainstream up-the-middle position in professional wrestling is sorely lacking.
“Many people would argue that WWE is that mainstream thing. I would argue it’s its own version of niche.”
H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.