ABC7 On Your Sideline: Billy Corgan, wrestling promoter

January 27, 2012 8:10:17 AM PST
Smashing Pumpkins' front man Billy Corgan loves music - and he loves wrestling.

ABC7's Rafer Weigel talks to Corgan, who is starting a wrestling league, about a form of entertainment that is as much theater as it is sport.

Rafer: Why wrestling? Billy: Wrestling I think is one of those things where, at its core, it's really about entertaining the fan. It's about having a good time. Wrestling is always at the forefront of addressing social issues and, intelligently done, can be very entertaining, very fun. When it's bad it's bad, but, when it's great it's actually pretty fun.

Rafer: If it is staged does that decrease its appeal in anyway?

Billy: No, I don't think the staged aspects of wrestling decreases its appeal because it doesn't decrease the appeal of movies. It doesn't decrease the appeal of live theatre. It's just a very particular live form of theatre. It's very nuanced in many ways. It came out of the carnivals and circus and I think that that's the best way to understand it. It's about figuring out how to take somebody who has no interest in something and getting them to be emotionally passionate about the outcome.

Rafer: So what does it take to be a pro wrestler in your eyes?

Billy: The incredible thing about wrestling is that you have to have two things if you really want to be successful. First of all you have to have the physical ability and the willingness to stand the punishment because even though, yes it's fake, they take a tremendous amount of punishment. But, secondarily, you have to have a kind of "it" quality charisma. You can bring five people through the door and only one of them is going to have that magical thing that makes people emotionally connect with them. Sometimes it's projection, they see themselves in them, sometimes they just hate the person. We have somebody on our roster who the minute they open their mouth people start to boo. Doesn't matter what she says, she opens her mouth and people start to boo. And that's the beautiful thing about wrestling, you're doing your job if they boo you a lot or if they cheer you a lot. Anything in the middle you don't want that. You don't want to hear crickets.