Billy Corgan says talent have more freedom in NWA than anywhere else.
Corgan, the NWA President, recently participated in an interview with Web Is Jericho ahead of NWA 74. During the interview, he touched on what he thinks helps set the National Wrestling Alliance apart from other companies right now.
I think what we’re doing that’s different is we’re probably the only professional wrestling company at this level that’s just letting talent go out and let it rip, especially on promos,” Corgan said. “We don’t script a lot. By extension, I think it also goes to letting people figure out their characters and be their characters in the ring without a lot of overt supervision. I think I saw Chelsea Green saying something nice along the lines that you have so much freedom in the NWA, and that it’s a really fun and enjoyable place to work on a creative level. I’m not saying we’re doing it better than other people, because that’s unfair. There’s a lot of people doing it at the top level. I’m saying we do it in a way that creates a different sort of magic. And I think you see that now in the product.
“One thing I really learned working with someone as talented as Matt Hardy, is there were things Matt Hardy was doing during the deletion angles that only Matt Hardy could pull off. What I mean by that, is Matt Hardy is so talented, he could take something really weird or really different — one of my favorite promos we ever did, Matt was looking at the camera just chattering his teeth for three minutes or something like that, and he did it, and it was so weird. And I thought, ‘There is probably only one guy on the planet that can pull off a promo without even talking and it gets over,’ right? The point I’m trying to make is that talent has a way of taking little things and making them important things and making them magical things. When I look back on my own life as a fan in my youth, the things that stick out aren’t the big, famous match. It’s the way somebody held their cigar or the way Harley Race talked down the television lens. The NWA is probably doing the little things better than anybody else.”
Later in the interview, Corgan discussed his focus on fundamental storytelling as opposed to booking gimmick matches as a means to drive storylines. He shared his belief that these types of matches can become an “artificial stimulus” for a wrestling program and noted that they’re often used for the wrong reasons.
“I’m very focused in carving out our own identity. I’m stubborn in the sense that I know there’s things we can do that would probably get us a little more attention, but I don’t think that attention would necessarily last. In essence you sort of become addicted to the thing you needed to do to get attention, and now you’ll have to keep doing that. I think the argument of a Jim Cornette, and I’ve worked with Jim and known him for years, I understand where he’s coming from. If you don’t do the things that really matter fundamentally on the level of the wrestling business, you’re never going to draw the money that those people back in the day used to draw.
“In essence, you’re dealing with kind of an artificial stimulus to the wrestling program. I’m not here to criticize anybody, because unfortunately I don’t get to watch enough of other people’s programming to know whether or not I would have an opinion on it. But I do get the sense when you see a lot of things, you think, ‘Is it necessary? Is it the conclusion of a storyline? Or is it being used to artificially amplify a storyline of which the public doesn’t have a lot of interest in?’”
He continued by describing how, to him, it’s important for talent to execute the “foundational things”, rather than using gimmick matches to get them over.
Speaking as more of a performer, I don’t want the talent to feel that I don’t have enough faith in them to get the little things done and the foundational things done to where I’ve got to throw them out in gimmick matches to get stuff over. If they’re not the talents that can pull off the basic, fundamental stuff, then they’re not the right talents.”