By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Corgan on the NWA/AEW partnership: “I’m open to all that stuff. I think it’s sort of like where do you want it to go? You know what I mean? Because right now, the NWA is in a position where we’re just building back up. So, like I said, I totally appreciate those opportunities, but we’re not really geared in that way, you know what I mean? If you saw some of the comments that Chris Jericho had about AEW working with Impact, who I’m publicly no fan of because of my dealings with them, including them stealing a former talent from us, not to mention what went on with Dixie Carter and that whole [situation]. You know, Jericho completely buried the situation with Impact, because he basically was talking about the disparity in power and star attraction.
“Now there’s plenty of talented people at Impact. Not to denigrate them and I’ve worked with some of them, particularly like the people in Decay, super talented people, Rosemary, Crazzy Steve. So yeah, no mark on the talent but look, you’re not an equal in the situation so you’re put in a situation where you’re trying to convince another fan base to believe in some form of equity, it’s always a bit wonky. So I think under the right circumstances like the Serena [Deeb] dynamic, being the holder of the title, Thunder Rosa is an NWA talent working for AEW with great regularity, that’s a nice balance. It’s balanced out by a couple forces. If Tony [Khan] calls and wants to do Cody [Rhodes]/Nick Aldis III, I’m all over it. Some of the traditional ways people work together, invasion angles and stuff like that, I don’t think that’s a good fit for either one of us. Tony’s got more talent than he knows what to do with. He doesn’t need our talent too.”
On his relationship with AEW and Tony Khan: “Yeah, I met Tony [Khan] — actually, he came to one of my shows with a mutual friend, Chris Nowinski, who wrestling fans would know as Chris Harvard but now is very much in the concussion research field. Chris is doing amazing work in that field really for making sports, particularly for children safer, and actually all professional athletes involved [in] contact, including wrestling, and so we met back then, just kind of socially and then when Tony looked like he was lining up to launch what is now AEW, we had a conversation that — just sort of see where he was going, where I was going and so we’ve stayed in touch and then we built a business relationship on top of that and he’s just been a great business partner.
“I can’t say enough good things about him, as how he’s been in terms of the business side of the thing. You know, having the NWA Women’s Title on AEW television has been super valuable to us. Tony kept the name of the brand up when we were shut down for a while due to the pandemic, and then Tony allowing his talent to come wrestle on NWA television is huge and of course, Tony helped bring Thunder Rosa to national, international prominence as she should. She’s an incredibly talented person so I think that’s been a cool relationship for everybody involved.”
His thought process as a booker when it comes to smaller talents: “But you look at the stories that were told around them [smaller wrestlers], it was them being undersized against bigger men. You know, a Terry Funk or an Undertaker. That was a part of the dynamic that I think was attractive was when they were able to fight out from underneath that. That’s part of what created the interest in them as characters. I just have a hard time believing — it’s like how they book space movies these days, you know? It’s like anybody can beat anybody if somebody wants to believe it and I just don’t believe in that personally.
“Yeah. One thing I always like to point to was one of the greatest matches I ever saw was Rey Mysterio against The Undertaker, and the whole match and the whole dynamics of the match was predicated on the fact that Rey had to chop down this unstoppable force. But it had to do with Rey’s speed and agility and his innovative offense. It wasn’t just because he did something well, you know what I mean? The story in that narrative is what I like to key in on, and so yeah, you see it now when promotions have champions that are 5’9. That is their world champion. I’m sorry, I think it’s a very difficult thing to ask the public on some level beyond what I call the wrestling bubble.
“There’s no doubt that some of the people working right now are some of the most talented people to ever work in the ring. We’re just talking, you and I are talking about the dynamics of like, let’s call it the laws of gravity within the bubble that we’re in and I think one thing that’s difficult is trying to convince people outside the wrestling bubble, people like you and I that really follow the business, why it’s valuable and why it’s important and when they tune in and they don’t see that kind of law of gravity, I think it makes it very hard for a mainstream or a general fan or even a lapsed old school fan to really engage with the product on a deeper level because they’re being asked to suspend a disbelief beyond this particular point.”
Corgan on Nick Aldis as NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion: Can’t say enough good things about him. A real leader in the locker room, in the ring, behind the scenes, just a total stand-up dude and it’s so funny because I knew Nick a little bit, but when I came in to work at TNA for a while, Nick was kind of — Mickie [James] was there and Nick were both there at the same time and you know, of course I was in the office and I heard — the whole way the office there painted Nick as a problematic, complaining and they didn’t wanna book him and I could never quite put my finger on it and the guy’s just smart, you know what I mean? He’s not a difficult personality. He can be difficult but that’s because he believes what he’s saying.”
Other topics include The Smashing Pumpkins, acquiring the NWA, TNA wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Serena Deeb, Thunder Rosa, Nick Aldis, Harley Race, Ric Flair, and more.
You can listen to other shows apart of the TMPT Empire including Shane Douglas’ Triple Threat Podcast, Taking You to School with Dr. Tom Prichard, Talking Tough with Rick Bassman, Taskmaster Talks with Kevin Sullivan, Pro Wrestling 101 with Justin Credible and the University of Dutch with Dutch Mantell. H/T to POST Wrestling/Andrew Thompson for the transcription.