Wednesday, May 06, 2015

TNA Conference Call with Billy Corgan

Billy Corgan took part in a conference call to discuss his new position in TNA. Our friends at the v2 Wrestling podcast posted the full audio at this link. Below are the highlights:

* Corgan is asked about what he will bring to TNA that they haven’t had so far, and he says that he has the ability to build brands, and is on the pulse of what is reality in the eye of the public. He feels wrestling is still trying to get up to speed on that, and will also focus on re-branding TNA as a wrestling-first company and giving them a real identity.

* Corgan has little input in hirings and firings. He feels that TNA needs a developmental system. They need to build talent and allow them to prosper in between tapings. He wants to create a TNA style that will help brand the wrestlers. TNA has great talents but creating stars and an identity is very important to him. He thinks he can help them become a prosperous touring company.

* Corgan says that he has a friendship with Dixie Carter, and previously pitched a reality project to her to help TNA grow. He then made the deal with AMC, which eventually never came to be. Carter has been messaging him on Twitter, and he called her and was offered the creative position. He flew to Nashville and an hour later was in a creative meeting.

* Corgan is asked about TNA’s popularity in the UK, and what he enjoys about the company. He enjoys Spud and Galloway’s Rising faction. He grew up in the AWA days, and wants to incorporate personal talent issues and ask then how they want to do things in order to get over.

* Corgan is asked about TNA getting back to the PPV model. He says that he isn’t sure how that works financially, but wrestling seems to be moving away from traditional PPV. He wants to look towards a new model that is similar that jives with the social media age. You want bigger payoffs, like they will do at Slammiversary. He isn’t sure how they will fit into a PPV model at this time.

* Corgan discusses parallels between wrestling and music, and says that it is easy for people to get overlooked. He thinks that happens a lot in wrestling because they don’t feel that they get their chances. There is good and bad, but wants to have a great relationship with the talent and address their concerns and abilities. He wants to provide opportunities.

* Corgan is asked about a TNA style he mentioned, and says he is old school. He thinks you build from size down; he likes the X-Division, but thinks you build from size down. The bigger guy should be able to win, like an Abyss. He can get people over.

* Corgan is next asked about music in wrestling and entrance music. He has experience in that and thinks music can tell a story. He praises PRIDE entrances, and says it added to the shows so much. Music can define a character, and he hopes to bring some of that to TNA.

* Corgan is asked about what he could do to change the overall presentation. He obviously has to talk with Dixie; they have a budget, but says that he doesn’t see people using social media to the fullest. He thinks that wrestlers on Twitter don’t use it right, and need to maybe have a gimmick account that are consistent with the character. You have to get people to TV, and feels you can use the Internet to do that.

* When asked about how much time he will spend with TNA, he says he spends 60 hours a week on TNA and it drives his friends in the studio crazy. It’s a full time job for him, and wants to make the product better. He has to be around enough to be a part of things and not popping in to pick apart things. He’s used to thinking outside the box and developing things properly.

* Corgan is asked about how he has matured as a writer, and how that will resonate with TNA. He has learned for where you are now, and as for TNA, you have to find what resonates for today. He discusses Paul Heyman’s vision for TNA and how at the time that was an updated view on wrestling. You have to know who you are, and TNA has struggled with that due to the regime changes. People did not fulfill promises, and he wants to go with her business model and her vision for TNA. They need a strong identity so that you can move forward in the market place.

* When asked about stories on race and transgender issues, he says they have to go about that with sophistication. Corgan discusses Archie Bunker on All in the Family and that he was a bigotted heel, and that it allowed them to tell a ton of stories. You have heels and faces, and a heel should use anything possible to get under the skin of his opponent, including personal things like race. He feels this will allow then to tell sophisticated stories. A wrestler should never threaten death, because that will never happen. But you could have a social revolution through real storytelling.

* Corgan says that he doesn't belong in the ring and everything is about getting the talents over. He didn't take the job to make it about him and he has plenty of control in his own world. If there's an idea for him to do something or make an appearance, he would consider it but it's not why he's here.

* Corgan is asked whether we should expect a big rebirth episode this weekend. He says that he sees it more like The Chicago Cubs where they are starting to be rebuilt from the ground up.  He likes the current TNA infrastructure but goes back to the fact that the company needs developmental and feels TNA can do another version of what WWE is doing with NXT right now in 5-7 years. He says the days of trying to compete are over and the world is "so wide" that things can be supported and TNA can stand on their own so fans don't have to make a choice and there's more for everyone.

* Corgan says that he's bringing in some wrestlers for dark matches this weekend. He says there are things you can't pick up on TV and you can see where people are in their own heads and who is hungry and doesn't backstage. He doesn't have the power to make the call to decide who should be fired or have the credibility to even suggest that yet.

* Corgan discusses the idea of Jay Bradley being a name that could be used that hasn't been tapped into yet on a national scene. There's motivation to get everything right from a TV standpoint. He says there are 6-8 people who can effect the TNA roster immediately. Wrestling is ready for a whole new cast of characters and the next generation of outsiders like Jeff Hardy was in the Attitude Era.


Highlights courtesy of PWInsider and 411 Mania