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Billy Corgan hopes to make wrestling a smashing success

January 12, 2012|By Scott Bolohan, For RedEye

When I was a kid, I was really into mythology. I think what's fascinating about those themes are watching someone psychologically go through a series of decisions. In classic old-school wrestling, you have a good, good guy and a bad, bad guy. Modern wrestling there are a lot of tweeners, like a Randy Orton for example is an incredible tweener. He's a baby face, but he's just a super badass. I was lucky enough to sit and talk to Randy about just that aspect because obviously he's doing it and getting it done at the highest level. Say you take someone like Randy Orton and having him do dastardly things for no reason isn't very interesting. But he's also not the type of person who is going to lean over and offer his hand to someone who has fallen down. So if you are going to write a storyline for someone with that type of ability, what transition are you going to take them through in the decision they make. You want the audience to be thinking if it's a situation where they're going to betray the person or help the person and if they help the person is there an ulterior motive. You want to psychologically engage people in the progression. I think that's what's fascinating to me, if you can take people on the journey. In our first show, Harry Smith, who is a member of the Hart family, his dad was the British Bulldog Davy Smith. He grew up in this great wrestling family. Harry was with WWE for five years and was recently released. Harry is in his mid-20s, he looks like a Greek god, like a wrestler right off the comic-book pages. Harry has never had anybody who I've seen as a fan as a set of darker or brighter set of reasons for what motivates him. My job would be to work with Harry and try to give him reasons or opportunities to try to engage people. In our first match, he wrestled a guy named Kevin Steen who is a super hot indie wrestler. Even though he's supposed to be a 'bad guy,' all the people there were rooting for Kevin and not Harry even though Harry is classically the good guy. Harry wrestled so well with so much determination that by the end fans were cheering both Harry and Kevin Steen because the match was that good. Harry gained in that match even though there was no talking or anything to that effect. Maybe they see him as a deeper person in reality and if you can take that and expand that into the fantasy world and expand on it. I don't think it's any different than when people believe in Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone and if you can believe them. It's just like the movies. Can you follow the good guy or the bad guy down the path they're on.

You did a video for "Owada" featuring women wrestlers. It seems like you are interested in creating more than the usual objectification of women wrestlers.

Absolutely. We went through that in the Pumpkins when our bass player, D'Arcy was objectified and not given a respected position in the band. So having had that experience, I'm very sensitive to what the women's wrestlers go through. They are athletes, they're dedicated, they're just as interested in kicking ass as the guys. Maybe they have a different set of storylines, but maybe we want to get them out of the typical storylines they're put in, which are ultimately misogynistic. So I'd like to transition out of that and bring in more modern storylines and take into account the women who are actually wrestling today and what they're involved in and bring up the respect level because if you saw what the women do in the ring these days, particularly the ones trained in Japan, they're taking shots just like the guys, there's nothing sensitive about it.

As a sports writer, I have to applaud you for the concussion stance you are taking with the league. What made you interested in concussion awareness?

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