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ENTERTAINMENT | May 29, 2023

Billy Corgan Wants to Revive the NWA

Who’s ready to rock the Crockett Cup, Smashing Pumpkins style?

You would be in the wrong place if you thought the title was referencing Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, and MC Ren. Rockstar Billy Corgan isn’t reviving the Compton-based rap group, but long before that, N.W.A, the abbreviation, was only known for one thing, professional wrestling

Corgan, 56, is a rockstar turned wrestling promoter with a dream. He isn’t just the lead of the Smashing Pumpkins but has also been heavily involved with multiple wrestling promotions in hopes of helping fans witness smashed heads in the ring.

Billy Corgan Wants to Revive the NWA
Singer/Guitarist Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins - Evan Agostini/Getty Images/ afp

What Is The NWA?

For those under 30, or even 40, and if you’re not a wrestling fanatic, you’ll likely be thinking, “What the f*** is NWA.” Well, let me tell you, long before The Undertaker was wearing gray gloves and boots and way before Hulk Hogan was a “Real American,” the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) was the premier governing body for almost 100% of professional wrestling between 1960-1980.

It wasn’t until the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) – spearheaded by Vince McMahon – interrupted the landscape by separating from the company in the mid-1980s that the NWA was the most influential and successful body in wrestling.

For clarity, and to clear up any confusion, the NWA oversaw multiple promotions alongside its own. They had a territory system that sanctioned their company championships with a singular world champion that defended his belt throughout all territories, plus arranging talent exchanges, all while securing the territorial integrity of each promotion.

Most recognizable promotions between the 1960s and ’80s originated under the NWA banner, including the WWF and WCW (World Championship Wrestling). It wasn’t until 2012, when the NWA discontinued its memberships, that it would drift towards becoming a stand-alone promotion. However, despite its run with TNA (Total Non-Stop Action, now Impact Wrestling), it faded into the obscurity of wrestling once the WWF and eventually the WCW broke off into their own entities in the nineties.

Some of professional wrestling’s most legendary stars were born during the NWA era, including Ric Flair, Sting, Dusty Rhodes, Terry Funk, Roddy Piper, Jeff Jarrett, Jake Roberts, Arn Anderson, Curt Hennig, Jimmy Snuka, and many, many more. And when I say “many more,” we’d need an entirely new article to cover the talent that’s held NWA gold in the past.

In Step Billy Corgan

Rock’ n’ roll has long been embedded into wrestling news and culture, and let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for Cyndi Lauper’s involvement with the WWE in the 80s, Wrestlemania might never have existed. But as McMahon and his creative talent dominated wrestling’s popularity, NWA fell into obscurity.

Almost thirty years later, NWA is back, and it’s another music industry star assisting the promotion’s return to the spotlight… Billy Corgan.

The Smashing Pumpkins frontman purchased NWA five years ago and has since relaunched the brand as a stand-alone promotion. That said, we’ve still seen collaborations with Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, NJPW, and others.


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Can It Hang with the Big Boys?

As a regular participant in online gambling, I’d put my money on no, it cannot hang with the big boys. It’s lightyears behind competing with the WWE, NJPW, and All Elite Wrestling.

NWA is still within its infant years, though, so let’s give it some time before we hang Corgan up to dry. There’s one consistency: this man doesn’t quit, and while many believed he’d briefly involve himself in professional wrestling, we are watching him continue to grow within the business more than a decade later.

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