AMC picks up Billy Corgan pro wrestling series for development

Resistance Pro

The Smashing Pumpkins frontman makes a move in the crowded pack angling to become the #2 pro wrestling promotion in the world, as the cable network announces plans to feature his Chicago-based promotion in a series - but is it a wrestling show?

Despite being rumored as a potential buyer for TNA late last year, noted wrestling fan and 90s rock icon Billy Corgan has stuck to his role as Creative Director for the independent promotion Resistance Pro since its inception in 2011.

It doesn't seem that the Smashing Pumpkins frontman is content to keep his wrestling venture on the internet and in the Chicago-Land area, though.

The cable network AMC has likewise been in the grist of the pro wrestling rumor mill of late, both as a potential home for or even a buyer of WWE. Having those rumors prove false (to date) hasn't dampened their interest in offering some sports entertainment product on their airwaves, either.

Via press release, AMC announced yesterday that they have picked up an option to develop an "Untitled Billy Corgan Wrestling Project" for the network as part of their 2014 upfront slate. Here's the description of the show from the press release:

Produced by Left/Right, LLC (Small Town Security, This American Life, Mob Wives); EPs: Banks Tarver, Ken Druckerman, Billy Corgan and Ghen Maynard. Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan pulls back the curtains on the pro-wrestling world as he takes over creative direction for the independent wrestling company Resistance Pro.

It is listed as part of their "unscripted" future offerings, so that and the talk of "pulling back the curtain" make it sound more like a reality show than a straight-up wrestling series. Regardless, the series, which has reportedly been the subject of discussions between Corgan and the network for over a year, would provide exposure to Resistance Pro that could lead to a television contact for a more traditional episodic pro wrestling show.

Also confusing (at least to this non-industry guy) is what exactly this means in terms of a commitment from AMC. "Upfront" is a term typically used in advertising to describe selling ad space ahead of publication or broadcast based on projected audience numbers; the traditional broadcast networks hold upfronts for advertisers on shows they definitely plan to broadcast in upcoming months.

This announcement seems more like a plan to go forward without a promise of a series commitment. Other shows on the slate (such as a late night talk show for Kevin Smith or an adaptation of the Vertigo comic book series Preacher by Seth Rogen's production company) are described as being in development or working on a pilot, which is the TV equivalent of going steady before deciding to move in together.

No matter what, with Jeff Jarrett and Toby Keith set to make a big announcement about their new promotion and Ring of Honor steadying their ship as TNA scrambles to cut costs and develop new stars, a dedicated television presence of any kind could elevate Resistance Pro into the discussion for #2 wrestling company in the United States.

We may never have another Monday Night War, but players are lining up for a battle to be THE alternative to WWE.

Stay tuned.

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