Billy Corgan & the National Wrestling Alliance have been in the news a lot the last few days, but not for reasons they’d like.
Mostly it’s been for Haus of Wrestling’s report that a scene of Father James Mitchell “snorting cocaine” on the Samhain PPV — a scene NWA owner & booker Corgan allegedly pushed for — negatively impacted a potential television deal with The CW. Especially with WWE’s announcement yesterday (Nov. 7) that NXT is headed to that same network, that report has led to a lot of jokes online. But it hasn’t been confirmed by any other outlets. Even if there’s some truth to it, it seems unlikely WWE and The CW deal weren’t deep in negotiations by the time Samhain streamed on Oct. 28.
Haus of Wrestling’s Nick Hausman’s is standing by the report, however. In an update today, he writes:
One source we spoke with at WWE gave us the impression that talks with The CW accelerated following the incident. They went on to say, “No segment ever done in wrestling has had that severe of consequences to the promotion than the Samhain Coke Spot.”
That’s from a longer story about how the NWA roster is said to be venting their issues with Corgan’s leadership after The CW/WWE announcement. The “frustrations” mentioned in Haus of Wrestling’s latest include:
• Corgan’s work with his band The Smashing Pumpkins impacting communication at the NWA, including talent not finding out about plans until the day of taping, and sometimes just an hour before the show starts.
• “Tests” being given to talent to test their loyalty or see how they’ll react, such as having “over” acts lose their first match in the NWA or Billy criticizing them even if they’ve done nothing wrong.
• Younger talents (under 25) not being allowed to lose when they take outside bookings. The same restriction is apparently not placed on older wrestlers, freeing them up to get more dates outside the NWA.
One tangible way this frustration is supposedly manifesting itself is with talent whose contracts are up next year actively looking for other work because they don’t want to re-sign with the NWA.
Hausman did reach out to reigning NWA Worlds champion & business partner EC3 for a response to his report and got a lengthy response, which Haus of Wrestling added to their post. It both addresses the alleged frustrations and includes a message for Hausman’s source(s) at the promotion:
1) no apology necessary (Hausman had apologized for contacting him later than planned)
2) This has never been communicated to me via talent or otherwise, and I communicate with all. A truly professional wrestler should be prepared for anything at anytime. They should be able to perform based on whatever opportunity is provided. “Plans in advance” OFTEN change.
There isn’t one wrestling company that this isn’t the case for.
While sometimes knowing in advance can be beneficial, perhaps in envisioning long form character arc and story told, a lot of the best moments and actions come when capable talent are put on the spot and trust their skills and intuition in the moments.
The day of the show provides AMPLE time if a talent requires to verbatim script a promo or “put together a match.” Neither should take long especially if/when a talent is confident in character, work, and ability.
Personally, I prefer to have a direction, then allowed the open canvas to create how I achieve that direction. I know WHO I AM and WHERE I WANT TO GO. I think others should trust themselves to do the same. It’s how good stories are told.
EX: Tonight on NWA POWERRR (6:05) I have a promo segment that I was informed of day of the show. I was given the destination that is taking us. I conversed with the talent involved on their goals and mission and end business for the segment. Then I had 5 hours till it was filmed. I was pleased with how it turned out.
By being present in the moment, you are always prepared for anything.
Continued in a moment have to do something
3) infrastructure is great and required on all facets of a growing business. Infrastructure is more imperative on a BUSINESS END than a CREATIVE END.
True creativity is a collaboration, and talents should be absolutely thankful they have freedom to explore as creatives because before they know it, they will work their asses off to one day maybe get an opportunity to BE A MUTE.
I don’t know what facets of growth are being held up that we would require a bakers dozens of low level Hollywood writers who have never seen wrestling, never been in a fight for anything, or never had an experience in athletic victory/defeat.
If it’s about promotional material or who is “being pushed” it’s not rocket science on who that is, but it’s also a HUGE OPPORTUNITY for a talent who might not be, to put themselves out there, show why they are special, and capture that. Simply by utilizing the team we have, from socials, to peers, a talent can send a promo to the team, get it aired. A talent can try an idea they have, film it, it can air. A talent can EASILY (and this is rare) TALK TO THE BOSS and pitch ideas.
I watched our boss sit and listen to a bunch of promos from extras (who don’t really have a shot), watch a bunch of practice matches from extras (who aren’t TV ready) and offer that to all.
Just because a talent is there, and semi being utilized, doesn’t mean anything is handed. Entitlement and complacency will have them, what, Anonymously bitching to the internet?
Post a seminar I did, I spent hours discussing non contracted talents with WPC so we can provide them legitimate feedback, again, even if they aren’t close to TV ready.
Why? Because we love this and share the same ideals that people deserve opportunity and the truth. I don’t think people understand the rarity of a boss who would put that time in. Took me a long time to find one.
Again, back to creative, I’d prefer one’s overall vision accompanied by a handful of trusted, experienced, smart “wrestling people” to see it through.
Again though, hindsight 20/20 sometimes there can be too much freedom and people do dumb things.
I hope that answer was sufficient.
4) I know only my business, and my business alone as far as contracts and older talent etc. I’m very happy with mine as I get to represent and grow the brand, while also challenge myself with other creative endeavors in wrestling and beyond. While NWA is my home, I can spread our, and my own, brand on multiple fronts.
This industry is a constant test. Being “frustrated by tests” is, just, something I’d never say or complain about (to the internet.) If I am challenged to do something, in lieu of frustrated complaining, I’d channel that frustration to take whatever test I’ve been given, and get better by accepting the challenge. Even if it’s just a “F-U” to the person who put me through it.
It’s not “gaining approval.” It’s showing competency and will. It’s showing you want it. It’s showing you have value. It’s showing you’re worth investing in.
If that’s too much, don’t come. I have countless people reaching out to me daily trying to get in.
And also, as I’ve said to the locker room before, I am ALWAYS AVAILABLE if anyone ever wants to or needs to have a conversation. I don’t know if I’ll be right, but I will give my best effort and opinion in complete confidence.
We’ll see how this all shakes out in the days and weeks to come.