Billy Corgan, lead singer (and sole constant member) of critically acclaimed rock band Smashing Pumpkins has taken another sharp left turn in his career. In a revealing interview with Fox News Chicago, the oft-maligned singer unveiled his newest business venture: Professional Wrestling. While Fox News anchors tried valiantly to keep a straight face, Corgan explained:
"I've been involved sort of behind the scenes with pro wrestling for about a decade and made a lot of friends in the business. It's a very insular business and it's a long story, but I essentially got involved with some brothers who had a wrestling promotion. We decided to form our own promotion and we're going to try to bring back the glory days."
The new organization, dubbed "Resistance Pro", is set to debut in Chicago at Excalibur. In typically subdued fashion, Corgan has set the date of November 25th, also known as Black Friday, for the inaugural performance. Tickets are available at the box-office and online at ResistancePro.com, priced at 20 dollars apiece. Fans hoping for a night of family-friendly entertainment may be disappointed, however: the event is advertised as 21 and up.
Not content with a roster full of unknowns and hopefuls, Corgan and company have put together what appears to be an impressive list of a-list wrestling stars, including The Sheikh, El Generico, Harry Smith, Kevin Steen, Raven, Teddy Hart and Cheerleader Melissa.
A mission statement on the Resistance Pro website sums up the aim of the new WWE competitor. " [We want] to embrace what’s great about the traditional values in the wrestling business, that can at the end of the day provide everyone involved with a great opportunity for success, while not being shy about being at the forefront of where professional wrestling is headed into the 21st century." Subtle.
It's not all fun and games, however. Resistance Pro also has a message. They are reportedly the first wrestling company to join the Chicago Concussion Coalition and the Sports Legacy Institute, an awareness organization founded in 2007 after founder Chris Nowinski was sidelined by a serious brain injury.
"[We] felt that for all the talent that Chris had in the ring, he never reached his peak due to having to retire because of the concussions he received before the age of 30. Even though he was forced to retire in the prime of his wrestling career, what he's done through the SLI is far more important and resonant to this business. His (and the SLI's) work will undoubtedly change all sports – at every level – for the better."
"We're banning chair-shots to the head and making sure that all of our talent is trained and aware of the serious nature of the SLI's findings." said Corgan. “You can’t take all the risk out, but you can minimize the risk.”