Billy Corgan has surprisingly revealed that he was once offered the chance to buy into ECW shortly before the promotion went out of business.
Throughout the 1990’s and beyond, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan became a regular presence at wrestling shows of all shapes and sizes. The star was regularly pictured at ECW events in particular and this led to him appearing on ECW TV in 2000.
However, Corgan has now revealed that long before he purchased NWA or became involved backstage with IMPACT Wrestling, Paul Heyman offered him the chance to buy a share of ECW.
Speaking in a new interview with Ariel Helwani, Corgan explained that he was given the full “vintage Paul Heyman experience” before quickly realising that financially the deal made no sense.
“The backstory is, I was friendly with a lot of the wrestlers, so I knew how much money Heyman owed the wrestlers. Somebody who was my go-between for Heyman and I said ‘he wants to have dinner with you.’ He took me out to a deli in New York. I got the whole vintage Paul Heyman cutting promos to little ol’ Billy Corgan at the deli counter, basically saying, ‘how would you like to be an investor in ECW?’ I said, ‘How much?’ ‘A million dollars.’ ‘What do I get for my million dollars?’ ‘10%.’ ‘Paul, I can do math, and I know ECW is not worth $10 million.’
Of course, I didn’t tell him I knew how much debt ECW was in. The only thing I look back on that story on is, it wasn’t too long after that where ECW went out of business and the McMahons took it over. It would have been funny if I had actually bought 10% because I would have been in a position to negotiate with the McMahons at that point,”
When asked about potentially buying ECW outright when the promotion closed, Corgan admitted that the deal with WWE meant that it would have been impossible. However, he claimed that he wishes he would have dug deeper into a potential deal to purchase WCW in 2001.
“It was never approached to me like that. At the end of the day, it became a forgone conclusion that the most money he was going to get was from WWE. I do look back and wish I had gotten a little more involved in the WCW sale. I think the McMahons bought it for something like $4 million. I would have lost any bidding war against the McMahons, but I would have been very interested in that if it was for sale for that cheap, I just didn’t realize it was that cheap for sale.
I heard about it and I had a lot of inside knowledge at that point and people were telling me, but I wouldn’t have known who to call, ‘Hey, I want to buy WCW.’ I do think it’s a bit of a crime, and I say this gently, that WCW has never been revived. Obviously, Vince McMahon didn’t want it to happen or it would have happened.
It’s a shame for people who were WCW fans that they never got to have that other moment. I do regret that because I was a fan of that product.”
Speaking elsewhere, Corgan also confirmed that NWA’s all-female pay-per-view Empowerrr will return in the future.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.