Billy Corgan might be best known as the frontman for The Smashing Pumpkins. But recently, he’s been dabbling in his other passion: Professional wrestling.
Fans got a little peak into Corgan’s wresting endeavors through an ad for Chicago furniture store Walter E. Smithe called “Billy Corgan’s Musical Chairs.” The commercial also features some of the wrestlers from Resistance Pro, a professional wrestling promotion company that Corgan started, as well as the singer himself.
Tim Smithe, the chief marketing officer for Walter E. Smithe, came up with the idea for the ad with his brothers. He was confident he could get Corgan to sign on, even though he realized getting Smashing Pumpkins star was a “long shot.” [videoembed id=117430]
“I know a ‘second cousin’ of Billy, and tried that angle a few years ago, and it went nowhere,” he admitted to Metro World News.
It wasn’t until Smithe and Corgan met on "Mancow," a talk show in Chicago, that he was able to make his pitch in person.
“There was good, simple chemistry right away, and one thing lead to another during the commercial break,” Smithe said. “And then a few days later, someone from his staff called and said Billy is ready to ‘let the wrestling begin.’ My brothers and I were thrilled,” he added.
Smithe said that Corgan was “chill, intelligent and confident” during the shoot.
“On the set he was down to earth, light-hearted, and loves his wrestling team from the bottom of his heart,” Smithe said.
Though there was a script, it was mostly improvised on the scene. The Resistance Pro wrestlers took on the Smithe brothers for two hours just to get 30 seconds of footage. When his brother Mark Smithe got body slammed, it actually knocked the wind out of him.
Corgan even told Smithe that he didn’t shove him hard enough to be realistic during the early takes.
“So I really gave it to him on the take we chose,” Smithe said.
Smithe hopes that Millenials who grew up listening to the Smashing Pumpkins will be intrigued by furniture from Walter E. Smithe.
“We use our own brand of humor to create conversations and generate buzz in the marketplace here in Chicago. We believe that through commercials that include pop culture parodies, we have been successful in getting Chicagoans to talk about our brand,” he said.