Play-by-play commentator Joe Galli recently spoke with Vulture Hound to discuss working with the National Wrestling Alliance, what it’s like to have Billy Corgan as a boss, and the chemistry he’s developed with world’s champion Nick Aldis. Highlights are below.
How he got involved with NWA:
At the time I was doing commentary for David Marquez’s show, Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, which you folks can watch also, it’s also available on FITE TV. But I was there for a number of years doing commentary as their play-by-play guy. And then Billy Corgan bought the National Wrestling Alliance and wanted to restart it, and breathed new life into it with the Ten Pounds of Gold series. The Ten Pounds of Gold series started at Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. Tim Storm was still the champion at the time. So I called those first matches, I think, Tim Storm actually wrestled Zicky Dice, which is a much different Zicky Dice than you see today. He was a much heavier guy back then. He’s cut a lot of weight and put in the work.
It’s interesting if you go back and you watch those first few episodes of Ten Pounds of Gold you can see how it all started right there. So when I was doing that commentary, Billy Corgan and Dave Lagana, they just liked what I was doing, and they pulled me to the side, and they said, “Hey, we want you to be the guy. We’ve got big plans coming up in the future, and we want you to be a part of it”. So I said, “OK.” And I had no idea it was going to lead to what it led to, which was NWA Powerrr and all these big pay-per-views that we’re doing. And it’s been a wild ride, and it’s been real fun. And I feel like I just kind of won the lottery. Like I kind of just struck gold, and I got this awesome opportunity to call the action for the most prestigious title in all the world of professional wrestling.
Having Billy Corgan as a boss:
He’s really cool. You know, it’s one of those things where you might get a little intimidated ’cause he’s a rock star. Yeah. I grew up listening to the Smashing Pumpkins. You know, I lost my virginity in the back of my Corrola with ‘Tonight, Tonight’ playing on the radio. You know, we didn’t make it past the chorus…[Laughs]…But I mean, he’s very down to earth, and he’s super knowledgeable when it comes to wrestling. And it really comes off. I mean, he really leads those meetings. We have what we’re expected to do and what the stories that we’re expected to tell are for that day. And he’s also very receptive to a lot of the guys out there that have been in the business for a long time, giving examples of what ways we could do things better. And he’s very receptive to all that sort of stuff. But at the same time, he has a great vision of what he wants to see. He’s an absolute pleasure to work for, to be honest with you.
Working with Stu Bennett (Bad News Barrett)
You know, I agree with you. That’s the thing that impressed me the most, is we had this immediate chemistry with each other. You know, even going to Atlanta, our travel plans didn’t work out for the pay-per-view. I kind of wanted to spend a couple of nights, you know, just talking with the guy. But it didn’t work out. And so from us calling the show, we had obviously met before the broadcast, but I had no idea how it was going to work. And boy, once we started going, I mean, he’s firing on all cylinders. He’s a fantastic colour commentator. And I think we both impressed each other a lot in that first broadcast there. And for it to be able to carry on into NWA Powerrr, it is fantastic how it worked out. I’ve worked on plenty of shows with colour guys that are not at that level, and it forces me to pick up that slack. But with Stu there, it’s really fun. It’s enjoyable. and we put together a great product. He is great to work with.
Chemistry with NWA world champion Nick Aldis:
I think that it is there and I think, you know Nick is such a professional, and he’s so good at it. So whether it’s in the ring, whether it’s on the mic – the ideas that he has, and the proper pedestal that he wants to put the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship on. And so I’ve been working with Nick Aldis since before his first run with the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship when he actually lost to Tim Storm when he attempted to win that title on Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. So we’ve been working together relatively consistently for a few years. And so we’d get to a point where we’re at now with NWA Powerrr and having this broadcast with these weekly shows. You know, all of that has built up to this. And I don’t know if when we started NWA Powerrr if I hadn’t worked with Nick for that long, I don’t know if we would have that same chemistry, but we have a lot of history together. And, you know, he likes me in the position that I’m in, and I think that really helps us to be able to work together to tell the story that we’re trying to tell.
His career as a professional journalist:
Well, it comes down to it from my position, I take it from a very broad point of view. And I think that that’s what Dave Marquez really liked about me because he also has a background in news and broadcast. And I think that that’s why he liked me being the main guy for Championship Wrestling from Hollywood for a number of years. And you take that broadcast perspective, and you really focus in on it because you could do commentary a thousand different ways, and you can hear commentary from different guys, and they have different styles, and some are more “out there,” some are more driven by a gimmick. And then you’ve got guys like me that are sort of more straight-laced, sort of more like a Gordon Solie, which is what I try to model myself after.
So when you take the broadcasting that I’m doing here in South Texas and like I’ve been doing across the country for ten years, it really does help with that skill set. You know, it’s sort of like one blade sharpens the other, one hand washes the other, the better I am at one, it’s gonna make me better because they are similar skill sets. As long as you follow the idea that this is going to be a professional broadcast and I need to present this information in a way that’s engaging and entertaining because that’s what news is – information and at the same time, a little entertainment. It’s all about trying to get eyeballs on screens or butts in seats. And so when you’re trying to go ahead and reach that goal, it’s a lot of the same skill set. And it’s kind of like this match made in heaven again.
Check out the full interview here.