Jim Cornette Shoot Interview Part 2 (MUST READ), August 4, 2003
Jim Cornette Shoot Interview Part 2 (MUST READ), August 4, 2003
Sep 21 2003, 03:11 PM
His heat with Paul E- Paul is always looking for conspiracies behind everything. The legitimate heat didn’t start until the deal with the Gangstas, Paul screwing him over on a Dennis Corralluzzo deal, and money Paul owes him for tapes of Sunny that were used on ECW TV.
Interview from Memphis- Jimmy Hart, Jim Cornette, and the Grapplers cut a promo on winning the Southern Tag Team Titles from the Fabulous Ones.
Interview- Jimmy Hart, Jim Cornette, and the Moondogs cut a promo.
Interview- Jimmy Hart, Jim Cornette, and the Assassins cut a promo on Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Valiant.
Interview- Jimmy Hart, Jim Cornette, and the Moondogs cut a promo on Bobby Eaton and Terry Taylor.
Interview- Jim Cornette cuts a promo about Hacksaw Jim Duggan being like a bum.
Interview- Jim Ross interviews Jim Cornette and Wendi Richter. Cornette makes Richter an honorary member of the Midnight Express. Hacksaw Jim Duggan kicks Cornette’s ass, kisses Richter, then destroys the trophy marking Richter’s honorary membership.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Hercules Hernandez- Referee Dr. Death drops an elbow on Hacksaw, rolls Hercules on top, then accepts a payoff from Cornette. Duggan was suppoed to get his hair cut due to the loss but Cornette gets his hair cut instead. Duggan does it with a safety razor and a pair of scissors.
Contract signing- The Midnight Express signs a no DQ, no substitution title match with the Fantastics. Right after the contract signing, the Midnights jump the Fantastics and lay hem out with a chair.
Interview- This is Cornette’s first ever in history and he barely even faces the camera in the whole interview.
Interview- Cornette reveals that he’s signed Sherri Martel and the other half of the Ladies Tag Team Champions.
Interview- Cornette tries to commemorate managing Dutch Mantel by presenting him with a portrait of them. Dutch asks Cornette a few questions then ripping up Cornette’s contract and the portrait.
Cornette, Adrian Street, and Miss Linda vs. Jerry Calhoun and Bill Dundee- Cornette ties Dundee’s leg to the bottom rope then Adrian beats up Calhoun.
Interview- Cornette cuts a promo on Terry Taylor.
Terry Funk goes crazy, finally half-ripping Cornette’s pants off.
Interview- Cornette cuts a promo on Funk and Dundee while Adrian Street primps with his hair in pigtails. (He looks like Kevin Sullivan in drag)
Interview- Cornette throws a party for the Angel and the Bounty Hunter winning the tag titles and ends up with his face shoved in a cake. The Angel ends up piledriving Bobby Fulton on the floor.
Interview- Cornette puts a bounty of $5000 out on the Fantastics for bloodying the Angel.
Angel and Bounty Hunter vs. two jobbers- The footage ends before the match does, as Angel and Bounty Hunter are toying with them.
Jimmy Hart and Jim Cornette vs. Bobby Eaton- One of the Assassins beats up Eaton while Cornette distracts the ref, then throws Hart on top of him. Cornette reclaims the box “full of his mother’s money” at ringside that he’d had to put up for the match. Eaton steals it from him and throws the contents out to the crowd, which causes a minor riot.
Interview- Cornette calls Magnum TA and Mr. Wrestling II chickens for not defending the tag titles, has the Midnight Express jump both, then they tar and feather Magnum TA.
Midnight Express vs. Mr. Wrestling II and Magnum TA- This goes to a DQ when Cornette hands Bobby Eaton a belt, which he uses to whip Mr. Wrestling II. Condrey and Cornette whip Magnum TA afterwards.
Interview- Jim Ross interviews Cornette about their upcoming match against Hector Guerrero and El Bracero. Cornette cuts an anti-Latino promo claiming that Guerrero and Bracero were working at a Mexican restaurant that served them bad food and refused to give them a refund and, as a result, he wants Condrey and Eaton to take the meal’s price out on them in their upcoming match.
Midnight Express vs. Rock and Roll Express- The Russians jump the Rock and Roll Express to cause the DQ then they cut Ricky Morton’s hair. Terry Taylor and Magnum TA come out for the save.
Interview- Cornette and the Midnights celebrate their recent tag title win over Wrestling II and Magnum by having a party complete with a cake and balloons. The Rock and Rolls shove Cornette’s head in the cake. Cornette gets irate afterwards and threatens to sue anyone he can because the clip has been replayed. Bill Watts comes out to lay down the law and, when Cornette gets in his face, Watts bitchslaps him.
Interview- Cornette interrupts Watts’ interview with Butch Reed then he and the Midnight Express kick Watts’ ass.
Road Warriors vs. Midnight Express in a scaffold match- This is the co-main event of Starrcade 86 with Ric Flair vs. Nikita Koloff. Cornette cuts a pre-match promo. The Road Warriors do a vignette in which they throw pumpkins with the Midnight Express’s names off of a building a la the David Letterman show. The Midnights lose a chickenfight under the scaffold to take the bump to the mat, Ellering chases Cornette up, then Cornette falls off and permanently screws up his knee. If you turn up the volume, you can hear Cornette yelling at Bubba about his knee being a shoot injury.
End of tape 1
Midnight Express and Big Bubba Rogers vs. Dusty Rhodes and the Rock and Roll Express in a street fight- The Midnights cut Ricky Morton’s hair at one point during the match. Dusty wins it with a spike pildriver on Bubba.
The Steiner Brothers- He’s never had a problem with either of them. He tells a story about how Bobby Eaton is scared of large dogs and that Scott Steiner used to have a big pitbull that he’d bring to shows close to Atlanta. When he booked them for Smokey Mountain, he insisted they bring the dog as their manager. He says Paul E. was scared that the Steiners would hurt him but Cornette says that’s because Paul E.’s a pussy about taking a hit. He has no problems with Rick Steiner or Scott but hasn’t seen them in years and figures if their attitudes have changed drastically it must be because they’ve had “a brain transplant.”
Did Vince McMahon ever approach them? Yes, Vince approached them through Ernie Ladd about a position when Condrey was still in the team in about March or April of 1986. They flew them up to New York for a meeting and they were hoping to hear what kinds of teams they’d be working against and, instead, started hearing about how “the dolls look more like the wrestlers than ever before.” Since Vince was more interested in merchandising than wrestling and they didn’t really get it at the time, they decided to stay where they were. Condrey later claims that he left because they didn’t sign with the WWF but Cornette says he must have stewed about it for a long time then because he left about a year later. He infers that Jim Crockett started making the talent sign contracts about two weeks after that since they ran into Tully Blanchard’s best friend at the airport who noticed them flying to New York. He also relates a story about how he didn’t even know there was a figure of him that was released until relatives of his went to K-Mart and saw it on the shelf.
The Road Warriors turning heel and beating them for the belts- Both teams successfully turned in the same night which he attributes to Jim Ross getting the whole deal over on commentary.
Why did he finally leave? One reason: Jim Herd. “Jim Herd was the biggest prick.” He was a huge bully and “didn’t know shit from applebutter about wrestling or anything else and had Ding Dongs and hunchbacks running all over the place.” Herd didn’t like him in particular because Cornette would tell him what’s what when he got yelled at for things beyond his control, such as pulling Kendall Windham off of the booking sheets after Kendall and Blackjack Mulligan got busted for counterfeiting.
Contract negotiation 101- He then relates the story of how Herd didn’t want to renew the Midnight Express’s contract because Jim Crockett had signed them to a huge guaranteed deal shortly before he sold out. They would get their weekly payoffs based off of the house drawn then get a balloon payment to make up the difference at the end of the year. “I guess they called it a balloon payment because the money was going to drop in his fucking lap from a balloon ‘cause he didn’t have the money.” They ended up getting $225,000 a year each by the happy accident that they ended up asking Crockett about money, he mentioned new contracts for big money and wouldn’t give and amount, and Cornette happened to mention $250,000 just to be a smartass. He says that Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson were supposed to get guaranteed contracts but Tully found out that Paul Ellering was making $300,000 a year and got pissed off. To screw with the people who had big contracts, Herd had the Road Warriors booked on the road every night in order to work them to death and make them quit and tried to shame the Midnights into leaving by putting them in the opening match jobbing to the Samoans. When it came time to renegotiate, Cornette came in expecting a paycut but Herd wanted to pay Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane $75,000 each and Cornette $100,000 because of his non-managerial duties. Cornette was able to talk Herd up to $117,500 each for Bobby and Stan and, whenever Cornette told Herd “I’ve gotta tell Bobby and Stan not to take $75,000”, Herd would increase Cornette’s pay instead of offering more to Bobby and Stan. When their contracts came up again in 1990, Herd didn’t want to resign them as a team despite their great matches against the Rock and Rolls at Wrestlewar 90 and the Southern Boys at Great American Bash 90, so they decided they want to leave. They were going to let their contracts expire but found out from Wahoo McDaniel that everyone involved in the booking except Herd had voted to keep them as a team and offered them new contracts. “Wahoo said ‘This is the first time I’ve ever seen people get jobs and be depressed about it.’” When Herd delivered their contracts, Herd made it a point to tell Cornette “You know I was against this”, so Cornette told him “Well, I’m against you so fuck you!”
The final straws- They’d gotten sick of the dumb booking and the poor decision making, such as having an Easter Sunday show in San Antonio, Texas, which is a predominately Hispanic and Catholic town. Cornette had also gotten pissed about Ole Anderson wanting him to wear a pumpkin on his head at Halloween Havoc. When Cornette refused, Ole Anderson told him “Well, Nick Gulas (an old-time Tennessee promoter) would have done it.” Cornette’s response was “Well, Nick Gulas is out of fucking business, isn’t he?” The absolute final thing that did it was driving out to the middle of nowhere for TV tapings to find out that Stan had some singles matches but there were no tag matches then, the next day, coming in to find out that they were scheduled for four tag matches that night. Cornette pissed and moaned at Ole Anderson about how someone could have told Bobby Eaton he could have the night off to be with his family or that they could have done half the tag matches the previous night and was told “If you don’t like it, you can go home.” Cornette then realized that he COULD leave and walked out. He told Stan and Bobby on the way out and Stan decided to come with him. They told Bobby to do the best he could since he had a family to take care of. He says he’d tried to get Jim Herd to buy them out earlier in the year but had been turned down. Since then, the Freebirds had been signed to a big deal and been taken off the road and both Missy Hyatt and the Iron Sheik got their contracts renewed for another year because WCW forgot to send them their releases. Bobby Eaton, on the other hand, got a notice to renegotiate, which pissed Cornette off that they actually kept track of Bobby’s contract while they were paying the Iron Sheik to sit at home. When Cornette finally got his release, Herd wanted language in there that would prevent him from going to the WWF and was told “I’ve just left of one fucking cartoon wrestling federation, I’m not going to another.”
Booking committee- Ric Flair had asked him to be on the booking committee and “how do you turn Ric Flair down?” It wasn’t worth the extra $300 a week to fly to the booking meeting and listen to Herd’s shit, so he quit the committee by telling Jim Ross “If I come to the meeting tomorrow, I’m going to crawl across the desk and put these fingers two knuckles deep in Jim Herd’s eye sockets.” .
Vince McMahon- Everything Vince has promised him as come true, etc. He can’t say the same thing for anyone at WCW since Jim Crockett, Dusty Rhodes, and Bill Watts were there.
Bill Watts in WCW- Cornette was running Smokey Mountain at the time and Watts decided to run a talent exchange. The exchange in this case was that Cornette came up with the Rock and Roll Express vs. the Heavenly Bodies (Dr. Tom Pritchard and Stan Lane) angle, provided the talent for the WCW PPV match, and was paid money to keep SMW afloat. He also sent Watts a few of his part-time guys like Paul Orndorff, who got the job in WCW that he held until the company folded. He says that Watts was misunderstood while he was there because he wanted the top-rope stuff stopped temporarily then let the people who were good at it try again. In addition, Watts was slashing contracts because “Francis Ford Kippela” (former WCW VP Kip Frey) had spent the previous six months increasing the contracts despite the fact that the company wasn’t drawing..
Drawing money in WCW- It wasn’t going to happen because they weren’t thinking properly. “Jim Barnett used to sit there going ‘Oh my God… how are we going to draw money next month?’ I’d say ‘Nothing, but if we start now we can draw in January’, but they didn’t want to hear that.” The execs wanted one of the wrestlers to say something would draw next month because that’s what the Turner people wanted. If they drew, then they drew. If they didn’t, they’d then be able to blame the wrestlers. Cornette thought the whole thing was bullshit because “They were going to wait until the goddamn end of time as it was anyway but they didn’t want to wait four months.”
Did Crockett miss the boat with the UWF sale? Yes, but partly because the UWF wrestlers were draws in a different part of the country than the Crockett wrestlers. He feels that WCW and the WWF could pull it off since they’re both known nationally but, in the UWF’s case, it wasn’t going to work because each group was mainly known regionally and each area’s fans were going to root for their wrestlers.
The talent exchange angle with Watts- He pitched the angle to Watts on the idea that the only thing any anyone believed anymore was that all the promoters hated each other. Because of that, he’d lend Watts some footage of the Rock and Rolls beating up on the Heavenly Bodies then come to WCW TV cursing about how they were using the footage without permission and that he hated WCW, etc. “People were like ‘Yeah, he flipped. We knew he would go sooner or later.” The problem was that half the promo was bleeped out on TV because Tony Schivone, Eric Bischoff, and others were screwing around with Watts. “Mark Madden didn’t get Watts fired. I know they want to say that and that Madden, that big, fat, fuckin’ piece of snake feces that he is, wants to say that.” On the subject of the “questionable interview” he gave, he says “What was I going to do, come out as an alien invader coming to attack the promotion then say ‘Boy, this is a great place to work’?” Because Watts didn’t think he was going to be with WCW much longer, he gave Cornette a contract dictating how much WCW had to pay Smokey Mountain. As a result, WCW had to pay it even after Watts left and Cornette became the target of new WCW head Eric Bischoff’s wrath. He says he wouldn’t have asked Watts for a contract under any circumstances because he trusted him and it would have been an insult to ask him, but Watts offered it when he saw the writing on the wall then faxed it to him. After Watts went home, Ole Anderson was in charge of wrestling again and pissed off that Cornette was getting money “because I made more money than him in the 1986 Great American Bash working with Baby Doll.” When he came to the Pay Per View, Dusty came up to talk to Cornette because he’d heard through ring announcer Gary Cappetta that he was pissed off and not coming back. Cornette told Dusty that he never had problems with him but that he didn’t have the autonomous power that he may think he had because of the backstabbers in the front office. He ended up talking to Bischoff, calling him out about the editing of the angle then, which Bisch said something about the comments made on that promo, Cornette told him that he’d already cleared everything said with the horse’s head so that he didn’t feel a need to tell the horse’s ass.
The second time he met Bischoff- Cornette was running Smokey Mountain when Ole Anderson’s son, Bryant Anderson, got released from the Power Plant. Ole called Cornette trying to get his kid booked and Cornette agreed if Ole would cut some promos with the kid. Ole agreed and suggested they do it at the Power Plant. Cornette was happy because having Ole on TV in that territory “is like having God come and bring you a pizza.” Someone told him as soon as he walked in the building that Bischoff hadn’t been there in months but figured they’d see him soon. Sure enough, Bischoff pulls up thirty minutes later “and it’s a twenty five minute drive from the office tower.” Bischoff pulled Ole aside to talk to him but didn’t fire him like Ole was challenging him to do. He DID, however, fire him over the phone the next day. In the middle of all this, Cornette smeared a huge booger all over the windshield of Bisch’s new Corvette just because he could.
Eric Bischoff- “He’s probably a latent flaming homosexual with the cigars he likes to smoke and the Harleys he likes to ride and the fact that he spends entirely WAY too much time around Kevin Nash. FUCK YOU, Bischoff, you’re a fuckin’ prick!”
Vince Russo- “Hello Vince!” He goes into the story about how Russo quit the WWF. He was a video store clerk who’d had a part-time spot on a radio show before writing the WWF magazine. He goes into how Russo can’t spell or even speak English but, rather, some obscure dialect from Brooklyn or The Bronx. “It’s not like he’s a goddamn Rhodes Scholar.” He had good ideas at the time when the WWF needed good ideas but that all of them came from the shitty movies he use to rent at his video store and he has no clue about wrestling. That’s why the matches are kept as short as possible because Russo’s completely lost between the opening bell and the ending bell. “People don’t want to see wrestling anymore and that’s been proven in WCW, where they don’t have wrestling matches… they have bumble, stumble, and fall matches. I watched Thunder the other night because I happened to be stuck in a hotel room and I saw Lance Storm falling around like a drunk man. When you do it to that guy, you can do it to anybody.” He goes off in particular on the angle where Terri Runnels had a fake miscarriage and told Ed Ferrara, “a goddamn piece of fuckin’ shit” who defended it, that it was in bad taste no matter what and if he was someone who’s wife or girlfriend really DID have that happen and got upset over it because of it being on TV, he’d have personally whipped his ass. He says Russo’s big talent is believably lie about being qualified to do something, such as writing a wrestling show. He also goes off on Russo for what he did to Jim Ross because Ross is the best announcer he’s ever seen and one of the only people who could get Russo’s bullshit over with the fans. Russo didn’t like Ross because Ross would tell him when he was full of shit. Russo didn’t like Cornette because Cornette wanted to do wrestling, which he thinks shouldn’t be a fight considering it was called the World WRESTLING Federation. “Russo, since he probably has a small penis and needs positive feedback”, started catering to the Internet fans instead of people buying tickets. “The Internet fans are stroking him enough that the other marks, the ones running the multi-million dollar company in Atlanta” decide to hire him as the head writer.
How Russo quit- He finally gets back to the point and says that Russo waited until McMahon flew to England for a PPV then went to Atlanta and signed a contract. McMahon came back to do TV in the Meadowlands and found out over the phone that Russo and his co-writer Ferrara had quit even though they lived in Connecticut and could have driven to tell McMahon “They offered me so much that I couldn’t pass it up” but didn’t. (There’s a lot more here but I can’t transcribe it and do it justice.)
Ed Ferrara- He was pissed enough at Ferrara over the Terri stuff but if he’d been in WCW when Ferrara made fun of Jim Ross as Oklahoma, he’d have kicked his ass right then and there. (Cornette spit in Ferrara’s eye a few months back when both were at an independent show. After he did it, Cornette yelled “That was for JR!”)
Vince McMahon- McMahon was a millionaire well before Russo because he had all kinds of stars, bookers, office staff, etc. that were the best at what they do. Russo had no part of that success. He doesn’t like Vince McMahon’s idea of wrestling but agrees with McMahon’s favorite statement, “Chocolate or vanilla, which one really is the best?” Cornette loves his vanilla and wants that chocolate kept as far away from him as possible.
What happened with him leaving a message on Russo’s answering machine? “Vince Russo, if you ever see this, SUE MY FUCKIN’ ASS!” After Russo was sent home from WCW for the first time in early 2000, he called an unnamed WWF employee when the WWF was coming to do a show in the area and left his new number on their voicemail. Cornette knew he was about to start working with OVW instead of being in the WWF front office, called the number and, when Russo picked up, he went off on a diatribe. It was something like “I just wanted to call up and congratulate you, you fuckin’ piece of shit, for getting sent home for being incompetent” and went off further before trying to give Russo his home number where they could continue the conversation but Russo had already hung up. He called back the next day and Russo wasn’t answering so he decided to leave a message telling him what a piece of shit he was. “I can’t remember exactly what I said but it was one of the better Jim Cornette tirades, directed at him, Vince Russo.” Russo turned around and called WWF Human Resources and tried to get him fired, claiming that Cornette threatened to rape his wife and kill his kids. He says that he hates Russo’s bratty kids but that his problem is with Russo and not them. He goes off on how Russo has devalued wrestling between what he did to the WWF and what Nitro and Thunder are like at the time of this interview. “They can take talent and make it no-talent. You’ve got Lance Storm in a match stumbling around like a drunk man. Lance Storm is one of the most graceful people you’ll see this side of Nuriev… They can’t book a match. They may think they’ve booked one but they haven’t.”
The interviewer stumbles here and asks if he’d rather stay in SMW or return to WCW. “*spit take* I’d rather go back to working at the fuckin’ dry cleaners than return to WCW.” Cornette says that it’s funny that Russo actually lost about $70 million running WCW last year and that he could open up a promotion, run ten major cities for five years, and let everyone in for free and STILL not lose that much money.
What would he do to save WCW? “That would be like getting a sodomy charge reduced to tailgating.” He suggests that the company be allowed to die and then, in about ten years, start running shows again in the city once a new generation of fans has shown up. He says that Vince McMahon may buy the assets of WCW but that he’s too smart to buy the company in its present form. (Which did happen, as McMahon bought the tape libraries, trademarks, and wrestlers on short-term contracts from Time-Warner in early 2001.) He starts going off on how everyone wants to be the next McMahon but people who have the money, like Turner, don’t know how to do it “and people who know how, as I have proven, don’t have the money.”
What happened to Smokey Mountain- He “got too big to be small and too small to be big.” Part of the problem was that he opened shop during what he THOUGHT was the bottom of a wrestling recession but it only kept getting worse. The WWF actually didn’t start drawing up until about 1997 so it wasn’t as if people didn’t like his product. Another problem was that they were considered to be paid programming instead of like the old days because the TV stations don’t want to have to sell ads anymore. “They just want a tape and a check” so they can buy the syndicated programs people want to see. He says the way to go is either to work with a television station that wants quality programming or work with a growing station that will grow with you. He says that the transmitter of Lousiville’s WB station, which carries OVW, is so powerful that “it knocks birds out of the sky” and, when they first turned it on, was so strong that the station was channels 31 through 36. They draw some of the biggest ratings the station has gotten so they get prime time specials and so forth.
Sunny- He likes her and Chris Candido. Right before she left the WWF she was being a bitch to him because he was trying to help her and she didn’t realize how much she really needed it. He still likes her better than Sable because Sunny was “an out front cunt” while Sable was “an undercover cunt” and very political. He says that putting a live mic in front of Sable should be a capital offense. “She can’t even act like she’s goddamn breathing.” He started using her because he wanted to book Candido but couldn’t afford to pay him enough to justify moving from New Jersey. It dawned on him that if he paid Candido and Sunny salaries, they could both afford to live there and she turned out to be a natural on the mic. He would rather deal with someone who’s upfront than someone who’s political.
Chris Candido- Fabulous worker. He wasn’t upset at him over the whole deal with Paul E and the tapes of Sunny. Paul E had them over a barrel to do a special on Sunny, since both she and Chris were persona non grata in the WWF and WCW at that time, so Cornette lent them the tape for the special provided Paul paid him $1000. He got the tape back 6 weeks later with no check and they only used about 10 seconds of footage anyway. He was pissed at how they exploited Sunny’s problems because that’s not what she needed at that time. “He didn’t have the dildo ALL the way in but he had them on the barrel and was tapping them lightly on the ass.”
Was he disappointed to the fan reaction to the Thrillseekers (Chris Jericho and Lance Storm)? He laughs about it now, comparing them to the purchase of Alaska, which was called “Seward’s Folly” until someone realized that there was a lot of oil in that land. “I just couldn’t get the oil out.” He says that part of the problem was that this was the first time both guys had been in the US, that Storm brought his wife everywhere and that it hurt his Rock and Roll Express-style gimmick, their wrestling style didn’t mesh well with what the fans expected, and that they weren’t able to sell enough gimmicks to make their pay. He saw them as “pussy magnets” much like the Rock and Rolls in 1984 but they didn’t sell the gimmick enough. “I’m not saying they had to go out and get AIDS but they had to be sociable.” As for their style, he said that the fans wanted hard-hitting action and/or entertaining match and not a Japanese aerial masterpiece. He said it was probably their first time in a real territory and that they were trying to do what they saw on tapes from Japan and that “East Tennessee and Japan have very dissimilar cultures.” He’s talked to both since then and that they’ve come a long way from those days. He’s also realized since then that they failed because he didn’t know how to properly package them in a way to cover up their weaknesses.
The vingettes about the nWo on RAW- “That’s gotten the biggest pop of anything I’ve done in years and it was an accident.” He was on Byte This at a time when nobody was really listening to the show and was asked his opinion of the infamous nWo promo in which they made fun of Arn Anderson’s retirement speech. Cornette went on a long tirade to the effect of “These guys don’t have the resume to pick fun at Arn or Flair” but was a lot more verbose and colorful. He’d already had his share of run-ins with The Clique and “that whole Curtain Call thing gave me gas”, so it was a touchy issue with him when they went after people he respected like Flair. They got more calls about that show than Byte This had gotten in its history to that point so Vince McMahon asked him about what he said. He repeated it and was then asked if he’d say it again on the air. The thing was cleared through the lawyers since it was all factual or opinion, so he couldn’t be sued for libel. He actually apologized to X-Pac when he came back from WCW because he felt he’d unfairly lumped him in with other, more useless, members of The Clique.
Shawn Michaels- Greatest in-ring performer of the 90s but was an immature prick outside the ring. He wishes that “he’d grown up a little fucking bit.”
The NWA Invasion angle in 1998- It was Vince Russo’s idea and he thinks it was Russo’s way of making fun of him and the NWA.
Shawn and Bret Hart during that period- It was VERY tense, as opposed to now which is very happy. He feels that most people were divided into Bret’s camp, Shawn’s camp, or a camp of people who were just pissed off at the whole situation. He understands the hatred but it got to be overwhelming because it was constantly causing problems. If he was in charge at Montreal, he’d have done the exact same thing because he thinks Bischoff would have done whatever he wanted to do regardless of what Vince McMahon or Bret Hart agreed to do. He thinks that Bret should have just bitten the bullet and dropped the belt since he was going to be making an unreal amount of money in WCW, although he understands that Bret didn’t want to leave the WWF but Vince forced him to go to WCW. He feels everyone knew that WCW didn’t know what to do with Bret before he even left. “Look what did happen: They took the hottest wrestler in the history of the business and turned him into a ‘Where Are They Now?’ and in record time.” He says that he understands all sides of the situation and that Vince wasn’t going to go broke paying Bret’s contract but that it was a bigger strain than he needed at that time. “Nobody trusted Bischoff” because they figured Bischoff would exploit signing the WWF’s reigning champion as soon as he possibly could and says that the fact Vince released Bret while he was holding the WWF title shows what trust Vince had in him.
Owen Hart- He compares them to Dory Funk and Terry Funk, with Dory being the more serious one and Terry being the funny one. He says Owen was like a huge kid and would do stuff all the time like shoot him in the crotch with a water gun before a promo, so he’d have to cut a promo looking like he’d just pissed his pants. He wasn’t malicious as much as fun-loving.
Working with Jake Roberts in SMW and the WWF- “Wouldn’t know, he never showed up either place.” Jake only showed up once out of all the times that he was expected to in SMW and that did poorly because the OJ Simpson chase in the white Bronco was on all the TV stations. He feels the problem there was that Jake’s wife was a bitch and that she was telling Jake to hold out for more money. Jake in the WWF wasn’t much better because he was supposed to be a booker but slept through the first Shotgun Saturday Night. He can’t remember if Jake fired or if he disappeared and was told not to come back but “it’s hard to fire people if they don’t show up.”
Living in the Northeast- “I was in jail one time in Baton Rouge and I enjoyed it more than living in Connecticut.” He’s told Vince before that it he moved Titan Towers to South Carolina that he’d love working for him but that he hates Connecticut.
Why he’s not in the WWF right now- He hates office politics and doesn’t like having people “cut my nuts off”, so he got tired of it after Vince Russo kept screwing him over.
What he hates most about the business today- People treating wrestling as a business rather than fun that you get paid for. He tells people who don’t like wrestling yet do it to make money “don’t shit in my pond” because they usually end up putting on bad matches or booking bad TV, which hurts his business when people associate that crap with him. Case in point- Ian Rotten’s IWA. (Cornette launched a tirade on that recently in a Lousiville area newspaper.)
Fans being smart to the business- He doesn’t like it but “am I going to throw a cup of water on the goddamn Chicago fire?” He wants his young guys to have respect for the business and its history. “The Yankees know who Babe Ruth was but most of these guys don’t know who Lou Thesz was.” There’s a lot that you can use from those days if you can adapt them to today’s business. He HATES muscleheads who get into the business just because they think it’s easy money rather than because they like it.
His views on highspots- If you go through tables enough, the fans want you to start going through flaming tables. If you go through flaming tables enough, people want you to have matches using thumbtacks with the AIDS virus on them. Etc.
The balcony spots- “Fuck the balcony. What is this, goddamn sky diving?” If someone from OVW tried that, they’d get fired because either they didn’t tell him about it first or did it without approval. He feels that these kinds of spots are bullshit because wrestling is about doing stuff that you have a reasonable shot of coming away from unharmed, not taking your life into your hands doing a high dive.
Garbage wrestling in general- There’s a market for that but should there be? It has a car wreck appeal but it doesn’t have anything else. “A guy could put a ketchup bottle up his ass and squirt it on some french fries but it doesn’t mean I want to taste them.”
Guys like Jeff Hardy- They were doing daredevil highspot stuff years before they got paid for it so “you can’t say they didn’t like it.” He told Mick Foley one time that taking huge bumps at that point in his career was counterproductive since the fans could see he was a great guy and that they were feeling uneasy seeing him take such pain.
Business in the next five years- He hopes things in the ring settle down because there’s a limit to what’s physically possible and the business seems to be reaching it. It’s just going to get harder and harder to retrain the fans to pop for simpler stuff if you keep raising the bar. On top of that, the guys will have shorter careers if they keep doing that stuff. Psychology and personality will become a bigger part of the business because someone like Leviathan (Batista) will always be more impressive to someone walking down the street and that it will take a lot of work for smaller guys to overcome that without resorting to garbage wrestling.
OVW- Danny Davis started up the school when he retired from wrestling in about 1994 or 1995. He just happened to open the school in Cornette’s home town and went way back with him because Davis and Ken Wayne were the first tag team Cornette ever managed, The Galaxians. He knew that it would be a quality school because Davis was a good worker and had drawn money before so he could walk the walk of what he was teaching. He happened to run into Davis while in Louisville one time and was invited to tour the school. He loved it because the facilities were much better than the WWF had set up in Connecticut when they ran the Funkin’ Dojo there. He sold the idea to Jim Ross since they would have proper facilities, live shows, TV tapings, etc. and that with the WWF’s support that Davis could start bringing in superior athletes. This is similar to the relationship that Vince had with Smokey Mountain Wrestling, except that the WWF didn’t need to produce as many homegrown stars back then. “It’s the most I’ve enjoyed the business since probably when I left the Midnight Express.”
Eddie Gilbert- “You never knew which Eddie you were getting sometimes.” He had a tendency to tell revisionist history, such as his story about not knowing there was a booking meeting one time in WCW until he walked in a room and saw Cornette. Cornette says that one hurt a bit because he and Eddie actually would ride to the buildings together and were on the booking committee together for six months. Eddie and Flair had their problems, which didn’t help out. Eddie was a bit flighty because he always thought people were messing with him and Cornette says that, usually when you think that’s happening, it’s probably true.
Kevin Nash- His only good match was against Shawn Michaels, “who could have a good match with a couch.” He thinks it’s pathetic that Nash is broken down with graying hair and a potbelly yet still trying to get over as Big Sexy. He feels Vince only got Nash over to begin with because of his look and that he was already on a downhill slide back then. One of his favorite stories is that, when he was asked to teach Rick Bogner and Kane how to be the new Razor Ramon and Diesel, he watched some Kevin Nash matches then told Kane “You have five moves. If you count pushing your hair back a move, then you’ve got six.” Nash once bitched about being the lowest paid WWF champion of all time and someone (Cornette wants to say Gerald Brisco) told him it was because he was the lowest DRAWING WWF champion of all time.
Triple H- He thinks he got in a bad crowd with The Clique and was the one to take the fall for the Curtain Call. He’s heard that he’s a locker-room leader now, which is a change from his Clique days, and was a little surprised Trips was able to make it to the top since he was good in the ring but always seemed to be missing something. He starts talking about wrestlers and breaking kayfabe now and how they’ll say “well, my character is this”, while he feels that many old-school wrestlers like Ric Flair were their gimmicks but just kicked it up a notch in front of the crowd.
Roddy Piper- One of his heroes before getting into the business. One of his favorite moments in the business was when he got to do a promo with Roddy Piper at an In Your House PPV in Louisville. He got bitched at afterwards for not cutting it short but says that Piper talked for four minutes and he only got a thirty second response, so it would have looked bad if Piper had talked then he’d just walked off. When he was asked why he didn’t just do that, he said “Look, motherfucker, I got to do an interview on pay per view with RODDY PIPER so I’ll take my time. I’ll penalize your ass.”
Terry Funk- Another one of his heroes before getting into the business. It’s been amazing to not only meet Funk but also manage him and book him. He starts talking about how he booked Funk against Bullet Bob Armstrong at a Smokey Mountain show and how Funk did the one of the first moonsaults in the territory during that match. After he did it, Cornette asked Funk if he was all right and he said he wasn’t sure. When Cornette asked what it was that he did, Funk replied “I don’t know but I don’t think I’m going to do it again.” He puts over one of Funk’s matches with Jerry Lawler as one of the five best matches of all time.
Best rib he’s ever seen- There’s too many to really rate like that. One example would be that Mr. Fuji used to actually remove the engines from people’s cars. Another time after a show, Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton played a rib on him where they were pouring plastic ants on him and making him think they were crawling all over him. Cornette pulled over and was frantically trying to brush them off with his pants at his ankles while Eaton was running around with four beers, which Cornette says were just for Bobby’s personal consumption. When a cop pulled up, Stan said “Rib’s over” and proceeded to talk the cop into moving along without giving them a ticket. Cornette then brings up how Bobby Eaton has a weak stomach and that, one time, someone threw some gravy out the window and it splattered. When Bubba made the observation that it looked like baby shit, Eaton started puking.
Messages to his fans- “I don’t have any fans. *laughs *”
Where does he see himself in ten years? Still running OVW.
Moving to different parts of the country- In his experience, people from the North like Chris Candido and Sunny move to the South and love it. However, people like himself, Jerry Jarrett, Stan Lane, Mideon, and Henry Godwinn are from the South and HATED living in the North. “They all become anti-social serial-killer types.” At TV, he used to torment Mideon by waving the keys to a house in Connecticut in front of him and said it was like holy water and a vampire.
If there’s one change he’d like to see in wrestling, what would it be? “Just one?” He just wants to see positive changes. While business is great now, it means that only 100 wrestlers are making a great living while the other 900 who used to work in other territories are screwed. He wants to go back to the days where a single piledriver was meant instant hospitalization in an angle because it used to get the same amount of heat as doing a lot of stuff now.
What does he say to people who tell him he needs to get with the times? “If everyone’s doing it then why should I? I’ll do something different, like put on good wrestling.” He won’t ask anyone to do something he wouldn’t do if his life depended on it, like taking another bump off of the scaffold.
Touring his wrestling room- Cornette and his girlfriend, Synn from OVW, show the film crew Cornette’s room full of memorbilia. This ranges from the cast Bob Orton Jr. wore when he was Roddy Piper’s bodyguard (a gift from Randy Orton, who was in OVW at the time) to the blood-covered white suit he wore for the Original Midnight Express angle in 1988 to New Jack’s mugshots. He also has what appears to be a rare picture of Sherri Martel where he claims she actually seems attractive, which certainly pre-dates her WWF Women’s Title run by a few years.
New Jack- “Those are New Jack’s mug shots from Fulton County Georgia. I keep those for personal reasons. Prick…” When he was in his office at the WWF one day, New Jack actually called him up for a job despite all the things he’d said about him in ECW. When Cornette mentioned that, New Jack claimed he was trying to work the Internet fans to which Cornette responded “When you’re working like that, you tend to TELL someone you’re working with them.” He then tells the story of how the Gangstas left him, which was that after a year of booking them in SMW, they weren’t drawing and he didn’t have anything for them so he gave them two months notice and said he’d find them someplace to go. Memphis and the WWF wouldn’t take them, so he talked to Paul E. about it. Paul took them and, after Cornette made him agree not to take them until they finished up in SMW, Paul made a comment to the effect of “Let me know if you fire them.” At that point, Mustapha stopped coming to shows and, as a result, New Jack refused to work anymore. Cornette then goes into how he found them working at the Alpharetta Auction Barn in Georgia, gave them their gimmick, and paid them what he’d said he’d pay them. He let them work with Undertaker and paired D’Lo Brown with them as well. They cut promos on him in ECW because “New Jack is a goddamn idiot and a troublemaker” and that’s why no one will hire him.
Interview- Cornette cuts an interview about always having the last laugh, as proven by him and the Midnight Express destroying Bill Watts a few weeks back. They hype an upcoming match against the Bruise Brothers, managed by Jimmy Hart.
Interview- Cornette cuts an interview hyping a future Midnight Express match against Bill Watts.
Midnight Express vs. Rock and Roll Express- This is a Mid-South TV match. The Midnights escape with the title after Cornette makes a run-in, dressed as a woman, and clocks Ricky Morton in the head with a loaded purse.
Midnight Express vs. the Rock and Roll Express in a no-DQ match- Cornette uses an ether-soaked rag on Robert Gibson to give the Midnights the win.
Interview- Cornette explains how he was “cleaning Eaton’s wounds” instead of knocking Gibson out with ether.
Midnight Express and Ernie Ladd vs. Rock and Roll Express and Hacksaw Jim Duggan- The faces win by DQ after Cornette jumps in the ring and starts using the tennis racket.
Midnight Express vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Junkyard Dog in a no-DQ match- Cornette hits JYD in the eyes to blind him and leads Duggan into an ambush by Eaton. Duggan gains the upper hand, Cornette blows an elbow drop on Duggan, and Duggan almost kills Cornette before Hercules Hernandez waffles Duggan with a coal miner’s glove for the Midnights’ victory.
Interview- The Rock and Rolls promote their upcoming match against the Midnights where Cornette will be forced to wear a straitjacket by putting it on Robert Gibson. After he’s in it, the Midnights attack and destroy both of them, piledriving Morton in the process. JYD and leads a group of faces in to stop the beating.
Interview- The Rock and Rolls promote their scaffold match against the Midnight Express. Gibson throws a cantaloupe off of the scaffold to sell the dangers of falling to the floor from it.
Interview- Cornette cuts a promo about the upcoming scaffold match against the Midnight Express.
Midnight Express vs. Rock and Roll Express scaffold match- Joined in progress. Eaton loses a chickenfight to Robert Gibson to take his bump and then Condrey is forced off between Gibson kicking him and Morton working on his gands.
Interview- Cornette cuts promos on the Fantastics ripping on their teeny-bopper fans and their history of losing to the Midnights in other territories.
Interview- Cornette cuts a promo about the Texas cowgirls, “the ones more cow than girl”, and how they’re going to beat the Fantastics for the American Tag Team Titles at the World Class Christmas show.
Interview- Cornette cuts a promo about their upcoming American Tag Titles defense against the Fantastics at the Star Wars show.
Interview- Cornette cuts a promo about the Midnights’ upcoming match against Brian Adidas and Mike Von Erich saying that, if the Midnights lose, the fans will see a donkey flying in the sky afterwards. He also announces he’s signed “Crippler” Rip Oliver so that the Midnights can compete for the World Six-Man Tag Titles.
Interview- Cornette cuts a promo challenging Mike Von Erich, Kerry Von Erich, and Kevin Von Erich, claiming that the Midnights and Rip Oliver will try to run them out of Texas.
Interview- Cornette claims that the Fantastics were allowed to cheat in the Midnight Express’s match and is pissed that their tag titles were taken away after the match.
Interview- Sunshine and Cornette cut dueling promos about their upcoming match. Sunshine makes comments about Cornette’s lack of masculinity and Cornette says that Sunshine’s “been on more street corners than the Dallas Times-Herald.”
Interview- Cornette cuts a promo introducing himself and the Midnight Express to the TBS audiences, as they’re making their first appearance on the World Championship Wrestling TV show.
Cornette throws a fireball at Ronnie Garvin.
Interview- Cornette comes out doing a parody of Jimmy Garvin and produces a poster of a fat woman in a bikini claiming it’s Garvin's manager/wife Precious.
Interview- Cornette cuts an interview putting over Stan Lane replacing Dennis Condrey.
Midnight Express vs. the Fantastics for the US Tag Titles- This is from the first Clash of the Champions, which ran head to head against Wrestlemania 4 on free cable, and is one of three great matches that night. The other two are the first Sting vs. Ric Flair match and the Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard vs. Lex Luger and Barry Windham World Tag Title match. The match ends in an Dusty finish as the Fantastics apparently win the belt before Randy Anderson DQs them for throwing him over the top rope. GREAT brawling match.
Thoughts- If you didn’t already know my thoughts going in, I’ll reiterate them… this is the gold standard against all shoot interviews are compared when I do my rankings. Cornette is honest, controversial, and HILARIOUS all at the same time. On top of that, he fit more information into the first half of his interview than several of the interview subjects did combined. The match footage is above average, as there’s a wide range of promos in addition to matches between the Midnights and Rock and Rolls that have probably not been seen much since they aired in Mid-South. The icing on the cake is the Midnights-Fantastics match, which is arguably the best match on a completely stacked Clash of the Champions card and lightyears better than the best match on Wrestlemania 4, which it went head to head against. In short, if you can find a better shoot interview than this, I’d like to see it because it would be an accomplishment. Highest possible recommendation, with whipped cream and a cherry on top.
|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now: 23rd May 2017 - 02:48 PM|