WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: The Jim Cornette Experience – The Great American Bash ’87, the highs and lows of the tour, what Ric Flair thought the company could have done to last longer, how Jim tore his ACL (Ep. 204)

The Jim Cornette Experience Episode 204: 1987 Great American Bash

Release Date: October 26, 2017

Recap By: Mark Charles Adams


Top Stories/Moments of interest:

  • Jim’s retirement from managing and Midnight Express Reunion at WrestleCade in November
  • Wrestling Gold DVDs found in warehouse
  • Wealth of information about 1980’s house shows


0:00 –  Intro: Jim welcomes us and introduces Brian Last and they immediately get into a back-and-forth running joke about Game of Thrones.

3:05 – Winter in Louisville: Jim complains about the weather and discusses appearing on Dinner with the King last week, then talks about Big Red Reese who has a platter named after him at Jerry Lawler’s BBQ restaurant.

8:36 – Jim’s “Near Death” Experience: Jim tells a humorous story about a suspicious package he received in the mail that turned out to be soap powder for his wife’s bath bombs.

13:10Covering the appearances this weekend at Derby City Comic Con and at WrestleCade in November: the Midnight Express reunion, Jim’s “retirement” match managing Dan Severn and the SMW anniversary event. This is followed by Cornette taking a break until Spring 2018.

17:30  – Viewers Mail: Including Jim’s opinion on a Bobby Heenan shoot video from 2001 discussing the end of WCW, a political opinion email on Trump from the UK and an event at an “outlaw” Alabama SMW show in 1995 where a referee with a kidney transplant got body slammed.

26:31 – Brian talks about his other Podcast, the 605 Mothership.

28:45 – Jim’s political rant for the week, covering a contract given by the US government to aid the Puerto Rico recovery effort and then talks about items for sale via Cornette’s Collectibles – including some Wrestling Gold DVDs found in a warehouse that may be of interest to many fans that will be on sale from November 1st.

37:10 – Cornette talks about the Great American Bash Tour of July 1987: One of the highest grossing tours in Jim Crockett Promotions history according to Jim. He has his journal from the period and claims to not have looked at in advance.

Jim then goes on to give a lot of details about the tour, including his half-pay period and rushed return from an ACL tear. The tour started with Jim needing surgery on the ACL after planting a foot between the mat and canvas on June 27th in Philadelphia in a match with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express for the NWA tag titles.

He then talks about missing TV tapings and some shows, but argues for half-pay for the beginning of the tour, which he gives full details on the pay he received for the shows he missed, based on what the event attendance and house numbers were each night. Some nights matches drew amazing audiences even by modern standards, 16,000 people at the Omni in Atlanta, which Cornette records as a house of $245,000.

However, other shows did not draw well, often in areas into which the company had freshly expanded. The Forum in Los Angeles is a $85,000 house, which Jim feels wasn’t enough to pay the light bill for the building. Cornette returned on crutches after 10 days, just in time for a double TV taping back in Atlanta.

He then gives a full day-to-day rundown, including information on the crazy travel schedule and how they achieved it. One weekend they went from Pittsburgh to Oklahoma City to Baltimore to West Palm Beach to Baton Rouge. Some cities were almost completely dead and were the early signs of the end for the Mid-South territory, while overall it showed the problem with Jim Crockett Promotions ambitious national expansion.

1:00:27 – Jim talks about a baseball stadium show in Cleveland, Ohio after a baseball game, where he had to be rescued by security while trying to keep the audience engaged as the ring was set up. Brian then asks about other outside shows, the ones that included bands and how that was bad for business, as the artists were often expensive but were not really why audience attended the shows.

Jim then continues to discuss the JCP expansion “west of the Mississippi”, and how it would have been better to have smaller drawing local shows in the traditional territories, saying Ric Flair believes the company would have lasted longer if they hadn’t done the western expansion.

The tour ends August 1st at the Superdome in New Orleans with a disastrous $42,000 house. Jim details hows in 1984 he saw the post-show accounting for a Superdome show in April of 1984 which was a $173,000 house, but the final check to the company was $126,000 – meaning building expenses for the Superdome in ’84 were literally more that that night’s whole take. Their pay off that night was $400 per person.

Jim got his custom knee brace on August 3rd 1987 just after the “tour through hysteria” had ended.

1:10:30 – Jim and Brian ruminate about how there should have been a survival plan for Jim Crockett Promotions, how different territories should have been left because of the economy or rested until interest bounced back.

1:18:30 – Show wrap up.

Rating 7/10

If you enjoy a healthy dose of very specific old school anecdotal wrestling history, from the matches and business information, right down to the raw dollar accounting breakdown, this is one for you. If you were a fan of the conversational style of the WWE’s Legends Roundtables, this could be exactly what you want from a podcast. But it definitely won’t be for everyone. Covering a very specific period in time, this is the kind of deep dive very few can give. And Cornette delivers it like only he could.


0:00 – Intro.
3:05 – Winter in Louisville.
8:36 – Jim’s “Near Death” Experience.
13:10 – Upcoming events.
17:30 – Viewers Mail.
26:31 – 605 podcast Ad.
28:45 – Jim’s political rant for the week and Ads for Cornette’s Collectibles.
37:10 – Great American Bash Tour of July 1987.
1:00:27 – End of the 87 tour.
1:10:30 – Jim Crockett Promotions survival plan.
1:18:30 – Show wrap up.

Writer Bio

Mark is an English storyteller, joker, and drunk.


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