WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: The Jim Cornette Experience w/ John Cosper on “The Black Panther” Jim Mitchell’s trailblazing career, his place in history, a match against Gorgeous George that caused a riot (Ep. 206)

The Jim Cornette Experience Episode 206

Release Date: November 9, 2017


Top Stories/Moments of interest

  • Jim’s opinion on the Bruce Prichard/Puff Daddy
  • Another classic Cornette political promo
  • A true wealth of stories and information on pre-television wrestling stars


0.00 – Intro: Jim welcomes us to the show and promises us “tidbits and clarifications,” an update on the Cornette’s collectibles DVD bonanza, another rant about the “gun fetish and lack of leadership” in the US, and an interview with author and historian John Cosper on Black Panther, Jim Mitchell and Louisville Wrestling. He introduces co-host Brian Last and they banter. Jim goes on to talk about the sales at JimCornette.com and how he is keeping his local post office open and had a 16 foot long receipt from the last dispatches, saying if you ordered before November 7th, your order is on it’s way. Cornette seems genuinely charmed by the response to the sales and thanks the fans in Ernie Ladd fashion from the “bottom of my pea-pickin’ little heart.”

6:54 – Tidbits and clarifications: Jim follows up on a comment people took exception to on Twitter, where he called White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders a “a lying pig faced bloated hard-on assassinator” claiming he wasn’t fat shaming or being sexist and delving into all the reasons he finds her unattractive as a bad person over her family and political allegiances. Brian chimes in saying you should be able to ‘Shame bad people’ and Cornette jokes that Bruce Prichard should turn that into a t-shirt.

Talk briefly turns back to Lio Rush before continuing on Bruce Pritchard and the recent Sean Combs/Brother Love video. Jim doesn’t really know of Combs, but understands he has gone by a lot of names and jokes about them all with Brian. Brian is angry how much important stuff is happening in the world and how this has become mainstream news. They talk about how Combs has as much legal standing to call himself Brother Love as Prichard does given it’s a WWE trademark. Jim ends the segment shouting out to B. Piddy, acknowledging he stole the joke off Twitter.

17:27 – WrestleCade Ad: Jim’s much promised last public appearance of the year over Thanksgiving weekend.

19:26 – Guess who: Jim reads a description of someone sent to him on Twitter and they joke about who it could be. Brian claims it could be about half the people working in modern wrestling, but the answer boils down to how it fits both of Jim’s perennial targets Donald Trump and Vince Russo.

21:09 – Guns: Jim talks about his promo on episode 204 about gun control and how it has been less than a month and it has happened again, moving on to the tragic shooting at a church in Texas. He talks about how eight members of one family and 7% of one town were among the 26 people sadly killed. He then condemns how it is treated as a mental health issue and not a gun control issue. Brian adds how it is only a mental health issue when the perpetrator is white and Jim chimes in it’s never terrorism when the perpetrator is white. Cornette talks about how ‘it’s never the time to talk about it’ out of respect for the families, but there is never enough time between mass shootings for it to be the time to talk about it – likening it to old territory tactics for keeping a lock on buildings between shows.

Jim claims everyone should be embarrassed and there’s a lack of shame around gun culture and social acceptability. Brian adds how more netting was added to baseball stadiums after fans started getting hit by foul balls. Jim adds how it only took one shoe bomb for airports to change that policy, but the Texas shooter could buy a gun a year for 4 years in different states.

Talk moves to the constitution reform, and how the government would never allow a militia to ever rise against Washington at this point, but Jim would like to see it happen and for them to be taken out by a drone strike. Jim works through all the reasons for owning a gun, writing off target shooting, collectors, and hunting before cutting a promo on how people don’t need semi-automatics for self defense and the “thoughts and prayers” approach to mass shootings. Jim ends the segment talking about how Jerry Lawler asked him if he really believes what he says or if he just rants to piss people off, then answer is essentially both, he wants to piss people off so something might happen about the things that he believes in.

52:17 – 605 Mothership podcast ad: Brian talks about other shows and this weeks 605 super podcast.

54:16 – John Cosper interview: Jim introduces the pre-recorded with John Cosper, who he claims “puts him to shame when documenting the history of wrestling in Louisville.” John then goes on to add more detail to last week’s talk of how he came into possession of so much material and memorabilia from the career of The Black Panther Jim Mitchell. John starts talking about a homecoming show for Mitchell in 1954, where Cosper first became aware of his storied career dating back to the 1930s. Cosper talks about how Mitchell was either born in Louisville in 1910 or 1908, depending on documentation. He was an avid cyclist and reportedly rode his bike to early bookings in Indianapolis and Ohio.

While much has been written about Bobo Brazil breaking wrestling’s color barriers later, Cosper details how Mitchell’s early work predates any match segregation because there were no other African Americans wrestling at the time, and that he went on to wrestle stars of the time such as Gorgeous George. Cosper goes on to detail stories of Mitchell’s rival with Martino Angelo in the 1930s. Martino was so hated as the heel in his territory that even in ‘”klan towns” the crowd would be riotously cheering for Jim Mitchell.

Cornette and Cosper go on to discuss the August 1949 riot that ensued during the match in Los Angeles between Black Panther and Gorgeous George at the Olympic. A fan entered the ring to attack George after Mitchell was thrown out of the ring and when George turned on the fan the crowd rushed in out of their seats. Apparently there was a trap door at the Olympic that allowed wrestlers to get back to the dressing rooms. They believe this was used to escape the situation. Fans fought until late that night, with several hospitalizations over stab wounds. Later Mitchell was called before the athletic commission to answer for his part in the evening and Cosper even details a letter he has over a lawsuit.

Cosper sets Cornette straight on his belief that Mitchell retired in Louisville, saying he actually retired in Toledo. Cosper tells a story about Mitchell attending wrestling shows in Toledo later in life and an interaction with Bull Curry. During a show, Wild Bull shoved Mitchell at ringside after being thrown out of the ring during a match. Mitchell reportedly stood up and took of his glasses. That was enough for the crowd to go wild before Bull backed away. They go on to discuss the house, in Toledo, where a friend of Cosper’s bought a house for $11,000, planning to renovate and resell, which turned out to be Mitchells last home.

They discuss how to resurrecting Mitchell’s legacy. Cornette talks about how much the WWE put into Black History Month and the Hall of Fame and if there is a place for him there in time. Jim and John ponder on when Mitchell formally retired. There seems to be little evidence of him in the late ’50s, but there is a picture of him in the collection wrestling with “a few specs of white hair” that is dated 1963. By this point, Bobo Brazil was the big travelling star and they wondered if this took an impact on Mitchell’s booking. They both make pains to say that Mitchell didn’t have a sad end, though while his house was in disrepair now, Mitchell had a relatively comfortable retirement. Jim says it sounds like he had probably had one of the better post-wrestling retirement stories.

Cornette and Cosper finish up talking about other Louisville stars and stories and other projects Cosper is working on. Jim jokingly claims Cosper is a stalker for how he finds family members of old stars. They discuss female wrestling pioneer Elvira Snodgrass, who died young following a car accident, and Mildred Burke, alluding to her stories with promoter Billy Wolfe.

Lastly, Jim tells a story of Pat ‘Pieface’ Malone throwing a drunk fan from the doorway of the locker room at the age of 76 before going for a knife he reportedly always kept in one of his wrestling boots. Louisville was a rich territory and the early stories make the 1970s look tame.

1:33:45 – Show wrap up.

Rating 8/10

This one was quite a joy to listen too. As old school wrestling oral history and storytelling goes, The Jim Cornette Experience can often deliver real insight. It nearly always sends me in about eight different directions on the internet researching characters and events I never knew happened (seriously, check out Mildred Burke versus the NWA). Sadly though, the truth is that some fans will be put off before they ever get that far into a show by Cornette’s political opinions. But Cornette feels this is his vehicle and I doubt he could deliver a biased opinion if he tried in today’s climate. He believes that maybe he can change some minds or activate some opinions, as he discussed this week. If you don’t want to hear that stuff, just jump straight to the interview at the timestamps below.


“0.00 – Intro”
“6:54 – Tidbits and clarifications”
“17:27 – Wrestlecade Ad”
“19:26 – Guess who”
“21:09 – Guns”
“52:17 – 605 Mothership podcast ad”
“54:16 – John Cosper interview”
“1:33:45 – Show wrap up”

Writer Bio

Mark is an English storyteller, joker, and drunk.

This week he has been mostly struggling with a computer that refuses to stay on.


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