WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: The Jim Cornette Experience w/ Scott Bowden on Memphis wrestling in the ’70s, who Jerry Lawler borrowed part of his act from, where the term “dark match” originated (Ep. 207)

The Jim Cornette Experience Episode

Release Date: November 16, 2017

Recap By: Mark Adams


Top Stories/Moments of interest

  • Animated coverage of various wrestling industry terms
  • Fun interview with Scott Bowden
  • Archive clip of Jerry Lawler


0:00 – Intro: Jim welcomes us to the show and promises us he is cranked up and we’re all going to have fun. The show will feature more break downs of wrestling verbiage, a discussion of Rand Paul, and how the Republicans are ‘expanding their tent,’ then the guest will be Scott Bowden of Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ podcast to discuss Memphis wrestling. Jim introduces co-host Brian Last and says he’s the other person he’s spoken to outside of post office workers and his wife. Jim complains about sending international orders.

6:28 – Cornette Collectibles ad: Almost seamlessly Jim segue from complaining about “Jon the hunchback” at the post office into trying to sell the audience the official Jim Cornette ‘burger towel.’ He then discusses which DVDs they still have in stock before talking about potentially selling garbage bags in the future.

9:54 – Outlaw shows, etc: Jim discusses a tweet he’s had that showed a video of someone getting a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron and how he was amazed neither side was harmed for this ‘pop at an outlaw show,’ lots of people replied that this was UK promotion RevPro and not an outlaw show. It turns out it was the same wrestler who gave Lio Rush the ladder powerbomb discussed on episode 205. This leads into a discussion of what a ‘dark match’ is and what an ‘outlaw show’ is.

Jim discusses how ‘dark match’ came about as a term in the ’70s as TV tapings became so big, saying in Memphis they would literally write DARK or TV next to matches on the backstage chalk board. Jim says while with ROH he tired to get rid of their pre-show dark matches. But he stresses that a show has to be televised for it to have a dark match and the term is often misused. Cornette then moves back to discussing outlaw shows and how he was asked on Twitter what it was.

Jim says an outlaw promotion was a secondary rival promotion in any territory, often while it was in a hot period for business. They usually used local talent or older national talent or wrestlers blacklisted by the main promoters that didn’t have the connections to local newspapers or television. They would often promote the shows with flyers and posters. The shows often took place in the fairgrounds and similar out of town locations, which in some areas gave way to the term ‘Mudshow.’ Jim discusses Outlaw show tactics, such as using soundalike names like Hobo Brazil or Bruno Sanmartino, or promoting sensational matches like alligator wrestling or carnival sideshow tricks like bearded lady matches.

Jim says the modern equivalent would be hardcore wrestling while taking another swipe at Joey Ryan doing ‘outlaw s**t.’ Before finishing up telling stories about various local Outlaw shows in the Jarrett territory in his youth.

26:46 – Rand Paul and Roy Moore: Cornette starts discussing Rand Paul’s recent questionable certification as an ophthalmologist, before talking about how he was recently attacked by his neighbor. Apparently, Paul took a spear from his neighbor over a property dispute and ended up with broken ribs, Jim wishes there was video of the event. They then discuss Alabama DA and Senate hopeful Roy Moore who has been accused of and may have admitted to sexually abusing teenage girls.

36:36 –  Various ads: Jim discusses the good feedback for stories played on recent episodes featuring Ron Fuller and promises more have been recorded before promoting the Studcast, Fuller’s own show and letting Brian do his ad for the 605 podcast. Jim then promotes WrestleCade over Thanksgiving weekend.

47:28 – Scott Bowden: Jim opens the interview discussing the first time he met Scott as a referee when he was 19 but looked like he was 11. Scott went on to have a run in the ’90s as a heel manager, before becoming a podcaster via filmmaker Kevin Smith. Bowden explains he got into wrestling via his father, becoming fascinated with Archie Gouldie “The Mongolian Stomper” in summer 1975, believing him to be like Marvel Comics’ Incredible Hulk. Being hooked by the 1977 feud between Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee. They go one to discuss the pace of Memphis wrestling in the ’70s and how height and size didn’t always matter if the action was hot. Jim discussed how fights would often break out before people had got their robes and jackets off, saying one night almost someone almost broke their hand giving Dennis Condrey a gut shot whilst still wearing the tag belt. They go on to discuss Lawler joking about Bill Dundee driving him around, pretending Lawler’s Cadillac was his own.

Bowden goes on to discuss how he got his start in podcasting before going out on his own and the collection of Memphis wrestling materials he has, most on audio cassette. They cover a lot of topics quickly in passing before discussing Lawler leaving the territory in depth in 1974 before returning a few years later.

1:11:06 Jerry Lawler babyface clip and discussion: They play a short clip of early babyface Lawler talking with Lance Russell, when he was finding the character and how much he was cribbing from Dusty Rhodes. In the clip Lawler tries to interact with the live crowd, which backfires amusingly, although the kids cheer for him, one fan doesn’t support him when questioned. Brian, Jim, and Scott then discuss how much Lawler says ‘…baby’ at the end of sentences and how he pandered less to the crowd as time went on. Scott says he only attended the studio matches once, because while the tickets were free, they were in such demand that requests backed up and were issued for up to 6 months after when you requested. This lead to people not showing up to tapings, so local children would wait outside and often get into each week’s shows.

They finish up discussing how Cornette has a collection of tapes of Memphis material they should trade and talk about and wrap up by agreeing to continue this discussion on next week’s show.

1:23:25 – Show wrap up.

Rating 7/10

Bowden and Cornette covered so much so quickly on this one it was a fun listen but difficult to recap. I’m still not sure of some of the names they mentioned and Google isn’t helping my attempts to find them! But I get the impression I may listen to some of Bowden’s show to hear more of the taped clips as that seems like a fascinating treasure trove of content. It’s was a fun whirlwind listen and I am glad they are coming back next week. The political stuff this week was slightly lighter too which will please some listeners.


“0.00 – Intro”
“6:28 – Cornette Collectables ad”
“9:54 – Outlaw shows, etc”
“26:46 – Rand Paul and Roy Moore”
“36:36 –  Various ads”
“47:28 – Scott Bowden”
“1:11:06 Jerry Lawler babyface clip and discussion”
“1:23:25 – Show wrap up”

Writer Bio

Mark is an English storyteller, joker, and drunk.

This week he received his signed Wrestling Gold DVD boxset and has buyers remorse for not ordering a ‘burger towel’ as well.


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