The Jim Cornette Experience Episode 208 – Scott Bowden week 2
Release Date: November 23, 2017
Recap By: Mark Charles Adams
Top Stories/Moments of interest
- Cornette’s opinion of the state of ROH
- More lively discussion about Memphis wrestling and the territories
00:00:00 – Intro: Jim welcomes us to the show, wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and promises us a far from boring show, with a second week of Memphis discussion with Scott Bowden. Jim introduces co-host Brian Last, praising him for all his podcasting activities and in return Brian says he’s one of his favorite Memphis wrestling managers, right after Tux Newman. They then get into a carry-over discussion/argument from this week’s podcast Jim Cornette’’s Drive Thru over Jim’s aged podcasting headset, which Brian claims is going into business for itself. Brian believes the headset is no longer of a quality standard (“Your microphone is dogs**t… do you want a producer to make things better, or do you want Bruce Prichard?”) and recommended Jim buy a new one, sending him an Amazon link. Somehow Jim ordered the wrong thing and they play a clip from the Drive Thru where the argument began, suffice to say, this episode was recorded using the same headset we’re all used to.
00:16:25 – War Games: Jim then pulls up Brian on getting the rules to last weekends NXT version of War Games wrong, as people have pointed out to him on Twitter. Brian admits he only saw the end of the match and didn’t like it at all, but had misinterpreted tweets he had read explaining the rules to this version. They then discuss the 3 teams approach to it and Jim talks about a 3 team/9 man match he once did with the teams of Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and Arn Anderson versus the Stud Stable and Heavenly Bodies (Bobby Eaton, Stan Lane and Tom Prichard). Cornette says those people were so established, instantly recognizable and the match was so clearly structured that it made more sense visually to the people in the building. Brian then goes on to bash the “waiting to catch spot” when people crowd near a corner waiting to catch someone doing a high spot. They wrap up this section with Brian admitting he was wrong for only the second time on the podcast, the first being the time he said Donald Trump would never win the presidency.
00:22:04 – Cornette’s collectibles ad.
00:25:00 – People that Jim has pissed of or have been pissed off by Jim: Jim starts talking about Michael Vick the footballer who was convicted of animal cruelty and declared bankruptcy and recently paid off $17 million of debt. Jim is angry about his animal rights record and doesn’t believe he should be allowed to work in Football commentary again.
00:29:26 – Christopher Daniels and the Flaming Table: Jim discusses the recent ROH match where Chris Daniels took a powerbomb through a flaming table. He tweeted about it claiming ROH doesn’t need to be “garbage wrestling” and should be better than this. He talks about his time with the promotion between 2009-2012 and how he believed it could be a true competitive and athletic alternative to WWE and now worries they are just another Indie doing “90’s horsesh**t.” Jim feels during his tenure, Sinclair were going after a more mainstream audience and may now have taken a step backwards. He goes on to discuss how they handled chairshots in the feud between Hass and Benjamin and the Briscoes during the first wave of concussion lawsuits. Cornette claims when Joe Koff tried to outlaw the chairshots, he had to impress upon him that they were done safely and people were protected, wondering what happened to now allow a flaming table shot. He also discusses balcony dives, thumbs tacks and other “outlaw s**t” he tried to ban and even would fine people for suggesting – including in his time with TNA. The segment closes with Brian telling Jim that “the dick guy” is now working for ROH, referencing perennial Cornette target Joey Ryan.
00:40:29 – Sexual Harassment follow-up: Jim and Brian follow up on two of the sexual harassment cases they have talked about in the past. First up discussing Ron Moore again and how it’s been compared to comedian and Democratic politician Al Frankan. Jim believes the details of the case are different enough that it isn’t as simple as Democrats versus Republican. The Moore allegations included minors, while Franken’s accuser was broadcaster Leeann Tweedan, who has apparently accepted his apology. Cornette claims most of the furor is media bias. Brian also brings up how surprised he was by the Charlie Rose allegations and mentions how Kevin Spacey handled his allegations. The finish out the segment discussing how dangerous it is that the media is lumping all these allegations into the same pot
00:46:22 – Ads and future episodes: Jim discusses there will be no Drive Thru podcast next week because of being out of town for Wrestlecade. Brian then discuses other shows on his network.
00:51:35 – Scott Bowden Part 2: Jim throws it to the interview and they start by mentioning NXT War Games as an example of stipulations in wrestling, this segues into a discussion of how stipulations have gotten so convoluted and audiences don’t tend to believe in them. Jim notes that the Welch and Fuller families in the Southern Territories didn’t create the stipulations but they did perfect them. They discuss the Lawler and Dundee feud in 1977, which was the biggest money feud in the history of Tennessee wrestling.
They go on to discuss the specifics of the start of the feud, including how it was born out of a feud between Lawler’s stooge Leroy Brown and Dundee. Dundee had to beat Brown in a cage, pinning him twice, with a 15 minute time limit and a $1,000 bounty on the line. This gave way to a series of matches, with Lawler eventually stepping in and to replace Brown. They note that these matches were often more popular than bringing in the champions, because they were seemingly born out of personal issues. Bowden says that Jarrett and Lawler reportedly has a sign above their office door that read “personal issues draw money”.
They discuss other matches when Lawler and Dundee teamed together in a “coward waves the flag match.” They fondly reminisce about this match before Jim jumps forward in time to discuss the use of stipulations in the WWE Attitude Era, noting they would be announced by “S**tstain” (I assume he means Vince Russo) and then all would change the next week and it would be meaningless. Returning to 1977 Lawler and Dundee feud, they discuss a $4,000 prize match that lead to a match with the $4,000 prize and “Lawler’s” Cadillac on the line – a Cadillac Dundee had recently purchased. This eventually led to the Cadillac and the Southern Championship being on the line before moving into Championship hair matches. Ultimately leading to a match where Dundee’s wife lost her hair – a pay off which apparently paid for the down payment on their house.
Jim notes no one is surprised anymore when a stipulation is not upheld, calling it a shell game and believed the industry did it to itself. Talking about how top stars had a specialty stipulation that would have drew an audience, such as Terry Funk’s Texas Death Match. They go on to discuss the “Hospital elimination match” which Bowden was once booked in, refused to do and was smooth talked into it by Lawler himself. Jim praises the selling of the idea and often how little blood there could be in such a match, in contrast to how hardcore promotions would later simply promise the blood and gore. Both then discuss people coming back under masks after “Loser leaves town” matches, specifically talking about Dusty Rhodes becoming The Midnight Rider. Cornette says it was something that worked best in territories and less so on TV.
Jim raises what he feels is the best stipulation, believing it is fool proof – “the money back guarantee match.” Jim adds it helped him briefly save SMW, before discussing the 1987 Austin Idol versus Jerry Lawler money back guarantee match, where Idol promised to beat Lawler in a cage and then shave his head. Bowden says he was in attendance for the match, saying the crowd was fit to riot regardless of the outcome. Bowden adds he ended up crushed against the guard rail when the crowd realized that Lawler was getting his head shaved, but also they weren’t getting there money back. The discussion then turns to Tommy Rich and his involvement in the match. Both believe it was the first time someone had hidden in the ring in Memphis. They then joke about how Tommy Rich spent the entire show under the ring to not give away the surprise, possibly from 3pm that afternoon, reportedly with a case of beer and a bucket of KFC.
Jim then goes back to using the stipulation with Bob Armstrong in SMW. Armstrong came out of retirement and then suffered an attack angle, coming back 3 months later to do a lumberjack match against Cornette with the guarantee that Cornette would end up in the same hospital he had just spent 3 months recovering or the audience would get their money back. Jim then posits this can’t work on TV and with PPV now, but could still work for live events.
Bowden then discusses a stipulation he thought once worked well, the “Coalminers glove on a pole match.” The idea being the glove could even the stakes in a David and Goliath type match up. Jim chips in the “S**tstain” killed the “anything on a pole match.”
Bowden mentions banned moves and they talk about the pile driver being banned in Tennessee and how heels would use it behind the referees back. Jim adds how it was actually illegal according to the Tennessee athletic commission rules, Bowden doesn’t believe him, Jim adds obviously it was placed there for effect. They then discuss how visiting stars would often forget local rules, mentioning a 1982 match for the NWA title where Flair almost gave Lawler a pile driver, before being stopped at the last minute.
01: 37:55 – Favorite First Families: Brian wants to end the show discussing everyone’s favorite incarnations of Jimmy Hart’s First Family stable. Bowden says his favorite was with Kevin Sullivan and the contrast of his Boston accent.
Brian then talks about the 1981 Family, which contained no top level talent but made up for it in sheer numbers. They finish up discussing how much people love Memphis wrestling and are still discovering it, in part, because of YouTube and how it’s one of the few promotions that never sold their tape library to WWE.
They briefly go back to stipulations, racing through some sillier ones, such as the Babe Ruth on a pole match. Then mention “Tarred and feathered matches” in Louisiana and one that ended up with fans tarring and feathering Bobby Eaton’s rental car at his hotel. This segues into a brief discussion of props talent was forced to carry – sometimes as a prank on them, such as trophies that would take up the entire back seat of a car. They all note that the oft-told story of Koko B. Ware having to carry a television set while TV champion was an urban legend.
To finish, Brian asks what the storyline origin was for Lawler throwing fire. Bowden and Cornette note it was the Sheik who was supposed to have taught Lawler the skill, but it just became his desperation trademark.
1:58:09 – Show wrap up.
This one was a rough listen. I enjoy Cornette and often listen to an episode more than once the week it drops, but the open of this one was like listening to your parents fight and that cast a shadow over the whole thing. If you are a regular reader you may even notice how long it’s taken me to finish this write up. If you enjoyed Bowden part 1 as much as I did, I would just skip straight to the interview and maybe give the ROH discussion a listen. The rest is not essentially and feels grouchy and bad natured.
“00:00:00 – Intro”
“00:16:25 – War Games”
“00:22:04 – Cornette’s collectibles ad”
“00:25:00 – People that Jim has pissed of or have been pissed off by Jim”
“00:29:26 – Christopher Daniels and the Flaming Table”
“00:40:29 – Sexual Embarrassment follow-up”
“00:46:22 – Ads and future episodes”
“00:51:35 – Scott Bowden Part 2”
“01: 37:55 – Favorite First Families”
“1:07:28 – Show wrap up”
Mark is an English storyteller, joker, and drunk.