PODCAST RECAP AND REVIEW: Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru on the wrestler who paid fines to Bill Watts in installments, the body bag rib played on him, thoughts on John Cena, Mordecai, and Sean O’Haire in OVW (Ep. 38)

Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru Episode 38

Release date: January 15, 2017

Recap by: Paul Briody

Top stories/moments of interest:

• Usual format in which Brian Last asks Jim Cornette email questions from fans about current wrestling and wrestling history with great chemistry between the two.

0:00 – intro begins with recap of Jim’s headset drama.

8:43 – Jim answers question regarding a possible Hulk Hogan return to WWE. It’s inevitable (Hulk’s return) but the whole sex tape saga was a sleazy affair.

10:53 – Jim talks about working for Bill Watts in Mid-South. At one point Buddy Landel was paying his fines in installments because he had so many. Small details of Watts’ interactions with the biggest names in the territory including: Jim Ross, Ernie Ladd, Bill Dundee, and Grizzly Smith.

22:56 – Jim talks about being tombstoned by The Undertaker in 1997. At the time, Jim was only managing on TV, was on the WWF creative committee and this was a way of writing him off the show as a manager. Undertaker’s knees were clamped on the sides of Jim’s head extremely tightly during the move. As a rib, Bruce Prichard and Pat Patterson (amongst others) pretended they couldn’t open Jim’s body bag backstage, which prompted lots of shouting and swearing. On being written off TV in that way: “It was an honor.”

27:05 – Jim tells story about his hotel TV having closed captioning on a wrestling show and it couldn’t keep up with Dusty’s “stream of consciousness gibberish.”

28:36 – interesting discussion about how having a heel champion and a babyface chase or a babyface champion who beat all challengers both worked depending on location and size of the territory. Ethnic babyface champions tended to work better in the larger population centers like Bruno Sammartino in the WWF.

32:51 – Jim talks about John Cena in OVW. The knew Cena “was a great student from day one.” He’d found an apartment within a week of moving to the area and had raw talent in the ring. His promos were strong from the start. Jim thought he was going to be a “Ric Flair type.” His limited move set today is reflective of him being such a big star and bring as safe as possible. Very professional.

37:37 – Jim talks about Sean O’Haire in OVW. He “wasn’t difficult to work with but painful to watch.” He had all the tools but he just didn’t ‘get it.’ His work never looked realistic to Jim. His promos were limited, too.

41:45 – Jim answers question about Mordecai gimmick, played by Kevin Fertig. He was in developmental for far too long. His pace and body language were lacking and his promos weren’t perfect.

44:58 – Jim is asked if Jerry Jarrett called him and asked him to replace Jimmy Hart in Memphis in 1985. He didn’t and Jim wouldn’t want to break up The Midnight Express anyway. At the time, The Midnights thought they’d make as much money (if not more) working in Dallas and Jimmy Hart would be hard to replace without looking like an inferior substitute because he was such a good fit in the role.

46:48 – Jim’s not sure where Dusty was going with the Tully and Arn/Midnights feud (before Tully and Arn left for the WWF) because sometimes you’d just “feel it as you went.” He laments the over-scripted nature of today’s wrestling compared to the more ad-lib approach of the 1980s. More George Scott/Jim Herd bashing and the poor treatment of The Midnight Express around that time. Jim on The Dynamic Dudes (as babyfaces, making a comeback: “the people would boo the s**t out of (the comeback)” and fans in Philadelphia: “they chanted Johnny su*** d***.”” The Dudes were hated in the northeast.

57:55 – Jim is asked about his memories of the first Jerry Lawler/Superstar Billy Graham match… ‘(it was) rotten.’ Graham wasn’t in the best shape at that point and a shell of his former self although his promos were still pretty good. It’s one of the worst Jerry Lawler matches, at the same level as the Lawler/Bobo Brazil match when Brazil was in his fifties. The fact that Lawler was the heel and Graham the babyface is not ideal.

1:02:47 – Jim thinks a Jerry Lawler/Buddy Rose feud would’ve worked in their respective territories (Memphis and Portland) with both men switching heel/face roles.

1:04:21 – Outro

Rating: 7.5/10

This isn’t quite as funny as last week but there are a lot of interesting details about several of the more recent wrestling stars as well as classic wrestling talk.


0:00 – Intro
8:43 – Hogan/WWE
10:53 – Working for Bill Watts
22:56 – Jim taking a tombstone
27:05 – Dusty on closed caption
28:36 – Heel or face champ?
32:51 – John Cena in OVW
37:37 – Sean O’Haire in OVW
41:45 – Mordecai
44:58 – Possibility of replacing Jimmy Hart in Memphis
46:48 – Tully&Arn/Midnights feud
57:55 – Jerry Lawler/Billy Graham feud
1:02:47 – Jerry Lawler/Buddy Rose fantasy booking
1:04:21 – Outro

About Paul:

I’m just a guy, from England, who watches wrestling and listens to podcasts!

For more, check out last week’s episode Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru.

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