PODCAST RECAP AND REVIEW: Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru on how Jeff Jarrett would have done in the territory days, his interactions with Chyna, why The Midnight Express didn’t go to the WWF in the ’80s, if Tully Blanchard would have been a good world champion (Ep. 43)

Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru Episode 43

Release date: March 5, 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 – Short and funny intro! Drive Thru audience is growing! Plugs for The Experience, Corny YouTube, 6:05 Superpodcast.

5:17 – Jim is asked about Jeff Jarrett’s career and would he have fared better during the territory days. Some of the best TNA matches Jim saw involved Jarrett. He was a very good worker but not ‘spectacular’ so Jim thinks he would’ve fit in back then. Jarrett would do well in a territory because fans would see him week in/week out and embrace him. Size could be a problem. Brian suggests that his over-push by his father, Jerry Jarrett, and later in the WWF was approaching Nick/George Gulas levels.

10:33 – Jim’s asked about Chyna! Uh oh! Every interaction she had with Jim was “the s****s.” Jim once booked her for an autograph signing and Bruce Prichard called Jim to tell him that she couldn’t make it due to “dental surgery” but it was really surgery to amend her jawline. Jim had to personally apologize to Chyna! “She was pushed because of her look, she wasn’t a good worker.” Her inter-gender matches never looked particularly believable because of her inability to work. Jim also makes fun of her and Sunny doing porn.

18:04 – Jim’s asked about ‘Prime Time’ Brian Lee and his wasted talent. He had all the tools: he was big, could move and his promos were getting better but after “that DOA thing” he got “kind of” out of shape, “made some questionable decisions out of the ring” and just stopped getting booked. Disappeared!

21:14 – Jim’s asked if he has any good stories about The Missing Link… “Actually, no!” Gary Hart said in his book that Link “sliced him in the locker room.” He didn’t get on well with everybody but was always pleasant with Jim and The Midnights. The transformation from Dewey Robertson to The Missing Link was quite drastic. 80s wrestling magazines loved him along with the likes of Billy Jack Haynes and Buzz Sawyer because of their look.

24:07 – Jim talks about “recklessness” in the territory days. Back then there was less tolerance for recklessness because wrestlers “had to work every night” and if they were injured or couldn’t work they’d lose money and potentially “their spot.” Some wrestlers got the reputation for “being stiff.” Jim tells story about Ernie Ladd backing Steve Williams into a corner and refusing to let him out until he slowed down! Jim and Brian discuss Rick Steiner giving Chris Champion “a receipt” for laying a kick in too much back in 1988. Jim: “Kevin Von Erich was a reckless worker but not a dangerous worker.” Some territories had stiff workers but nobody had to have surgery, like today. Some old school wrestling recklessness stories and certain wrestlers taking liberties with jobbers – Road Warriors, Vader etc.

35:26 – Jim talks about his thoughts on Tully Blanchard as a potential NWA world champion. Jim thinks he would’ve been a good fit in the 60s and 70s but not in the 80s when it was all about “flash and excess.” He played the role of entitled, arrogant heel perfectly and was a “solid worker” but not “the guy.” Ric Flair was perfect in that role.

41:12 – Jim is asked about other promoters being interested in Jim and The Midnights in the mid-to-late 80s. Nicely worded question with some great wrestling fan memories. Jim talks about getting a phone call from Ernie Ladd in Spring 1986 trying to persuade him and The Midnights to go to the WWF. Jim’s Ernie Ladd impression is funny! The phone call preceded a meeting between Vince McMahon and The Midnights at a hotel in Stamford. In the meeting, Vince did his ‘opportunity’ shtick but didn’t offer a signing bonus or guaranteed money, as Ladd had told Jim. Instead, Vince talked about the new line of WWF ‘dolls’ and pointed at the gig marks on Bobby and Dennis’ heads and said “we don’t do that up here anymore.” Jim Crockett Promotions was just a better fit for The Midnights. Jim says he would’ve loved to have done a match against The British Bulldogs. Jim clarifies that the rumor that Ric Flair tried to get him to the WWF as his manager ‘The Kentucky Colonel’ is exaggerated. He merely suggested it during a telephone call but Jim was trying to set up Smoky Mountain.

56:27 – Jim talks about The Midnights getting a better contract from Crockett after Tully Blanchard’s friend saw them at the Charlotte airport boarding a plane to New York.

57:39 – Jim talks about the importance of working with people you can trust in wrestling.

1:00:28 – Jim is asked about the HIV scare in the 80s and it’s impact on the wrestling industry. Didn’t really affect the business because people knew relatively little back then, it was often reported as a “gay disease.” Jim tells a story about cracking Tony Schiavone up on live tTVby saying “Hey, Schiavone, phone call for you, it’s Rock Hudson” just after Hudson was on the cover of People Magazine with the headline ‘I Have AIDS.’ Brian talks about Lanny Poffo on Memphis TV in 1984 saying “The Poffos are going to do to The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express something very similar to the disease they call AIDS: we’re gonna turn fruits into vegetables.” Wow. Jim talks about Brian Pilman calling his wife “an AIDS infected c***.” The only wrestler who refused to blade in SMW was The Mongolian Stomper because his real job was transporting prisoners “from jail to court etc.”

1:05:18 – Outro features a funny swipe at Tim Horner. Good stuff.

Rating: 8/10

Entertaining show, funny and informative. Lots of great stories from the old days.

Time stamps:

0:00 – Intro
5:17 – Jeff Jarrett
10:33 – Chyna
18:04 – Brian Lee
21:14 – The Missing Link
24:07 – Recklessness in the territory days
35:26 – Tully Blanchard as NWA champion
41:12 – Promoter interest in The Midnights
57:39 – Working with trusted people
1:00:28 – HIV in wrestling
1:05:18 – Outro

About Paul: 

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

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