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PODCAST RECAP AND REVIEW: The Jim Cornette Experience on Gargano vs. Almas, Jericho vs. Omega, who the best wrestler in the world is, and people who eat dogs (Ep. 219)

The Jim Cornette Experience Episode 219 – Modern Match Reviews and People Who Eat Dogs

Release Date: February 15,  2018

Recap By: Mark Charles Adams

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Top Stories/Moments of interest

  • Very interesting discussion on old school wrestling books
  • Jims thoughts on Gargano vs. Almas from NXT Takeover!
  • Jims thoughts on Jericho vs. Omega from Wrestle Kingdom!

Recap

00:00:00 – Intro: Jim welcomes us to the podcast, announces he is “too hot for Twitter,” promises us a review of an NXT “stemwinder,” and introduces co-host Brian Last.

00:02:00 – South Korean dog meat trade: Jim gets into talking about the dog meat trade in the “babyface” Korea, host of the Winter Olympics and how the government cracked down on the trade and serving of dog meat in restaurants during the games. As a dog lover Jim was incensed. After tweeting about this with his usual expressive outrage, he saw replies from people he believes were condoning the practice when discussing cultural differences, or the practice of eating meat altogether. After a Twitter storm of replies he was banned from Twitter for a week.

Jim says if he had to slaughter his own meat he probably would be a vegetarian and would “probably be as miserable a human being as Austin Aries is,” but compares it to cleaning out his own septic tank, which he wouldn’t do either.

Jim believes that cows, pigs and chickens lost this war and are officially food because “someone’s got to do it.” Jim wonders what other animals do you need to eat? He says he has tried duck and lamb and wouldn’t eat them again or any number of other animals he lists off. He then adds he is against badly treating all animals before they enter the food chain.

Closing out this segment, Jim asks for the listener’s opinion on if he should stay on Twitter. Especially now, as he has now realized how much time he spent on it everyday.

00:22:14 –  You tube and other podcast ads.

00:27:30 – “The Bible”: Jim jokes he received a new copy of The Bible from an old SMW fan this week, and by this he means a 1937 first edition of “The Fall Guys” by Marcus Griffin, one of the first insider books on pro wrestling. Jim says he used to have Xerox copies of the book for students in OVW. He also notes he originally had 25 copies of “Hooker” by Lou Thesz in the “lending library.” He eventually closed the library after only 3 books were ever returned.

Brian says he is jealous, although he has a large and expensive collection of old wrestling books, he is missing original copies of “Whatever Happened to Gorgeous George?” and “The Fall Guys”.

This leads into a discussion about which of the old books would be the ones to track down and read. They both admit “The Fall Guys” and “Hooker” are the place to start, both are apparently available digitally. Jim adds Tim Hornbaker’s books on NWA and Capitol Wrestling (“National Wrestling Alliance: The Untold Story of the Monopoly That Strangled Pro Wrestling: The Untold Story of the Monopoly That Strangled Professional Wrestling” and “Capitol Revolution: The Rise of the McMahon Wrestling Empire”). Jim also praises Greg Oliver and Steven Johnson’s “The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame” series, which has volumes on tag teams and heels amongst others.

Jim jokes if you haven’t gotten it all by then, there is no hope.

00:32:31 – Email: Jim reads an email he received which contains some of WWE’s fiscal reports – which he admits are publicly available but still won’t name who sent them, just in case. NXT in 2016 sold $7 million dollars in tickets and had $20 million dollars in expenses. Brian jokes this is WCW bad. Jim then says in 2017 NXT sold almost $6 million in tickets, but had $25 million dollars in expenses. Jim jokes what he could have done with that sort of leeway in OVW, saying they were always profitable.

They briefly discuss how it isn’t necessarily good business, but how they do need to be spending money on developmental. Jim adds he doesn’t care how many independents you’ve worked, you do have to learn the WWE style, pace, camera positioning and such before you are really ready for their kind of TV product.

00:36:37 – Gargano vs Almas:  Brian and Jim move to discussing the recent NXT Takeover: Philadelphia match between Johnny Gargano and Andrade “Cien” Almas. Jim praised Mauro Ranallo as the JR of today. Jim says the slow build wrestling at the beginning was strong, but Almas was clearly the veteran. He says they then did good “flippy sh*t” without the obvious cooperation of “synchronised swimming” type high flying. Jim praises Johnny Wrestling’s glassy eyed selling, but says he needs to drop the nasty looking missed apron dive from his repertoire if he wants to be doing this in a few years, or even walking.

Jim briefly discusses the problems of NXT and how Triple H and Vince need to meet in the middle on young guys like Gargano. Jim praises his work but says he lacks “oomph,” something Jim feels Vince is very big on with his personality led approach to TV product. If Vince can bring the “sizzle” to the “steak” that Triple H has in NXT, Jim admits they’ll really have something.

Returning to the match Jim praises the pacing and striking, saying even past the 30 minute mark the match hadn’t outstayed its welcome. They talk about Zelina Vega, Almas’s manager, and her moonsault spot. Jim mentions how he believes all the components in a match need to keep moving for TV and the audience, including the managers. He says they timed it perfectly when the fight between the women broke out, this left time for the men to sell and recover, which then popped back into a false finish that the audience bought perfectly.

Jim says he’d have changed one thing, saying after the rope break, if Gargano had gone for a big move, while Almas somehow took out the ref by accident, he could have caught him with a shock DDT for the win. Both felt the ending was somehow flat, but only because the audience wanted Gargano to win and after the false finish they knew it wasn’t happening.

Both acknowledge this was a great match, but Jim still yearns for more violence in such matches. He then asks Brian if they ever do that really now. Brian answers no, and comments he feels most of todays wrestling is quite influenced by 1990’s NJPW Junior Heavyweight matches and false finishes from All-Japan. They both then discuss how everyone does moonsaults now and they’re so devalued. Discussing the audience, Jim mentions how it’s mostly all men of a certain age and the talent has to do five times as much to get the same reaction.

Jim finishes up joking he almost turned the match off right at the beginning when he say the masked mariachi band come out for Almas’s ring entrance, but seems glad he stuck with it.

00:56:45 – Jericho vs Omega: Jim then surprises Brian saying he has watched another new match for them to discuss, and teases it out a little before admitting he has now seen Chris Jericho vs Kenny Omega from Wrestle Kingdom 12 as broadcast on Axs TV. Brian is legitimately stunned and says he had no intention of ever asking him to watch it.

Jim admits he made no notes, and did not see the build up save for that recapped on the Axs show, but will discuss the match generally. He praises Jericho for his believability, both in the ring and in the footage shown beforehand. He says he seemed legitimately angry and praised his real looking work. He says in the match it was clear that Jericho was leading and occasionally slowing Kenny down.

Moving to Omega, Jim says he first saw Omega in ROH almost 10 years ago and believed he was a good-looking athlete but with horrible basic skills. Jim didn’t like his facial expressions, his hair and believed he was green – but that all of that could be fixed. Jim says initially he was reminded of the Ultimate Warrior by Omega, which wasn’t really a good sign. Jim says he still doesn’t really see “it” with Kenny today, saying even in this match his ring style is far too stagey. Saying it doesn’t compute to him that Omega can leap from the ring through the announce table but can’t throw a decent looking punch. He says he clearly isn’t the worst wrestler in the world, but he is far from the best.

Both Jim and Brian were not fans of the cold spray spot, where after blinding Y2J with the spray he seemed to revive himself by spraying the same can into his crotch.

Jim asks Brian what he thinks of Kenny Omega. Brian says he is a fan and thinks he’s good in the ring, but agrees he doesn’t like the stagey-ness of his work. Brian goes on to the only thing he really doesn’t like about Omega is his promos. Brian adds, while he has been critical of Jericho’s last run in WWE, he thinks this match is the best Jericho has been in a long time.

Both then discuss the aftermath, with Jim knocking Omega’s post match interview. Both also say they have no idea why Omega would then immediately be a guest on Jericho’s podcast after the match to discuss how they staged everything. Jim likens to committing a successful bank heist then bringing the money back.

Brian asks Jim which match he preferred and he says Gargano vs. Almas. Brian adds he may have Jim watch the recent Minoru Suzuki vs .Hiroshi Tanahashi match that has generated a lot of buzz too. Brian then asks how and when Jim decided he was going to watch the match. Jim says he decided to DVR the match as it was starting live when he was at on the Turner Classic Movies to record some old movies.

Brian then asks Jim who, in his opinion, are the best in the world today? Jim first answers AJ Styles, then says Jay Lethal “is insane”. He adds Adam Cole to the conversation, but admits he hasn’t seen his recent work, but says he was already great at 22. Talking about tag teams, Jim again praises The Revival, hopes The Briscoes are developing and says War Machine are one to watch out for, having been really impressed when he managed them last year. Jim says Omega isn’t in the same conversation.

To finish, Brian asks Jims feelings about how far Jericho has come, from essentially starting his US career in SMW. Jim laughs about how his early promos made him sad, saying they were only made less horrible by comparison to those cut by Lance Storm. He says both were green, had learned and worked in environments that didn’t value the basics, but were both young and showed promise. Jim says he might not have bet on them as talkers back then, but felt they were becoming great in-ring workers and they were good employees. He adds Lance even managed find a way to make his talking style really work for him.

01:17:06 – Show wrap up.

Rating 7/10

Review

This was an odd one for me personally. I haven’t eaten meat in years, so I see a bit of an odd disconnect in Jim’s thinking on the dog meat trade, versus what I’ve seen in meat production generally. But I am aware enough that won’t be the case for a lot of people and I also love dogs, so I was quite conflicted by that segment.

Once that was all done, I thought this was a perfectly balanced episode. The talk about the older books was enlightening and I will definitely be reading some of those when I have time. Then the newer match reviews were an addition to the show we haven’t had at such length in a long while, providing the kind of commentary only Jim and Brian can – steeped in both experience and history, but also very clearly with the fandom still in their veins. It probably helps I have a similar opinion of Kenny Omega to them though. I imagine some who love Omega might feel as conflicted by their comments as I was by the meat discussion.

Timestamps

“00:00:00 – Intro”
“00:02:00 – South Korean dog meat trade”
“00:22:14 –  Youtube and other podcast ads”
“00:27:30 – “The Bible””
“00:32:31 – Email”
“00:36:37 – Gargano vs Almas”
“00:56:45 – Jericho vs Omega”

Writer Bio

Mark is an English storyteller, joker, and drunk.

This week he rage quit his job.

 

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