The Jim Cornette Experience Episode 218 – Great American Bash 1990
Release Date: February 8, 2018
Recap By: Mark Charles Adams
Top Stories/Moments of interest
- Quotes from a current WWE talent on Enzo Amore!
- Deep dive on the Great American Bash tour 1990
00:00:00 – Intro: Jim welcomes us to the show and promises us a delve into not-so-classic pro wrestling, and then introduces co-host Brian Last.
00:01:35 – Brian’s swerve: Jim says Brian was responsible for online pandemonium last week when the episode dropped late. Brian takes over and says the episode was done and ready, but when Diane suddenly felt a lot of discomfort she was rushed to hospital believing their baby was arriving over a month early. After an evening of observation, it was looking like all would be okay and the baby would arrive as planned. Jim describes this as “a false finish and a swerve.”
Jim put out a Twitter message announcing the show would be late because of a good family emergency for Brian. Which lead to a flurry of congratulations messages aimed at Brian, as people believed the baby had been born. Confused Jim then “bought the false finish” and, in turn, believed the baby had actually been born and announced that on Twitter too. Brian says this was okay, up until friends and family members started getting in touch because of Jim’s tweet.
00:06:15 – Listener figures: Jim says he has figures for their listenership from their accountants “Trickle, Down & Drip.” Jim says across the various platforms they had over 500,000 listens for the Raw 25 review and Jim’s booking for Ronda Rousey. Jim says it’s humbling to know more people are listening to his stupid ideas than are currently watching Impact Wrestling each week. Jim says people seem to love the deep dives they do, so that’s why they are offering another today. He then announces they are no longer Podcasting, but are now Cult-casting.
00:10:30 – Lying: Jim brings up some emails about the show sponsorship they once had. Jim says that the people who were selling the advertising were not paying them for the adverts sold. This was rectified, but they decided to no longer run spots at all. This was until a friend of Jim’s promised a good deal on bringing such things back. Brian adds that this was last spring, Jim then says nothing has happened since, before bringing up the Bobby Heenan quote “a friend in need is a pest.” Brian and Jim then announce they’ll be opening up the Experience to reputable sponsors in the near future.
Jim then briefly moves into talking about ads that ran during the OVW shows in the early 2000s. One night Jim was watching the show play out on TV one night and discovered various phone sex lines being advertised during his show. Jim ended up negotiating to buy the ad time during the show and SMW then they started selling it themselves.
00:19:34 – Cornette collectibles and other podcast ads.
00:23:44 –Email on Enzo: Jim has received an email from a current, but unnamed, WWE employee regarding Enzo Amore. He says he can read 2 lines from the email to us, and these are:
“I wanted to beat the f**k out of him daily, as did everyone else.”
“He got himself thrown off more tour buses overseas than I can count and was not allowed in any dressing room, in any arena, ever.”
In mid flow, Jim realizes he can treat us to one more:
“He was a rotten worker and an even more rotten human, f**k him!”
Brian then jokes “Signed, Vince McMahon” and they move on.
00:25:35 – Email on Nick Bockwinkle: Jim and Brian discuss a listener email regarding whether Bockwinkle would have fit into the Horsemen or feuded with them in the late 80s. Jim and Brian discuss if any of the Horsemen would have thought they were better than Bockwinkle. Brian says Barry Windham might have. But Jim believes Barry would have known he wasn’t as smart a worker as Bockwinkle.
They discuss if he would have fit as a personality, with Jim comparing him to JJ Dillon more than the Horsemen. Jim says he would have been the one keeping them out of trouble at the bar rather than cutting promos telling the ladies to meet him at the Marriott bar after the show.
Brian wonders what would happen if Bockwinkle had lead the Horsemen, not Flair and how that would have taken the group out of the party at the Marriott bar and into the a more respectable Harvard Club. Jim jokes this wouldn’t really have suited Arn Anderson. They argue pushing Flair out of the group would have pushed him face, which might have worked for everyone but Dusty.
Ultimate they decide Nick would have worked with the Horsemen in the ring, but people wouldn’t have believed it was a legitimate relationship.
00:36:37 – Great American Bash 1990: Jim talks about how they’ve covered Crockett and the Bash tours in recent months, up through the TBS purchasing and to the creation of WCW. But Jim adds there was one more Bash tour he was part of… Well he thinks he was! As neither Jim nor Brian can remember if the 1990 tour around the pay-per-view was branded as the Bash or not.
Jim says there was a false sense of security in 1989 after Flair took over booking. The ratings went up, the pay-per-views did well, the house shows didn’t do so well, but things weren’t that bad.
After Flair quit in February, booking returned to a committee for a while, before Ole Anderson took over. Jim believes Ole got the job because he was quite likely to do what Jim Herd wanted when asked, and he didn’t care what people thought of him.
Jim starts talking about May 1990 when they signed their new contracts with the company against Herds wishes, after being outvoted by the booking committee. Jim says they were angry because they were looking forward to leaving.
In May there was the plan to try and “invade the north-east” and run in Vince’s towns. But instead of running the Boston gardens, they ran a college arena. Jim fondly remembers almost getting hit by a train as they drove frantically around Boston trying to find the venue. He adds that a train did essentially hit the resulting show. Apparently Luger didn’t find the building til 10 pm forcing a second intermission in the show so he could get dressed for the main event.
Jim then discusses a show in Fredericton, New Brunswick in Canada. Which Jim describes as “Not even the fun part of Canada” in amazement that WCW even ran these middle of nowhere places, but not traditionally strong Crockett towns. At this point in the tour Stan Lane cracked and left the tour early, leaving a sick Cornette travelling with Bobby Eaton and Dutch Mantel, with Kevin Sullivan filling in for Lane in matches.
For this fortnight of the tour Jim remembers receiving a $3,960 balance payment on his contractual minimum of $3,000 a week, meaning shows were not drawing. The next night of the Canadian tour was cancelled because of an ammonia leak in the ice hockey rink under the building, which made the building uninhabitable. Jim remembers a newspaper headline that read, “wrestling show gassed!” and jokes it was a mercy killing. Jim was so sick this night he was envying Stan’s decision to go home.
Stan rejoined them in New York state a few days later. Jim visited a doctor at this point and was apparently told he was lucky he didn’t have pneumonia, celebrating with antibiotics and “the first Wendy’s quadruple cheeseburger.”
The rest of the tour in May continued to play what Jim judges as the wrong towns. Before a syndicated TV taping in Indianapolis, the Midnights were presented with their new contracts my Jim Herd. Herd immediately announced “I was against this,” Jim says that they replied “we were too!” This was the same show where Ole Anderson officially took over booking.
After a short trip home, the next show was May 19th for the infamous Washington pay-per-view Capital Combat with “The Return of Robocop!” Jim says it was a typical WCW production, it was an unseasonably hot day in a building without air con and an hour into the show people were still filtering into the building as, although starting at 7 pm, half the tickets were printed with a start time of 8 pm.
The next week was The Road Warriors last with the company and against the booking, they decided to put over the Midnight Express in Memphis as it was their hometown. Angering the office, they were then forced to win the same match the next night in St Louis. As a show of displeasure they ended the match with Paul Ellering pinning Cornette. Jim adds this was the night the Roo’s shoes people were sponsoring the show, which meant Flair, and Luger wrestled that night wearing Roo’s tennis shoes, he remains amazed no one broke an ankle.
Jim says this illustrates what was happening around this time, adding it continued through June with no real highlights to speak of. All while remaining the champions, which was the only ray of hope. Jim notes during this period he got another payment for over $4,800 for a two week period, because nothing was drawing.
In July, Jim notes they were back in Greensboro for July 4th, being beaten by The Southern Boys for $200. A far fall from the $250,000 house in Greensboro 4 years earlier. The actual Bash pay-per-view happens that weekend, July 7th. Back in Baltimore that had drawn a good crowd the year before. The following week Jim and The Midnight Express got to do an MTV special because MTV specifically asked for “people that could talk”, which essentially meant two days off the road. Save for “accidentally successful ” shows in Augusta and Tulsa, the rest of July 1990 continued to be a series of unsuccessful shows. Jim notes all the TV tapings seeming to happen in Gainesville, Georgia each week for some reason. The month ends with the oft mentioned St Petersburg, Florida show at the Bay Front Center where the lights in the building exploded and showered the ring in hot glass, melting the cover of Jim’s tennis racket.
Jim talks briefly about the July Gainesville TV tapings and how the Midnights themselves weren’t featured on any of the shows that month, but he was hosting the Louisville Slugger segment, so every week he would drive to 420 miles to do a 3 minute pre-tape and drive home again.
Cornette describes this era as the same people doing the same things every night, which was demoralising the roster – even if they were being paid good money. He goes on to discuss how this guaranteed money took the steam out of it, saying there was no benefit or compulsion to do more if that was all the money you were ever going to earn.
Brian asks about Jim Herd quitting after him the following May. Jim says he knew the company was a mess, but had no reason to believe Herd wasn’t going to last or had any heat.
Brian then asks about whether Jim thought about having conversations with the WWF at any point that year, as the Road Warriors defected in the spring, followed by a number of talents over the next year. Jim jokes they’d have had to work harder in the WWF, but also Stan only had a few years left and Bobby was very much settled in Charlotte. Jim restates he was very much waiting out the contract til the following May. He adds he already had the germ of the idea that would become Smokey Mountain Wrestling, and that was already his plan post WCW.
Jim then talks about the haphazard booking over their last months there. Often being beaten on the syndicated shows by makeshift teams, or having great one and done “matches of the night” with The Steiners or The Southern Boys that should have become programmes. Jim says their last pay per view match was against Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich in their first time ever teaming, who also beat The Midnight Express. Brian jokes if the program had happened with The Steiners, how much would Stan Lane have enjoyed working with them every night for two months? Jim chuckles probably not a lot.
To finish, Brian asks Jim about his nomadic period between WCW and starting SMW, working various smaller promotions like VWA and GWF. Jim says he has information, but wouldn’t describe it as detailed. He says he’s vaguely embarrassed by the period, as he’d never really done “indies” as he’d always seem them as outlaw shows and didn’t understand the pay-offs. Brian also jokes about him turning down the opportunity to book for a promotion in Japan in this era and they both laugh about how it’s all a story for another day.
Closing the segment, Jim recaps WCW must have only really been touring because they felt they had to. He says how Flair had built it all back up somewhat but the booking chaos that followed killed it dead again, how Ole hadn’t been a booker since 1983 and was probably only in post because he argued less with Herd. All of which left them with the traditional main source of income in wrestling as a giant cost.
01:39:11 – Show wrap up: Promising to cover some new stuff next week, Brian asks Jim to commit to watching the Gargano v Almas match from NXT Takeover.
This was a fun one. It was a bit ramshackle and thrown together, but that’s the Jim Cornette Experience. It felt all like a rambling conversation between friends from the Bockwinkle question onwards, Jim never got legit angry about anything and there was no politics to make it all awkward. The only thing that knocks my rating down is, weirdly the same reason I liked it so much, it’s rambling and you lose track of the tread completely sometimes – especially when they clearly know all of it already and you’re trying to keep up, as well as typing up the recap, ha!
So that 8 should probably be a 9 I suppose, but let’s keep that between ourselves!
“00:00:00 – Intro”
“00:01:35 – Brian’s swerve”
“00:06:15 – Listener figures”
“00:10:30 – Lying”
“00:19:34 – Cornette collectibles and other podcast ads”
“00:23:44 –Email on Enzo”
“00:25:35 – Email on Nick Bockwinkle”
“00:36:37 – Great American Bash 1990”
“01:39:11 – Show wrap up”
Mark is an English storyteller, joker, and drunk.
This week he has been dealing with a production slate increase of almost 100%.