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WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: Jim Cornette on the super villain he’d like to manage, Curt Hennig’s selling, Paul Jones work as a manager, is Hulk Hogan the greatest locker room politician of all time? (Ep. 50)

Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru Episode 50

Release date: April 23, 2018

Recap by: Paul Briody

Top stories/moments of interest:

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

• 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 – lntro with all the usual plugs… it’s the 50th episode of the Drive-Thru! Jim talks about the annual firework display over the Ohio River.

10:48 – Any Paul Jones stories? “He was not that good as a manager to be quite honest… he’d been a top wrestler… he had a hard time, as a manager, trying to get other guys over besides himself… it didn’t translate.” As a wrestler, in the 1970s, he had a lot of fire, was good-looking and was a good territory babyface. He was a big star in Florida and in Mid-Atlantic. As a manager he suffered by being on the same program as managers like Corny, Heyman and JJ Dillon. Jim: “He had the Mr Fuji award for the NWA locked-up.” In December 1988, in several towns, Dusty booked manager bunkhouse stampede matches involving Corny, Heyman, Oliver Humperdink, Gary Hart, and Paul Jones. Jim talks about some of the clunky moments and eliminating Jones in Greensboro.

21:54 – Is Hogan the greatest locker room politician of all time? Jim: “Hogan was very good (at locker room politics) but then again Hogan drew a lot of money.” Jim cites Kevin Nash, who had a contract with TNA worth about $200,000 per year and he only wrestled once in two years. When Jim first got into the business, the locker room politics and the “whining” weren’t as prevalent as they’d become although “b******g about money” was common in some territories, like Dallas (WCCW).

29:13 – Did Curt Hennig oversell too much? Jim: ”He would go too far, it was a little too much, but it was one of those things where the guy was so good… that he wanted to challenge himself.” Wrestlers liked facing Hennig because his timing and positioning were so good. Jim: “Guys used to say “It’s a night off working with him because you don’t feel it.” He made his opponents look strong and backstage he was “such a personality.”

Interesting discussion about overselling. Overselling suits heels because the audience wants to see them get beaten up whereas babyfaces fare better by selling more realistically. Jim thinks that Flair was sometimes guilty of overselling and being “hokey” but the audience was invested in his matches so an exception can be made. Guys that are so good can get away with “s*** like that.” Discussion about Shawn Michaels overselling Hogan’s offense at Summerslam in response to Hogan’s politicking. Jim: “It’s so poetic… the shoe, as they say, was just slid on the other foot.”

39:55 – Jim’s asked about AJ Styles. “AJ is so smooth. He looks good, he looks athletic.” When Jim first saw him in Les Thatcher’s HWA circa 2000 he “looked like he was in grade school” but that’s not a problem these days. “I like his work and his work ethic.” His work is very precise, well-timed. Jim doesn’t laments him very probably being a Republican! Brian tells Jim about AJ being on Wrestling Observer audio and being audibly shocked when a caller asks him about his following in the gay community.

44:14 – Jim’s asked about Dave Meltzer’s tweet questioning Bruno Sammartino’s MSG sell-out record. Jim’s sure that Dave wasn’t trying to be disrespectful but the timing wasn’t great. The number of Bruno MSG sell-outs is exaggerated but he’s still the biggest draw, for wrestling, in that arena “by far.”

51:03 – How did Jim come up with his promos? There were bullet points you had to mention (town, date, opponents) but there was so much more freedom and ad-libbing back when Jim broke into wrestling. TV tapings, understandably, were slightly stricter. Jim would think of things to say “in the car… or in the shower, or laying in bed.” “You just, kind of, had to be ‘you,’ put yourself in the position and have a good line of bulls***.”

54:59 – Jim’s asked about Sami Callahan’s latest controversy, injuring Kevin Sullivan by throwing a chair at him. Jim: “I don’t understand what this f*****’ guy’s issue is… how do you make that many mistakes?” Reckless. “I don’t know how you could possibly hit somebody, by accident, that f*****’ hard.”

57:42 – If Jim could manage any Marvel Comics super villain, who would it be? Dr Doom!

59:29 – Which wrestling PPV is the best example of ‘wrestling the way it used to be’? Jim: “I don’t know that any particular pay-per-view is definitely, top to bottom, the answer.” It’s better to think of specific matches or angles rather than full shows. Brian suggests Bash ‘89 even though he’s “not crazy about the Pillman/Bill Irwin match.” Most shows from the territory days weren’t recorded or have since been lost.

1:03:11 – Would Jim have liked to work Kansas City when Gus Karras was running the territory? “Gus Karras… had a pretty good name in the business… but it was not a plum assignment in the early and mid-80s, let’s put it that way.” Lower attendance therefore lower pay.

1:04:48 – Is Jim surprised that Stephanie McMahon didn’t know who Christine Jarrett was? No!

1:06:28 – Outro

Rating: 6/10

Jim and Brian made the best of slightly weaker questions this week.

Time stamps:

0:00 – Intro
10:48 – Paul Jones
21:54 – Hulk Hogan
29:13 – Curt Hennig
39:55 – AJ Styles
44:14 – Bruno/MSG/Meltzer
51:03 – Corny’s promos
54:59 – Sami Callahan
59:29 – Wrestling PPVs ‘as it used to be’

About Paul:

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

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