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WRITTEN RECAP: Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru on when Jim knew Chris Jericho was going to be a star, wrestlers who held up promoters for money, does WWE’s new TV deals validate Vince McMahon’s vision of wrestling? (Ep. 55)

Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru Episode 55

Release date: May 28, 2018

Recap by: Paul Briody

Top stories/moments of interest:• Usual format in which Brian Last asks Jim Cornette listener questions about current wrestling and wrestling history with great chemistry between the two.

0:00 – Intro includes fun discussions on Rollerball and custom gimmick matches.

11:19 – With the recent controversy surrounding Johnson & Johnson using formaldehyde in their baby powder, does Jim worry about lawsuits, having ‘powdered’ so many wrestlers over the years? Surely the statute of limitations has passed?! Leads on to some George Scott bashing.

15:43 – Does Jim think the John Cena/Nikki Bella split is a work? Jim: “I don’t know why people want to know about other people’s romance and personal lives, on TV, and I don’t know why anybody talks about their personal life on TV.” Jim then talks about the mother of the bride dying at his friend’s wedding, which he was doing the photography for, when he was younger.

21:47 – Did George Gulas (son of promoter, Nick) really say “Daddy said sell” to Harley Race during a match in 1978? George was pushed far beyond his talent level and was physically unimpressive. In a match against Race for the NWA title (the only world championship match Gulas ever had, to Jim’s knowledge) they were supposed to go an hour broadway because Nick didn’t want to beat George.

The match was so bad that people started to boo Gulas (the babyface) and cheer Race (the heel). Jim: “At one point during the match, the legend has been, and I’m sure Harley has perpetuated it some too, that George, during the course of it, when Harley was getting kinda fed up with it, said “Daddy said sell! Daddy said sell!” When George was travelling with Bobby Eaton and they stopped to get food, George called Nick from a pay phone and said “Yeah Daddy, and now we’re stoppin’ and we’re gonna have a picnic.” Brian adds that on a recent episode of Ron Fuller’s Studcast, Robert Fuller talked about having to accommodate George on the road (stopping at his favorite hotdog place, for example) at Nick’s behest. George’s first wrestling name, used in publicity photos only, was George Nick Gulas!

31:00 – How early did Jim know that Chris Jericho would be a big star? Jim: “When I first saw the videotape of him before I even brought him in to Smokey Mountain Wrestling!” Jim didn’t know he would reach the heights he did, especially promo-wise, but the athleticism displayed on that tape by Jericho and Lance Storm jumped out to Corny. Jim signed them both to SMW and put them together as a tag team with the idea that the veteran talent could groom them as they worked. Fun discussion about some of the aspiring wrestlers who would send Jim promotional tapes at the time – “big fat guys wearing Ultimate Warrior face paint.” “Some of that stuff was so… yeah.”

41:45 – Does the WWE pay for breast implants? Jim: “It’s so gross to me. I don’t even like to feel fake boobs because it reminds me that there’s been a surgical procedure of some kind and I’m very medical-phobic.” Jim’s not sure if they out-and-out pay for these procedures but it does tend to happen when women are called up to the main roster.

45:42 – Is it Laurel or Yanny? Brian plays the clip for Jim and… it’s clearly Laurel!

49:23 – How was Killer Tim Brooks ever booked as a main eventer? Jim: “When he originally got that gimmick and got over in the late 60s, what early 70s… you see the pictures, when he was younger and a little less sloppy looking… it was a standard heel brawler type of gimmick, in those days, but he got over in a couple of territories, on top, and he was big in Detroit.” When you got over in some territories, you could get booked elsewhere.

51:21 – Does Jim have any stories of talent holding promoters up for more money? Jim: “Guys have been holding promoters up for more money since the dawn of time, whether it was successful or not is another story.” It was usually over a big house pay-off rather than basic salary. A recent example is Jeff Jarrett asking for more money to drop the WWF Intercontinental Championship to Chyna and also ‘Big Cat’ Ernie Ladd had a reputation for such behavior during his wrestling career.

57:33 – Do the WWE’s new TV deals validate Vince McMahon’s vision of wrestling? How could promoters have kept the ‘Golden Age of Wrestling’ and the territories alive into the modern era? Jim: “There’s more than one NBA team… there didn’t have to be just one wrestling company.” Corny then suggests that “s****** on the business” (silliness, invisible hand grenades, wrestling blow-up dolls etc) has been the biggest factor in wrestling’s decline. Jim: “Matches that I watch now are boring because it’s a bunch of guys going through routines instead of trying to rip each other’s throats out and blood flying everywhere. That was excitement, this is g****** choreography.” Wrestlers oversharing on social media has also been a detriment. WWE is now, essentially, the only game in town. Jim: “It was just Vince’s vision that led down the hokey, stupid path and people took it and ran with it.”

1:05:00 – Who would Jim bet on in a fight between Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff? Jim says “Vince McMahon” within a second. Jim: “Vince woulda f*****’ ate him.” “I’ve never said they’re (the McMahons) are p******.” Funny stuff.

1:08:59 – What did Jim think of the DX parody of the Nation Of Domination? He can’t remember! Parodies can work but not when they’re too ‘insider’ and aiming for the ‘cool heel’ reaction, like the NWO parody of the Four Horsemen.

1:09:52 – What does Jim think about wrestlers starting their careers by being pulled out of the crowd to compete? Jim: “It’s like anything else in the wrestling business, it worked until it didn’t.” In some territories it led to an increase in incidents where fans would try to rush the ring. They run through various wrestlers who started out in such ways: John Tenta (Earthquake) and Ox Baker, for example. They also talk about Rochester Roadblock legitimately entering the ring as a fan and attacking One Man Gang before a Hulk Hogan match, which led to him having a wrestling career.

1:13:22 – Would Jim consider the WWE as a monopoly? Jim: “They’re not a monopoly but it’s close in enough in principle, if not literally.” It’s not a monopoly by the strictest definition of the word but WWE is by far the biggest company, so it’s very close to a monopoly.

1:16:57 – Outro

Plugs: Twitter: @TheJimCornette, @GreatBrianLast #CornyDriveThru; CornyDriveThru@gmail.com; JimCornette.com; 605pod.com; kfrpod.com; tinyurl.com/cornyyoutube; the law offices of Stephen P. New.

Rating: 7

Middle-of-the-road episode but well worth a listen!

Time stamps:

0:00 – Intro
11:19 – Johnson & Johnson
15:43 – John Cena/Nikki Bella
21:47 – George Gulas
31:00 – Chris Jericho
41:45 – Breast implants
49:23 – Killer Tim Brooks
51:21 – Wrestlers demanding more money
57:33 – New WWE TV deals
1:05:00 – Vince McMahon vs Eric Bischoff
1:09:52 – Wrestlers ‘pulled from the crowd’
1:13:22 – Is WWE a monopoly?

About Paul:

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

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