Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru – Episode 60
Release date: July 9, 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. Jim’s reading the emails this week.
10:05 – Jim’s asked to name a listener’s puppy as ‘Corny’ was rejected. He suggests Cornelius.
12:44 – Does Jim ever think about where his career would’ve taken him if he’d stayed in photography and did his mother ever miss working with Christine Jarrett?
Jim: “She certainly missed going to the Gardens and visiting with people.”
Mrs Jarrett would stay at Castle Cornette regularly even when Jim was managing as they were travelling through the territory. As for photography, Jim was only taking pictures of wrestling and photography was never really a chosen profession. After expenses (he was spending around $60,000 a year on photo development), however, he was making between $15,000 and $20,000 a year in 1982 so the money was good but wrestling managing was a step up. Jim tells a story about The Fabulous Ones being mad at him because their photographs weren’t ready in time for a big show in Tupelo, Mississippi. It was a big house because it was the first time The Fabs had been there. Many people in the wrestling business started by taking photos, including Eddie Gilbert and Paul Heyman, because “they wanted to be around wrestling.” Lots of camera model/logistics stuff.
26:45 – Jim talks about Pat Malone, from his early days wrestling as masked heel The Green Shadow (starting in the 1940s) to his days watching the locker room and selling wrestling magazines in Louisville and Memphis in the 1970s. He was responsible for sending Jim’s earlier photographs to the magazines and was given credit for them because the editors presumed Malone actually took the photos. A “salty old f**k” who once chased a fan (who’d cut him after jumping in the ring) with a Barlow knife. He was also responsible for training wrestling bears and was a throwback to the “carny s**t.”
32:12 – Are there wrestlers that Jim was solely in charge of booking that, with hindsight, cause him to think “WTF was I thinking?” Jake Roberts (his personal/reliability issues), The Mummy in SMW (“I didn’t think it fit the flavor but Rick Rubin wanted a Mummy”) and The Wolfman in SMW (booked because his friend owned a vitamin and supplement company and had agreed to sponsor SMW if The Wolfman was booked) all spring to mind but he knew what he was getting into in all those cases. Jim then talks about booking Roadkill in OVW, after his stint in ECW.
Jim: “I know I’ve done a few silly things but having… a big fat guy with a weird beard, dressed up like an Amish guy and his name is Roadkill.”
What worked in ECW would not translate to SMW, especially without TV to familiarise wrestlers to the audience.
42:40 – Did commissions ever mess with any of Jim’s shows? It was a state-by-state thing but those with commissions were subject to regulations like tax to run a show or talent licences. States without commissions were often where most of the “mud shows” would run and the bigger companies liked dealing with commissions (in most cases) because they provided structure and kept the outlaw shows from running. All the rules and regulations could cause a headache, for example in Oregon, where the commission greatly damaged wrestling in the area by introducing so many regulations like mandatory HIV tests. Lots of funny little stories about commissions interfering.
55:06 – Were any of Jim’s shows hijacked by disgruntled fans like they are today? Chants, in general, are very much a modern phenomenon and for the longest time it was simply cheering for babyfaces and booing heels, with some exceptions.
Brian: “It’s a child of ECW, in my eyes.”
Jim: “It started in ECW like so many bad habits, they’re like the ‘patient zero’ of the contamination… I don’t think it spread to promotions that give the people a product they didn’t need to s**t on… It’s so much fun watching wrestling with a crowd that’s watching wrestling.”
Too many fans are ‘in on’ the performance today and the atmosphere at shows has suffered.
1:06:09 – How well-lit should an arena be during a show?
Jim: “Once the match starts, all the focus, all the attention in the arena should be on the ring and the ringside area.” Lighting has always been one of Jim’s gripes with WWE. Between matches, in the territory days, the lights were often switched on so that none of the heels were attacked while travelling to and from the ring… If the people can’t scream any louder… then you’re giving them a little too much, slow down and let them catch up to you and let them understand why everyone’s screaming.”
1:12:57 – Jim has some kind words for ROH but the genie is out of the bottle in terms of wrestling presentation/fans today. Too much wink-wink, nod-nod and too much damage done.
Jim: “I’m glad that they’re getting bigger because there has to be some alternative.”
1:17:02 – 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.
Fairly standard episode this week. Good stuff. Rating: 7/10
0:00 – Intro
10:05 – Name the puppy
12:44 – Jim’s photography days
26:45 – Pat Malone
32:12 – WTF booking
42:40 – Commissions
55:06 – Fan chants
1:06:09 – Lighting
I’m just a guy, from England, who watches wrestling and listens to podcasts!