RECAP AND REVIEW: Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru – when Jim’s mom was smartened up to the business, why Ron Garvin won the NWA title, the Mandible Claw, Nicole Bass (Ep. 63)

Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru Episode 62

Release date: July 23, 2018

Recap by: Paul Briody


Top stories/moments of interest:

• Brian Last asks Jim Cornette listener questions about current wrestling and wrestling history with great chemistry between the two.

0:00 – Intro includes some of the right wing-bashing that we hear more on the Experience than the Drive Thru as well as a healthy cheesesteak debate.

18:38 – Jim is asked about his mother, when was she ‘smartened up’ to the business and did she ever catch any heat because of Jim’s antics? Jim: “Basically, she kind of got smartened up the same way I did by… going to the matches and watching and then watching the people and talking to them, and then getting to know Ms. Jarrett and starting to work the tables and know the boys. Nobody ever actually came out and said to her, like actually nobody ever came out and said to me, “There is a booker and this is how this all takes place” but she learned the parts that she wanted to learn, she didn’t care about finishes and angles and stuff like that.”

22:46 – Does Jim have any memories of Ox Baker? Jim: “He didn’t have a character, he was a character… the promos were classic.” In the ring he was limited, he couldn’t take any bumps and a lot of his stuff looked weak but he “had such an aura, and a presence, and the face and that big body to go with it… a great heel… he was one of those memorable guys.” Jim would show OVW trainees footage of Ox starting a riot in Cleveland and say “This is what heat used to look like.”

25:22 – Jim is asked about the sorry state of tag team wrestling in 2018 and why it’s not as big a part of wrestling today as it was back in the 1980s. A lot of it boils down to Vince not being a big backer of tag team wrestling (to say the least) and the business has also changed. Wrestlers today are often put together if they’re lacking parts of the package on their own and so there are fewer ‘tag team specialists’ and teams rarely consist of main event talent. There is also the contract/pay aspect, why pay four guys when you can just pay two? Obviously, The Revival are the best example today of Corny’s vision of a wrestling tag team.

29:24 – Is it true that Ron Garvin’s NWA World Title win supposed to go to Ricky Morton? No! Brian suggests that this may be something Ricky has said. Jim: “He may have got his dates fumbled.” The whole reason Garvin won the belt was so that Flair could win it back in the main event of Starrcade later in the year, even though Flair was a heel.

34:55 – What are Jim’s opinions of the mandible claw, since Mick Foley has stated that it was Corny who suggested he use the move as Mankind? It was a heelish move designed for heat instead of Mick’s usual “tough guy” repertoire, such as the elbow off the ring apron. At the time, Jim had been reading about the Dr. Sam Shepherd case, where he had been tried and convicted of the murder of his wife and went into wrestling after his release from prison. Shepherd’s father-in-law, George Strickland, was a professional wrestler and used the mandible claw as his finisher and it could legitimately hurt, so Corny suggested it to Mick. The Mankind “hand gear” made it look “even nastier.” The claw was also handier for Mick when facing bigger wrestlers (of which the WWF had quite a few at the time) that he couldn’t perform a lot of his moves on. Jim’s not a big fan of the Mr. Socko silliness but Foley can get away with more than most.

39:44 – What are Jim’s memories of Nicole Bass? Jim: “She was just so gigantic and so huge and especially just a few years after a steroid trial because I’m sorry there’s no way a human being ever looked like that.” Nice person but extremely limited in the ring and she wasn’t a fan growing up. Jim tells a story about being body slammed by Bass during a match in the WWF and the outline of her face was left in make-up on Corny’s jacket afterwards. Jim: “She just didn’t get it.”

43:27 – Jim and Brian move into a Little John Harris/Silo Sam discussion. Very tall man but extremely limited wrestler with a short shelf who primary wrestled in WCCW. Little John famously had a “f*** up with the timing” in a match between The Fantastics (cornered by John) and The Midnights at Texas Stadium, even though they’d “gone over the finish about fourteen times.” Jim: “And I’m handcuffed to the guy so it’s not like he can’t hear me saying “grab his leg.””

51:10 – Jim’s asked about a contentious episode of WWF Livewire featuring Jim, Sunny, Michael PS Hayes (Doc Hendrix at the time) and Vince Russo. Is this where Corny’s hatred of Russo began and what was the fallout from the episode? Jim: “The whole reason that took place was because Vince Russo fancied and imagined himself that he had the talent and the ability to be this gimmick, this character, that he was doing in the magazine. ‘Vic Venom’… “the Howard Stern of Raw Magazine, folks.” You know, New York, f*****’ cynical, g**d*** anti-establishment, “gonna shoot, bro.” …That was the genesis of him developing this s*** in public that he does to this day, and thinks that it’s cool somehow.”

Jim never liked the show because it was a magazine-type show where they’d read emails, air promos and talk about wrestling but wouldn’t actually show much wrestling, and it was live. Jim: “I did not despise, and loathe, and resent the idea of Vince Russo as much as I’d come to in the future but I’d already determined that he was a blithering f*****’ idiot that not only wasn’t going to, but didn’t want to try to, learn anything about the business and he was gonna do this Jerry Springer s*** and pitch it and bring it up etcetera so I was reacting to him legitimately.” Corny makes the point that when non-wrestling fans submit ideas for shows within the wrestling business they often contain little wrestling. Jim: “If I like tennis I’m not gonna f*****’ watch a show where people are just talking about f****** tennis, and not even the professionals.”

58:28 – Did Jim train any referees in OVW and what is the protocol for the referees if a wrestler suffers a serious injury during a match? Jim: “You don’t have to train somebody to know if an injury is a work or a shoot because if you’re a good referee and a guy takes a bad bump, and you get down next to him, you say “Are you ok” he’ll either say “I’m fine” or he’ll say “f***, I’m hurt” so that’s a pretty good indicator right there.” Quite a few referees were trained in OVW, including Chris Sharpe and Robert Briscoe. In the old days, a wrestler would keep quiet about a suspected concussion during a match in order to complete the bout but we know more about head injuries in 2018.

1:01:26 – How did it feel to be back in Memphis in 1985 (The Midnights lost to The Fabulous Ones at the Mid South Coliseum in November 1985) after forging a successful career elsewhere and what are Jim’s thoughts on the actual match? Those combined super-shows that Crockett co-promoted with other organisations did “mega gates.” The Midnights didn’t have the same chemistry with The Fabs as they did with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, for example, because The Fabs were more “kick-a** babyfaces” to those fans instead of a Ricky Morton-style “extended period of selling” team. Jim: “It was more a good old-fashioned Memphis match with the babyfaces shining and the heels being foiled and f*****’ up and then the heels get some heat and then a big comeback and somewhere or other I got jerked in and f***** around some kinda way and we lost because we were the visiting team… They were good matches but they weren’t barn burner, tear down the house matches… We were there just to get them over one time, not come in and do a program… it was definitely fun.”

1:04:17 – Interesting discussion about promoters running Memphis against Jerry Jarrett in the 1980s. Jim: “It had to be, in those days, Memphis wresting. If it wasn’t.. it didn’t compute.”

1:08:21 – What was the original idea for the make a difference Fatu/Samoan gangster party and why was the angle dropped so quickly? Vince McMahon called Fatu into his office to tell him that he was being let go as they had no ideas for him but by the end of the meeting not only was Fatu still employed but Vince had also given jobs to a few of the other Samoans. One of those (Jim can’t remember who) failed the WWE’s wellness tests in spectacular fashion after they’d already appeared on TV. The angle was dropped there and then. Jim cites Tom Zenk in WCW as another spectacular drug test failure as his cannabis readings were so high that they asked him if he had a problem.

1:10:43 – When Jim introduced Dick Murdoch to SMW, where was the promo video shot and who was the woman in the video? Why did she look like a hostage? It was shot in Colorado, in the winter, and Murdoch was topless for the entire shoot. The woman was his girlfriend. Dick Murdoch stories… quite a character.

1:13:21 – Outro

Plugs: Twitter: @TheJimCornette, @GreatBrianLast #CornyDriveThru;;;;;; the law offices of Stephen P. New.

Rating: 7.5

Time stamps:

0:00 – Intro
18:38 – Mama Cornette
22:46 – Ox Baker
25:22 – Tag team wrestling
29:24 – Ron Garvin’s NWA Title win
34:55 – The mandible claw
39:44 – Nicole Bass
43:27 – Little John Harris/Silo Sam
51:10 – WWF Livewire feat. Corny and Russo
58:28 – Referees in OVW
1:01:26 – Midnights vs Fabs, Memphis, 1985
1:04:17 – Wrestling in Memphis
1:10:43 – Dick Murdoch in SMW

About Paul: 

Paul is just a guy, from England, who watches wrestling and listens to podcasts!

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