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RECAP AND REVIEW: Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru on if Ric Flair was legitimately tough, what wrestlers had to pay for themselves in WWF in the ’90s, wrestlers being given terrible gimmicks, memories of Vladimir Petrov (Ep. 78)

Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru Episode 78

Release date: Dec 24, 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, it’s a Christmas Eve miracle, Corny’s asking the questions and we have no option but to accept his “seed and like it!”

6:46 – Was Ric Flair a shooter or legitimately tough? It all depends on parameters.

Jim: “Ric Flair was six feet tall and 240lbs and in tremendous physical condition and a beast in the gym and incredible genetics and could kick the s*** out of the average person walking around on the f*****’ street.” He couldn’t take Haku in a street fight where “eating noses” is legal but in an amateur wrestling match “might have been able to get a f*****’ hold or two on Haku.” At that time most of the guys in the business were a lot tougher than most people but within the business there was more “levels of grey.”

Jim: “Was Ric Flair a tough guy as guys in the general public go? Absolutely. Was Ric Flair a level of tough guy as an amateur wrestler that he was gonna stretch Jack Brisco? No and he wasn’t gonna beat up Harley Race.” Nothing to be ashamed of! Jim and Brian lament about tough-looking men being much rarer in today’s wrestling, being replaced by “kids dressing up in cosplay.” Brian: “I don’t like when I turn on wrestling and everyone just looks like a kid.” Killer Karl Kox was an “old man” in Mid South in 1982 but he looked like he could beat you up.

12:51 – Any memories of Vladimir Petrov, who wrestled for the NWA in 1987? His real name was Al Blake and he was from Minnesota. At that time Magnum had been in his car accident, Nikita Koloff had turned face to replace him, Krusher Krushev (Barry Darsow) had left for the WWF and Dusty needed to replenish the heel Russians.

Blake didn’t ‘live the gimmick’ like Nikita so it didn’t seem as authentic. He was a big guy but “boring” with “no showbiz about him” and he was put on cards before he was ready and hadn’t had enough training. He was just there “for a job” and didn’t know much about the wrestling and his run coincided with a slide in business for Crockett.

Jim tells a funny story about doing an impression of the Untouchables narrator to entertain the Midnight Express that included a Vladimir Petrov reference.

Jim: “One day he just wasn’t there anymore and I don’t think that anybody ever saw him again.” Brian recalls that after his wrestling career he was soliciting for help with his legal bills in the Observer over a drugs-related charge.

19:57 – Why are wrestlers so good at wrestling moves but so inept at firmly setting up tables and chairs in hardcore matches? Queue Corny rant about hardcore matches. It’s contrived and the audience can see through it. Brian mocks the practice of wrestlers removing monitors before they put their opponent through the announcers’ table.

27:07 – In the WWF, in the ‘90s, did wrestlers get any kind of allowance for flying to shows as that many plane tickets would be fairly expensive? Wrestlers got plane tickets but hotels, rental cars, food etc had to come out of their salary. Very unfair. Brief discussion about the difference in contractual structure between WWF and WCW at the time.

36:58 – Elijah Burke turned down being in the Spirit Squad. Good discussion about wrestlers accepting gimmicks and angles, specifically those proposed by Vince. Bastion Booger! Good stuff.

Jim: “If you give a guy a stupid gimmick that’s silly and nobody’s gonna take seriously or just think is a g****** bunch of f******’ ha-ha then you have made certain that that’s a self fulfilling prophecy and you’ll end up with an underneath guy instead of a main eventer once in a while.” Jim and Brian talk about Paul Heyman’s talent for hiding weaknesses and accentuating strengths. Jim: “He was the best at it in the ‘90s.”

50:54 – Jim’s asked about the double-turn match between The Road Warriors and The Midnight Express In 1987, specifically a spot where Jim falls down outside the ring and then Brian asks about Jim’s accidental falls in his wrestling career.

56:54 – Who is Rock Riddle? Riddle attends the Cauliflower Alley Club event each year and walks around like a “big deal”, telling stories about himself and is full of wrestling cliches. So who is he? He was a fan growing up and was the president of the Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson fan club as a teenager. As he got older, like Corny or Bobby Eaton, he “hung around the wrestling business” and eventually became an underneath wrestler and then a manager, working in Tennessee and Atlanta. Riddle was on an episode of The Gong Show! Jim: “Was he a major superstar? No. Did he actually appear in wrestling in more than one place? Yes. Is he full of s*** now? Probably.”

1:00:46 – Jim’s asked about an episode of Mid South TV where The Midnight Express and Butch Reed painted JYD and Butch Reed slipped in the paint and fell. Jim: “That was a real fall!”

1:02:16 – Outro

Plugs: Twitter: @TheJimCornette, @GreatBrianLast #CornyDriveThru; CornyDriveThru@gmail.com; JimCornette.com; tinyurl.com/officialcornyyoutube; 605pod.com; kfrpod.com; the law offices of Stephen P. New: newlawoffice.com, Arcadian Vanguard Podcasting Network.

Rating: 7.9

Timestamps:

6:46 – Ric Flair a shooter?
12:51 – Vladimir Petrov
19:57 – Hardcore matches
27:07 – Travel costs
36:58 – Gimmicks
50:54 – Jim’s falls in wrestling
56:54 – Rock Riddle

About Paul: 

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

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