Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru – Episode 79
Release date: January 7, 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. Corny‘s debuting his new headset! His new mic stand droops “like Russo’s penis.” Also features a continuation of the ‘Name That Band’ segment and a Twitter user wanting to have Jim’s babies.
18:44 – How did the NWA make profit enough to pay staff and rent the building when running shows from the TBS studios? The station would already own the studio and would film their news and talk shows etc there and they’d also take care of the production and most of the advertising so a lot of the overheads were taken care of or eliminated. Brief history of studio wrestling, Corny’s covered this before.
26:48 – What does Jim think about the mysterious appearance of a third Mulkey brother on WWF TV in the early ‘90s that was recently tweeted about by Sean Waltman?
Jim: “Randy and Bill Mulkey are legitimate brothers. The other Mulkey may have been a brother because he looked so Mulkey-ish… Randy was not wrestling at that point in time so I think they were probably in the Carolinas
somewhere taping television and Bill was probably booked there and they saw the other kid and said “Hey, let’s recreate Mulkey-mania” or whatever.”
28:37 – Would Jim have been open to the idea of a Bobby Eaton singles push after Dennis Condrey had left?
Jim: “Oh God, yes. I would’ve been obviously open to it and also if Dusty at that point came to us and said “here’s what you’re gonna do” that’s what we would do. Bobby was a great performer, I think his best work was in tag teams. He could have a great singles match but even with the big mouth manager and the heat we had at the time I don’t know if his best use was as a single or if he wanted to be a single.”
In the short term Bobby and Jim would’ve jumped at the chance to work a program with Magnum T.A. but going forward being part of a main event team was where they really flourished.
30:21 – Who drew more money, blonde-haired Bobby Eaton or brown-haired Bobby Eaton? Blonde! The years ‘85- ‘90 wins the day for blonde Bobby.
31:34 – Manny Fernandez was at an early SMW TV taping (when the Heavenly Bodies debuted) but didn’t appear on the show, what was the plan? The phrasing of the question jogs Corny’s memory somewhat and he “seems like (he) almost remembers” that maybe Manny drove somebody to the show or travelled with them or planned to speak to or visit somebody at the show. Jim’s pretty sure he had no plans to use him in SMW but has nothing against the Raging Bull or his work, it’s more to do with his propensity to “sometimes get involved in shady things” and Corny wanted to “move in a different direction.” Jim tells a “bulls*** artist” story about Manny playing cards with Dennis Condrey on Crockett’s plane and complaining about “some shrapnel I’ve still got from ‘Nam.” Jim then talks about Undertaker and Brian Lee being at an SMW taping and turning down Jim’s offer to do a run-in.
39:01 – During another SMW taping at the same building Jim was saved from Brian Lee by a ‘mystery Samoan’ who fell from the top turnbuckle during an attempt to splash Lee. The fall was edited from the match but can Jim remember it happening and can he confirm the man’s identity?
Jim: “There was a Samoan that lived in Morristown and he’d worked some of the outlaw shoes around the area. We were trying to get Brian over as a babyface. We had to edit the f*** out of that and that was the last time I used the outlaw Samoan from Morristown.”
Jim and Brian then talk about Larry Higgins in Mid South and his in-ring ineptitude.
Jim: “He was a nice, big, former football player but he just didn’t get it.”
They also cover the talent trade in the early 1980s between Bill Watts’ Mid South and Jerry Jarrett in Memphis. Watts got The Midnight Express, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, Bill Dundee as booker, Terry Taylor and Buddy Landel, while Jarrett got the likes of Larry Higgins and a young, inexperienced Jim Neidhart and Rick Rude. I think most would agree Watts got the better deal.
44:43 – Was there a contingency plan in case Steve Austin had been paralysed by Owen Hart at Summerslam 1997?
Jim: “There was no alternate plan because you don’t plan for something like that and they always knew, I think, that he’d come back eventually.”
Austin was getting over anyway and being unable to wrestle forced him to do some things with the character that certainly helped him get over but it was all moving in that direction anyway. If WWF had lost Austin to injury they’d still have the Rock and some other stars, it wasn’t like Austin was “carrying the company from insolvency by himself,” so Jim’s fairly confident McMahon wouldn’t have folded.
47:42 – Can Jim tell the story of Jerry Lawler and Lance Russell trying to steal Memphis from Jerry Jarrett? Jim wouldn’t use the word ‘steal’ but by 1983, with Lawler seeing the huge mansion that Jarrett had built, he wanted a bigger piece of the pie. Lawler put feelers out to talent with regards to possibly jumping to work for him in the future and Lance sided with Lawler because he recognized that “If you’re going to run wrestling in Memphis, you have to have Jerry Lawler.” Jim is dubious of their potential success because “Lawler wasn’t the greatest business man in the world,” and they eventually worked out a deal with Lawler and Jarrett becoming partners and Lance “staying aboard.” Good discussion on Memphis booking.
54:51 – Who was the first heel that Jim met who turned out to be a nice guy and vice versa? When a young Corny was taking photographs, Cowboy Frankie Lane was babyface and “what a f******’ worker” but he was “a real p****” and was known for his sexually aggressive behavior. Jim also tells a story of his valet, Bambi, ice picking a cop in Canada. As far as heels being nice, Jim can’t remember who was the first, although when he met the Sheik, he had been in the business for six years and was still scared.
59:25 – What was working for Paul Boesch in Houston like, how was the crowd down there and how did Boesch differ, as a promoter, from the likes of Vince McMahon and Fritz Von Erich? He was much more honest! Jim owns a copy of the original manuscript of Paul Boesch’s autobiography in which he writes ‘Vince McMahon’s tombstone should read ‘Here lies Vince McMahon, who destroyed faith in the handshake.’
Brian: “He did not like Vince.”
Jim: “Paul was a great guy. Yes, he had an ego but he deserved it, he was king of that town. He dressed nice and he paid guys well and he came into the locker room and talked to them and made everyone feel important. The fans loved him. He was a babyface announcer to the max… he’d get right on up to those f*****’ heels but you had to work hard to get some heat. I loved Paul Boesch.” The crowds down there were incredibly hot and it can be seen in a match that Brian recently retweeted between the Midnights and the Rock ‘n’ Roll in the Sam Houston Coliseum from May 1984.
1:02:33 – Can Jim explain how to book a triple threat match?
Jim: “When you book a triple threat match with the idea of ‘I wanna have a triple threat match, let me find three guys to put in it’ you’ve s*** the bed already. They were never meant to be regular matches they were meant to be a special deal.” It’s all about fitting into the narrative. Right place, right time, right talent, right psychology.
Jim: “I’ve got three guys left I haven’t booked on this show, let’s have a triple threat match? F*** you.”
1:09:45 – Adrian Adonis and Bob Orton Jr wrestled for the World title on the Wrestling Gold DVD set (available at jimcornette.com) – which World title was it?
Jim: “It was a South West Championship Wrestling promotion from San Antonio that was held in Houston at the Summit and that was the promotion that was spearheading a replica NWA belt, the real world champion tournament which was eventually won by Adrian Adonis and then Bob Orton Jr and a lot of top guys that would go through the area would challenge for it.”
It lasted less than a year, not being able to compete with Paul Boesch in Houston and running the business poorly.
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.
18:44 – Studio wrestling
26:48 – Third Mulkey
28:37 – Bobby Eaton singles push?
31:34 – Manny Fernandez
39:01 – Outlaw Samoan
44:43 – Austin vs Owen, SS ‘97
47:42 – Lawler/Russell/Jarrett
54:51 – Nice heels/jerk babyfaces
59:25 – Paul Boesch
1:02:33 – Triple threat matches
1:14:34 – Outro
I’m just a guy, from England, who watches wrestling and listens to podcasts!