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RECAP AND REVIEW: Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru on how he feels about C.M. Punk, how Buried Alive matches are booked, why Billy Gunn wasn’t a main-eventer, has tickling ever been used as a serious spot in a match? (Ep. 81)

Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru Episode 81

Release date: January 21, 2019

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. Brian’s recent “babbling” and “unwieldy” intros have entertained me. Boyd Pierce, the loudly dressed Mid South Wrestling commentator, is celebrated. Beloved figure and avid wrestling collector. I also enjoyed Jim referring to Reeser Bowden as “the living corpse.” Jim confirms that Reeser was hesitant to hand him the microphone during early Midnight Express ring introductions in Mid South. Remember the ‘Have a Beef with Jim Cornette’ event at the C2E2 convention on Saturday March 23rd – tinyurl.com/cornyinchicago.

17:30 – What does Jim think about CM Punk as a wrestler or on the microphone? An acquired taste. Jim: “When he was the darling of the independents I didn’t see a top guy… he was portraying a wrestler but not being a wrestler.”

Later, when he was more accomplished and over, Corny “gave him a second look” and saw a completely different guy. Jim: “He blossomed late.” Jim’s a big fan of Punk’s promo ability and the pipe bomb promo in particular. Jim: “That was a f******’ performance.” Corny enjoyed Punk telling Triple H that WWE needs Punk more than Punk needs WWE. Punk is one of WWE’s many wasted opportunities.

21:51 – Did Jim ever work with Nigel McGuiness and how does he rate him? Jim has known Nigel since he was working for Les Thatcher in HWA and didn’t see much in him. By the time Corny saw him later on in ROH he had “transformed himself” and Jim thought “holy s***.” Jim’s also a fan of his commentary. Brian calls back to the previous question by mentioning that CM Punk excelled as a color commentator on Raw during his injury.

27:22 – After the Ron Garvin fireball, in February 1987, Corny took some time off. How well does he think the angle played out in his absence? Jim had twelve days off to go to Hawaii on honeymoon and didn’t check on the angle why he was away. When he got back Jim saw the angle on TV for the first time and thought it was “f*****’ great.” The whole thing was so well done. The subsequent Corny vs. Garvin matches were well-received, more emphasis on performance than work rate. Nice overview of the angle, Jim’s covered it before.

39:31 – How are The Undertaker’s ‘Buried Alive’ matches booked? Is there a trapdoor? Jim was involved in the first match involving Undertaker and Mankind from October 1996 and they found out firsthand that covering someone in dirt is “not like the movies” and takes quite a while. It’s funny to think that Corny had a hand in something so hokey, given his feelings towards comedy wrestling etc – “it’s one of those Stockholm syndrome things.” There was a way for Undertaker to escape unnoticed at the side of the burial site so they didn’t “kill him for real.”

44:06 – Why wasn’t Billy Gunn ever a main eventer? Jim: “He’s a good worker with great size and great shape and had some personality, could cut a f*****’ promo but I don’t know that you survive ‘Rockabilly’ and ‘Billy and Chuck’ all in the same lifetime and ever be viewed as a main event guy again.” Jim wonders if Billy’s post-DX run coinciding with WWE hiring multiple writers hindered his career.

46:29 – Is Jim aware of any time that tickling has been used as a serious spot in a match and has it ever been used as a joke in a serious match to get a cheap pop? Jim can’t think of tickling ever being used as a “serious maneuver” but “guarantees” that it’s been used “as a rib against a guy on numerous occasions.” It’s also probably used on outlaw mud shows across the globe.

48:04 – Jim talks about Shawney Bo Wynn was a “College football player of some renown” who went to wrestle for Nick Gulas in the Tennessee area in 1977/8 briefly. Jim never saw him live but assumed he was rotten, he didn’t last long. Wynn was doing an interview for TV with Nick (who was never a natural broadcaster and would often flub lines) and instead of calling him a credit to his race said “you’re a thing to your race.” Oh dear. Followed by discussion about former football players in wrestling around that time, including a hilarious promo by Ernie Holmes on Georgia TV causing Olé Anderson to blow a gasket.

59:00 – Whilst in ROH did Jim do any writing for The Briscoes and does he think they’ll ever get a run in WWE? Jim: “Second question first: never say never.” Jim’s not sure if they’d want to go there at this stage of their lives. As for their promos, Jim was helping produce and book their stuff but “nobody ever wrote for The Briscoes… they were completely legitimate… it was our topics and our angles but the way they would say it.”

1:01:28 – Back in the kayfabe days were doctors ever smartened up to the business, like when Lawler broke his leg? Doctors would give a timeline in regards to what activities you should do with such an injury but actually explaining the angle to a doctor was “something that you wouldn’t have had to go into.”

1:04:15 – An emailer is going through Wrestling Observer archives and is up to 1991. Jim and Stan Lane would appear on indie shows in front of around 800 people with a $5 pay off. How did anyone make money working the indies? The shows in question are just local spot shows, the better paying indie shows (at that time) would pay around $1,000. Jim was in the process of setting up SMW so he and Stan didn’t really work much.

1:07:07 – Any memories of working in Louisville for Crockett? Crockett couldn’t get into the Gardens because Jarrett had it booked 52 weeks per year so they went to the Commonwealth Convention Center, which has never drawn well for wrestling, on two occasions. Jim talks about a local promo where he stated that the mayor of Louisville was throwing him a “big, celebratory luncheon” and Tony Schiavone asked if he’d like to invite Mohammed Ali to which Jim replied “No, we’ve already got broccoli, we don’t need another vegetable.” Oooh.

1:11:55 – 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: 7.6

Timestamps:

17:30 – CM Punk
21:51 – Nigel McGuiness
27:22 – Ron Garvin fireball angle
39:31 – Buried Alive matches
44:06 – Billy Gunn
48:04 – Football players in wrestling
59:00 – The Briscoes (ROH)

About Paul:

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

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