Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru – Episode 84
Release date: February 11, 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 from Jim in snowy Louisville and a French toast-consuming Brian. Jim tells the story of meeting Chris Jericho and Lance Storm at the airport when they first arrived in Knoxville and them not understanding him, thinking he was repeating ‘jeet… jeet… jeet.’
He was actually asking “did ya eat?” Brian talks about his 9 year old daughter finding out the tooth fairy isn’t real because “the tooth fairy hasn’t been to the bank.” Leads into a discussion about fictional children’s characters through the wrestling lens. Jim: “Santa Claus was f**king’ Buddy Rogers or Ric Flair or whatever… top guy.”
19:09 – February 2, 1986 (a date recently covered on JCE) was also the date that Gino Hernandez died, any thoughts on Gino? He was in WCCW when the Midnights came in, often teaming with Chris Adams against Kevin and Kerry Von Erich. A “tremendous talent.” Taking bumps in a WCCW ring was taxing as the rings were very hard, Gino would put his hands down first “like a backdrop” every time he took a bump. Jim didn’t understand why until he felt how hard the ring was. His body-shape may have held him back in the WWF so who knows where his career could’ve gone. He was “living the gimmick,” he would “get in a f**king’ suit” after the matches to go out somewhere flashy hence, sadly, his drug-related death.
27:56 – On a recent episode of The Edge and Christian Show, Seth Rollins talked about telling Jim that he was possibly leaving ROH for TNA and he recalled that Jim “lost his s**t.” Any memories of this? Corny didn’t want to lose him at all but if he was going to lose such a talent he’d want him to go to WWE where he’d make more money and the developmental system is light years ahead. That was the first time Jim can remember saying “TNA doesn’t get guys over, they get guys under.” When WWE eventually reached out to Rollins and offered him a contract Jim said “hallelujah.”
34:46 – In Jim’s wrestling career, what are the best and worst excuses he’s heard for no-shows? Corny’s heard the ‘AM/PM’ excuse loads of times – “you set your alarm for 6PM instead of AM.” Jake Roberts and Ricky Steamboat both had meddlesome wives and Sid Eudy was hard to deal with. Sid once asked Harvey Wippleman to take him back to his hotel because he thought he was having a heart attack. Best place to be, not the hospital!
43:42 – Bully Ray recently said that Jim taught him “the art of working without making a move.” What did he mean? Jim remembers showing him some old Memphis main events to emphasize body language efficiency. “How are you reacting” in projecting the action to an arena full of people i.e. “your arms went out for a second or your body tensed up or your head snapped to the side” if you were punched? Brian suggests that Ricky Steamboat was a master of that and Jim agrees. Jim touts the influence of Jackie Gleason’s body language on wrestlers of that era.
49:52 – Why is a time limit draw referred to as a broadway? It was originally for the telegraph system when offices would send out match finishes so you wouldn’t “smarten up” whoever transcribed it. Jim: “I’m not sure why that specific name was chosen but that’s why it’s called that to this day.”
51:27 – Before guaranteed contracts, how would tag teams be paid? For example, if they had a manager, would the same money be split three ways and what about main event tag teams without a manager? Would they be paid more individually because the money was only being split two ways? That’s a hard one to answer! Under oath, in disposition, Jim Crockett Jr. once explained the mathematical formula for how the talent would be paid, Corny applied the formula and worked out “we got shorted around a hundred and fifty bucks.” In large part, position on the card would determine pay and the same money was divided between how many individuals are in those events. So JYD and Bill Watts vs The Midnights and Corny in a main event tag team match would earn each participant about $2000, but if JYD was in the main event for a similar sized audience in a singles match he’d get “more like five.” Jim recalls being paid less than Bobby and Dennis in WCCW because it was their policy to pay managers less than wrestlers but after they complained to Ken Mantell, “they fixed it.” Then “that f**king’ idiot Herd” later tried to stiff the Midnights on pay, well over a 50% cut!
58:06 – Was Shawn Michaels a “wimp,” as said by Shane Douglas said in a recent shoot interview? Yes! Jim muses that if it wasn’t for “his giant, seven foot body guard in real life working with him and his position on the card, a bunch of people would’ve just knocked the f**k out of him.” They then talk about Shawn’s run-ins with the Harris twins in the locker room and a marine in a bar.
1:01:33 – During WCW Starrcade ‘95, Tony Shiavone makes a comment about “nobody wrestles in the Smoky Mountains.” Tony and Jim get on these days, was there any animosity at the time? It’s reminiscent of the “that’ll put butts in seats” remark ahead of Mankind’s WWF title win, which came directly from Eric Bischoff. There’s no ill-will between Jim and Tony, lots of shenanigans around back then. On a semi-side note, Jim loved signs in the crowd back then because it was the right kind of audience participation, showing the crowds were into the show instead of the “What?” chants and hijacking we see today.
1:06:20 – In Crockett, in the 1980s, there was a wrestler in a mask called Lazer Tron who teamed with Jimmy Valiant, who was Lazer Tron? It was Héctor Guerrero! JCP had tremendous talent depth at the time and not enough spots for everyone, so Guerrero was
put with Valiant as a babyface who could really sell in their matches as Valiant was still incredibly over but limited.
1:10:04 – Any more Iron Sheik stories? Jim talks about an instance of Sheik’s volatility on a live mic (when Jim was fill-in ring announcing at just 17) and then having a fireball mishap against Jerry Lawler in 1982, only for Lawler to have a mishap of his own against the Sheik the following week. They had already shot promos in which Lawler had talked about burning Sheik’s face so he ended up just following him around the ring “flicking the Bic lighter in Sheik’s face,” so the audience could see that he really burned him.
1:19:04 – 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.
19:09 – Gino Hernandez
27:56 – Seth Rollins and Corny
34:46 – Excuses for no-shows
43:42 – Jim mentors Bully Ray
49:52 – The term ‘broadway’
51:27 – Midnights’ pay
58:06 – Shawn Michaels – wimp?
1:01:33 – Tony Shiavone
1:06:20 – Lazer-Tron
1:10:04 – Iron Sheik
I’m just a guy, from England, who watches wrestling and listens to podcasts!