PODCAST RECAP: Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru on Bill Dundee as booker, Double or Nothing ticket sales, Yokozuna vs. Earthquake sumo match, Tully Blanchard and more

Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru Episode 85

Release date: February 18, 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

12:27 – In a shoot interview Ted Dibiase said he didn’t care for Bill Dundee as booker in Mid South as he felt he “hotshotted” the territory, what is Jim’s opinion on this? Jim: “I don’t honestly think that the territory was hotshotted, I think it just got hot and continued to do big business.” When Dibiase returned to Mid South at the end of ‘85 to team with Steve Williams against The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express they just didn’t have the same chemistry as the Rock ‘n’ Roll had with the Midnights, who had just left the territory. At the same time wrestling and the economy in general in the area was down. It wasn’t necessarily a case of hotshotting, it was just “time to go down” and was basically just “following a record year with a really good year.” Another good Mid South Wrestling business discussion.

21:17 – What’s Jim’s opinion on AEW Double Or Nothing selling out in minutes and would that have happened if “a******” like Stub Hub weren’t bulk buying to sell on for profit? They had around 40,000 requests so “this thing has legs.” They obviously have a devoted fan base who will support at least one big show per year so we’ll have to see where it all goes and how the logistics are handled i.e. “what their business is gonna be.”

25:02 – In the territory days what were the pay offs for battle royals? Good history of battle royals including worked “prize money.” Often participants wouldn’t get paid for a battle royal because they’d already worked on the card underneath and the top guys weren’t involved. Top guys, Bruno Sammartino, for example, would get pretty good pay offs – about what he’d make for a main event singles match at the Boston Garden but less than MSG, “a couple or three or four grand” (around $18,000 today). Attractions like Andre The Giant would be paid the same for any match he appeared in.
Interesting stuff.

34:50 – As a commentator, David Crockett can be “so bad he’s entertaining,” how did Tony Schiavone (his broadcast partner) and other wrestlers feel about his commentary? Jim: “David was not a person that you wanted to dislike or the guys didn’t like, they could separate his commentary from the person. He didn’t mean to be rotten he just was not a good announcer.”

38:00 – Jim once managed Yokozuna in a sumo wrestling match against Earthquake in the early 1990’s. What was Jim thinking as he stood at ringside and who was responsible for booking it? Jim’s thoughts were “How can I f*****’ get out of here and I hope they’re not watching in f*****’ Knoxville.” John Tenta had actually been a sumo wrestler and it was Yoko’s gimmick so Jim can see why Vince was sold on the idea but he doesn’t know who did the selling. Bruce Prichard? Pat Patterson? My money would be on Bruce. Nobody thought about what the match would actually look like and the end result was a bit of an ungraceful mess.

45:00 – Good discussion about the early pro career and development of ‘Dr Death’ Steve Williams. Guided by those around him at the time, including Ernie Ladd, Bill Watts, The Midnights and even Jim Duggan, he lost some body fat, became more toned, began to have better matches and became safer to work with while still looking dangerous.

49:00 – Jim’s often said that some wrestlers are good workers but just don’t have ‘it.’ Can ‘it’ be taught? ‘It’ can’t be faked, can’t be taught but it can be “coaxed out.” Look at Chris Jericho’s early promos in SMW and then compare them to later in his career. Wrestlers, with the right guidance, can “grow into it.” See the previous discussion on Steve Williams! Some wrestlers develop a “personal magnetism.”

52:23 – What are Jim’s thoughts on the ringwork of Tully Blanchard? He had two styles: always moving forward and on the attack as a challenger but more cautious and defensive as a champion. Jim: “His work was excellent, not only from a standpoint of the way he executed moves being safe and looking good but also in terms of psychologically, when to do things, making it a contest.” Jim suggests that Tully was helped in the psychology side of wrestling by his father, Joe Blanchard, being an accomplished amateur and professional wrestler: he understood exactly what his mindset should be. Although he didn’t have the size, the way he worked made him credible against larger opponents. Jim talks about him working more defensively as champion and mentions that he’d want to “make the babyface shine more” because he’d “pull the rug out from under them at the end.”

56:37 – JYD discussion and the genius of his booking in Mid South under Bill Watts.

1:00:13 – Any stories of Owensboro, KY? Not really! It is situated between Louisville and Evansville and. was a smaller, spot show town.

1:02:48 – Who is Big Mama (Jimmy Valiant’s valet) and “couldn’t the Boogie Woogie Man be doing better than that?” She was his legitimate girlfriend, Jimmy bought her a florists in Charlotte. Jim: “They didn’t cast for parts back in those days… (she) tried her darnedest and it just didn’t work.” An early boob job recipient!

1:05:17 – 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: 7.3

Time stamps:

12:27 – Ted Dibiase on Bill Dundee as Mid South booker
21:17 – AEW Double Or Nothing
25:02 – Battle royal payoffs
34:50 – David Crockett
38:00 – Yokozuna/Earthquake sumo match
45:00 – ‘Dr Death’ Steve Williams
49:00 – ‘It’
52:23 – Tully Blanchard

About Paul:

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

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