Legendary manager and wrestling personality, Jim Cornette recently returned to WGD Weekly with Steve and the Scum, sitting down for a very entertaining, hour long interview, where he discussed his time alongside some of the most memorable personalities in wrestling history as a manager, as well as the years he spent working creatively in the WWF, WCW, SMW, and OVW. The entire hour long interview can be heard here:
Cornette told many entertaining tales from his years in the industry spanning from his time as a photographer in Memphis all the way up through the present day and his thoughts (or lack thereof) on the current WWE product. Highlights from Cornette’s return to WGD Weekly include him speaking on:
Triple H and his involvement in the current WWE product: “…Well, I would love to give you an opinion, but I am clean and sober from WWE programming for several years now, and I do read what is going on, but it seems like it’s more of the same. In my opinion, he was never the star, he was always the guy that worked with the guy that drew the money, and he continues to push his boring self down the people’s throats. You know, what more can I say, I haven’t seen it first hand, but at least he got a haircut…”
Vince Russo’s time writing TV for WWF, WCW, and TNA: “…I had to spend eleven months in the same room with Vince Russo and Vince McMahon, that’s where I really got to hate life in general…they put Bruce (Prichard) in the office and put Russo on the writing team. At first, it was sort of like the Donald Pleasence line in the original Halloween, ‘For the first six years, I tried to reach him, and then I spent the next eight trying to make sure that he would never escape being locked up. Because what I saw behind those eyes was pure and simple evil.’ For the first few months I thought, ‘ok, he is a nice, energetic guy, who doesn’t know anything about wrestling, we’re going to try to teach him. Then I figured out he didn’t want to learn, because he though he knew what the f@*k he was doing and that we were all crazy…and that he wasn’t ever going to learn anything about wrestling and didn’t want to. Then, I made it my life’s mission to somehow keep anything that he did from actually seeing the light of day to the detriment of the wrestling business. Finally it got to the point, where all we did was argue with each other…But, Russo’s problem, besides the fact that he is from New York and he’s the worst stereo type of just an obnoxious Yankee is also that he was not a wrestling fan. He watched wrestling and liked angles and liked gimmicks. He wasn’t enough of a wrestling fan to watch and understand that all those things he saw as a child, like Piper hitting Jimmy Snuka with a coconut or whatever, those things happened every few months and then you followed up on them, so they made sense when you did them because you told the story leading up to them, telling why these people would do these things. All Russo would remember, because he had the attention span of a f@*king junkie with a clicker on a morphine drip, was the actual incidents themselves, so he wanted to write two hour television shows full of people hitting people over the head with coconuts, and f@8cking he loved the Jerry Springer show and he thought that the wrestling fan’s IQ was that of a flea and there attention span was like his, and all they wanted to see was mayhem and carnage. He didn’t believe in baby faces and heels, because there is no such thing as good people and bad people, everybody knows that, f@*cking idiot. So, he put matches together where people didn’t know who to cheer, they didn’t know whose side, who was on. In TNA when he didn’t have Vince McMahon to edit him and calm him down, it was even worse. That was when you would see those Impact’s, where people would be screaming at each other and then it would go to people brawling in the arena, to people brawling backstage by the dressing room trailers, to women brawling in the f@*cking bathroom, to more people screaming at each other and by the end of the show, you didn’t know what the f@*ck had gone on and you didn’t care about anybody…That was the problem, Russo remembered all the highlights, in his little pea brain that he had seen growing up in wrestling, but he didn’t understand how they were done, why they were done, how they were led up to and how they were followed up on. So, as a result, all you got was the trailer for the movie. You can make a really good one minute trailer out of a really stinky two hour movie…that’s been proven. But he didn’t know how to write the movie, he only knew how to write the trailer and that was his biggest problem…So, Russo pretty much had a cup of coffee in the WWF, where he had a few good ideas and took credit for everything else. He then followed that up by bankrupting the most well-funded wrestling company in the history of the world and then he destroys Vince McMahon’s only competition to the point that a lot of people in TNA at points in time thought that Vince
McMahon was still paying Vince Russo to not come back to the WWF…”
Working alongside and constantly being ribbed by Owen Hart and the British Bulldog: “…You know Owen and Davey together, Davey Boy Smith, they were like two children. They just had to top each other. We would be doing promos, we would be standing there in front of the camera and all of a sudden I’d look to the left of me and Owen all of a sudden was two inches taller than both me and Davey, and we were all sort of the same height. You would look down and he would be standing on a roll of duct tape. Then you look over and Bulldog would be about three inches taller and he’d be standing on a box. Then I’d look down because I’d feel something and while we were standing there staying concentrated on the camera, Owen had one of those spray bottles and he would spray the front of my pants, so it would look like I had pissed myself on camera…If Owen or Davey, either one if they came to you and gave you a million dollars, you’d be looking for the printing press. It had to be a rib. It got to the point where they ribbed so much, that nobody would believe anything…”
Jokes about the current state of TNA Wrestling: “…You know they are changing their website, you haven’t heard about this? You haven’t heard about TNA changing their website? Instead of TNAWrestling.com it is going to be TNA Wrestling.org because it’s a non-profit organization. Actually they have come up with a new strategy for 2014, Dixie keeps teasing these big, major ideas. She finally hit on a genius idea that I think is going to turn TNA around in 2014. Starting on the first, they are going to let all of the fans in the shows for free and charge them to get out…”
A memorable WCW booking meeting run by Jim Herd: “…The best stupid idea that Jim Herd had, there is so many of them that we could go on and on, but the best one I ever heard was when he wanted to introduce the team of the Hunchbacks. I’m sitting there in a room, and Flair had already quit as booker and I was shortly after to follow, but I was still there. I was sitting there in a room, with Jim Barnett, Jim Ross, Jim Herd, Kevin Sullivan, myself, Jody Hamilton, Terry Funk may or may not have been there, and Ole Anderson. So, Jim Herd goes off on this ten minute soliloquy of how he has come up with the greatest idea for a tag team ever, the Hunchbacks. ‘They got the big hump on their back, you know, and ya’ get ‘em in there and ya’ can’t pin ‘em, because they got the hump on their back. So, they are an unbeatable tag team and that’s how we’ll sell ‘em, you can’t beat these guys, because they’ve got humps on their backs.’ He was deadly serious, because remember, the Ding Dongs made it to television and that was Herd, so he was deadly serious about this. Finally, Ole let him get it all out of his system, and Ole, bless him, wrestling’s cantankerous old man. He says, ‘All right, Jim, you book the Hunchbacks, build them up, they’re undefeated. Then you book them with me and Arn. As soon as I tag in, I’m going to take one of them down, I’m going to slap an arm bar on him and I’m going to make him submit. He is going to give up. I just beat your unbeatable team.’ ‘Well, god dammit, Ole, you know what I mean!’… Thankfully, the Hunchbacks did not make their appearance in WCW, but by the time Herd got finished with WCW it wouldn’t have really mattered anyway…”
In addition to these points, Cornette also spoke in detail on his career in the wrestling industry both on camera and behind the scenes as he told Steve and the Scum about his time on the road and at ringside with Dick Murdoch, a classic backstage phone conversation with Stu Hart orchestrated by Owen and the Bulldog, the thought process in WWF creative meetings in the mid 1990’s and some of his views on trying to change the names of established talent such as Mick Foley, Vader, and Terry Funk, his proudest moments during his time on the WWF creative team including the debut of Kane and the concept behind the first Hell in a Cell match, Bill Watts paying Grizzly Smith to stay on as a booker with a different company, how he came about with the idea for Smoky Mountain Wrestling, why SMW succeeding and eventually did not last, the young talent at the time in SMW including Chris Candido, Al Snow, Glen Jacobs (Kane), Sunny, D-Lo Brown, and others, the formation of Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville and the difficulties he had working as a “feeder” system for the WWF at the time, WWF missing the boat on OVW talent including the Basham Brothers, Matt Morgan, Nick Dinsmore (Eugene), Elijah Burke, and the Spirit Squad, his first national TV appearance, being a photographer during the famous Andy Kaufman and Jerry Lawler feud in Memphis and getting to know Kaufman, singing “La Bamba” to Hector and Chavo Guerrero and Manny Fernandez, Abdullah the Butcher and characters in wrestling, the athleticism of Yokozuna, the Fabulous Freebirds, and much, much more.
WGD Weekly with Steve and the Scum interviews a different legend from “Wrestling’s Glory Days” every week as a part of their show. You can find all of their previous shows and get updates and information on upcoming programming on their Facebook site at www.facebook.com/WGDWeekly , or on Twitter @WGDWeekly. All shows are also available on their YouTube channel and iTunes.