Jim Cornette Shoots On Hulk Hogan Signing With TNA, The Chances Of Seeing Hogan/Russo Getting Along (Or If It Will Backfire), If He Would Accept A WWE Hall Of Fame Invitation Next Year (Or Anytime Soon), His Transition Into Ring Of Honor (And How He Sees ROH Being Different From TNA…And For The Better), Going One-On-One Again With Paul Heyman (Sooner Than One May Think), & Returning Tag Team Wrestling To Prominence In 2010.
One of the greatest managers in the history of professional wrestling, former TNA Management Director/road agent, & the new Executive Producer of ROH On HDNet, Jim Cornette, was the special guest on this week’s live edition (11/23/09) of Monday Night Mayhem (presented by ReelWrestling.com), hosted by The Big Mosh, Blade, & “The Chairman Of The Board” Todd Vincent. You can feel The Mayhem live & in streaming audio every Monday night (at 8PM ET/7PM CT), exclusively on The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network (www.MondayNightMayhem.com, www.ITunes.com, www.AudioWrestling.com, www.Facebook.com/MondayNightMayhem, & www.MySpace.com/MondayNightMayhem).
Jim’s return Mayhem appearance (as part of “A Very Mayhem Thanksgiving”/MNM’s “Fall Tour ’09”) is now available for free in Windows Streaming Media, or via The Mayhem’s official Podcast on ITunes:
Jim Cornette/Monday Night Mayhem Interview (MNM Streaming Audio): http://www.mondaynightmayhemarchives.com/waxfiles/112309.wax
Jim Cornette/Monday Night Mayhem Interview (MNM Podcast on ITunes): http://www.mondaynightmayhemarchives.com/nov09/112309.mp3
Here are some of the highlights of Jim’s exclusive interview, provided by The Mayhem’s correspondent, Paterson from New Jersey:
“The Louisville Slugger” Jim Cornette was welcomed by The Big Mosh, Blade, & “The Chairman Of The Board” Todd Vincent to The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network for his first MNM appeaerance in nearly four & a half years to discuss the release of what is surely the perfect gift for the holiday season, which is now available…thanks to Jim Cornette. Be sure to purchase The Midnight Express 25th Anniversary Scrapbook (available at www.JimCornette.com & www.CornettesCollectibles.com). Mosh mentioned to The Mayhem Nation that Jim has indeed spent more time with Vince Russo than with “Your Home Of Wrestling Radio” during his hiatus from the program. “Please don’t remind me. Once again, I believe I’m in a Russo-free zone, I believe I’m safe unless he runs for politics in the state of Kentucky. I believe I’m finally free.”
After parting ways with TNA Wrestling several months ago, Jim saw other opportunities open up for him in the form of becoming the Executive Producer of Ring Of Honor on HDNet, and to say that Jim is excited once again about being part of the wrestling business in something he believes in would be a massive understatement “Jerry Jarrett told me when he walked away from the wrestling business, he thought he hated the wrestling business. Then after he was away from it for a while, he figured out that he didn’t hate the wrestling business, he hated who he was in business with in the wrestling business.” He added, “I was disappointed in TNA, because I wanted so bad to see the company succeed. The only competitors to Vince McMahon to try to keep him from having a monopoly. They got national television, they got Pay-Per-View, they got distribution. But the problem is Vince Russo is writing the television program & has been for three years, and it’s been an ongoing thing. When Jeff Jarrett & Dutch Mantel was there, you could at least get some things through & changed, but now that he is unopposed & is running amok, the problem remains. With Ring Of Honor, they are trying to provide an alternative product to Vince McMahon…instead of a cheap copy. Sports-entertainment has gone far enough, you can’t copy it anymore, and you certainly cant beat Vince in a game he invented. So I don’t know why somebody will not present pro wrestling as a sport, and since TNA refuses to do that, then ROH is gonna do it…and we are gonna prosper for it.”
In less than one month’s time, Ring Of Honor will present “Final Battle 2009” in New York City, which will feature the long-awaited match between ROH World Champion, Austin Aries & Tyler Black for Aries’ title. “Aries’ time is running out because he’s got a hometown challenger in Colt Cabana in Chicago (December 5th), and if he makes it past that, he’s got Tyler Black in New York. So Aries is not goin g to have an easy holiday season.” Cornette also mentioned his idea when he came to ROH. “This is why one of the first things I did when I came to ROH is to institute the ‘Pick-Six’ Contender Series. You’re always gonna know who the top six contenders are. Only the top six guys will title shots, that’s gonna avoid any bum of the month club or a one-sided match for the World Title. And it’s gonna be a constant challenge for these guys to stay in the top six, so I think a lot of fans will enjoy watching these guys climb the ladder.” Can’t be in “The Big Apple” for ROH’s biggest night of the year? Check out www.ROHWrestling.com & www.GoFightLive.TV for more information on how you can purchase “Final Battle 2009,” and watch all of the action right in the confines of your own home!
Ring Of Honor having Jim Cornette was a coup for the company, especially with all if his experience in the business & the youth in that company who is learning from him. Todd Vincent asked Jim about what he thinks is in the future for ROH & which stars he sees growing in 2010. “As far as the talent goes, there’s so many young guys now. Tyler Black, The Briscoes, Chris Hero has really grown-up & prospered. I think the ROH show on HDNet will have bigger exposure. It needs to focus on the personalities of the wrestlers, because as they have gone far in presenting the matches, there’s not enough talking on the program. Instead of coming up with gimmicks for these guys, I just wanna know about the personalities of these great athletes. More importantly, I wanna get the style over. It’s the most-athletic, the most-competitive based pro wrestling in the world today. and it’s a perfect compliment for someone into MMA or UFC, because to me, they are doing our business better than we are. Dan a White is kicking Vince McMahon’s ass. So why somebody has not gone after that fan base that doesn’t want all the hokey cartoon aspects & wants amazing athletes in the ring pounding the piss out of each other in a great contest.”
The topic/subject of Hulk Hogan was transitioned into on The Mayhem airwaves, along with his possible/probable role in TNA — which still has yet to be defined, although from Hulk’s own lips he will be running the show. Blade asked Jim if he ever thought that after five years Jeff Jarrett would be out in TNA & Hogan would be running things. “The thing is how is this building for the future? The man is almost 60 years old, and he’s a pathological storyteller. In his new book, he claims he used to wrestle 400 nights a year, because he would fly back from Japan to Madison Square Garden & wrestle there across the International Date Line. The point is TNA needs to focus on the young talent, making new stars, getting guys over to replace the main-eventers who needs to be packed in ice after every performance. That’s been met with resistance, because Vince Russo does not know how to get guys over. He knows how to script a bunch of people to be wacky, but he never gets wrestlers over, so their new talent is no more over now than they were three years ago. And that’s why now they are trying to rush it, and that won’t work either. And with Hogan & his sports-entertainment, “Let’s go with the older fellas’ philosophy he has always shown, I don’t understand how that is building for the future.” He mentioned that Hogan is a big draw, a celebrity, & that people will watch, but Russo is still writing for the show. “If a lot of people are looking at a turd, does it still stink?”
Being one of the greatest managers of tag teams in wrestling history qualifies Jim Cornette to comment on the state of tag team wrestling. Besides the pushes of DX & Chris Jericho/The Big Show (as Unified World Tag Team Champions), the WWE has more or less pushed it aside, and TNA has a pretty stable hold on it, but can tag team wrestling make a return to prominence in 2010? “The way tag teams are presented is the problem. If you present them as two guys who can’t win matches on their own, or who seldom wins matches when they are together, or they are booked in the underneath of the card in the preliminary matches, that’s telling the fans that this is not that important. These aren’t major stars, this isn’t a major title this isn’t a major importance. But when you have two big stars as recognized as Big Show & Chris Jericho holding the belts & winning matches, presenting in the main event or even the high part of the card, then people take to it. The problem with tag team wrestling is that Vince doesn’t want to do that for most tag teams, because he believes superstars should be individuals, and you team up two big stars every now & then. The fans always loved, but it is not presented as important, and until it is, it’s not gonna get back over.”
2010 is looked at in many circles as a make or break year in pro wrestling. Will there be a Renaissance of sorts, or the same old song & dance for wrestling & its fans. Jim went on record saying “I think for the wrestling fans in 2010, more of the same unless you tune into Ring Of Honor. It’s more of the same, and even if the talent changes, even if all the young guys get their breaks, sports-entertainment to me has gone as far as it can go. Nobody believes anything anymore. It’s silly, that’s what it is. Good wrestling can be funny, but it can never be silly. I think the wrestling fans who want to see athletes will watch Ring Of Honor, the sports-entertainment fans will go to WWE, & TNA will get the fans that want to see everything in the ring. And with Ring Of Honor outgrowing TNA in live events on a shoestring budget, people want to see something different.”
Being one of the most-popular & most-recognizable managers the industry has ever seen, the obvious question t hat many fans would like to have answered is quite simple: If Vince McMahon called Jim Cornette & asked him to be in the WWE Hall Of Fame, what would his answer be? If this took place leading into WrestleMania XXVI, Jim’s answer may surprise some. “If there was a big payoff involved & a trip to a place that I really wanted to go then yeah, but other than that, I’m not really interested. They’re not gonna ask me, I’m not going to have worry about it. I’m not gonna lose sleep over it. I’m in The Wrestling Observer Hall Of Fame…people actually voted for that. I’m been recognized by others, but the WWE Hall Of Fame is based on who Vince likes this year, who are we selling a video of, who’s dead or was once over in the territory, & what city are we in.”
More is contained in this exclusive interview with the one & only James E. Cornette, including his candid & uncensored thoughts on the ideal scenarios on how the TNA/Hogan relationship can work (or if will backfire), The Ultimate Warrior, & the possibilities of a Jim Cornette-Paul Heyman showdown on The Mayhem as part of MNM’s eighth-year anniversary celebration in February. Will be see two of the greatest minds in the history of professional wrestling put aside their “differences” & go on-on-one on The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network in just mere weeks? The only way to find out the answer is by listening to what many are now voting as “Male Interview Of The Year” in the 2010 Wrestling Radio Awards. Mayhem Nation: Log onto www.WrestlingRadioAwards, and vote for Monday Night Mayhem in the categories listed. Help keep MNM atop the throne as “Show Of The Year,” and take home some of the most-prized hardware in the industry!
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