Jim Cornette Interview Recap
by Tom Sossic
This week Jack E. Jones, Oneinchbiceps and Barbie Richards were joined on In Your Head by Jim Cornette of TNA Wrestling. Go to www.InYourHeadOnline.com to hear the full interview.
Jim will be attending the NWA Legends Wresting Fanfest from August 6-9th in Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information please visit:
To begin Jim ran over how he would be participating in the Fanfest. He talked about hosting the Hall of Heroes banquet for the second time and said that he was looking forward to honoring some of the past greats in wrestling such as The Fabulous Fargo brothers. Jim also confirmed that he will be doing a Q & A session on the Thursday night from 10-12 pm
Jim talked about growing up in the Tennessee territory watching Memphis Wrestling and recalled Jackie Fargo being his favorite wrestler as a child, and was excited at the prospect inducting the Fabulous Fargos as well as the commentary team for Memphis Wresting; Lance Russell and Dave Brown.
Jack plugged both of Jim’s Websites; www.cornettescollectibles.com/ and www.jimcornette.com where you can purchase wrestling memorabilia from Jim’s collection as well as Jim’s new book “The Midnight Express & Jim Cornette 25th Ann. Scrapbook” which Jim will be signing for free at the NWA Legends Fanfest.
On the topic of wrestling memorabilia, Jim discussed that in the past he would fill up his car with wrestling memorabilia purchased at the Fanfest, but this year hoped that the inverse would happen and that he was looking to clear out his memorabilia of items he didn’t want any more and that people might want.
When asked why he decided to sell some of his memorabilia, Jim responded that he “needed to clear his living space”, and that when looking through his memorabilia he would find several copies of the same program or flyer.
Jim was posed the question by a caller; who out of Triple H or Batista should turn heel. Jim, initially puzzled if the question was for him, responded by telling the caller that he had no idea having not watched the WWE product for 6-7 years and didn’t know if which of them were face or heel at the present time. Jim then proclaimed himself “clean and sober from the WWE product for quite some time”.
Jim then discussed the idea that breaking into the wrestling business as a male manager at this time was a bad idea, citing this to Vince McMahon years ago dictating that managers should be attractive women. Jim said this had a profound effect on male managers such as himself and Paul Bearer and that it would take Vince McMahon decided to bring back male managers as a focus role in wrestling for the role to be viable again as all promoters would soon follow suit.
Continuing, Jim discussed that nobody every attempted to shy him away from wrestling when he was breaking in because at that time there were several places to work which meant that everybody could make good money. In addition Cornette said that the various territories meant that talent disgruntled with their current employer could give their notice and go else where.
Following this Jim discussed his early managing career and regretting not getting to work with Bobby Heenan when they were both managing. Jim also discussed seeing several great managers growing up, noticing what they did and told the IYH crew that many veteran wrestlers assisted him in the early part of his career.
When asked if a re-emergence of territories on a smaller scale than before would be possible, Jim said that while it was possible it would be highly unlikely because of the damage done to the wrestling business. Jim then discussed Ohio Valley Wrestling being a successful territory before being purchased by the WWE.
After this, Jim discussed his new book about the Midnight Express which he would sign for free at the NWA Legends Fanfest, and that he was attempting to get the Midnight Express to the Fanfest for at least one of the nights. He told IYH that the book contains information on almost all of the Midnight Expresses matches such as the gates and the finishes and that he was told early on in his career to keep track of this information. Jim talked about the many topics covered in the book such as Starrcade ’85-’88, The Great American Bash tours, WCW’s booking committee, wrestler biographies and various others. Jim said that he kept all of this information because it was a time before the internet where fans didn’t have access to booking sheets and attendance information.
Preceding this, Jim was asked what he would change about the current TNA product. Jim said that he would love to see some of the younger talent to be featured more prominently as well as longer main-event matches on television. Jim then said that he loved working at TNA because it gives him the chance to work with promising talent getting their first big break, citing Beer Money, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles as examples of this. Jim continued, saying that he enjoyed working with Matt Morgan and that at TNA he is able to work with some his friends in the wrestling business such as Dutch Mantel, Terry Taylor, Mike Tenay and Jeff Jarrett. Jim concluded by saying that the best thing about TNA is “there is no-one named McMahon there”.
Jim was asked about the current NWA federations and what they had to get back on a larger scale, to which Jim responded by saying that current NWA promoters are on a much smaller scale than 20 years ago due to a shortage of talent in the wrestling business as well as a shortage of experienced promoters. Jim also cited a lack of funding and having to compete with WWE and TNA for talent as other major issues with the NWA.
Jim then discussed how he and the Midnight Express came up with double team moves, saying that he would just watch what the Express did well individual and then attempt to tie them together.
After this Jim was asked about the incident when he lit a fireball in Ronny Garvin’s face, to which Jim discussed all the hate mail and death threats that he received as a result of the incident and that he has devoted an entire chapter of his new book to the incident. Jim was also asked about the history behind the Skywalkers match and said that Dusty Rhodes suggested it as WCW needed a big match to headline Starrcade ’86. Jim noted that while Scaffold Matches were not great matches because of the restriction on usable moves, they still drew well because people wanted to see them get thrown off the Scaffold. Jim said that it was also Dusty’s idea to bring in Big Bubba Rogers to be his bodyguard, and was brought in because he need a bodyguard to protect him from fans that would jump him on a regular basis.
Towards the end of the interview Jim was asked what he thought of Paul Heyman. To this Jim said that Paul was a great manager who knew how to work a crowd, as a booker could get the best out of a worker but concluded by saying that Paul is “genetically incapable of telling the truth”.
Finally, Jim discussed the proper way to debut a babyface. Jim suggested that there are many ways to do it, but the best way was to debut them on television in a good match and for them to win without cheating. He also cited the Rock and Roll winning the tag team titles in their first match for the NWA as another option.
You can visit Jim Cornette at both www.jimcornette.com/ and www.cornettescollectibles.com/ , where you can purchase Jim’s new book “The Midnight Express & Jim Cornette 25th Ann. Scrapbook”. And don’t forget to see Jim along with many legends such as Ole Anderson, Bill Watts, Billy Robinson, Harley Race and many more August 6th-9th in Charlotte, NC at the NWA Legends Fanfest www.NWALegends.com
Head to InYourHeadOnline.com for all the upcoming details on forthcoming guests, including the return of Rob Van Dam to In Your Head on 27th of May. You can also check out In Your Head’s 4 Year Archive at InYourHeadOnline.com which includes guests such as Terry Funk, Mick Foley, Bill Goldberg, Elijah Burke, Danny Bonaduce, Chris Jericho, Kevin Nash and many more. Don’t forget you can also leave questions for upcoming guests on the Official In Your Head Message Board at http://www.inyourheadboard.proboards27.com/index.cgi and you can also subscribe to the latest In Your Head Podcasts at http://iyh.blogspot.com