Jim Cornette on Hardcore Wrestling

Jim Cornette on Hardcore Wrestling


our next question Jim was sent in via email the corny drive-thru at gmail.com from Mike in Long Island New York I sent this once but much like Fredo I was passed over but I know this is a good question and since first sending I’ve made my first purchase from cornets collectables so I’m hoping this sways you into giving me a shot quick question so you’re one of those assholes that sent me money when I asked – cannot – it says in parenthesis hardcover comic so I believe he is oh oh no well I did I brought that on myself I asked him send me money for them here’s this question what was the first finish you remember seeing where you thought it was too much and crossed that fine line between looking great but still being safe enough to pull off on a nightly basis I remember watching Chris Candido pulling off a top rope powerbomb on a fairly regular basis in 1995 in 1996 they gave me pause I guess some people could make the argument that even as far back as the road warriors using the Doomsday Device was the first instance but for as many times as they did it there weren’t a ton of injuries excluding henry godwinn i guess and that’s the end of question but I guess when did you first start seeing finishers that you thought wow that’s close to being really dangerous well a goddamn Candido started doing that powerbomb in Smoky Mountain okay him and Bobby blaze and wouldn’t when he first told me I was like what and he but I you know once again him and Bobby they were the idea was to put them with the the junior heavyweight belt that we had at the time to put him on the car to do the athletic match that other guys weren’t doing especially in the main event where it was more angle grudge etc and they were young guys who could do a bunch of shit and I I was nervous about it and didn’t necessarily like it but I was all right if he’s the only one that does it and and Bobby was the only one that was gonna take it it was helping them get over on the undercard and they both did it well and neither one got hurt we never did it anymore did him but I guess he did it a lot in ECW and etc you know I don’t I don’t know I don’t remember the first time because you never if if you don’t know that something is going to be significant at a later date you don’t necessarily you know write it down the like I never wrote down the day and time but I watched my first TV wrestling show when the first time I ever saw wrestling on TV I didn’t immediately go write it down oh that’s the first time I’ve ever seen my future career so the same thing is when when it happens gradually and especially in other places because remember for most of the 90s I was either in Smoky Mountain where we obviously weren’t doing crazy bullshit like they were doing an ECW or the you know the end the early independence and then I was in a WWF where they were doing crazy bullshit but it was it wasn’t stupid crazy bullshit and it was with a budget and you know planned out and somewhat professionally planned a pre-planned of sketched out we ain’t gonna fucking just try this shit on the fly and kill ourselves except for Mick Foley every once in a while but at some point during the 96 through 99 period that I was in the WWF I saw a guys starting to go too far and then you’d see more of it on WCW and then but then I went to OVW where once again nobody was gonna be allowed to go too far and we had a spectacular business for a number of years doing wrestling but I would see whatever I watched the you know still the WWF tapes or even the the new modern independence where it’s like what the fuck are you people doing so I can’t remember the first time because it happened gradually but it’s been at least 20 years that guys started just openly doing stupid shit that they don’t know how to do or that they shouldn’t be doing even if they do the guys at the high level that performed the Tables Ladders and Chairs and all that stuff that even then you know enjoy Matthews his face caved in but one of those ladders and almost killed him and other guys have been hurt so it’s it’s been the last 20 years a lot of guys growing up he grew up as we’ve talked about fans of either Mick Foley taking bumps and didn’t realize that there was a lot more to him or just ECW in general and they they didn’t get the fact that it would that was a fucking eda I’m sorry but if everybody says they watch ECW these days and it doesn’t hold up as well as Smoky Mountain does or even Memphis of the 90s or wrestling of the 90s because it was so pop culture fad oriented flavored and so much of it was garbage wrestling to disguise and Paul did a great job of it but to disguise the fact that he couldn’t afford the major-league talent so that’s why he had the reputation for getting the most out of guys that he that he could get and a lot of that was through the garbage wrestling matches the hardcore shit and but then you know those guys ended up of many of them either on pain pills or they’re currently dead or in not good shape physically because they were allowed by the boss which is the biggest issue I’ve always had with Paul’s company to do too fucking much and and over and over edit repetitively I’ll tell you what let me jump in real quick him because this one question has turned into a completely different answer so let me ask another question it came in and then we’ll get back to this but this question came in via email from Jeff I heard you rant about the GoFundMe for the death match idiot I completely agree do you think Paul Heyman deserves some blame for warping a generation of people into believing that hardcore death matches our actual wrestling yes yes because they in the literal definition and application of the word these goofballs were marks for ECW but it’s just like the goofball Vince Russo was a mark for wrestling angles and wrestling promos without understanding what all he remembered was Jimmy Snuka got hit with the coconut he didn’t remember the build-up or the follow-through or whatever he just hi spot mentally image angle-angle promo promo hot spot that’s what he thought wrestling was these guys and those who have followed him didn’t understand that it was a component of ECW that they also had the malenko’s in the Guerrero’s and he also had guys who could fuckin work actually and they also had fucking personalities and booking that covered up for the lack of personalities in some cases and all they saw was the fucking you know barbed wire car crash shit and because they were marks and they were one-dimensional not multi-dimensional and they did that appeal to them for some reason hey let’s mutilate myself and let me try to get people to watch me do it and so yes he deserves quite a bit of the blame and I wish I had the email in front of me because I was gonna print it out and I lost it but somebody emailed me why I’m trying to remember the way it was phrased but basically because I blistered the fluorescent light tubes and the fucking barbed wire and the broken glass and the panes of glass and all the stupid shit that they use in these matches and he said I’ve been watching wrestling and I’ve seen old tapes and they had tables and chairs in the ring and whatever if I back in the 70s yes that’s true they did and here is the difference and here’s something else it’s once again the young kids these days don’t think about have never been informed of her instructed or educated about because they don’t give a shit because they just want silliness you always used and go back and anything that I’ve ever had anything to do with in ring of honor except if in some cases like the goddamn ladder match where I said okay the fans all want the ladder match let them do whatever they want to do but in OVW and Smoky Mountain wrestling etc etc what should be used in a wrestling match as far as foreign objects and what shouldn’t be well let’s start with what should be under the ring this was part of the art of doing shit like this when you were trying to make people believe what they were seeing is that you couldn’t just pull out a fucking VW Beetle out from under the fucking ring and use it without people going wide fuck is that their right so now they pull all this shit out why the fuck is that there what’s under a ring a toolbox so you got hammers you got screws you got fucking of wrenches you got a you know whatever the fuck is in a toolbox what’s around ringside also an announcers table one maybe you have another table under the ring in case that table gets broken but one tops when there’s five tables out of the ring or all these fucking sheets of wood and they pull them out it’s just because well obviously that was put there for this fake fucking exhibition of wrestling to use there were chairs that the announcer said at at his announce table there’s a ring bell that’s been used in the past there’s a sometimes a hammer or an instrument that rings that fucking bell what else would be under the ring I’ll tell one of my favorites is we I think the first time I saw it was Jackie Fargo doing a TV studio because there was one hanging on the wall but I used it in Smoky Mountain one time we had Ricky Morton in a Smokey Mountain Street fight tied by his neck to the fucking ropes and he was bleeding and he was hanging there and he was helpless and the heavenly bodies were double teaming Robert Gibson and the ring crew guy comes out with a knife and cuts Ricky down and he drops and then he gets up and he looks and he sees his partner who’s in the ring you know being pummeled by these two guys and I’m fucking keeping the referee away and he goes under the ring and he comes out with a fire extinguisher and I understand now some of them are poisonous she can’t do this but back there and he gets up on the apron wherever I can seem and the peels look around and he fucking shoots one of the heels to face with fire extinguisher from like eight feet away but it makes a big fucking pop from the people a big fucking cloud and he shoots the other he oh my god now the heels blind at he’s we can’t see and that’s the way he starts the fucking comeback then he picks up a chair and goes from there because that would be under the ring the there’s no reason otherwise then we’re setting up a phony stunt for fluorescent light tubes to be out of the ring four rolls of barbed wire to be under the ring they used to have barbed wire matches but not where the guys would get rolled up in it but where it would be surrounding the ring post and part of the drama of the match was trying to force your opponent into the real barbed wire but you didn’t actually get rolled up in it cuz that would be fucking stupid and nobody broke panes of glass because did I mention that’s fucking stupid you can cut an artery that way it was about what was in your environment in the atmosphere naturally that somebody could on the spur of the moment without pre-planning see grab ahold of use in some kind of way and make it a part of the match rather than just shit put out there for people to play around in a phony exhibition and that’s the difference so what objects are okay if it reasonably belongs under a wrestling ring or around a wrestling ring then figure out creative ways to fucking use it if it doesn’t don’t and I liked ladder matches when they invented them in Calgary when Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon had one okay you grab this ladder and you climb them to get the belts it’s a updated fucking coal miners glove match which also when done well by people who know what they’re doing are very fucking exciting but now that they added Tables Ladders and Chairs why the fuck are the ladders and the Terr the tables and the chairs involved and or a tables match we have to put your opponent through a table to win that’s the stupidest fucking thing that I’ve ever heard of in my life that’s why I’ve never booked one because what in what other athletic contest would you win a boxing match by knocking your fucking opponent through the goddamn ringside table it’s it’s it’s stupid and it makes it contrived and show we take a bump through the fucking table in a regular match but don’t do it very often just like fire extinguisher you do once every couple of years get in on the Big Show you somebody goes through fucking table but don’t just do multiples of it on every show because then it becomes what it is now goofy shit to be stupid human tricks the guys do to pop a crowd there whatever their definition of a meager crowd is and risk their necks and people led there by the next match they forgot about it because they see it over and over if you’re just coming up with in the why is there a cookie sheet under the ring there could be a garbage can but why is there a gar a cookie sheet in the garbage can why would there be a road sign under a wrestling ring in an arena well the answer is because it sounds good when you hit a guy with it but it’s stupid you’ve you’ve killed the buzz you’ve shit the bed already when you bring out something like that it’s obvious then the don’t even get me started on the fucking thumbtacks you couldn’t even win a real fight with thumbtacks but you really can fucking to hurt yourself with thumbtacks that’s a stupidest thing it’s ever happened in wrestling because it was a goddamn fads at then a couple of guys that fucking people like started doing and now everybody does it but it’s fucking ignorant and it makes wrestling look like the lowest of the low fucking they don’t even do the freak shows at State Fair anymore I can’t go and see the goddamn world’s fattest man with tits as big as my at Lola’s head and I can’t go and see the fucking five legged fucking sheep or the cow with one eye or the bearded lady but I can go to what’s supposedly a professional wrestling fucking match even in a major NBA style arena and I could watch guys rolling around in fucking thumbtacks which is stupid what do you think when you hear and I’m sure you have cuz I have people say that you can’t say anything negative about the ECW kind of brawls because it came out of Memphis it’s all Memphis based Memphis did it so you can’t really criticize anyone else for doing it well yes you can because Memphis didn’t do it like that it just that once again did I mention the word Marx the guys in the business were the Marx more than the fans once again in Memphis they had a barbed wire match where they wrapped barbed wire around the ring posts and the drama of the match was trying to force your opponent into it and they had a match in the middle of it in ECW they have a barbed or match where the guys actively roll around and get rolled up in barbed wire for real and cut themselves up for real in Memphis they hit each other over the head with fucking gimmicks that were gimmicked I’m not gonna spoil all the secrets here but if you’ve watched Ring of Honor even a little mlw over the last few years you’ve seen some gimmicked gimmicks and you can’t tell them from the real ones the people are bashing each other over the head with and getting fucking concussions because they’re gimmicked because there’s a little art to that and and they Memphis never had just blatantly stupid matches hardcore matches where guys instead of hitting each other with garbage cans and chairs or running each other into tables that happen to be there at ringside built like they’ve went to Home Depot and got a do-it-yourself kit and they’re in shop class at high school built these structures to then cooperate and taking bumps through fooling absolutely nobody in the audience that they’re really fuckin fighting with each other it’s just a stunt show they didn’t do any of that because I watched it every fucking night it that’s because there are some people who are marks who only see one dimension of the thing and don’t understand the depth of it or the presentation of it or the logic of it even though there were silly things done in Memphis wrestling just like there were silly things done in a lot of territories in wrestling if it was good if it drew money it was because it still made sense within the presentation nobody was winking at each other saying we’re really playing it being mad but we’re not it wasn’t phony and silly for the sake of being phony and silly if something was silly it was to make fun of the heel who then came back and did something dastardly to get even and then the babyface sold it like he’s goddamn blown with a hand grenade and it was real and then the baby-faced wants to get revenge which is real even if that revenge is making a fucking buffoon out of the heel instead of hurting him physically because that as the story was told so many times hurts a man worse to be humiliated than it does to be punched in the face so that way you could endlessly especially in a weekly territory like Memphis or anywhere in the south instead of bloodying and beating and fucking hurting your heel every week it was more important sometimes that you embarrassed him and humiliated him and that was the blow-off and you could get more mileage out of that because you weren’t destroying a guy’s body there’s layers and there’s elements of this that they don’t understand because all he did was grow up watching people hit each other over the head wish he had on television and then they were allowed to get in the business because now any fucking jackleg can get in the wrestling business so they don’t know these things you ought to see some of the guys that have been around for a while when we’ll need something at a TV and I will give them my shopping list and tell them bring us back to me and I’ll fix you something you ought to see them with their fucking mouths open like we didn’t know you could do that what the fuck have you been doing we just hit people with this shit what the fuck

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