I did not have the desire to buy the full “Corny in the UK” DVD set that contained several Jim Cornette Q&A and story telling sessions. I figured they would be full of the stories he has covered in past shoots and on his podcasts. However I decided to pick up the “Extras” disc that contained 3 hours of footage that did not make the final product. I’m not really sure what to expect here, but away we go…
It opens with Cornette showing he and his wife’s 6 or 7 bags they have packed for their two week trip to the United Kingdom.
We abruptly cut to Corny sitting in his Atlanta hotel room and he informs us that his flight has been canceled due to bad weather and he is stuck 440 miles from home, hoping to fly out in two days. They could not get more info because the person on the service line spoke Indian.
Fast forward ahead another day and Cornette is still in his room. The airport service desk for the UK is not open and Atlanta is shut down due to a snowstorm. The airport restaurant could not even properly serve them due to being understaffed.
Cornette is in the airport – drinking due to his fear of being in a plane. He plans on popping pills until he is zonked out for the trip. He wants to find a place to buy more life insurance.
The next shot finds Corny in the UK. He and his wife are crammed in a small car with a tour guide and a photographer. Cornette jokes that the car is so small he’d have to step outside to change his mind.
The first stop is a restaurant. They don’t serve 7-up or Sprite. Poor Corny has to settle for water.
Corny talks about eating at the “Heart Attack Grill” and devouring a huge burger.
Brock Lesnar was “as boring as a mud fence” and was not a fan of the business. Cornette had to pair him with Shelton Benjamin to let Shelton do the work while Brock stunk up the joint.
Corny’s wife, Stacy, was a manager and actually took a press slam from Brock.
The lack of veterans around to teach the young workers what to do in a proper wrestling school distresses Cornette.
He relates the story of meeting a random guy backstage at a show who had convinced the locals that he was one of the famous “Scufflin’ Hillbillies” in the 60’s. Corny knew one of the men was long dead and the other was a friend of his, so this guy was just a fake.
Cornette almost kind of hates doing indy shots because he thinks people will believe he needs the money.
The wrestlers in the back sometimes outnumber the fans in the ring. An indy today will do back flips if they draw 500 fans. If a crowd like that was drawn back when Corny broke in, the promoters would debate about canceling the show.
We get a lengthy dinner conversation with Corny and one of the local promoters on how hardcore wrestling is appalling and the business is hurt from it.
Hitting guys for real is awfully foolish considering that the fans already figure that everything is fake anyway.
Corny screamed at Vince Russo when the WWF’s “Brawl For All” was created as a concept. Dr. Death was brought in to work on the top end of the card, and his career was shot after one freaking “boxing” contest with Bart Gunn.
Jim gave Russo a 10 page layout of how to book Dan Severn in the WWF and work around his lack of charisma. Cornette wanted to steal the UFC’s thunder by booking Ken Shamrock vs. Dan Severn on WWF PPV and try and convince the fans that it would be a shoot.
We jump to Jim Herd and WCW bringing in Robocop for a PPV. The suit was so oxy that the guy could not even walk up stairs. This led to him just lumbering around.
The Hunchbacks and Long John Silver gimmicks that were proposed by Herd are touched on next. Corny has covered those a million times.
Jim Barnett tried to go with the flow in WCW because he wanted to keep his job and stay out of the fire.
Cornette installed a giant shower in his house to treat himself after a lifetime of using tiny hotel bathrooms.
The Midnight Express’ car broke down when they worked for Bill Watts. Not wanting to get fined, they tried to hitchhike to the show. The cars passing were not going to help because they were hated. Finally a chicken farmer stopped and drove them to the show with them riding in the back with a pile of chickens.
We get a rant on the republicans in the US not raising the minimum wage due to Congress being full of millionaires. The UK has universal healthcare and no one would dare suggest taking it away.
They flash to the group randomly watching and laughing along with Scott Steiner’s infamous TNA promo where he does wacky math.
Corny continues his greatest hits series by going off on his “Sable was a cunt” speech. Sunny was also a cunt, but Sunny was up front with being a bitch, Sable was a bitch behind your back. Russo and McMahon loved Sable though and she became a millionaire who didn’t want to bump and whose only asset was getting implants.
A southern worker once showed up for a “Loser Leaves Town” match with a U-Haul packed and his family in tow. Guess who lost?
Corny and company reach a burger joint where Cornette is going to take part in a 3-pound burger challenge. Jim is competing with a number of other blokes. They might be local wrestlers- I’m not sure. The burger has no salt, no mayo and no other condiments apparently.(Bleh) The guy next to Jim requests a puke pail awhile into his burger. The near puking is wrecking Jimmy’s will to eat. The idiot keeps eating until he finally vomits. At some point Corny relents and one of the other guys finishes his burger as Cornette roots him on.
The story of Jim slapping Santino Marella for not running away during an angle where the Boogeyman was chasing the “fans” in the crowd is gone over. Marella thought he was a tough guy and didn’t want to play scared for a goofy wrestling gimmick. He then tattled on Corny and got him fired from the WWE. Jim thinks the WWE gave Santino a job as a thank you for giving them an excuse to get rid of Cornette and allowing the WWE to totally take over OVW. Corny and Stacy make fun of Santino’s gimmick as a goof and wonder if it’s worth your dignity to put yourself into a gimmick like that for the sake of a job. Vince likes that kind of shit. Santino is part of problem with the modern product where everything is a joke and then Vince wonders why business is down.
Jim tells the “Wee Willie Wilkins” story from JCP where a short jobber showed up at a TV taping and tried to give himself a gimmick, but Dusty Rhodes instead made him “Wee Willie Wilkins” as a rib. Wilkins ended up trying to make himself look good at the expense of the Midnight Express. This ended with the Express and Corny shooting on him, then Rhodes tore him a new asshole in the locker room and booted him from the building.
We are now at a comedy club for Corny’s show. We see the MC deliver a horrid opening where he does wrestling music karaoke.
Then we flash to Cornette talking about wanting to kill Russo. He even dreams about it. He sent an email to Terry Taylor, Jim’s friend and a (then) TNA office stooge. He told Taylor he wanted to kill Russo in a mostly joking manner. Taylor sent it to Russo and Corny got a legal letter stating Russo was “afraid” of Cornette and legal threats were made. Jim put it on his website and framed it in his office.
We skip to the next night, at another show…Here Corny relates the infamous incident where he snapped on a Dairy Queen employee, while one of the wrestlers filmed it. This took place while Jim was in charge of SMW. They were coming back from a spot show in the boonies that drew flies and Corny was ornery. They ordered a ton of food because they have a number of wrestlers in the van. The employees did not prepare any food because they thought such a large order was a fake. Corny snapped at this point and swore at the lady in the window in a manner as only he can. The video became a sensation in tape trading circles.
Now we are in car and Jim tells a tale about Bobby Eaton throwing real money into the crowd during an angle in Memphis. The crowd went nuts and 30-40 people pushed their way into the ring. Cornette was knocked out during the melee and the fans took thousands in cash, instead of the few handfuls that was intended.
Corny rails on the fact that the WWE will pay to send people to rehab, but won’t offer funds to help cover long-term medical ailments the wrestlers suffer from.
He covers drugs and booze in the wrestling business. Pain pills were not an issue in the 80’s…cocaine was a fad. Steroids were prevalent. The southern promoters asked guys to get off roids because it hurt their workrate.
Eric Bischoff was nearly fired in 1991 when WCW was cutting back, Jim Ross went to bat for him and helped save his job. Less than two years later, Bischoff got control of WCW and Ross was one of the first guys he forced out of power.
We jump ahead to Jim watching guys training. He has them cut promos, then work a match. Corny offers critiques. It’s interesting to see how much Cornette can offer for the young guys to learn. It’s obvious why this guy was so effective as a teacher in OVW. It’s really a shame he can’t play well with others and thus can’t be used effectively in NXT with his temperament. He was a relatively young man when he was fired by WWE and a whole generation or two of workers lost the chance to be trained by a guy with smarts and passion. Jim throws a hell of a working punch. This ends up being a really long segment – I am not complaining!
Dusty Rhodes liked that Corny had the balls to rip on him in promos when Cornette was still a peon in Mid-South and Dusty was coming in as a special guest conquering hero.
Status can make life unfair for some in wrestling – during a promo segment with Roddy Piper arguing with Corny, Clarence Mason and others, the segment went long. Corny had one line at the end, with Mason carrying the segment on the heel end. Producer Bruce Pritchard shit on Cornette for going over their time, then Piper walked in the room and Bruce praised him.
Guys today talk over their 5-minute matches more than Flair and Steamboat talked over their sixty-minute bouts. Wrestlers should read the audience and call the action in the ring.
Get a tan because “fat looks better brown than white”. Keep track of your own finishes, so you can go back and reuse the good ones when needed.
Now in a car again, we get the story of how Matt Morgan was fired by WWE because the creative team had no ideas for him. Corny says that the creative team should be fired then, not the worker.
Angles should be used sparingly. Promos should be left for pushed guys. Some guys have to be special or no one will care and if everyone is pushed, then no one is pushed.
Corny doesn’t think Dusty was given the Polka Dots to embarrass him, but because Vince has an obsession with creating his own gimmicks and adding flair to talent.
Another show of some sort sees Jim talking about how T&A took the place of managers, leaving a heat getting tactic off the table. If Vince decides he wants managers again, there will be no one out there for him to use because so few exist in the business now.
Brock Lesnar was a cocky bully in OVW, treating others like shit because he was the biggest man in the room. Corny’s wife Stacy and him got into it verbally one day and they exchanged “fuck yous” to which Jim jumped in and told Brock “You keep talking like that and I’m going to shoot you in the knee”. Brock was shocked and went to Jim’s business partner Danny Davis about it. Davis explained to Brock that by acting like a dick, he was setting himself up for somebody to get truly riled up and since Brock is so damn big, the person’s only recourse is going to be to shoot him.
We skip ahead to another show Corny is hosting. Cornette can’t confirm or deny that Macho Man and Stephanie’s sexual rumors have any truth to them.
Shawn Michaels was smack-talking people in a bar, and a single marine (not 6-9 as the story would have it) kicked the shit out of him outside the place.
We finish in an airport, with Cornette planning on drugging himself into a stupor to survive his long flight home.
Final thoughts: The segment with Cornette training guys more than made up for Jim rehashing a number of stories. There was enough new material here to hold my attention, but minus the training segment, this was not exactly an indispensable DVD.