Kayfabe Lies and Alibis: Bobby Heenan and Jim Cornette Shoot Interview

Taped at the Charlotte NWA Fanfest Q and A

From Highspots.com
Recorded eight years ago-give or take.

Heenan and Cornette rip on the WWE when they come in, then they ask for questions and Heenan asks for money…

A fans says “Both of you have been with Vince McMahon…” and both Corny and Heenan stand up and walk off denying this homosexual tryst.

Wrestling is worse off because of the lack of places to grow and learn.

TNA is brought up and this is during the glory days of Samoa Joe and others exhibiting great workrate, so both Corny and Heenan speak highly of it. Actually Heenan makes it a point to put them over multiple times during this session, clearly fishing for a job.

“Bobby is so old, when he was in school there was no history”

The incident where Cornette was fired by the WWE over slapping The Boogeyman is discussed. Corny liked him and thinks the WWE should have trained him before pushing him.

Cornette thinks “fun” is ok in wrestling, but silliness hurts the product.

Jim’s fall from the scaffold at Starrcade 86 is brought up. Corny is glad a lot of people saw the event and his team needed him to do that spot to help get the match over.

The WWE wellness policy is discussed. Cornette suggests drug testing the creative team.
Heenan is out of the loop on the current WWE backstage rules.

Cornette owns a complete set of programs from St. Louis spanning the entire run of Sam Mushnick’s run as a promoter. They are signed by Sam and many NWA champions.

Heenan covers the Ultimate Warrior being a shitty human being. Cornette didn’t understand a thing Warrior tried to say to him during their brief run together in 1996.

Heenan puts Corny over as a great manager. Paul Bearer shows up and takes a seat to enjoy the show. Corny stole a lot of Heenan’s shtick. Bearer is then put over by both men.

Capt. Lou, Freddie Blassie, Jimmy Hart and others are all put over.

When asked about personal regrets, Corny says being stuck with the “New” Midnight Express in 1998 in the WWF was no fun and Mantaur was a joke. Falling off the scaffold and wrecking his knee is also way up there.

Corny does his Dusty Rhodes impression while covering how he was talked into taking the scaffold bump. Corny ended up blowing out his knee and bouncing his head off of Big Bubba’s knee, which knocked him out.

Big John Studd was a gentleman. Studd wouldn’t go out drinking with Heenan. Andre would keep Heenan out all night.
Gorilla Monsoon was Heenan’s closest friend in the business.

Cornette loves Ring of Honor.

Jimmy covers the brief push of Bill and Randy Mulkey. Two jobbers who enjoyed “Mulkeymania” in 1987.

A fan asks Heenan to tell his wife infidelity joke: “I’d shake the man’s hand who bedded my wife, what a trooper, I HAVE to do that…he chose to do that.”

The fans HATED Cornette for jabbing his tennis racquet into Baby Doll’s guts. She then did a promo the week after and wondered if she’d be able to have kids. Baby Doll disliked Corny saying she shopped in the junior moose department.

Vince McMahon wouldn’t watch the NWA TV shows during the 80’s.

They rip on Kevin Dunn for hating wrestling.

Heenan figured everybody knew wrestling was fake even back in the 50’s and beyond.

Managers could still be used effectively but WWE only wants valets.

Corny tells some ribs he and the Midnight Express pulled on each other.

Heenan never saw any ECW shows. The new ECW that WWE was starting up at that time was destine to fail because ECW was suppose to be a counter culture alternative and now it’ll be an over produced corporate show.

Corny and Heenan both rip on Vince Russo. Heenan blames the execs who kept hiring Russo.

Ray Stevens claimed he lost his virginity at the age of 6. Heenan asked him where this happened. Stevens replied “I don’t know, I was too drunk to remember”.

Roddy Piper was so popular/hated that he never needed the World title to stay over.

Arn Anderson and Ted Dibiase are also name dropped as being great talents that should have gotten a run with the title.

Heenan was shot at while managing in Chicago in the 70’s. It took place during a match with Verne Gagne and Nick Bockwinkel.

Bobby thought Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania was the best match he ever saw. Jack Brisco vs. Dory Funk Jr. and Steamboat vs. Flair also make The Brain’s list.

Corny seconds the Steamboat/Flair love. He also puts a 1981 Terry Funk/Jerry Lawler match on the list and several Rock and Roll Express vs. Midnight Express matches. Heenan was impressed with The Midnight Express’ workrate. Cornette says the best Express/Rock and Roll Express match was in 1986. Corny was suspended above the ring in a cage. The match was taped for Japan and was never shown in the US.

Heenan tells his Andre being drunk on a plane with a screwdriver story that he seems to tell on every shoot he does.

WWE doesn’t nurture young talents and makes them sign contracts that hinders their ability to learn in other areas.
The worst gimmick that ever got over was Sable according to Corny. He felt she had no talents past her implants.

Cornette got fed up with the WWE because they were making him book talentless divas and no talent men. Plus they would change up his roster and TV plans for OVW with no notice. Jim brings up how a 7-foot tall muscular guy with promo skills like Matt Morgan was fired because WWE creative had no ideas for him. Corny suggests that means you should fire creative.

Nick Dinsmore aka Eugene was a phenomenal talent who was a college athlete. WWE didn’t use him until he came up with the special Ed. gimmick, Eugene.

Heenan blames Eric Bischoff for WCW failing as he was the guy hiring and booking. Angles fell apart, and goofy crap like Judy Bagwell winning the World tag team titles ruined the image of the company for the fans.

Hogan was one of the boys – Heenan never had an issue with him.

Heenan was a manager from day one in 1965. His goal was to garner enough heat to work on top as a manager/wrestler.

New Jack would fake medical ailments to get out of compromising situations. New Jack tried to get a spot in the WWF but Cornette wasn’t going to go to bat for him after Jack left Smokey Mountain Wrestling without notice and trash talked him.

Heenan disliked Dick the Bruiser so much that he won’t speak of him today. If you want to know why they have heat, it’s covered in Heenan’s shoot here: Heenan and Cornette Shoot

Da Crusher didn’t drink beer, but would drink champagne instead.

Bobby has never watched the Royal Rumble ’92 that features Heenan doing what is largely considered one of the best match commentaries ever.

Shawn Michaels was a giant prick when Cornette worked with him in ’96.

Cornette didn’t watch WCW, and learns at that moment that Russo actually won the WCW World title at one point. Corny adds it to his list of reasons to hate him.

Cornette runs down Vince McMahon’s embarrassing attempts at comedy and angles that have killed any credibility wrestling may have had.

Andre vs. Hogan at Wrestlemania 3 is the greatest match Bobby was involved in. Corny picks the Starrcade ’86 scaffold match as his.

The NWA fans hated Hogan by and large. Hogan’s sporadic wrestling schedule is the best use of him now. Corny felt Hogan should put over a young guy to make him a mega star.

Paul Heyman lies a lot and created ECW which hurt the business overall with its violence.

Heenan says the WWF was great for money, but the AWA was much more fun as he rode with Bockwinkel, Baron Von Rasche and Ray Stevens and had a blast.

Corny earned more in 1986 than he did in the WWF a full decade later. Bill Watts taught Cornette a lot while Jim worked for Mid-South.

Heenan says the fans that came to this fan fest prove that people want WRESTLING. He feels TNA offers up a better in ring product than Vince at this point.

Cornette loves coming to these fan fests so he can get autographs from guys he watched and worked with.

Final thoughts: Two entertaining subjects makes for a fun two hours to listen to. Cornette did tend to dominate the talking, and Heenan’s cancer side effects made him somewhat hard to understand at times. Overall well worth the watch though.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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