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The Cancellation of Jim Cornette

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6 minutes ago, The Thread Killer said:

He might not see it this way, but I honestly think Brian Last is pulling his strings and then sitting back and counting the cash...but that cash isn't going to keep coming forever.

It's been a long time since I listened to these podcasts so have no idea what the situation is like currently, but the Last who podcasted with Arezzi was a completely different person to the one who would podcast with Cornette.

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Big guys with muscle are not necessarily strong, and strength and size are different. Matt Jackson's gimmick however is not that he is really strong; nothing else in his working style lends itself to that. It's what makes him doing Northern lights suplexes so jarring. Given that no one includes that in his highlights package, it's just a vanity spot, like when HBK would go toe to toe with much bigger guys for no reason. 

Plus, his suplex is shitty. I mean, most of his offence is sloppily executed, but like Page's moonsault, his suplex is just bad. 

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4 hours ago, The Thread Killer said:

Cornette also hated the way that Shawn Michaels treated Jose Lothario backstage.

What is the story here? I've never heard this.

4 hours ago, The Thread Killer said:

With Omega, Cornette has always disliked him due to the history between Kenny Omega and Harley Race.  It's been pretty well documented that when he was coming up in the business, Omega attended one of Race's training camps. After watching Omega work Harley assigned Kenny to the beginners class because he thought Omega didn't have a good grasp of the basic fundamentals of the business. Omega was apparently insulted and offended by this, and has given a bunch of interviews where he basically implied that Harley Race was an out of touch, old fashioned Pro Wrestling veteran.  As we all know, Harley Race is one of those guys that is pretty much universally respected by his peers...so when Omega talked some shit about Harley Race, and when Race claimed Omega didn't have a good grasp of basic Pro Wrestling fundamentals...that was pretty much it for Omega in Cornette's opinion, I think.  Cornette is definitely one of those "respect those who came before you" guys.

Without fully knowing the details, it sounds to me like Omega is dead wrong here.

Look, I'm not one of those guys who goes along with the old "shut your mouth and open your ears" bullshit the veterans spout off with bits of dip stuck in their teeth, but I do find it preposterous that Kenny Omega in his first few years in the business would act like Harley Race couldn't teach him anything. Come on...

Again, I don't know the whole story, so maybe I'm missing some nuance here - I don't know. 

Then again, in the book "The Somebody Obsession" by indie wrestler Matt Murphy, he didn't always write glowingly of Harley's camp. That was more down to the trainers Harley employed though, such as bitter vets like Malia Hosaka (according to him anyway). 

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The issue is that, as always with Corny, it's old stuff. Who knows, maybe you'd ask Omega and he'll tell you he was dead wrong back then and was just a young punk. And maybe he wouldn't but that would be irrelevant anyway because, again, his track record speaks of itself. I mean, Corny is pissed for stuff that happened 15, 20 years ago and stays stuck there forever (like he's been stuck with the idea that Omega is a mud-show attraction because he wrestled that kid once, years ago, and the reality of main eventing huge shows with Okada in historical matches just can't even reach him, much less make him think).

The one thing I get from all of this is that pro-wrestling isn't very punk-rock at all. It's like it's 1978 all over again and a bunch of aging, balding uncool guys (ie Corny, in this case) are whining about those scrawny looking kids who don't even know how to play their guitar because they haven't been taught properly and can't for the life of them play a nice solo. :lol: And let's not even go into the "hip-hop is not real music" stuff, which unironically enough I've heard Corny say too btw.

As far as *having to respect* the elders who "paved the way" and the usual bullshit, ya know, when a whole lot of them where truly awful people, I'm not sure this is a requisite either.

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Also, isn't Matt Jackson supposed to have an injured back? That's the sort of thing that should hinder him from hitting power moves like suplexes. The spot from the Revolution tag match that annoyed me the most was when his back gave out when he went for a double Northern Lights suplex on Omega and Page but then he just popped up and hit it anyway.

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54 minutes ago, C.S. said:

What is the story here? I've never heard this.

Michaels didn't like having an old man attached to his gimmick of being the guy all the girls loved. If you go back and watch a lot of their appearances together, Michaels basically ignores him unless having to directly interact with him in an angle. Same with interviews, he never acknowledges Lothario unless he has to directly refer to him or angles he was involved in.

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5 minutes ago, Beast said:

Michaels didn't like having an old man attached to his gimmick of being the guy all the girls loved. If you go back and watch a lot of their appearances together, Michaels basically ignores him unless having to directly interact with him in an angle. Same with interviews, he never acknowledges Lothario unless he has to directly refer to him or angles he was involved in.

And honestly, he was right, it absolutely did not fit his character at all to have the young, jumping around hearthrob World champ being followed by some old guy who was not even a famous guy from the company's history (not that it would have changed anything). The only good use of Lotahrio was getting blasted by Sid.

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And Lothario wasn't exactly charismatic or good on the mic. The payoff at the end with Sid made it all worth it though. 

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It's funny, one of Bret's complaints of that era is how when they did the dueling training videos leading to WM XII, they had Bret being stretched by his father while Shawn had more active "Rocky-style" activities. 

And then they basically pair Shawn with his own "Stu" for months and months.

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Shawn going back to his trainer to get focused for an important match would be a fine enough idea, but having him be a full time manager was a puzzler for me at the time. 

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6 minutes ago, Beast said:

It's funny, one of Bret's complaints of that era is how when they did the dueling training videos leading to WM XII, they had Bret being stretched by his father while Shawn had more active "Rocky-style" activities. 

And then they basically pair Shawn with his own "Stu" for months and months.

:lol: I just thought about that one when I was writing my previous post. Yeah, isn't that crazy ? Bret totally had a point, but then Shawn gets saddled with that old fucker for his entire champion stint and gets booed the hell out of MSG, while Bret comes back and insist on having that feud with Austin, which will end up being the most important one by FAR, and much better than anything Shawn has done during that entire time.

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1 hour ago, C.S. said:

What is the story here? I've never heard this.

Supposedly, after Shawn won the title at Wrestlemania 12 they did some kind of market research and discovered that Shawn was plenty popular with female fans, but male fans didn't care for him. Vince's reported idea to remedy this problem was to introduce Jose Lothario as Shawn's manager and for the two men to have a "Rocky and Mickey" type relationship.  The idea was supposed to make Shawn more sympathetic and likeable...and of course when somebody would inevitably attack Lothario, they'd have a built in angle. 

Problems arose because:

1) As great as a trainer as Jose Lothario is, he apparently can't cut a decent promo which would have been a huge part of this plan actually working.

2) Vince has never been able to book a successful babyface manager...ever.  I believe it can be done (hell, Cornette did it during the Horsemen and Midnights vs. Original Midnights feud) but Vince has never been able to pull it off.  Remember Oliver Humperdink's cup of coffee in the WWF in the 80's, managing Paul Orndorff and Bam Bam? Yeah.

3) Shawn Michaels flat out didn't like the idea, so being his usual unprofessional, passive aggressive self, he decided to go along with the idea...but basically sabotage the entire thing by refusing to acknowlege or even look at Lothario half the time.

Cornette (and Prichard, if I'm not mistaken) have both claimed that Michaels was pilled out of his head a lot around this time, and he was either obnoxious and belittling toward Lothario backstage, or he completely ignored the guy behind the scenes like he did in front of the camera.

I'm not going to debate whether or not this was a good idea...I can see arguments on both sides.  But it really didn't matter because if Michaels didn't want to buy into the story, the fans weren't going to either.  The idea of Shawn getting help from his trainer who then gets attacked, and Michaels then swears revenge would have been great if Michaels had ever actually acted like he cared that the guy was alive.

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Thanks for that detailed explanation, @The Thread Killer. I wonder how poor Jose Lothario felt about all this from his perspective? I'd be hurt and PO'd, but I dunno, maybe he was old school and just happy for the unexpected payday despite the toxic spoiled brat attitude of his preening prima donna trainee. 

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11 minutes ago, C.S. said:

I wonder how poor Jose Lothario felt about all this from his perspective? I'd be hurt and PO'd, but I dunno, maybe he was old school and just happy for the unexpected payday despite the toxic spoiled brat attitude of his preening prima donna trainee. 

Cornette gives the impression that Lothario's feelings were kind of hurt...but maybe Lothario was understanding about it because Shawn was supposedly all fucked up a lot of the time on the pills and the whatnot.  I guess there wasn't too much bad blood, because if I am not mistaken, when Shawn opened his own Pro Wrestling Academy after his first retirement (when he trained Danielson, Kendrick, London, Cade etc.) Jose Lothario was involved, I am pretty sure.

EDIT: And apparently that didn't last long...and they had a falling out less than a month after the school opened.

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50 minutes ago, The Thread Killer said:

2) Vince has never been able to book a successful babyface manager...ever.  I believe it can be done (hell, Cornette did it during the Horsemen and Midnights vs. Original Midnights feud) but Vince has never been able to pull it off.  Remember Oliver Humperdink's cup of coffee in the WWF in the 80's, managing Paul Orndorff and Bam Bam? Yeah.

It was able to work for Cornette mainly because he had Paul E. as a heel foil. As a general rule, the babyface manager is a dead-end role. How many people have been able to make it work for any length of time? Paul Bearer? Arnold Skaaland? Who else?

18 minutes ago, William Bologna said:

Speaking of Shawn Michaels being a subtly unprofessional prick, did he undercut/sabotage Diesel at WM 11? I haven’t seen that match since it happened, and I don’t know the provenance of the claim.

I can't find the exact quote, but I distinctly remember Nash himself saying that Shawn went out of his way to sandbag him during their Mania match.

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19 minutes ago, William Bologna said:

Speaking of Shawn Michaels being a subtly unprofessional prick, did he undercut/sabotage Diesel at WM 11? I haven’t seen that match since it happened, and I don’t know the provenance of the claim.

Even without going back to watch, I feel like you can say "yes" for Shawn in this era at any point and be correct a high percentage of the time.

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20 minutes ago, NintendoLogic said:

I can't find the exact quote, but I distinctly remember Nash himself saying that Shawn went out of his way to sandbag him during their Mania match.

I think it was a on the KC WWF 1995 Year in Review. The most obvious spot was Shawn over-rotating on Nash's Jacknife. Nash was like "Yeah of course you're gonna do that !"

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Yeah, I also recall Nash saying HBK purposely botched the Jackknife, but Nash seemed amused and understanding about it all. 

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Thanks for the breakdown @The Thread Killer and I believe Jim has specifically referred to both those points in the past. The criticisms surrounding Omega's selling in particular ring a bell and if memory serves Jim also believed HBK had better timing.

I actually went back and listened to Omega's RF Video Shoot in the hopes that he would cover his run in DDT but he barely scratched the surface. He did go into detail about the Harley Race Camp and how it all transpired from his perspective. So in 2004 he worked an NWA show with Petey Williams in Winnipeg. Off of that match, he was put onto a mailing list and was informed a NOAH camp was taking place in Missouri where Kenta Kaboshi, KENTA and Naomichi Marufuji would be in attendance.

Despite it being a very costly trip, Omega went out of his way to attend because he was desperate to get into NOAH. Now in Omega's mind, the whole camp was a farce because the 'winner' was supposed to appear on the show, but posters were already up around the town with the full card. This observation confuses me somewhat because Omega doesn't specifically say that it included one of Harley's students, that's the implication, but he doesn't specifically say. I would not be surprised at all if they announced a full card, but saved that try-out match as a bonus.

So they get to the portion of the camp where the groups get divided into two and Omega claims that when Harley got to the list name, he starred directly at Omega but said somebody else's name. Confused, Omega approached Harley and said this must be some kind of mistake and Harley assured him otherwise. In near tears, Omega was approached by Trevor Murdoch who told him he'd smooth things over with Harley if he'd just come along and work on his fundamentals. Omega claims Murdoch was a really good guy and was actually the Raw Tag Team Champion around this time, which would date this around September 2005.

Now this is why I'm confused. I did some sleuthing on CageMatch.com and had a look at all the shows Omega worked in Missouri. There was the infamous 2/3 Falls match with PAC but there was also a match against Keith Walker from September 2005 where Kenta Kaboshi happened to be in the main event. So that suggests to me that he did infact get his opportunity despite claims that he messed up simple drills during the camp.

Being an RF video shoot, they just skipped a huge chunk of time and Rob just went straight into WWE Developmental where he did his usual line of questioning where he runs through a list of guys and never follows up on anything.

There's another shoot with Brian Meyers, Kevin Matthews and Sami Callihan where he goes into more detail that I'm hoping to check out. But like the foot injury, it seems like Omega has an interesting version of the truth.

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5 hours ago, The Thread Killer said:

 

2) Vince has never been able to book a successful babyface manager...ever.  I believe it can be done (hell, Cornette did it during the Horsemen and Midnights vs. Original Midnights feud) but Vince has never been able to pull it off.  Remember Oliver Humperdink's cup of coffee in the WWF in the 80's, managing Paul Orndorff and Bam Bam? Yeah.

 

Miss Elizabeth? But I understand that’s comparing apples and oranges and a unique case. Still, babyface manager she was. 

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Considering he announced tv for so many years and saw how Arnold Skoland was successfully used, if he’d have really wanted one bad enough he should have been able to figure it out. 

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I dunno. Between Liz and Paul Bearer, plus the tail end of the Arnold Skaaland Era, that's a better track record of babyface managers than most other promotions.

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