An open letter to one Jim Cornette.
So, it happened again. Or, rather, you happened again.
Before we get too far into this, I’ve been a big fan of yours, Jim. To some degree, I’m a ‘Jim Cornette’ guy when it comes to the business of pro wrestling.
I think the Young Bucks’ matches lack storytelling. It is just, to use a Jim Cornette term, a “bunch of flippy-floppy shit” most of the time.
When I watched their match against the Lucha Bros at All Out, there was a spot that made me think of you. On one side of the ring, one of the Bucks (I don’t remember which one) was about to crash one of the Luchas through a table from the top of a ladder. On the other side, one of the Luchas was threatening the same to one of the Bucks. Rather than make it mean something, to have something at stake, they both pulled the trigger.
The smart thing to do – the Jim Cornette thing to do – would have been for one or the other to say, “Okay, fine. I won’t do it if you spare my guy.” And then the other guy does it anyway.
We’re not on the same page when it comes to wanting to abolish all comedy wrestling. But I agree, Orange Cassidy and Joey Ryan can be a bit much. We’re not totally in sync when it comes to Kenny Omega. You can’t get over his match with a blow-up doll or his goofy facials. And while I think he looks silly sometimes, Corny, it doesn’t take away from his ability in the ring.
There are some definite old-school Jim Cornette ideas that still apply to today’s wrestling. It’s obvious there’s still a place for that old timey mentality.
But after the most recent debacle you’ve gotten yourself into, I wouldn’t be upset if you never showed up in pro wrestling again.
In case you’ve forgotten, last week on NWA Powerrr (what’s with all the r’s, by the way?), your mouth got you in some trouble again. You were calling a pretty damn good match between Trevor Murdoch and Nick Aldis. And you said something incredibly stupid:
Trevor Murdoch is mad, bad, and dangerous to know. He’s the only man I’ve ever known that can strap a bucket of fried chicken to his back and ride a motor-scooter across Ethiopia.
I get it, you get to say whatever you want on The Jim Cornette Experience, the podcast where you make many of the aforementioned gripes. And when you’re on your platform, at your expense, on your time, playing to your audience, that’s fine.
Over the course of your podcasting career, you’ve threatened to literally murder Vince Russo a few dozen times. You said a PROGRESS Wrestling announcer should be killed for how he dresses. Oh, and you inferred that AEW ring announcer Justin Roberts is a pedophile.
You’re a guy who likes to stir the proverbial pot, Jim Cornette. You love seeing people react. It’s the heel in you, it’s the carnival performer in you (don’t fight it, if you’re in wrestling, you’re a carnival performer).
Now, when you hang yourself out to dry, that’s fine. But you don’t seem to have any reservations about taking people down with you.
So why is it that this “joke” crosses the line, Jim? After all, it’s just Jim Cornette doing Jim Cornette stuff, right?
First of all, it crossed the line before it left your lips. It crossed the line the first time you said it more than 30 years ago. Let’s put aside the fact that you made a fried chicken joke in association with black people. Even putting aside the fact that you defended it by saying “It’s a starvation joke!” Because starvation is hilarious, too.
It crosses the line because, as always, you don’t understand why it might bother others. You often use The Jim Cornette Experience to first say something awful. And then you use it to say that people offended by the awful thing you said are sensitive.
Here’s the thing. People aren’t more sensitive now than they were 30 or 40 years ago, Jim. The Ethiopia joke was in bad taste 30 years ago. Hell, most of the things you say were still offensive 30 years ago. It just wasn’t okay to say so.
You don’t have to be sorry for having said it. And you don’t have to be sorry for offending people.
But you went on this week’s Jim Cornette Experience and laid the blame at the feet of NWA VP David Lagana. You seemed to infer that AEW fanboys are out to get you. There was a half-assed apology. The standard, “I guess if it bugged you, I’m sorry.” At no point was there anything sincere.
There wasn’t a, “Maybe it was a stupid thing to say.” It was the NWA’s fault for not editing it out, and it was somehow AEW’s fault for their fans zeroing in on it. Come on, Jim, leave the conspiracy theories to Jesse Ventura and just say, “It was a stupid thing to say.”
Jim, there are lot of things – in wrestling and out – that I agree with you on. You’re a legit treasure trove of information that could be of benefit to the pro wrestling business.
Hell, the NWA was beyond lucky to have you. But you just refuse to acknowledge that the world has changed in some respects.
You were run out of OVW, WWE’s developmental promotions in the early 2000s for, among other things, threatening to shoot Brock Lesnar. Because you couldn’t recognize that it wasn’t okay to manage wrestling talent like that in the 21st century.
TNA and Ring Of Honor didn’t mesh with your vision of what wrestling is supposed to be. Because Jim Cornette-style booking isn’t applicable to every form of pro wrestling. And now the NWA, a promotion tailor-made to your throwback specifications, is trending not because it’s a great product (it is, by the way).
It’s trending because Jim Cornette said something stupid. Because you can’t recognize that what flew three decades ago doesn’t fly now.
Jim, I know you’re going to land on your feet. You’re too great a pro wrestling mind not to.
But I won’t be there to watch it. Because you won’t learn. You absolutely refuse to learn. Times change, and while you don’t have to, how you approach them needs to change, too.
Jim, you complain every time you leave (or get run out) of a promotion that you’ll never be back. This time, for your own good, stay away. Make this the last self-inflicted wound for Jim Cornette.
Don’t take a gig and wait for the next self-inflicted wound for Jim Cornette.
Images courtesy of WWE.