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Opinion

Cook: Cornette’s Making Wrestling Punditry Great Again!

As opinionated and controversial as my favorite writers over the years have been, few in the history of the business can say they’ve had the same amount of success with their opinions & commentary as Jim Cornette.

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Last week, we talked about some of my favorite IWC Writers From Back in the Day. One thing that most of them had in common was an ability to generate controversy. They really knew how to push peoples’ buttons and keep them coming back week after week to read what they had to say.

As opinionated and controversial as my favorite writers over the years have been, few in the history of the business can say they’ve had the same amount of success with their opinions & commentary as Jim Cornette.

I must admit to some level of bias here. As a Kentuckian without much athletic ability but with an unexplained love of pro wrestling, I can identify a little bit with Cornette. He’s been able to take his passion much further than I have, and I have to admit it’s because he’s a much harder worker. Much smarter, too.

Cornette figured out early on where this whole Internet thing was going. He was one of the first to do shoot interviews, and since he was a wrestling obsessive that kept track of everything he ever did, his interviews were more entertaining than most done at the time. Most wrestlers had a hard time remembering their own stuff, let alone other things going on at the same time. Others had selective memory and mysteriously forgot things. Whether Cornette was telling the gospel truth or not, his stories were consistent.

They were also entertaining…especially when he didn’t like somebody involved. Does the story involve Vince Russo? Jim Herd? Paul Heyman? Hardcore wrestling? Jim’s got plenty of vitriol worked up for any of those topics at any given time, and its always pretty funny stuff. Cornette figured this out too. He knew people loved to hear him get worked up over something. There would more money in being the Cranky Old Man of Wrestling than the Well Gee Golly Everybody’s So Awesome Guy.

And let’s be honest, Cornette plays the Cranky Old Man role so well because it’s him with the volume turned up.

When podcasting replaced shoot interviews as the Internet’s favorite form of entertainment, you knew it wouldn’t be long before Jim Cornette had a podcast. He started out with the old favorites, but eventually worked his way to some new targets. Cornette’s ROH run gave him some material involving the likes of Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Colt Cabana & the Young Bucks. Not to mention the idiot office guy. Once Jim got on social media and people figured out if they sent him silly clips he’d go off on tirades about them, the floodgates opened.

The best thing to happen to Cornette’s podcast, by a pretty wide margin, is the emergence of All Elite Wrestling. Not only is it presenting more wrestling for podcast hosts to talk about, but in Cornette’s case, it features a lot of the people that he despises. Kenny? Bucks? Joey Janela? It’s a gold mine for ol’ Jimmy, and he keeps watching the shows so he can complain about them and then people can complain about him. It’s pretty good business.

Of course, he’s got plenty of other things going on too. The business with Sami Callihan, which we found out was a work until it wasn’t. There’s always something going on with Russo. I think he & Kenny Bolin had a falling out, though to be honest I’m never sure whether Bolin’s working or shooting with us.

Then there’s Jordynne Grace.

Somebody linked Jimmy to this tweet, and our boy got worked up for a couple of reasons. First off, he was irked by her “shoot name” appearing in her profile, which is something of a trend amongst wrestlers now.

I have no problem with wrestlers using their real names on Twitter. Sure, it would definitely have been frowned upon by Bill Watts, but it’s a necessity of the times we live in now.

Back in the old days, wrestlers took their gimmick from territory to territory and nobody thought anything of it. The character of Kamala the Ugandan Giant was created in Memphis. James Harris performed as Kamala in Mid-South, World Class, the WWF, WCW and plenty of other places during his career. Did Jerry Lawler & Jerry Jarrett raise a stink about it? No, they let Harris do his thing and make some money. That’s one example, I can name hundreds more from the 1980s & prior.

Now? If a major promotion creates anything for you, you can’t use it anywhere else without jumping through various legal hoops. We’ve seen WWE keep people from using their stuff, and even places like Impact Wrestling try to keep their intellectual property out of the hands of lowly wrestlers. Lexi Kaufman likely has no desire to leave WWE, but if she did, she wouldn’t be allowed to use the name “Alexa Bliss” anywhere else of importance. It behooves her to get her real name out there in case she moves on to other ventures. I don’t fault any other wrestler for doing the same here in 2019.

But then there’s the business where the idea of wrestling being a pseudo-sport gets cast aside for…

“Performance Art”

I gotta side with the oldsters on this one. Performance Art goes into the bin of lame shit that people shouldn’t be saying with a straight face along with “sports entertainment” & “WWE Universe”. (A little secret: I use the “WWE Universe” term a lot in my writing. I’m rolling my eyes every time I use it. Not sure if it comes across that way or not, but trust me, I am.)

You guys & gals are pro wrestlers. Nothing wrong with it. Why hide from it? Hell, Roman Reigns was throwing out the term “Performance Fighter” the other day. Roman, I expected better of you. You know darn well that Afa & Sika would have beaten the ass of anybody calling what they did a performance. I know you have to be the corporate spokesperson since Seth Rollins failed that test with flying colors, but tread lightly on this front.

I go about 50/50 with Cornette takes these days.

Here’s some of my thoughts on Cornette’s greatest hits: I don’t like Joey Ryan flipping people with his dick. Chuck Taylor’s invisible grenade worked in the CHIKARA environment, probably wouldn’t anywhere else. I haven’t seen a lot of David Starr’s work, but I liked his promo on Sinclair Broadcasting. I always thought Sami Callihan was a touch overrated. The Young Bucks superkicking a kid sounded lame, as did Kenny Omega wrestling an eight year old & a blowup doll, but enough time’s passed for me to judge them based off of other stuff. Vince Russo had a few good ideas and a million bad ones. I liked Joey Janela until he got into a really lame fight with Enzo Amore.

Finally, I think Jordynne Grace is pretty cute in a “she would pick me up and toss me over the top rope” kind of way. Cornette disagrees, which is fine. If there’s one thing several years of making lists of attractive women proved to me, its that the subject engenders a ton of disagreement, hatred, and just complete nonsense from Internet commenters.

It’s not the fact that ol’ JC doesn’t like Jordynne’s look that bugs me. Like it or not, wrestling is a cosmetic business, and people are going to comment on how the wrestlers look & how it affects their believability or drawing power or whatever. It’s the term he used that..well…

“Butterface”

Really?

Really?

That’s the best that Corny can come up with? A joke that I thought was funny the first time I heard it, when I was about twelve years old? It ceased being funny after that, then it became one of those words that triggers me after reading it way too many times back when I used to read 411 comments. I mean, when you’re dipping into that pool to get some smack talk, you’re pretty much bankrupt of ideas.

His justification later on was that he was going back to his promos about Sunshine in World Class, which were over a decade before Grace was born. He also quoted an Andy Kaufman promo in a later tweet to another wrestling reporter, which I guess was also supposed to be hilarious.

Cornette sure was proud of that line though. He thought it was the height of hilarity. You could hear the pride oozing out of his voice as he talked about his vicious takedown of that cosplay wrestler. His Cult of Cornette followers sure loved it too. They do seem to fall in line with whatever comes out of his mouth.

Seems to be a trend these days, doesn’t it?

I can’t help but think of another guy that was something of a celebrity during the 1980s. His popularity ebbed & flowed over the years, but he found out that he could get attention by expressing outrageous opinions. Even better, people would fall in line with his crazy statements and look up to him as something of a role model. It didn’t matter how silly he got, people would just keep on defending him no matter what! Women were certainly an easy target for his diatribes, as were certain minorities. And all those takedowns? The most epic of all time, no doubt about it. Every one was solid gold, Jerry.

He could call people names & act like a complete jackass, and it wouldn’t matter to his followers because by god that’s how things used to be back in the day, when America was great instead of the weak, pussified place it is now. People who complain don’t get it. And boy, do their followers get mad at you whenever you dare say something mean about their leader.

For somebody that despises Donald Trump, Jim Cornette sure uses a lot of the same playbook.


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Opinion

AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns

With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

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With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.

With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.

1. Johnny Gargano

Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?

WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen  the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.

2. James Storm

This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.

Watch your Money and your Alcohol.

Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”

3. Big Cass



Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.

Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.

4. Bronson Reed



The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.

Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?

5. Bray Wyatt

And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.

To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.

– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!


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Opinion

King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy

As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!

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Jeff Hardy WWE Smackdown

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI.  Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.

Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.

I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”

Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match

Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!

Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect

On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.

Swanton Bomb From The Heavens

When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.

Hardy Wins The WWE Championship 

In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.

Straight Edge Problems For Hardy

The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.

The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.

Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut

From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.

This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.

As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.


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