Thursday, April 27, 2017

Jim Cornette: Old Man Yells at Fun

This guy blew up again? shock
Photo Credit: Kevin Steen
Our fearless editor TH felt almost obligated to write a piece Tuesday, addressing both Roman Reigns detractors and defenders, thanks to an annoying bit of Reigns hate making the rounds on Twitter. Reigns is a factory of cognitive dissonance, and alongside him in this conundrum is our Muslim-hating friend Jim Cornette. Corny made news for his recent appearance on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast (gotta work on that name, guys), where he declared Kenny Omega to be "a piece of shit who should never be in the business because he had matches with blowup dolls and nine-year old girls...if I had complete control over pro wrestling I would have Dan Severn go and beat the fuck out of him and leave him laying in a fucking ditch."

You can react to this in numerous ways. You can get mad at Cornette and write him off as an old man who's out of touch (this could be proven by the fact that it was actually Kota Ibushi who had the match with a blowup doll, showing that Cornette doesn't bother to know what he's talking about). You could agree with Cornette, since you might still care about the precious integrity of pro wrestling. The last path, and maybe my pick for the best one, would be to think about why Cornette says these things.

Let's look at what I'm doing here: writing a blog about Jim Cornette.

Why I'm doing this: because Jim Cornette said something crazy.

It's very simple. Cornette is officially out of the wrestling business itself because no one in it can stand him anymore. WWE, Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor have flushed him out. He now resides in the podcast world, where he can only talk about pro wrestling and all the ways in which he believes it should be produced. The only way Cornette can continue to keep his audience is to do the act for which he is best known, being a belligerent asshole who refuses to change with the times. Whenever he performs that dance, and we get worked up over it, all we are doing is going right along with him and giving him the clicks and the attention he does not deserve.

I'm doing that right now. But I swear, it's the last time.

And there is nothing special about how Jim Cornette got to be this way. He just does what he does because it's what he's always done.

Last week's episode of Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard was titled "Jim Cornette in the WWF," meant to cover his tenure with the company from 1993 to 2006 (when he was fired for slapping Santino Marella backstage, an act which Cornette glorifies with a funny story and does not seem to regret). Prichard is still on good terms with Cornette, so instead of going into the reasons why Cornette is a toxic presence in pro wrestling, both in the past and present, Prichard mainly just details his professional history with the guy, as well as funny stories about Cornette's idiosyncrasies.

The most illuminating of these stories has to do with Cornette's diet. When he moved to Stamford, CT in 1996 to be on WWE's creative team, he hated all of the restaurants around him. Cornette had access to some fantastic food, and as Prichard notes, one of the best Italian restaurants in the world was within a 15-minute drive of Cornette's home. But what did he do for sustenance instead? Cornette ordered literal cases of Chef Boyardee ravioli cans to be delivered to his home. Rather than experience new sights and tastes, Cornette settled for the familiar, and for the indisputably bad.

Familiar story, isn't it?