Post by The Ultimate Nullifier on Feb 19, 2014 2:56:04 GMT -6
An evening with Jim Cornette report from 2-18 in Manchester, England
By Stephen Lyon
Just back from 'An Audience with Jim Cornette' show at the Comedy Store in Manchester, England, and just thought I'd pass along some thoughts. Attendance looked to be, roughly, around 200-250 in a 500 seater small theatre. It was the same venue that Jim Ross ran last August and the crowd was very similar in size. Ironically, Ross' show that night clashed with a major soccer game in the city, which hurt attendance, as did Cornette's show tonight. Just an unfortunate scheduling clash. The show ran for around three and a half hours, 7:30pm to 11pm, including a 30 minute break, so fans more than got their money's worth.
This is the 3rd 'Audience with...' show I've been lucky enough to attend in the last 6 months, after the Jim Ross and William Regal shows last year, and once again, it was an absolute blast. Cornette is hilariously entertaining, and has one of the quickest wits I've ever seen live in any performer, professional tv comedians included.
It was fascinating comparing the show with Ross' and Regal's one man shows. Three vastly different performers/characters and people. Ross' show was pre-'retirement' from WWE, so he was very politically savvy in what he said and his show told a terrific career story with a moral tale. Regal was similar to Ross, given he is employed by WWE, and he was somewhat careful in what he said, although he told some fantastic career tales and was extremely humble about his career success. Cornette is not employed by anyone currently, and quite frankly, and kind of endearingly, is very straight talking and doesn't dance around his true feelings and opinions about people. This made for a very entertaining show. Cornette is so excitable when in full flow, it's kind of contagious. You see him having a good time telling his tales and it's great to watch.
The show itself was m.c.'d by the Challenge TV's 'Wrestletalk TV' hosts, Joel Ross and Dave Bradshaw, both of which did a good job occasionally reining in Cornette and were good sports being comedic foils and butts of Cornette's jokes at times. There wasn't a major structure to the show itself, it was free-flowing, and the first half featured Cornette giving his opinions on all the well known figures in his past, ranging from Vince Russo, Kevin Dunn, Sable, Chyna, Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Dixie Carter, Sinclair Broadcasting and the McMahons, as well as telling lots of anecdotes, nearly all of which were hilarious. It wasn't just a burial-fest of people he didn't like, as Cornette also talked fondly about the likes of Brian Hildebrand, Ray Traylor, Davey Boy Smith and Owen Hart. Cornette told some great anecdotes and stories, perhaps the best being a hilarious tale about his 'Tennessee wrestling war' encounters with Terry Landell and how they escalated into Cornette being charged with attempted manslaughter, and also an x-rated tale about a Dennis Condrey and Phil Hickerson rib on Tojo Yamamoto that ended up majorly backfiring on Hickerson.
The second half of the show featured fans questions from the audience, some of which were interesting and provided some intriguing answers. The highlight for me was Cornette's very detailed explanation of what his plan was for ROH, submitted to Sinclair Broadcasting to undertake in order to grow ROH, which Sinclair basically ignored in favour of cost-cutting and spending no money. Cornette did acknowledge that it was the biggest regret of his career that he was unable to make his ROH tenure work, even if he does feel very unfairly maligned about it not working and him being made to look like the fall guy for the failure.
Another interesting note was Cornette did say that if he and the Midnight Express were ever approached by WWE to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, that he would accept it and would be glad to be a part of it, mainly because he is proud of what he achieved with the Midnights during their career together, and that he felt that it would be a fitting reward for all three of them to be acknowledged. However, he did note that he felt it was unlikely that he'd be approached by WWE any time soon, perhaps due to bad feelings between both parties, him and WWE.
The show itself was taped for a DVD release, as will all the shows Cornette is doing in the U.K. over the next week and a half. Cornette made a point of saying every show is different, which I guess they will need to be in order to sell the different DVDs recorded from each venue. There will also be a documentary produced on Cornette's time in the U.K. Cornette said that he was having a terrific time and is combining the tour with lots of sightseeing in the U.K. with his wife Stacey, who was also present at the show.
All in all, it was a great night of entertainment from one of the all-time great wrestling personalities. I highly recommend attending one of the other U.K. shows in Birmingham, London and Cardiff if you have not already bought your tickets, as you won't be disappointed.