Jim Cornette Clarifies Samoa Joe ROH Comment
Former ROH employee Jim Cornette clarified comments he recently made suggesting ROH weren’t interested in bringing Samoa Joe back. He says it was hyperbole to demonstrate how TNA ruins the drawing power of wrestlers:
“I haven’t been on the internet much the past few days because, well, it’s Christmastime, but I just found out that Samoa Joe is of the belief I may have made disparaging comments about him in a recent interview, and I want to clarify those statements. Whether someone has misrepresented my meaning to Joe, whether he read a transcript of the audio podcast and did not know the context, or whether this is simply internet rumor from people challenged in the comprehension of the use of irony or sarcasm, I’m not sure. But my comments in effect were praising Joe, not disparaging him.
In response to a question about the TNA-AJ Styles situation, I expressed the opinion that AJ was right in standing up for himself and the money he wanted, but that it was a sad fact that at TNA’s level of business and the way they’ve booked their talent, he’s probably not worth to them what he wants, and should be making in wrestling.
I recalled that in a conversation with Delirious in 2012, when we were trying to come up with available names to book in ROH that would truly sell tickets, and where the ROH alumni were then and how they were faring, I bemoaned the fact that AJ, Jeff Hardy, Joe and a few other ROH alumni were bigger draws BEFORE they got on national TV than after, because of the way they’d been booked. I have always been a fan of Samoa Joe–I’ve seen him booked perfectly as a dominant badass with a literate promo style–Gabe Sapolsky did it and it really shouldn’t be that hard. Joe and Kurt Angle had TNA’s most successful PPV main event ever the one time they were allowed to be themselves. He should be in a franchise position there today.
But it’s also true that you can only take a top talent and put fake tattoos on their faces, take them from face to heel, suit to firedancers, have them lose the big one, have them lose a lot of small ones, kidnap them and throw them in trunks or whatever else has been perpetrated on that talent in the name of “entertainment” for so long and not devalue said talent. Nature Boy Buddy Rogers couldn’t have taken that treatment on national TV for 5 years and still sold tickets. And it’s not just Samoa Joe, TNA has managed to get a lot of guys “under” instead of “over.”
So, the illustratation was not intended to be critical of Samoa Joe. It was intended to disparage the knuckleheads that had a potential money ballplayer and blew it, the guy who couldn’t book Lassie in a pet shop, and the company that devalues their talent and then offers them less money, but not Joe. I apologize to him, wish him Merry Christmas, and offer him the chance to come on my podcast–The Jim Cornette Experience, every week on MLW.com–and let me apologize to him publicly. As Bill O’Reilly would say, “We here at the Experience regret the error.”
Midnight Express Star Hospitalized
55 year old Bobby Eaton – one half of the legendary Midnight Express – is in hospital again following complications with his diabetes that is causing circulation issues in his legs. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Jindrak Talks Playing Prank With Orton
Former WWE Superstar Mark Jindrak, who is now known as Marco Corleone in Mexico, has published a new column at PWMania.com. Jindrak goes in depth and talks about why he got pulled from Evolution and replaced by Batista, recalling times when he and Randy Orton were acting immature including photos from a prank that went wrong involving himself, Orton and the cops. Jindrak also recalls when Vince McMahon told him that he was being pulled from Evolution. Here is an excerpt from his article:
“Randy and I, with the help of Maven, pulled off a great joke on this night [2003 Raw event]. However it went a bit rockier than we expected. We were the last wrestlers in the place. There was probably 5-6 police officers outside to keep the crowd in check. There was one officer that was inside that we conversed with and saw that he was cool. So we asked him if he would step in and just break us up if we started a fake fight outside. He agreed and we set a whole plan up for when we got outside. Outside we started arguing back and forth until it turned to shoving. It was only supposed to be shoving but with the passion that Orton and I had for a great “rib”, turned to some pretty stiff forearms and punches.
The cop that was supposed to break us up, got thrown off to the side during the struggle which brought in the other police officers that were unaware it was a joke. When they tried to restrain us, we thought they were going along with us as well. So it really turned to mayhem when we threw them off us too. Maven was trying to stop us but he got wrapped up in the craziness as well. Finally they grabbed us and we all got on the same page. They put Randy in the cop car and told Maven and I to meet them at the gas station down the road. So we did and that capped off our joke. I think the best thing about the fight was our jumpsuits. A day before, we wrestled in Springfield, Massachusetts, home of the basketball hall of fame. Therefore we got a great price on some badass NBA Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics velour jumpsuits. Haha”
“On June 23, 2003, after Raw finished in Madison Square Garden, Vince McMahon wanted to see me in his office backstage. He had told me that he thought it would be in my best interest if they held me out of the group. He told me they had plans of putting me in a tag team with Garrison Cade. He thought I would be best suited as a babyface at this time starting out. I was upset being pulled from this group, but immaturity didn’t let it hit home too much. I figured I’m just going in a different direction, cool. In all actuality Vince was letting me down easy and I appreciate it years later. Then again, I didn’t even realize I just lost out on making millions and millions of dollars and many championship opportunities.”