HELL’S FROZE OVER; JIM CORNETTE HAS A PASSPORT…YEAR END THOUGHTS…

14. December, 2013

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My good friend Jim Cornette has speaking engagements scheduled February 18 – 25, 2014 in the UK.

How many times in a lifetime is Hell allowed to freeze over?  I remember when JC would loudly proclaim he would NEVER get a passport because he hated flying so much and had NO interest what-so-ever going overseas…

I saw Jim during the Charlotte Fan Fest in August and he looked great!  He lost about 60 pounds, even had a tan and appeared calm throughout the event.  He told me “People in the wrestling business these days drive me crazy!”  Jim took some much deserved time away from wrestling for a while and it did him some good mentally and physically.

I have no doubt the UK audience who buys a ticket to listen to JC speak on his colorful life and career will be amused, impressed and entertained.  Please visit www.jimcornette.com for more info as well as a look inside of Jim’s massive wrestling collection he’s accumulated throughout the years.

As 2013 comes to a close I’ve looked back on the year with mixed emotions.  I really can’t complain for the most part.

November 1st marked one year that Brad Armstrong passed away.  I went to Atlanta, took a chair, cooler and umbrella (forecast called for rain) and sat at Brad’s grave reminiscing about the good times.  I got there around 8 AM, met with his wife Lori for lunch at 11:30, went back to Brad’s and stayed until sunset.  I took a really cool picture of the tree by his grave that had the sun shining just right where conspiracy theorists could assume it was some mystical communication.  All I know is it was therapeutic, peaceful and I left feeling a little better.  I still miss Brad every day.

Paul Bearer, AKA Bill Moody and Ronnie West passed away this year and left a huge gap in many people’s lives.  I still kick myself for not going to the last Gulf Coast Wrestling Reunion that PB was at and personally sent me an application form to attend.  No matter how good or well attended those reunions may be from here on out, they will never be the same…

Ronnie West was one of the best front office men there ever was.  Bar none… His integrity, loyalty and dedication were rare and he was probably the last of that breed of old school guys whose word was his bond. 

I hooked up with some old friends along the way this year as well.

Doug Gilbert called and asked if I’d be interested in doing some shots around Indiana and West Tennessee.  While I wasn’t as adamant about the business driving me crazy like Jim Cornette, I do have my reservations about a lot of the independent promotions in the Southeast.

But going to the towns with Doug and reacquainting myself with some of the newer talent and venues was interesting and eye opening.  I got to see other old friends like Flash Flannigan, Superstar Bill Dundee, Tracy Smothers, Jeff Anderson and Cliff Compton.  I forgot you could still laugh and have fun in the dressing rooms and on the way to the town!  There are still the ‘play rasslers’ who only want to live their dream in front of whatever crowd they draw.  But I’ve tried to look past that and make the best of it by catching up with the guys I’ve known through the years. 

Every time I see Bill Dundee, he brings up the story of he and I working somewhere in Louisiana and I kept kicking him in the head saying, “This is for booking me here! And this is for booking me with Boo Thomas! And this is for general purposes!”   He leaves out the part where we came back for a battle royal and he called Ricky Morton over to grab one of my arms while he had the other and he nailed me right in my nose!  Blood went everywhere and Bill jumped over the top rope!  Hell, I was just ribbing but apparently Bill wasn’t! 

Bygones are bygones and we always have a laugh over that as well as some of the things we see at the shows.  I am amazed at what some “indy rasslers” think looks good.  We saw one kid standing by the ring with his shirt off, eating popcorn in his pleather wrestling pants, talking and joking with the crowd.  Bill and I both looked at each other at the same time and said “What the f**k is that kid doing out there?” He stayed until the announcer got in the ring and then went to the dressing room.  Lo and behold, he was in the first match!  Oh well…

Bill and I exchanged books and I have to say his is a very interesting take on the Memphis territory.  Contrary to popular belief, I’ve always liked Bill and thought he told it to you straighter than a lot of bookers back in the day did.  I would suggest getting Bill’s book “If you don’t want the answer, Don’t ask the question” for an insight how Memphis really worked and the amazing talent that passed through.

Another old nemesis I hooked up with was The Dirty White Boy, Tony Anthony.  He is helping an organization called TXW in Powell, TN just outside of Knoxville.  Tony’s right hand man is a guy most of the old school Knoxville crew has known for years, Dr. Tom Young.

I told Dr.  Young that HE’S the real Dr. Tom around here!  He’s been a supporter of East Tennessee wrestling all his life and is a well-respected gastrologist at the University of Tennessee.  He is an all-around good guy and been a great friend since I returned to Knoxville. 

I know he likes to keep a low profile but the crew at TXW should be ever grateful for what Dr. Young has done to help them and the promotion stay alive and help in ways nobody will ever know.  I want to send a huge thank you and shout out to Dr. Young for everything he’s done for me this year.

Now Tony Anthony is different story all together… But I’ll have to get into that another time.  He has a masked referee from Puerto Rico he called ‘Ricardo’ who couldn’t count to three if you held a gun to his head.  That’s all I have to say about that!

Big changes happened in 2013 and I’m looking for bigger changes in 2014.  TNA looks to be changing their business model somewhat and we can all hope it works out.  I want there to be another promotion where wrestlers can make a viable living.  There’s a lot to fix in my opinion but I believe it is fixable…

The wrestling/sports entertainment business is a funny entity.  Hell can freeze over at any time.  After all the things we saw that was NEVER going to happen just proves you  really never can say never…

Have a great Christmas and stay safe.

Thanks for reading

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