YouShoot: Jim Cornette (The Lost Questions)
Reviewed by Joe Babinsack
I thought about jumping into the Cornette/Russo controversy, and realized I was already there.
A review of The Lost Questions of Jim Cornette’s YouShoot DVD, adding another two and a half hours of entertainment, wrestling knowledge and fascinating discussions between Corny and Sean Oliver, is anything but one more dive into the deep waters of one of modern day wrestling’s biggest and best feuds – one that involves multiple companies, legal threats, polarization and an ongoing war of words.
A war of words utterly dominated by one side of the story, I must say.
Well, yeah, if you’re like me and only care to hear the side educated in the history of professional wrestling, respectful of the fans and wholly focused on actually producing a product that attracts the attention of intelligent audiences.
How’s that for a Cornette inspired take on things.
Beyond the Kayfabe Commentaries staples of awful video questions, vulgar images on those awful video questions, and awful video questions that butcher the verbal English language and professional lexicon in ways that my worst atrocities (misspellings, bad url’s and outspoken partisan commentary) can only seem like a literal translation.
James E. Cornette is resplendent in a black T-shirt festooned with Kevin Sullivan’s visage and the wholly hilarious “I’m your bookerman” verbiage. If it weren’t for Dave’s product placement abhorrence, I’d drop this company’s name, but let’s just say you need to watch the video to get more info on these awesome products.
Cornette’s folksy, rabid wombat, Sprite obsessed, gleefully informative commentary on all sorts of subjects is endearing: From ripping on the awful video commentators to doing color commentary on his own, classic Dairy Queen YouTube rant, Cornette shows his unique abilities to make fun of himself and make fun of others with vastly entertaining results.
His talk about food, fast food, and eating – from Wendy’s to the Heart Attack Grill – these are the insights of a worldly traveler, well beyond the mere exploits of one of the most knowledgeable creative types in the business.
Well, I hope I don’t offend James E with that creative label.
Watching Cornette not exactly tap-dance around the subjects of “terroristic threats”, WWE Attitude era, TNA whatdoyoucallthatcrap era, and the ever annoying linkage to Vince Russo is more than just mildly amusing… it shows in five to ten the difference between the guy rooted in wrestling lore and the guy rooted in a video store.
That’s five to ten minutes of talk, not the five to ten years JC might earn if ever placed in the vicinity of that other guy.
Tirades on this DVD are not exactly off the charts, however. It is a kinder, gentler, non-tennis-racket wielding Jim. A Jim not stoked on sugar, not fueled by hate, not utterly disdainful of everything and everyone.
Well… it’s not like he ever said anything like that.
One of the more amazing interplays is Jim Cornette taking a verbal slap from some unknown, calling him out for not being able to hold a job, not running a profitable company, not being employed in the industry.
Cornette’s got a big role in Ring of Honor these days. Where’s Russo?
Oh yeah…. Corny’s been there, done that, and came back for more and more.
But the response, to get back on point, is pure Cornette, and he don’t miss a beat!
Despite my groans at watching more and more video insets, there is one inclusion – the WrestleRock Rumble footage from the AWA back in the mid to late 1980’s, that is completely awesome in how awful it was. Oliver and Cornette point out that Nick Bockwinkle actually rapped well, and Larry Zbyszko did pretty well until that weird scream at the end.
(sheesh, forgot to bring that up to Larry the other day.)
Cornette’s take, based a whole lot on his internship under Bill Watts, was that he’d burn that thing and … well, I’m not about to repeat things that may be used against Jim in a court of public opinion. But wow, the mixture of studio shots, low budget sets, cheesy music and vanilla rapping deserves the disgust of a much wider audience.
It’s not Kayfabe Commentaies without the discussions of sex, drugs and several well-received gimmicks. Cornette, as expected, has a take on …. Well, that usually funny scenario where Sean Oliver names three women and gives three options…. but I really don’t want to go farther because if I link a certain TNA Owner, no matter how much she deserves admonishment, with one of those options, I could be stirring things up.
And no, I’m not talking similarities with AJ Styles.
WCW with Jim Herd, WWF/E at a time when he was sitting at the creative table with Vince Russo, TNA when he was once again sitting at a table, trying to make any sort of sense from that same guy who has no serious linkage between wrestling success, wresting fan respect and profitability.
You know, Jim Cornette has lived through hell several times over, even if he doesn’t believe in such things. Which brings me food for thought, and a deep contemplation about Sartre, that sign of “No Exit” and who he may be sharing that room with.
But Cornette’s hell is food for wrestling fan amusement.
Two and a half hours never seemed so funny.
Even when talking smack about someone talking with marbles in their mouth, talking trash about others, side-stepping any insults (real or imagined) about his friends in the business, but all the time running his mouth (the back of the DVD shouts HE HASN”T STOPPED TALKING SINCE WE LEFT HIM IN YOUSHOOT!) this is Jim Cornette, and Kayfabe Commentaries and Sean Oliver at their very finest.
I’m not just saying this because I dodged the whole Vinnie Russo iPPV.
I’m saying it because I’d rather watch James Cornette, because he imparts wrestling wisdom, entertains me without being condescending, and loves this crazy business more than I do, considering how much he loves to talk about it despite what he’s been through.
And can enlighten and entertain despite and because of all of that.