Jimmy Korderas talks his new book, career in WWE, Owen Hart, Angle/Puder
Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio
Guest: Jimmy Korderas
Your Hosts: Patrick Kelley & James Walsh
The third man in the squared circle is often overlooked. He's not supposed to be the focal point, but, he does often help stir the drink.
They have a story to tell. But, so seldomly have the avenue of which to tell it. In this case, a referee who was with the WWE for over 20 years tells his story. And, we encourage you to not only hear part of that story in this interview but read all about it in his new book, "The THree Count".
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- Jimmy comes on the show and talks about his new biography "The Three Count" which is a detailed account of his time as a WWE Referee and his long career in the wrestling business. He never thought about writing a book before as he felt nobody would be interested in his fun stories, but
would rather be more interested in the dark side of the business. However, his wife told him a book would be a good idea, and so did his friend who convinced him to write the book and get it published through ECW Press. Thus far, he has been happy with the reaction to the book.
- His time as a WWE Referee lasted all the way from the 1980s and into the new millennium, stretching a full 22 years. He attributes his long stay to being able to adapt along with the business. Jimmy always says that he was always a positive guy and didn't complain too much backstage: "You have to know when to fight your battles...You know how they say the squeaky wheel gets the grease? Sometimes if you get too squeaky, they replace the wheel".
- Playing the role of referee has many components to it that fans might not be aware of while the match is in progress. As an example, Jimmy says that the referee has to learn how to pass messages between the wrestlers while at the same time looking discreet about it so the fans don't realize that is what is happening. He also speaks about "The Blind Ref" cliche and feels that fans are too smart to buy into it nowadays. And with the exception of comedy matches (minis from Mexico for example), he felt that if the fans were going to buy into the match as being realistic, then the referee had to reflect that as well.
- He specifically mentions UFC officials Herb Dean & John McCarthy as examples that Pro Wrestling Referres should observe: "You know they're there, but you're not really paying attention to them...they look like they are paying attention to the match and doing their job".
- As a referee, he was fine not being the main focus or a TV star. He says the wrestlers are there to be the stars, and if they referees are there to get noticed, then they aren't doing their job.
- When asked if any other elements of UFC and MMA should be incorporated into Pro Wrestling, he says there is room to do it in moderation. He says certain wrestlers borrow bits & pieces from MMA, but if they just go for a carbon copy, then wrestling will lose its identity. He also references how MMA actually has borrowed elements from Pro Wrestling to the benefit of the sport.
- At his first Wrestlemania, Wrestlemania IV, Korderas was legitimately (and accidentally) knocked out in a match where Jimmy Hart hit him with the megaphone. He said it wasn't the megaphone that knocked him out, but rather the way he bumped on the follow through that did it. He says that Jimmy Hart is a great guy and there was no animosity about it and says it actually wasn't his fault.
- Korderas' first experience in wrestling came through events in the Maple Leaf Gardens and to begin his career as a referee in that venue was awe inspiring to him. To be a wrestling fan and then ultilmately find himself in the ring and infront of those crowds was amazing to him.
- One incident he was a part of was the Kurt Angle & Daniel Puder segment which turned into a shoot. His three count on Puder was instinctive on his part. When he got to the back and talked to the producers and they told him that he saved Kurt Angle's arm by doing that. When asked if he ever talked to Kurt about it, he said they never did and it was probably better that way.
- He was always in awe of the spectacle of huge events like whenever he was a part of Wrestlemania in those huge venues. He feels that anybody who claims to "get used to it" after a few times are probably not telling the truth.
- An unfortunate tragedy that Korderas was a part of was Owen Hart's death at Over the Edge 1999. He was in the ring when Owen fell and was actually hit by Owen on impact. "It was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through" he says and he never talked about it much except with his family. He goes into detail in his book and he felt it would be therapeutic to talk about what happened that night. He still feels the pain of it and says it will never fully go away. He is sure to say that Owen was one of the nicest people he has ever met in his life.
- The cover of the book is a photo of Korderas holding up the World Heavyweight Championship belt as he stands between The Undertaker and Edge. It is from Wrestlemania XXIV's main event match and he says that match was the greatest career highlight for him. He says he respects Undertaker more than anyone in the business and Edge is a good friend of his, and all of that combined with the main event stature made that picture a perfect shot for the cover of the book.
- Speaking of Edge, Adam Copeland wrote the foreword to the book. He said he wanted the writer of the foreword to be a Canadian and a personal friend, and Edge came to mind. Jimmy simply contacted him, and Edge gladly agreed to write it.
- Once again shfiting the discussion to tragedy, Jimmy is asked about Chris Benoit being erased from the history books by the WWE. He says he understands why the WWE does it and them being a massive corporate entity made it necessary for them to do that. Jimmy considered Chris a friend and respected his body of work, but understands the WWE's actions.
- Korderas has been part of Aftermath Wrestling, his commentary show talking about news, notes, & various other happenings in the world of Pro Wrestling. The show now has a TV version with "The Score", with the radio & podcast versions being put on hiatus for now. He enjoys doing it and has talked about branching it off into other sports besides Por Wrestling.
- In a final plug for the book, Korderas is sure to point out that he wrote the book himself and there was no ghost writer. Instead of trying to make the stories sound like it was professionally written by an author, he wanted it to read as if Jimmy was sitting down telling the stories himself. Charles Robinson even told him that was what he appreciated about the book the most. It is also pointed out that despite stories like the Owen Hart tragedy being mentioned, the book is fun and lighthearted overall.
- When asked if the referees are treated like the boys, he says that it is a strange grey area. He says the wrestlers are cool to them for the most part, and management treated them well, but at the same time, they aren't treated the same way as the megastars. In explaining it, he says it is "sort of like the Bermuda Triangle" and a referee's standing is sort of like being in limbo.
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