This made me think about what I’ve been listening to lately. One of my favorite things to listen to when I ‘m working now are shoot interviews with Jim Cornette on the inner workings of Professional Wrestling, especially in the 1980’s and 90’s.
Cornette was a manager, whose job was to draw heat for the wrestlers he represented. That is he wanted to make the fans hate his wrestlers. Managers are usually used for wrestlers who are either not good at doing interviews or shouldn’t be speaking for some reason. Cornette was insanely good at making fans hate him. His persona was a loudmouthed, entitled, rich mama’s boy who interfered in matches with his tennis racket and occasionally got his richly deserved comeuppance. Here he does a classic promo ridiculing the beloved (for some reason) Dusty Rhodes (aka “The American Dream”).
The wrestler on the right is Bobby Eaton, one of the most talented workers ever (and apparently really nice guy too).
Cornette also understands how professional wrestling worked (back when it had an audience that believed in it) better than anyone I’ve ever heard. He especially understands the Southern variety that I grew up with.
If you want to understand White Southern culture (especially ideas about masculinity) you could a lot worse than listen to the video here – a panoramic view of what the appeal of PW was and how it functioned from interviews to the creation of storylines for wrestlers to match choreography.
Usually I listen at home but occasionally also listen at work, some of my colleagues know English but (I hope) not well enough to understand Cornette-isms like “slick as cum on a gold tooth”…