Jim Cornette was a guest on Talk Is Jericho, where among other things, he talked about the current state of wrestling, All In’s success.
On the current state of wrestling:
I don’t think that is what wrestling is to me, I think that is what wrestling is because it’s born of a simulated conflict. You can do different things, and the problem I have is that movies is a performance. Everyone knows that all form of entertainment is a performance, people used to not know how much wrestling is a performance and how much is a sport. But when you wink at people with that, and it depends on how you do it, but it devalues [the product]. When guys take moves that used to be a hospitalization angle, and now they just pop up because it’ll pop the people who are there in that moment, but then it goes viral and it devalues the move.
Or when guys basically have matches with themselves or take their own bumps for whatever reason, already we’ve gone from guys in the past 20 years having fairly long careers to guys having spinal fusions. Why do you want to illustrate to people that don’t know what a vertical suplex in a wrestling ring feels like? I even see people popping up from moves that I know hurt them because the spot was called. When you’re doing things that genuinely hurt you in what’s supposed to be simulated conflict [and acting like it didn’t] that makes my head explode.
On why ALL In was a success:
For 20 years, WWE has trained the fans that the McMahons that own the company are the evil empire. Right or wrong, good or bad, and Vince is one of a kind since whenever he’s going to be on TV it’s going to be great, but the rest of the family can’t be that bad. People have been trained that they keep the favorite wrestlers under their thumb, and now 20 years later these guys are getting hot, and the fans are watching New Japan and seeing Cody and The Bucks. The internet makes it available now and they hit the brilliant idea of “the boys are running their own show.” I’m not saying they aren’t over, but no other show they performed on sold 10,000 people. It was an event, a happening. It was what Cody inherited from “The Dream,” making a big event. For once the wrestlers get the money, it’s like the humane society. It was a “hold my beer” moment.
Read the internet if you want to make yourself miserable. All the fans are not satisfied with the product. The WWE has become Johnny Cash when he was playing Vegas, then Rick Rubin stripped him down and told him, “You’re the badass ‘Man In Black’ and you’ve lived this incredible life that when you can hear in even when you sing other people’s songs, you hear that.” Then he made five recording albums and it was the greatest work of his life. It’s so big budget, slick, choreographed, controlled, it’s Vegas music for some wrestling fans. They want something else. Fans want different styles now. The hardcore thing is still around, which I can’t figure out, but there are a significant group of fans that think the WWE [is boring]. They want something that is grittier, something that has the underground cool, or they want athletic wrestling. They want something else than what they’ve been forced to watch for the past 20 years.
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h/t to WrestleZone for the transcription.