Source: The Steve Austin Show
Recently on The Steve Austin Show, host of Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard, Bruce Prichard, talked about the WWE Hall Of Fame selection process, whether Jim Cornette should be inducted into said Hall Of Fame, and how Vince McMahon reacted to touching Cornette.
"Well, early on, we would submit, to certain people in the company, the writers, the TV folks that have been around for awhile, magazine people back in the day, send a list of some people that you think would be Hall Of Fame worthy. And I think we would limit it to 10 or 20 people, but everyone would submit their lists and we would whittle it down from there. But then, it would kind of go into no man's land. And by 'no man's land', Vince [McMahon] would come in and say, 'alright, pal, this year in the Hall Of Fame, we're going to do…' and he would read out his list. And sometimes we would debate it. Sometimes, we wouldn't."
Prichard recalled that Howard Finkel Dusty Rhodes, and The Fabulous Freebirds were pitched for the WWE Hall Of Fame every year and it would be frustrating that there was never any overt explanation for the nominations.
"Early, in the early days, and I say, I'm going to say, 'early days', let's call it late-90s, early-2000s. The name that was always on every list was Howard Finkel and he would always get passed up. Dusty Rhodes, [would] always get passed up. And it was frustrating because there was never a rhyme or reason as to why. Michael Hayes was another one, and The [Fabulous] Freebirds, that would always get, 'not yet - they're not ready for it yet. It's not their time'."
In Prichard's estimation, people would like the WWE Hall Of Fame more if the process was a little more open and transparent.
"I would get all the lists and I would get people's submissions and I would go through and try to weed them out and say, 'well, we go so many votes for this guy, so many votes for that guy.' I think that if they were to essentially take 20 top guys, 20 guys that are not in the Hall Of Fame, and whether you put it online [or] however you do it, and you open it up to the fans, it'd be more transparent and I think it would be a little bit more popular. You get a few head-scratchers every now and then."
Although Prichard believes that Cornette is worthy of a WWE Hall Of Fame induction, James E.'s mouth has probably kept him from being inducted. Prichard admitted that he stole a lot of material for promos from Cornette.
"Cornette is another one who, probably because of his mouth, probably won't be [inducted into WWE Hall Of Fame] for a few years. But I hope that Jimmy, you also look at everybody else who has said horrible things about the company over the years that they've put in the Hall Of Fame. Get over it. His contributions to the [professional wrestling] business, 'he' being Cornette, come on." Prichard added, "I stole a lot of stuff from Cornette! Are you kidding me? Corny and I were friends and we would travel from time-to-time, talked on the phone all the time. So yeah, I stole a ton of s--t from Jim Cornette."
Prichard said McMahon was once repulsed by touching Cornette because of how flabby he was.
"I remember Vince McMahon grabbing him one time, trying to push him off the edge of something. And Vince grabbed him and immediately, like, revolted back, like, 'oh Goddamnit!' I'm like, 'what?' 'It's just, there's just, flab! And I just touched him and I started sinking into it! Oh my! What? Goddamn, Jim! Have you ever done anything athletic?' The repulsiveness with which Vince drew away from him, he was like, 'urgh! I've got to go bathe now!' was absolutely hilarious."
Open up a can of 'Audio Whoop Ass' here. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/ T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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