Jim Cornette has praised Eddie Kingston’s recent heartfelt open letter to fans in the Players’ Tribune, saying it was “Austin-ish”.
Ahead of his match with CM Punk at Full Gear, Eddie Kingston wrote a wide-ranging article where he opened up about his life, career, and mental health struggles, even revealing that he suffered a panic attack after his match at All Out.
Legendary wrestling manager Jim Cornette has revealed on his ‘Drive Thru’ podcast that he was impressed with the piece, saying that it was “Austin-ish” in that it told the story of a career that “wasn’t planned this way”.
“I did [read it] and it was amazing. I think this is kind of, if I only say what I wanted to say, some people’s heads are going to explode and they are not going to want to listen to the rest of it. With that as a warning, it’s a little Austin-ish.
“I’m not saying it is Austin level, there were 8 or 9 times more people watching wrestling back then than there are now, so it’s easier to multiply the response. But it’s Austin-ish in terms of it wasn’t planned this way, it just started happening naturally and several things happened the right way. This article is not an article, it’s a first-person account, and I don’t know whether Eddie Kingston sat and wrote this word for word, or if Eddie talked to someone on their staff, journalist and reporter, then he transcribed it and cleaned up the ums and aahs. But you can hear Eddie Kingston saying this in his voice, whether you know him or not, but it’s real.”
Cornette went on to explain that Kingston has a realness about him that people are drawn to, much like the reaction fans had to Austin, and that AEW should continue to capitalise on that.
“People don’t think there is anything made up about him, you know tons of guys like that all over the New York metropolitan area. He’s just this success story when he wasn’t supposed to be, and now he is on national tv and people are liking him. But it’s real, and that’s the same reaction that people had to Austin. In a world of oftentimes questionable characters that you can’t believe, this guy, you think he has broken through and they let him in by accident, because he is kind of legitimate. That’s the way I took it, and if they continue to capitalise on it, they would be smart. Keep him away from doing anything foolish or contrived, in that company, my God, that’s Russian Roulette, but allow the people to like him because he is being him.
“His whole life story of when he was a kid, he found wrestling and it was something he could get into. You don’t have to have known an aspiring wrestler to know of someone who wanted to do something so bad, tried and tried and couldn’t get a break, and usually they don’t get a break. But in this case it’s a good thing, because he has gotten a break. When he goes through his whole life story, how many mistakes he has made and he owns up to all of it, it’s such a real babyface that you can’t write that. Nobody else besides Eddie Kingston could have written this article or done this promo. If it was not real, you couldn’t have done this promo, you can’t write this, you have to be like it. You then take that guy and put him in with someone like Punk, where he is with another guy that you can’t really tell. He comes off as real, and is in a situation where his real personality has to be interjected into work conflict. And f*ck, that’s wrestling!”
One thing Jim Cornette believes adds to the impact of Eddie Kingston is that he doesn’t have a perfect physique.
“It helps that Kingston looks like sh*t, if he looked like [Lex] Luger, none of this would have the same impact. People would see a guy that looks great and go ‘Well he looks better than me, I don’t care what problems he has had, f*ck him!’ But because he looks like a bum, it enhances it. “
He finished up with a message to AEW, “don’t screw him up”.
“If they are smart, keep Kingston real, don’t let him get into any shenanigans. He’s not going all the way to the top, and he shouldn’t because the only way is down. But he should be a main event babyface for however long they don’t screw him up.”
Eddie Kingston most recently took on CM Punk in a losing effort at AEW Full Gear. Adding to the realness of Kingston’s Players’ Tribune piece, Dave Meltzer recently revealed that Kingston and Punk had a real-life locker room altercation that formed part of a recent promo battle between the two.