Jim Cornette didn’t hold back in his criticism of recent Vince McMahon appearances on WWE TV, explaining why he finds them “sad.”
Vince McMahon returned to WWE television at Survivor Series with his infamous Cleopatra’s Egg in tow. After it was revealed the next night on Raw that Austin Theory had stolen the egg in order to take selfies with it, Vince McMahon took the young star under his wing and has been mentoring him in bizarre backstage segments every Monday.
Speaking on his podcast The Jim Cornette Experience, legendary wrestling promoter and manager Jim Cornette made his thoughts known on the segments, beginning by singing the praises of Austin Theory as a potential star.
“Everyone remembers that as soon as I saw Austin Theory in NXT, I said ‘My God. This guy is a future superstar.’ I don’t know what they will do with his booking, but at his age, he is early 20s, he’s got the size and he’s got the physique, he’s amazing natural worker.
“When I watch him he has picked up the little things, I’m not talking just about the basics but things you can’t teach like natural reactions and things that go on in the ring, a really natural worker. I think that he has got everything, he just needs to get bigger and blossom.”
However, Cornette believes this natural star power and talent may end up holding the young wrestler back, because being taken under Vince McMahon’s wing could prove to do more harm than good for Austin Theory’s momentum.
“So naturally, the only thing worse than Vince not seeing anything in him, is apparently Vince seeing something in him. Because now on raw, he has been taken under Vince’s wing.
“He was the guy who stole Vince’s $100 million egg, and then brought it back with no punitive measures after Vince was ready to eviscerate whoever had stolen it, but he [Theory] had taken it because he wanted a selfie with it.”
Cornette continued by saying that Austin Theory is doing everything he can to make these segments work, but that he’s forced to sit back and react to Vince McMahon’s unintelligible dialogue.
“So now Vince likes his spunk and so now he is doing recurring things with Vince. I saw this clip where Austin Theory is doing everything he can with what he has been given to work with, but he is sitting there and having to react to things that Vince is saying rather than saying his own sh*t.
“And therein lies the problem, he is just sitting there with Vince and nodding when Vince does what you are doing [co-host makes Vince noises]. You sound clearer than he does.
Jim Cornette continued by detailing the content of the segment, saying that the inside joke on display isn’t the problem, but rather the performance of Vince McMahon that only serves to highlight the advancing age of the WWE Chairman.
“The whole subject matter of this was Vince showing Austin Theory that the most dangerous weapon in the world, and he pulls a pencil out of his f*cking desk drawer, not the point end, but the eraser. The booker has the pencil, and the pencil has the eraser.
It’s an inside joke that’s 75 years old, but the performance is what we need to talk about. I’m not trying to make fun of this, because this is sad. I know everybody has to age and has to get older, I am too, and that’s why I can’t do this sh*t anymore, which is another reason why I’m not trying to do it.
During his tenure in the WWE, Jim Cornette had plenty of experience working with Vince McMahon, and detailed how this current performance is night and day to the booming, well-spoken and projected performances in the Chairman’s past.
This is sad because Vince is the guy who used to have the authoritarian, booming voice. The projection, you could hear Vince walking down the hall in Titan Towers, if you were in your office 40 feet away you could hear Vince near the elevator.
He was a pronunciation freak to the point where if you would say WWF, he would go ballistic. The only thing that none of us had a southern accent on was the phrase ‘The WWF.’ He would make you stop and do it again if it wasn’t live and you said ‘Dubya’ instead of ‘Double U.’ But now, I can’t understand what Vince was saying, I had to watch this twice to pick it up.
Not only is he not projecting, but you can tell he doesn’t have the force behind his words or the assurance behind what he is going to say. He knows in his mind what he is going to do, but it’s not coming out like the old Vince.
While Jim Cornette takes no pleasure in this criticism, he believes it may be time for McMahon to step away from his television role, noting that fans who might be new to the product wouldn’t believe that this performer is the same legendary Vince McMahon spoken about throughout wrestling history.
Anybody who sees Vince for the first time now or in the future is going to wonder ‘This is the Vince McMahon I have heard all about?’ There is no force there and no life there, and it’s not good, I’m not taking pleasure in saying that.
At some point Vince, please put your feet up. Relax and have somebody else do something, it’s sad at this point.”
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