Jim Cornette, one of AEW’s most prolific critics, recently expressed his frustration with Wardlow’s booking on last week’s Dynamite.
The TNT Champion put his title on the line against Orange Cassidy, a wrestler Cornette has frequently disparaged on his podcast.
Known for his humorous, lackadaisical style, the nonchalant Cassidy got a respectable amount of offence in against ‘Mr Mayhem’ before losing the bout. For Jim Cornette, even booking rising star Wardlow in the same ring as the eccentric Cassidy was a step too far.
Frustrated with Wardlow’s booking since his victory over MJF at this year’s Double or Nothing in general, the outspoken tennis-racket enthusiast slated the match, Cassidy and The Best Friends on a recent edition of The Jim Cornette Experience:
“I would have paid money if someone could have warned me ahead of time, I would have paid money not to see this [AEW Dynamite].
“Everybody has been waiting for my thoughts on the first segment of this show. [sighs] I don’t even want to talk to anyone about this segment except for one person, the person that was most harmed, most offended and most damaged by the segment that opened Dynamite.
“They actually booked Wardlow against the company mascot, our little dog Pockets. I’m not going to talk about the match because it wasn’t a match. It was a self indulgent fantasy by The Pudding Gang [Best Friends] and Tony Khan’s favourite Halloween costume [Cassidy].”
After dismissing Cassidy’s wrestling and lambasting Tony Khan for booking ‘Freshly Squeezed’ so prominently, Cornette claimed that bouts like this could derail Wardlow’s budding star power:
“Wardlow is the one that is being hurt, and Wardlow is the one who apparently has nobody looking out for him right now. And Wardlow is also the one that is new enough in the business that he doesn’t know what they are f*cking doing with him.”
“Now, even if you tolerate or like Pockets and this whole comedy thing, what sense did this match make? Two babyfaces, who do you cheer for? You are splitting your audience.
“You make your monster look like a fool, because he is stooging for Pockets and trying to make it plausible that this big guy is taking bumps for a Jiffy Lube employee.
“And then Pockets is kicking out of sh*t that last week he [Wardlow] was using to beat up 20 grown men, and this week he can’t handle a homeless bum.”
Much to co-host Brian Last’s amusement, Cornette took things a step further when he suggested Wardlow attempt a move to WWE:
“I am speaking to Wardlow directly, here is the only advice I can give you. I have been involved in promoting and training talent for more than 30 years, here is the best career advice I can give you.
“I want you to get a pen and paper, Vince McMahon [reads out phone number but is bleeped], John Laurinaitis [reads out phone number but is bleeped], scratch that, not him, Bruce Prichard [reads out phone number but is bleeped] and actually Jeff Jarrett, he’s going to be running that thing in three years [reads out phone number but is bleeped].
“That’s the only advice I can give Wardlow at this point, I was embarrassed for him and ashamed for the company.”
Cornette has been critical of Wardlow’s mini-feud with Mark Sterling and his segment with former UFC welterweight champions Matt Hughes and Tyron Woodley in recent weeks as well.
Since turning face and splitting from MJF, Wardlow has been garnering loud support from the All Elite faithful.
Rather than hot-shotting the powerbomb symphony maestro into the interim AEW World Championship picture, Tony Khan and co. appear to be making him the new ace of the TNT Title picture.
Whether working with more colourful acts like Orange Cassidy hurts or helps Wardlow’s growing connection with fans remains to be seen.
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