Legendary wrestling manager Jim Cornette spoke about Vince McMahon having bizarre audition practices for on-screen personalities, and even the Counsel to the Tribal Chief was not exempt!
WWE writers are privy to plenty of behind the scenes quirks when it comes to dealing with Vince McMahon, and actor Freddie Prinze, Jr. recently recalled a promo exercise during his time working as a writer for the company where Vince McMahon demanded that Wade Barrett and Sheamus bark like dogs.
Jim Cornette was asked about this bizarre scenario on his latest episode of the Jim Cornette’s Drive Thru podcast, and reminisced about how these sorts of exercises were nothing new for the WWE Chairman.
This is so hard to explain because it is f*cking crazy, but it is the environment that they have had at various points. They would get announcers, let’s say they were auditioning someone to do the Slamjams inserts where they would give the local card, convention centers… the Todd Pettengill kind of role for people from the 90’s.
Cornette would continue, revealing that even ECW creator and legendary manager Paul Heyman wasn’t exempt from these sorts of improv exercises.
They did this to Heyman, he had the ponytail and they made him do something where he was pulling his ponytail and crowing or hooting or something.
While Jim Cornette doesn’t know who insisted on these forms of auditions, he doesn’t agree with the practice and thinks the focus should be on selling wrestling matches, not engaging in acting class exercises.
I don’t know if Vince got it from Kevin Dunn or if Kevin got it from Vince, I’ve seen both of them do it. Someone in real entertainment or real television, this is some hokey bullsh*t that they do in acting class.
But when they would audition an announcer or a wrestler, they would come up with some off the wall bullsh*t. Instead of you doing your usual sh*t that you do, or the announcer saying ‘Hi I’m Jim Cornette and I’ve been an announcer for so long, I can call this and do that’ or whatever, they would hand you a lamp and say ‘Sell me this Goddamn lamp!’
Then I guess it’s one of these workshop exercises where you extol the virtues of this lamp, that you should buy this lamp, own this lamp or make up some backstory to see how you look on camera, especially in an awkward situation. Which I always thought was a stupid f*cking thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
Cornette went on to speculate about why the WWE Chairman may want to encourage such improvisation in his Superstars, saying he may have wanted to encourage moving away from lackluster promos. However, the outspoken former manager calls this method “f*cking stupid.”
Maybe Vince decided one day that he heard lackluster promos, which are not hard to find, so he’s like ‘I’m gonna get these guys in here…’ and then he will give directions to be dogs. Of course they are going to [makes barking noises].
Maybe they were supposed to have animosity or supposed to be vicious, something in his mind that the instruction that he gave translated to a normal sane person exactly what they should do, and they had no f*cking idea. You don’t know what the f*ck these people are talking about, it’s f*cking stupid.
Sparing no criticism, Jim Cornette made it clear how silly he felt it was to have wrestling managers engage in acting exercises unrelated to their actual job of promoting wrestling matches and products.
I didn’t have to sell them a f*cking lamp or whatever. ‘Oh you’re a wrestling manager so sell me a brick.’ F*ck you.
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