Manager to the stars, Jim Cornette, has told the story behind the fondness of Paul Heyman of wearing make-up during their time in World Championship Wrestling.
When Jim Crockett sold what was Jim Crockett Promotions to Ted Turner and TBS – Turner Broadcasting Station – in the late eighties everything changed both on-screen and backstage with the implementation of both hair stylists and make-up artists in order to bring the standards of the show up to then current television guidelines.
One of the talents on WCW’s roster who loved the changes was said to be current WWE star, Paul Heyman, who was famous behind the scenes for loving the application of makeup.
Now, Jim Cornette has taken to his Drive-Thru Podcast to talk about Heyman – then Paul E. Dangerously – and his fondness for being bettered for his television appearances. Asked by his co-host, Brian Last, whether anyone in the company used more makeup than Heyman, Cornette had a very definitive answer:
“No. That was another thing. He was so thrilled when TBS bought the company and Herd started bringing in — he wasn’t thrilled about this — Herd started bringing in that hair stylist from St. Louis. I want to say Jey C. Bringing, he was a victim of the Manson family, but the guy’s first name was Jey and he was a hair stylist.”
Cornette then went into detail about the changes Ted Turner made behind the scenes, making it feel more like a television production rather than a wrestling promotion:
“And he would fly him into the pay-per-views and Clash of Champions. And we’re sitting there going, ‘this motherf****r! Five hundred dollar plane ticket and paying this guy to be here for a day and his hotel room, to cut the f***ing guys hair!’ Get your own hair cuts on your own god damn time and show up for f***ing wrestling. It’s not a god damn beauty parlour. And then, they started doing makeup and that’s when Terri Runnels was the first makeup technician – whatever the legal terminology is – who needed makeup? If the announcers wanted to use makeup they did their own. And none of the guys put makeup on, that was ridiculous.”
While Paul Heyman and most of the other talent were excited to be treated like proper celebrities partaking in an actual televised drama, Jim Cornette was not as keen and told of how he avoided it as much as he could:
“Then TBS get the makeup and the whole thing and all the announcers except me and then they started — that’s 1990 when I was completely fed-up and thought ‘f**k it’ — and I started refusing completely. I wouldn’t let them put any of the makeup, makeup on and it was like, ‘Well you’ll be shiny.’ ‘That’s because I sweat like a f***ing horny church on a regular basis because I’m working out there’. I would let them pat me with the powder and that would just bother me. But I refused the make-up and I refused make-up in WWF. I look like what I look like, it never was a problem with me drawing money or getting over.”
In contrast, Paul Heyman, according to Jim Cornette, would actively seek out the makeup artists in order to look his very best for national television:
“But Paul loved it. He would go and seek them out and ask them to put the make-up on him. And I was running from them and refusing it. Because it was like, ‘We’re on real TV.’ No. It’s f***ing wrestling.”
Jim Cornette and Paul Heyman were long-time rivals in WCW, with the latter leading the charge of The Original Midnight Express – Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose – against Cornette’s Midnight Express, Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton.
Paul Heyman currently serves as Special Counsel to WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns, who he will guide to another bout for the strap against Adam Pearce at the 2021 Royal Rumble on January 31.
Credit for the interview: Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru