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Jim Cornette Shoots on The Way TNA Has Booked Samoa Joe & AJ Styles

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Jim Cornette issued the following regarding the story about Samoa Joe and Ring of Honor:

“I haven’t been on the internet much the past few days because, well, it’s Christmastime, but I just found out that Samoa Joe is of the belief I may have made disparaging comments about him in a recent interview, and I want to clarify those statements. Whether someone has misrepresented my meaning to Joe, whether he read a transcript of the audio podcast and did not know the context, or whether this is simply internet rumor from people challenged in the comprehension of the use of irony or sarcasm, I’m not sure. But my comments in effect were praising Joe, not disparaging him.

In response to a question about the TNA-AJ Styles situation, I expressed the opinion that AJ was right in standing up for himself and the money he wanted, but that it was a sad fact that at TNA’s level of business and the way they’ve booked their talent, he’s probably not worth to them what he wants, and should be making in wrestling.

I recalled that in a conversation with Delirious in 2012, when we were trying to come up with available names to book in ROH that would truly sell tickets, and where the ROH alumni were then and how they were faring, I bemoaned the fact that AJ, Jeff Hardy, Joe and a few other ROH alumni were bigger draws BEFORE they got on national TV than after, because of the way they’d been booked. I have always been a fan of Samoa Joe–I’ve seen him booked perfectly as a dominant badass with a literate promo style–Gabe Sapolsky did it and it really shouldn’t be that hard. Joe and Kurt Angle had TNA’s most successful PPV main event ever the one time they were allowed to be themselves. He should be in a franchise position there today.

But it’s also true that you can only take a top talent and put fake tattoos on their faces, take them from face to heel, suit to firedancers, have them lose the big one, have them lose a lot of small ones, kidnap them and throw them in trunks or whatever else has been perpetrated on that talent in the name of “entertainment” for so long and not devalue said talent. Nature Boy Buddy Rogers couldn’t have taken that treatment on national TV for 5 years and still sold tickets. And it’s not just Samoa Joe, TNA has managed to get a lot of guys “under” instead of “over.”

So, the illustration was not intended to be critical of Samoa Joe. It was intended to disparage the knuckleheads that had a potential money ballplayer and blew it, the guy who couldn’t book Lassie in a pet shop, and the company that devalues their talent and then offers them less money, but not Joe. I apologize to him, wish him Merry Christmas, and offer him the chance to come on my podcast–The Jim Cornette Experience, every week on MLW.com–and let me apologize to him publicly. As Bill O’Reilly would say, “We here at the Experience regret the error.”

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