Fighting Spirit

I write a monthly column for Fighting Spirit Magazine, the United Kingdom's largest pro wrestling/MMA magazine, available on newstands across the UK. You can check out more about FSM at, but in the meantime here's an archive of my columns.



The holiday season brings joy and happiness around the world, but for us old-school, American pro rasslin' veterans, it also brings a twinge of wistfulness, nostalgia for the "old days" when the holiday season meant big cards, big matches, and big money. Thanksgiving gets the lion's share of the attention these days, mostly due to the three-decade-long Thanksgiving night tradition of sellouts at the Greensboro Coliseum that evolved into Starrcade, and the Supercards of the 70's and 80's in cities like New Orleans, Dallas, Atlanta and more. I've even written about Thanksgiving night tradition here in the past. But some have now forgotten that Christmas night was huge for wrestling in many places, and indeed all of Christmas week was usually strong for gates around the country. 



In the late 1950's United States, blues music, a uniquely American art form, was at death's door as an industry. It's pioneers and icons, men like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, were performing in relative obscurity, and the fate of many a bluesman was to die broken financially, with substance abuse often a contributor. 



Normally, when I write my column for Fighting Spirit, I like for the finished product to be both entertaining and informative--something you enjoyed reading for a few minutes, but also came away from having learned something about wrestling in the process. Usually, I like to impart to the reader a linear train of thought, or a chronological story, something that makes sense out of my subject even if the reader is not well-versed in the history or customs of pro wrestling. This column is different--for this one, ehh, I got nothin'.


Since the news was released recently that I would be making another trip to the United Kingdom in October, I've realized just how many "firsts" are left for me to accomplish in England. On my previous tour, in 2014, I knocked quite a few things off my bucket list, specifically performing for the first time outside North America, which was a first for my thirty-plus year career because of my well-known aversion to flying. Why am I coming back for more, risking life, limb and a nervous breakdown by closing myself up with complete strangers in a metal tube going 500 miles per hour five miles in the air? Well, I'd be lying if I said the financial arrangements didn't play a part, but as I told the representatives of What Culture, they're paying me to make the trip, and I'm doing the work for free while I'm there.


When wrestlers, or devoted fans, of a certain generation are asked the question, "Who was the best wrestler who never made it?", the answer quite often comes back as "Chris Colt". That answer, at least to that specific question, is not entirely correct. Chris Colt DID make it, in a sense, as he had a number of main event runs in territories across the US during the 1960's and 1970's, wore championship belts, had memorable matches and feuds, and left a mark on any fan who ever saw him.


It's hard to believe it's been 30 years, but it has. It was July, 1986 when Jim Crockett Promotions mounted the biggest tour ever staged by any wrestling promotion--including the WWF--and called it the Great American Bash on Tour. It was also the most successful, at least in terms of box office gross, ever held, and it was a centerpiece for the biggest year pro wrestling was to have in the modern era.


In a recent conversation with the incomparable Starmaker Bolin, I presented the theory that most wrestling fans these days are like the United States' Democratic and Republican parties--they're not just in disagreement on the course to take, they're hemispheres apart in agreeing on the destination. My comments, whether on my podcast The Jim Cornette Experience on, or on Twitter @TheJimCornette, or even the transcripts of something I've said--usually out of context and partial in nature--either make people stand up and cheer and join the Cult of Cornette, praising me as a beacon of truth, or hate me even more than they did already, tweeting me pictures of Grandpa Simpson shaking his fist at the clouds. The problem is, they're having these reactions to the same statements.


If there's one thing Tammy Sytch does well, it's attract attention.

It's always been that way. She's a natural-born attention getter, and has been since she was a teenager in New Jersey. She got enough of my attention to hire her for Smoky Mountain Wrestling. She got enough of the WWF's attention to make her the "first Diva". She got enough of the fans' attention to become the most downloaded celebrity on the worldwide web in the early days of the internet.


The recent passing of Archie Gouldie, AKA The Mongolian Stomper, at the age of 79 not only takes away another legendary figure in our sport, but it also calls attention to a breed of pro wrestler that has basically disappeared in the modern era--the heel that you can actually, legitimately be scared of.