Some wrestling finds are exciting. This match sort of can be described as exciting…sort of.
Apparently, Jim Cornette once booked himself against a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle knockoff in Smokey Mountain Wrestling way back in 1993 – I was certain that this would be one of those exciting finds. I had no expectations of a technical masterpiece or anything but surely it would be at least humorous, right?
Before passing too much judgment, here is the original match in its entirety. Watch it for yourself if you’d like. Don’t worry, I’ve compiled the .gifs and written out my comments ahead of time, so I’m good if you want to watch the whole thing. Otherwise, keep on scrolling down.
Did you watch it all? It’s okay if not because holy crap, the whole thing is 18 minutes long. Sure, that includes entrances and post-match stuff, but it somehow feels way longer than 18 minutes. Maybe it’s all the hard to hear banter for the first few minutes.
The wrestling’s fairly boring but I can acknowledge that I’m looking at it from 2016 standards. For a 1993 match and considering that Jim Cornette is one of the wrestlers (no offense to him, it’s just that he made his career not as a wrestler), it probably wouldn’t have been so bad at the time. I would’ve been 11 if I watched this one live so I’ll be honest and admit that I probably would’ve thought this match was fantastic if I saw it in person.
Here are some of the best moments of this gem from 23 years ago, with my own snarky comments to accompany the visuals. Enjoy…
Jim Cornette vs. Cowabunga (August 19th, 1993)
There were lots of shenanigans in the early goings here. The two competitors kept taunting each other and delaying any physical contact, like when Cowabunga tunneled under the referee’s legs to startle Jim. Sneaky, sneaky.
Okay, the following one IS NOT PG at all. Cornette had his green opponent in a simple side headlock. No worries so far, right? Well, Cowabunga then used only his thumb to escape from Jim’s clutches, inserting it into a very specific orifice. He probably needed to wash his turtle fingers after the match was over.
Cornette did exercise some ring awareness in this matchup, like when he performed this leg sweep to Cowabunga. The turtle took the roughest bump of the match here, landing accordion-style on the mat.
You’ve got to at least give some props to Cornette here. He was bumping and throwing hip tosses and made an actual effort to put on a somewhat serious wrestling match. Well, serious in the sense that you still have to ignore the fact that Jim’s in a red full body spandex outfit grappling a dude in a lime green turtle costume. Not enough attention is given to Jim’s getup – why the all red?
He’s hulking up! Cornette, you’ve done messed up!
This is easily the biggest high spot of the contest. Cowabunga walked the ropes while holding Cornette’s arm a la Undertaker’s Old School, then went all luchador on his opponent with a pretty sweet arm drag.
At this point, Cowabunga took a body slam from Jim and found himself…turtled. Because of course he did. He is a turtle, after all. That shell probably helps absorbs chair shots but it isn’t going to help with his mobility.
That Jim Cornette, he’s the type of guy who doesn’t shy away from putting over the younger talent. That green guy better have shook Jim’s hand and thanked him for doing the favors. Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of Cowabunga!
The turtle won. That’s pretty much my conclusion because Jim Cornette wrestling a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle simply is what it is. It’s a strange thing to witness but wrestling’s a subjective artform…or something.
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