Bruno Sammartino - Straight Shootin' with Jim Cornette
Jim Cornette's run in Ring of Honor was perhaps highlighted by his involvement with the Straight Shootin' series where he interviewed legendary personalities. I'd heard parts of the Bobby Heenan interviews, which were gold, but this was the first one I'd been able to really focus on and hear all the way through. I'll be the first to admit, I'm a big mark for Jim Cornette and I tend to think any project he involves himself in is improved by his involvement. Now TNA might be the exception, but whether its shoot interviews, documentaries, books, radio shows, audio commentaries on DVDs or whatever, he is a genius in the modern product with his old-school ways. Bruno Sammartino is a great interview in my view. He led a storied career, he's opinionated, he tells great stories, he has integrity and he is honest (although his perspective is his perspective), so why should he not be? I'd seen Corny paired with Heenan (his idol), Percy Pringle/Paul Bearer (a colleague) and Bill Watts (former boss), but Bruno Sammartino? This odd couple worked so well though. Cornette did his homework himself, inserts comments, guides the interview well and builds respect with the interviewee (him being in the business certainly helps greatly). I've heard Bruno with many good interviewers and many not-so-good interviews and this blew them all away. These two had great chemistry and it spilled out in a way that I'd love to see more often. Les Thatcher has the same knack although he's a less of a historian than Cornette, but has seniority, variety of experiences and extensive in-ring experience in his favor. This was one of the best talkers paired with a respectable talker and only great results coming out.
Bruno Sammartino's viewpoints are his own and he owns them inarguably. Whether you agree with them or not, one must respect him for sticking to his guns. He makes factual errors as you should realistically expect, but nothing that is completely ridiculous or offensively false. Jim Cornette could have probably called him out on a few comments, but he kept it positive and keeping that rapport between he and Bruno was probably more important than doing a hard-hitting interview. You could fault Corny for that, but I think his respect for Bruno Sammartino trumps his need to be a tough interview.
The Rating: *****