When Liv Morgan suffered a concussion at the hands of Brie Bella on Monday Night Raw recently, “smart” wrestling fans formed an internet lynch mob to criticize the Total Bellas star.
Many fans claimed that this incident and other recent mistakes means Brie Bella shouldn’t be in the ring. Her husband, WWE star Daniel Bryan, defended his wife from cyberbullying.
“Almost every wrestler has hurt someone” Bryan claimed.
— WWE (@WWE) September 25, 2018
On Monday, Bryan got indirect back-up to that statement by legendary wrestling manager Jim Cornette.
On his Q&A-based podcast Corny’s Drive-Thru Monday, one listener wrote of Brie Bella and the incident, “It’s becoming blatantly obvious to me she’s becoming a danger to herself as well as others in the ring.”
“Oh good god,” Cornette exclaimed.
“It was a “f*cking potato. It was a timing thing both girls were involved in and it’s sh*t that happens, because this ain’t ballet,” Cornette said.
As his fans know, Jim Cornette is about as old school as they come. So old school, in fact, that he watches very little current wrestling product – including anything involving Brie Bella or her twin sister Nikki. He has no reason or inclination to defend modern wrestling, which he often spends more time criticizing.
He just calls them like he sees them. Which is exactly what makes his defense of Brie Bella so insightful.
“I saw that incident, which is the sum total of Brie Bella that I’ve seen… to be perfectly honest. I don’t know if she’s good, bad or indifferent. But since everybody was tweeting that and up in arms about it…” Cornette said.
“The girl on her knees (Liv Morgan) was bopping back and forth with them kicks to f*ckin’ sell’em, and Brie was throwing the kicks…” Cornette said, explaining the mechanics of the accident. “In this case, the girl on her knees (Liv Morgan) is selling rocking (swaying back and forth due to Bella’s kicks), and Brie’s throwing them (kicks) and they just got off a step where either the girl on her knees potentially bent over a little bit farther… or took a second longer to bend over, or maybe bent over a little bit quicker, or whatever.”
“The point is, the rhythm… it got off and the foot met the face…” he added.
Cornette drove home the point that accidents are par for the course in professional wrestling, echoing Bryan and other wrestlers who have defended Brie Bella.
“People get off timing,” Cornette said. He even suggested both wrestlers could have been at fault, “It was as much the girl on her knees (Morgan) to me, it looked like, as it was the girl throwing the kicks (Bella) and sh*t like that happens.”
As for the notion online that WWE is somehow giving special protection or defense to Bella because of her popular television show, Cornette said, “I don’t think this is in no way… a criminal conspiracy to push this one girl even though she’s hurting people…”
“Sometimes your worst potatoes come from your partner who’s doing something that you walk into the back end of, not knowing it’s coming because somebody draws back or whatever,” Cornette continued, explaining just how commonplace accidents are. “I was always scared to be behind people in the ring, ’cause that’s where you get in f*cking big trouble.”
“But sh*t happens. It wasn’t that big a f*cking deal,” Cornette reiterated.
When co-host Brian Last observed that the fan questioner had noted that the accident with Liv Morgan was just one of a number of recent ring mistakes made by Brie Bella, including a botched ring dive, Cornette laughed, “Jesus Christ, the only person she hurt there was herself!”
The legendary manager of the Midnight Express – considered by many to be one of the greatest tag teams of the 1980s and all time – then put into context just how “standard” wrestling accidents are.
“Let’s put it this way. There were guys in the territory days that worked like that or a little bit more reckless as a nightly standard. To me, I couldn’t see what the big deal about this was,” Cornette said.
The Midnight Express & manager Jim Cornette
— MX-Legacy (@mx_legacy) September 13, 2017
“Most potatoes happen when people get excited and start doing things too fast… not catching eye contact with their opponent so that they know something’s coming, or you don’t really know which direction they were coming from,” he said.
“It wasn’t going to kill you, but you didn’t know where it was coming from so you didn’t have time to get ready,” Cornette explained.