“A lot of those guys quit the business” – Jim Cornette on WWE call-ups after John Cena and Randy Orton
Jim Cornette believes WWE failed to produce enough Superstars after the likes of John Cena and Randy Orton left the Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) developmental system.
Between 1999 and 2005, Cornette worked as a booker and writer for OVW. In addition to Cena and Orton, the legendary OVW class of 2000-2002 included Brock Lesnar, Dave Batista, and Shelton Benjamin.
Speaking on Jim Cornette’s Drive Thru, Cornette said Cena, Orton, and Lesnar were never going to be misused by WWE after they departed OVW. He added that other future stars from that generation decided to leave the wrestling business completely due to their poor booking on the main roster.
“That’s when they really burnt through a lot of great f***ing talent. They weren’t gonna f*** Orton up because he was second-generation. Brock was an NCAA Champion. Cena was, I mean, look at him, he had all the tools.
“Once it got past that, then they started really f***ing with everything. Then from ‘03 to ‘05, they s*** on and ran off more guys than they actually brought in and gave good spots to. That’s why a lot of guys quit the business from that era. They could still be working and still be in their thirties.”
Cornette said WWE had “more misses than hits” with call-ups from OVW around that time. He also revealed that he would get nervous when he saw an OVW star make their main roster debut.
Jim Cornette on the OVW stars who could have achieved more in WWE
Jim Cornette mentioned Chris Cage (aka Caylen Croft) and Spirit Squad member Johnny Jeter as two people who could have been booked differently by WWE.
The Basham Brothers, Mark Magnus (aka Muhammad Hassan), and Nick Dinsmore (aka Eugene) also left OVW for WWE’s main roster. Cornette believes the former OVW talents deserved to receive better storylines after they moved on to RAW and SmackDown.