Jim Cornette is a man that has made his presence known in the pro-wrestling world throughout his career, off camera being a mind that seems to understand the field and on-camera working perhaps as the ideal wrestling heel.
For those of you unaware, Cornette is notable in the sports entertainment world in local as well as regional territories. By the way, for those of you unfamiliar with the ballet with power bombs that we’ve come to know as modern professional wrestling a heel means simply “a bad guy. ”
In truth, Cornette isn’t a bad guy he just plays one on TV really well. Wielding a tennis racket his "mother gave him", Cornette’s most nationally minded stint was with World Wrestling Entertainment from 1993 to 2005.
In that time he filled several roles outside and inside of the ring, most notably as a manager.
Portraying a yuppie type of character Cornette, quickly became known as the Louisville Slugger, a nod to a hometown which he’s stayed with throughout his career. Cornette and his cast of “villains” became so popular that they were dubbed Camp Cornette and consisted of the likes of Owen Hart, Vader, The British Bulldog, and others.
Of course, in truth this stint was only a smaller part of a life in professional wrestling. Openly a spokesperson for local professional wrestling, Cornette has explained that it was this simple love that led him to make it his life-long career.
In the mid-80’s Cornette began working for World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) managing the popular tag-team, the Midnight Express.
But, it wasn’t until his next job as a commentator with historic wrestling brand the National Wrestling Alliance or NWA that he really gained momentum in the sports entertainment world.
Continuing at NWA he eventually found himself at World Championship Wrestling as a major part of their creative team.
Leaving the national spotlight for his love of regional wrestling though, Cornette began Smoky Mountain Wrestling in 1991. A professional wrestling territory based on the classic wrestling model, a model which was changing at that very moment and pretty soon Cornette began working in conjunction with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to stay afloat prior to closing up the “Smoky Mountain shop” for good in 1995.
His work with the WWE did lead to that famous run, playing a “mama’s boy” manager. It was also during this time that Cornette began working with Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) here in Louisville.
It was Cornette’s ties that made the Louisville territory so instrumental as a training ground for future WWE superstars, just looking at a roster of the men and women currently in the WWE one will quickly see how influential the OVW has become in the sports entertainment world, all though after a falling out between Cornette and WWE chairman Vince McMahon the deal that once brought so much talent to the Derby City has since been ended.
More recently Cornette has been working with upstart brand, Ring of Honor and is currently with OVW once again fulfilling his old job with them.
Image courtesy of Ohio Valley Wrestling/Promotional Image