Dec 7, 2009 - by Steve Gerweck
Real name: James E. Cornette
Weight: 230 lbs.
Date of birth: September 17, 1961
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Pro debut: 1984
- Cornette led the Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey) past the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express for the NWA World Tag Team title on February 2, 1986.
- During the 1986 Great American Bash, Cornette faced Baby Doll in a series of matches.
- Needing a bodyguard, Cornette hired Big Bubba Rogers (Big Boss Man) for personal security.
- Cornette’s new Midnight Express (Stan Lane & Eaton) captured the NWA United States Tag Team title, winning a six team tournament on May 16, 1987 in Atlanta, GA.
- On September 10, 1988, U.S. Tag Team champions the Midnight Express defeated Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson for the NWA World Tag Team title.
- At the end of 1988, Paul E. Dangerously (Paul Heyman) brought in the Original Midnight Express (Randy Rose & Condrey) to feud with Cornette’s Midnight Express.
- Cornette’s Midnight Express defeated Dangerously’s Express at the 1988 Starrcade in Norfolk, VA.
- Dangerously’s recreated Midnight Express (Jack Victory & Rose) again fell victim to Cornette’s team at the Chi-town Rumble PPV.
- At Clash of the Champions IX in Troy, NY, Cornette’s Midnight Express defeated the Dynamic Dudes (Shane Douglas and Johnny Ace).
- Cornette defeated Dangerously one on one in Baltimore, MD at the 1989 Great American Bash in a “tuxedo street fight.”
- At Capitol Combat on May 19, 1990, the Midnight Express captured their third U.S. Tag Team title, capturing the belts from Z-Man (Tom Zenk) and Brian Pillman.
- After leaving WCW, Cornette formed his own wrestling group, Smoky Mountain Wrestling in 1991.
- In the Smoky Mountain territory, Cornette managed the Heavenly Bodies (Stan Lane and Tom Prichard).
- From, April 1992 to January 1993, Cornette guided the Heavenly Bodies to five SMW Tag Team titles. Lane and Prichard captured titles from the Fantastics (Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton) and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.
- When Lane left Smoky Mountain Wrestling, he was replaced by Jimmy Del Ray.
- In 1993, Cornette, still running his Smoky Mountain promotion, excepted a job with the World Wrestling Federation.
- In the WWF, Cornette co-managed (with Mr. Fuji) the federation’s champion, the late Yokozuna.
- Cornette brought his Heavenly Bodies to the 1993 Survivor Series in Boston, MA. On the show, Lane and Del Ray captured the SMW Tag Team title from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.
- The new version of the Heavenly Bodies captured two additional SMW Tag Team titles.
- At the 1994 Royal Rumble, Yokozuna (with Cornette and Fuji in his corner) successfully defended the WWF title against the Undertaker in a casket match.
- With Cornette in their corner, Yokozuna and Owen Hart captured the WWF World Tag Team title from Sunny’s Smokin’ Gunns at Wrestlemania XI.
- On April 8, 1995, Cornette led Buddy Landell to the SMW title. Landell pinned Bobby Blaze for the title in Johnson City, TN.
- At In Your House II, Yokozuna and Hart successfully defended the WWF Tag Team title against Lex Luger and Davey Boy Smith.
- Later in 1995, Cornette started a professional relationship with Smith.
- In December 1995, Cornette folded his Smoky Mountain Wrestling promotion. Afterwards, Cornette agreed to work full time with the WWF.
- At Wrestlemania XII in Anaheim, CA, Cornette guided Hart, Smith, and Vader past Ahmed Johnson, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Yokozuna.
- At In Your House III, Cornette guided Vader to a victory over Razor Ramon (Scott Hall).
- In 1997, Cornette was instrumental in introducing a NWA angle, a movement towards more traditional wrestling.
- At the 1998 Unforgiven, Cornette’s new Midnight Express (Bart Gunn and Bob Holly) defeated the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.
- After workings for years as a booker and color commentator for WWE’s developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling, Cornette was released on July 8, 2005.
- In October 2005, Cornette was inducted into the NWA Hall of Fame, and become an authority figure in Ring of Honor.
- In May 2006, Cornette signed a deal with TNA. He was introduced as the new director of authority during the Slammiversary ’06 PPV.
- At Genesis ’06, Cornette stripped LAX of the NWA World Tag Team titles.
- On September 15, 2009, Cornette was released by TNA.
- On September 1, 2010, Cornette was voted into the GERWECK.NET Hall of Fame.
- Cornette joined Ring of Honor and became the executive producer of the ROH TV show.