One of the most controversial and outspoken men in professional wrestling history, Jim Cornette first rose to prominence as a manager of the Midnight Express in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). With his always-present tennis racket, he managed both iterations of the Midnight Express to the NWA Tag Team Championship and United States Tag Team Championship. In 1990, he left World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and launched the influential regional promotion known as Smokey Mountain Wrestling. As his mouth moved faster than ever, Cornette and his tennis racket traveled north.
In 1993, he debuted in the World Wrestling Federation and was appointed to be the United States spokesperson for then-WWF Champion Yokozuna. In 1996, he created Camp Cornette with The British Bulldog, Owen Hart, and Vader. As the Monday Night Wars were fought Cornette’s keen perspective on the professional wrestling industry were aired during Raw. Cornette led an NWA invasion of the WWF in 1998 and introduced fans to the new Midnight Express. The World Wrestling Federation utilized Cornette’s expertise in developing talent and made him an important part of their developmental system. He made a surprise appearance at WrestleMania X-7, competing in the Gimmick Battle Royal.
In 2005, Cornette and the organization—now known as WWE—ended their 12-year relationship. Fans and WWE Superstars will never forget this momma’s boy’s mouth, his tennis racket, or his countless contributions to furthering the future of professional wrestling.