Follow TV Tropes

Following

Wrestling / Jim Cornette

Go To

https://mediaproxy.tvtropes.org/width/350/https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CornetteFace_4208.jpg
"They used the Cornette Face on my TV Tropes page?"
Advertisement:

James Mark "Jim" Cornette (born September 17, 1961 in Louisville, Kentucky) is one of the all time greatest and most colorful wrestling managers,note  promoters and personalities of The '80s and '90s. A former ringside photographer who was offered a more active role in his profession in 1982 by Christine Jarrett and her son, Jerry; and supposedly funded by his mother's riches (who made her money selling wrestling merchandise), his instantly recognizable Southern accent and angry motormouth have entertained fans for over three decades.

With signature tennis racket in hand, JC has managed many great tag teams and wrestlers, most notably The Midnight Express, Jeff Jarrett, Yokozuna and Vader. He has worked with or for nearly every major pro wrestling group in the United States, from the NWA to WCW to WWE to TNA to Ring of Honor to MLW, as well as running his own promotion Smoky Mountain Wrestling and spending several years in charge of WWE's developmental promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling.

Advertisement:

Jim Cornette has become popular with many fans on the internet for his insightful and often acerbic profanity-filled commentaries on the 'Who's Slamming Who' podcast. Known for having one of the largest wrestling memorabilia collections in the world, his long efforts to sell it off have incidentally helped younger fans learn some of the rich history of professional wrestling.

He's also known for his love of Wendy's triple cheeseburgers and seething hatred of Vince Russo, Kenny Omega, and Donald Trump.


Advertisement:

Tropes associated with Mr. James E Cornette:

  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: While managing in Mid-South Wrestling he was more than once forced to wear a diaper, usually as the result of a lost wager.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Cornette managed "Exotic" Adrian Street in place of Miss Linda and fans wouldn't let him forget it years after the fact. He has also made very fawning comments about the Midnight Express while at the same time expressing contempt for many women while hiding behind M.E., but Cornette's reactions to them getting him alone suggest he wasn't so much disgusted by them as confused and embarrassed about finding them attractive.
  • Angrish: His hatred of Vince Russo is so intense that he sometimes has trouble forming coherent sentences when he's extremely angry at Russo.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • In Kayfabe
    • In Real Life, hoo boy...
      • It really doesn't take much for Cornette to go on a patented Vince Russo Rant. The wind suddenly changes direction? BETTER SLEEP WITH ONE EYE OPEN RUSSO YOU COCK SUCKER MOTHER FUCKER ASS. Cornette has said that he's made it his "life's work" to haunt Russo and prevent him from poisoning any more companies. They've tried to bury the hatchet twice. The first time when Cornette left ROH and felt so done with pro wrestling he was willing to be nice to Russo so long as they did not talk to each other about pro wrestling. They didn't, but Russo did pitch the idea of them returning to pro wrestling for an angle, which Cornette rejected when told and was soon back to his usual Russo bashing ways. The second time Russo apologized to Cornette, which surprised Jim so much he thought they might finally move on. But then a fan sent Cornette Russo's phone number, email address and home address, leading Russo to file a restraining order, and Cornette was soon back to his Russo bashing ways. He's claimed that his life's ambition is to outlive Russo so he can piss on his grave and has left instructions that if he is too senile and/or infirm to do it himself, then he is to be rolled up to the graveside in a wheelchair.
      • Kevin Dunn.
        Jim Cornette: BUCKY BEAVER-LOOKIN' MOTHER FUCKER. FUCK YOU.
      • Other backstage personnel he hates include John Laurinaitis, Tim Horner, Phil Mushnick, Terry Landell, Ed Ferrera, Eric Bischoff (though they have since buried the hatchet, as they bonded over their mutual hatred for Vince Russo) and Kenny Bolin. All of these are in Real Life. Bolin is a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis compared to the others, as he and Cornette have since reconciled.
      • Bubba the Love Sponge, although again, he seems to be on better terms with Bubba after Bubba played an excerpt from Jim's "Who's Slammin' Who" podcast on his radio show and not only did he decline to argue against Jim's acerbic points about him, it ended up giving Jim's podcast an extra 30,000 hits, causing Jim to comment that he probably needed to send Bubba a Christmas card.
      • Notably not fond of The Kliq because of the MSG Incident and them exposing the business and destroying kayfabe. He has a deep level of vitriol for Shawn Michaels. In fairness, he was on the creative team at a time when Michaels was the top draw in the company and was extremely difficult to work with. That being said, in recent years his view of Triple H has improved. Cornette has gone on record praising Triple H for his handling of WWE NXT. He doesn't even refer to him derisively as "the son-in-law" anymore.
      • Mark Madden
        Jim Cornette: I BOUGHT YOU WENDY'S, YOU FAT FUCK!
      • Kenny Omega, known for some of the sillier matches (one of Cornette's tried and true Berserk Buttons) in the history of NJPW (to say nothing of his independent circuit work in World Wonder Ring STARDOM and Dramatic Dream Team). Their relationship started well enough before Omega, Cornette claims, lied to Ring of Honor about a foot injury in order to have those goofy matches. Since then, Cornette became sharply critical of Omega's over-the-top and hammy in-ring style. Putting AEW, a promotion that Kenny is Executive VP of, on his shitlist deepened the rift to the point where Cornette on a podcast recently pondered if Omega may be even more his complete opposite than even Vince Russo.
      • Joey Ryan, whom he calls a "frustrated preliminary wrestler" and a "no-talent piece of shit" whose antics are entirely based around what, Cornette considers, are shameless shock value, violations of the boundaries of good taste, don't require athleticism or charisma to perform, and drag the legitimacy of the business through the mud. This started when Ryan asked Ring of Honor for more money, and unlike even Colt Cabana or The Young Bucks, Cornette didn't not even try to help Ryan, suggesting him to find a fifty dollar local job instead. It escalated when Ryan started doing Sexxxy Eddy-type comedy in Dramatic Dream Team and reached its peak when Ryan started a promotion bordering on softcore pornography propped up by a hardcore porn company. Joey Ryan has taken it personally, often trying to pick fights with Cornette on social media.
      • Ironically, on the exact opposite end of the tonal spectrum, Garbage Wrestlers in general, for almost all of the same reasons. He has some respect for Atsushi Onita, Tarzan Gotoh, Masato Tanaka and FMW for the most part, feeling they were talented guys who needed a change and simply went "too far". With that as the root, the further along the garbage wrestling stem one gets from FMW the less amount of respect Cornette is likely to have for it. He hates IWA Mid-South and promoter Ian Rotten in particular for souring the entire state of Kentucky on pro wrestling by having blood baths in schools. Then for Rotten(who did seem to learn some lessons) allowing his son to sour the entire state of Indiana.
      • Jim Herd, who Cornette holds directly responsible for driving himself and Stan Lane out of WCW.
      • Paul Heyman, although relations have eased considerably and they both hold each other in high regard as managers and bookers.
      • Brock Lesnar, for having no passion or respect for wrestling, bullying the ring crew, only working when he has to, only being in the business for the money, and for groping Cornette's girlfriend during a spot, after which Jim told Lesnar he'd just shoot him if he did something like that again. It didn't help that Syn had recently had her lady bits pierced; when Brock press slammed her he was supposed to go gentle on the crotch region. Him grabbing her hard instead was a serious breach of locker room trust, bringing Brock's willingness to protect his fellow workers into question.
      • He really seems to hate Orange Cassidy, due to Cassidy's propensity to wrestle comedy matches with his hands in his pockets. He even goes as far as refraining from referring to him by name, calling him "My little dog Pockets" instead.
      • Joey Janela, who he loathes as a talentless and unprofessional Garbage Wrestler. Similar to Orange Cassidy, Cornette rarely refers to him by name, instead refering to him by disparaging names, such as "Jelly Nutella" (after claiming that his "un-athletic" body looks like "the jelly on the edges of a biscuit").
  • Ascended Meme:
  • Berserk Button
    • Say you're at a booking meeting that he's attending. You suggest bringing in Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Scott Hall (and possibly Kevin Nash), give them all a main event push and sweep the undercard under the rug and/or giving them all stupid gimmicks. Or just say something nice about Vince Russo. Please stand back and enjoy the fireworks. Actually, on second thought, don't do that. The building would probably collapse.
    • To explain how embarrassing he found it, Cornette said he'd rather live next to a child molester than someone who worked in the wrestling business if the only things he knew about the business came from The Wrestler.
    • He nearly ran over Terry Landell and some of his friends with a car after they attacked Cornette's girlfriend. Later Jim threatened to shoot Brock Lesnar for being a Jerkass to Cornette's girlfriend in OVW. Reportedly, this actually made "The Beast" legitimately worried for his life, sending him complaining to the other owner, Danny Davis. The two men then explained to Lesnar that trying to muscle his way through a locker room will likely get him shot, especially if he brings someone's significant other into the picture, thus giving Lesnar incentive to start toning his attitude down a bit.
    • He absolutely despises comedy spots. In Cornette's eyes, things like Joey Ryan's 'penis power,' Kenny Omega wrestling a blow-up doll, or Chuck Taylor's 'grenade' utterly disrespect the business and are heinous, unforgivable crimes. On the other hand, he admitted to finding NWA Wildside alum Lazarus hilarious, even though he rather not see Lazarus's antics in actual matches. Cornette's not against comedy in and of itself, especially not if it is at the expense of dedicated mid carders or non wrestlers, but hates the idea of wrestling matches themselves becoming jokes, and hates it even more if opener and main event wrestlers intended to be the top draws are made to look foolish for a cheap laugh. He later expanded further on what separates good comedy wrestling from bad comedy wrestling. The major bullet point was that good comedy in wrestling is treated as a joke in the story, rather than in the metanarrative. Wrestlers, in Jim's point of view, should be embarrassed to be treated as a joke and respond appropriately by getting revenge against whoever humiliates them, rather than treating themselves as a joke and getting the crowd to laugh along.
    • What Cornette has taken to calling "video game wrestling". As a general rule, Cornette believes that wrestlers should be attempting to simulate a fight in a logical way within the confines of the rules of a professional wrestling match, from their attitudes when facing their opponents to the type of moves they perform feeding into the story of the match (with some leeway given for moves that are impossible to perform without cooperation). Matches where the focus is on the type of moves being done, or clearly showing the two competitors working together, as opposed to the simulation of a fight drive Jim crazy. He also has a very low opinion of video game players in general (not helped by many of the wrestlers he hates, such as Kenny Omega, being confessed video game fans).
  • Big Eater:
    • JC is a big fan of Wendy's and hamburgers in general, even from Dairy Queen, which is known more for ice cream. He was once asked if he has ever gone to the infamous "Heart Attack Grill" and he enthusiastically described his eating experience there. So much so that he's had to go on a diet in recent years, probably to avoid becoming a Fat Bastard since his knee keeps him from running his meals off like he could while younger. And so he can outlive Vince Russo, since his life goal now is to piss on the man's grave.
    • He's also associated with being a big soda drinker. Diet Sprite/Sprite Zero became associated with him in the wrestling community enough that on Wrestling With Wregret Brian Zane appeared drinking it whenever he played Cornette. When working in WCW, Cornette once stress-drank so much Pepsi (his favorite beverage at the time) that he ended up in the ER thinking that he was having a heart attack... It was actually a bad case of acid reflux brought on by over-consumption of caffeine and stress.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: During The Undertaker's casket match with Vader, Jim Ross said it was a good thing Cornette was wearing dark britches. During the Boogeyman's OVW debut, Jim Cornette shat himself.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Though it was understandable why he was upset, Jim Cornette calling out CZW invader Necro Butcher to a fight on the grounds neither of them were wrestlers wasn't too smart. Adam Pearce, who had issues with Cornette, still decided to bail him out.
  • Catchphrase
    • "Thank you, fuck you, bye.", "Fuck this company!", "I hope you fuckin' diiiie!", "Wouldn't you know who won the pony?", "You couldn't believe him if his tongue was notarized." among many others.
    • Has a tendency to either start or end a sentence with "God damn!".
    • Ironically, "Fuck this company" was what many of the FANS shouted at Ring of Honor Killer Instinct, October 6, 2012, in response to the botched Worked Shoot-style ending of the main event between ROH World Heavyweight Champion Kevin Steen and Jay Lethal. This was the last show Cornette booked for ROH, with Lethal attacking him used as a way to write him out of his role. (Booked on screen. He had just been consulting Delirious and kept on doing so with changes to address fan complaints, starting with getting himself off screen, which lead to critical acclaim at the next show)
    • When talking about Vince Russo he often says, "He's never been in the men's locker room, and if he was he'd be whistling 'Stranger in Paradise'."
  • Caustic Critic: Cornette's main claim to fame after being a wrestling manager is being a really caustic wrestling critic, like Diversol levels of caustic.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Once said that he loved sick sex things, just not in wrestling.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: JC's commentaries on Who's Slamming Who. Also the Dairy Queen visit (which also featured a young Chris Jericho as an instigator). "WE WERE AT THIS GOD DAMNED DAIRY QUEEN IN THE MIDDLE OF FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT KANSAS..." It's easy to say that Cornette would probably answer "what did you eat for breakfast" with a dozen swear words. "Who in the saint fuck does this little mark bitch think he is to ask what I fuckin' ate..." On a side note: Cornette's favorite comedian? George Carlin. No surprise there.
  • Combat Commentator
    • He served as a commentator on Raw alongside Jim Ross when Smoky Mountain failed to get a TV deal.
    • He was the color commentator for the short lived LPWA. Then sat behind the commentary table of OVW television with Dean Hill and also did one of the old Mid-South territories would be successors NWA Mid South. Sinclair wanted Jim Cornette to do commentary for Ring of Honor too but he refused.
  • Cower Power: Jim would run from the angry wrestlers he wronged to Midnight Express stable mate Bobby Eaton and hug him for protection.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: After being banned from Mid-South Wrestling, Jim Cornette snuck into a show by shaving his legs, wearing a dress, putting on a wig and high heels. He then hit Ricky Morton with a purse that had a brick in it while the Rock N' Roll Express was wrestling the Midnight Express.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: Wrestling news observers declared hell to have officially frozen over when WWE announced in 2017 that Cornette had agreed to come back to WWE long enough to induct The Rock 'n' Roll Express into the Hall of Fame, despite his infamous vitriolic rants directed at the company and many of its top people.
  • Deep South/Sweet Home Alabama: Louisville, Kentucky; where he resides in "Castle Cornette." His real life personality is somewhat of a subversion to this trope. While James E is a staunch traditionalist when it comes to wrestling, he is a non-republican, pro choice, pro health care and reform, Barack Obama supporter, anti-Donald Trump, and an atheist. That said, he told just as many jokes about the Democrats as he did the Republicans while in OVW (but then, Obama was not big news yet).note 
  • Defiled Forever: In his quest to embarrass Shawn Michaels, Cornette claimed Shawn had done this to Diana Hart-Smith, for them simply being sort of flirty. Her husband, the British Bulldog was trying to have her distract Shawn.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Invoked on TNA when he prevented Eric Young and Jerry Lynn from destroying Traci Brooks with a folding chair (crowd boos) stating he was not going to allow a group of men to beat up a woman even if she deserved it, sicking Gail Kim on her instead (crowd cheers). Averted in OVW, where he had little problem with Alexis Laree (face) or Synn (heel) fighting men. He in fact booked Linda Miles almost exclusively against men, even if it was only in dark matches and untaped spot shows, as he believed it was the only way to get a good match out of her(she tended to injure opponents and the ones large enough to reliably protect themselves happened to be men).
  • Dude, Not Funny!: As a Heel manager in Georgia Championship Wrestling, Jim was given free reign to basically say anything to get heat, up to and including full-on racist rants. However, one night, while cutting a promo on a wrestler who The Midnight Express had hit with a fireball, Jim shouted "his face went up like the Challenger!" As soon as the words left his lips, the studio went dark with an audible hum, and Dusty Rhodes called him into the control room like a schoolboy to the principal’s office. Dusty simply told him "Don't talk about the Challenger kid."
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: The unseen "Mama Cornette" from his early career.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Jim Cornette will call people every name under the sun, but draws the line at retard as he believes it's insulting to those with real mental disorders.
  • Exact Words:
    • Used this to avoid his just desserts. During the WWF/NWA crossover in the late 90s, The Headbangers (working face) faced Cornette's Rock & Roll Express, with the stipulation that if the Headbangers won, whichever Headbanger won the fall would get 5 minutes with Cornette. The Headbangers won by DQ when Barry Windham interfered and knocked Thrasher out with a chair. So the Headbangers won - and Cornette got 5 minutes with an unconscious Thrasher and pinned him after a couple of shitty elbow drops.
    • At the event where he spat in Ed Ferrara's face for mocking Jim Ross's Bell's palsy, he had promised the promoter that he wouldn't punch Ferrara. When Cornette came across him at the event, Cornette decided that he hadn't promised that he wouldn't tell Ferrara off or spit in his face, which Cornette proceeded to do.
  • Excrement Statement: Jim has stated multiple times that he wants to live long enough to piss on Russo's grave. He's even gone on diets to accomplish this.
  • Expy: To Playboy Gary Hart, a young non athlete who tried to buy his way into the wrestling business with his mother's money. Only Jim Cornett was more a nerd than a playboy.
  • Fat, Sweaty Southerner in a White Suit
    • His on screen persona fits this to a T, but in Real Life this is harshly averted. Cornette has a strong sense of values and morality and is not afraid to stick up for the young talent.
    • He insists his Arch-Nemesis Kenny Bolin is this among other things.
  • Fireballs: Back in the NWA. In particular, he singed the hair off the face of Ronnie Garvin, which lead to Garvin stomping on Jim's ass in a steel cage match.
  • Fix Fic
    • His "Rebooking the Invasion" interview with Kayfabe Commentaries, the booking's actually pretty interesting but stretches credibility at times, for instance, it involves WCW acting as a shell company in opposition to WWE, something he admits Vince McMahon would never do.note 
    • The same interview also acts as a fix to the Chris Benoit murder-suicide, as he states/decrees that in the parallel universe he is describing, it never happened and would never happen.
  • Forced Meme: Botchamania forced the "Cornette Face" meme and Cornette's phrase "Fuck this company!"
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Met Scott Dawson of The Revival when Dawson was an indy wrestler and Cornette was looking for new talent for Ring of Honor and tried to sign him. Dawson reminded him of this when they met at a Takeover event, with Cornette having completely forgotten it despite being a fan of Dawson's.
  • Fragile Speedster: He describes himself as never having been an athlete, yet also claims to have been too fast for anybody to catch, thus avoiding beat downs (and giving him a low tolerance for people who can't run the ropes). Unfortunately, they did not always have to catch him, such as when Cornette tried to assault Shawn Michaels head on after he had already beaten Owen Hart and Shinobi. Cornette, predictably, went down even faster.
  • George Jetson Job Security: This was the gimmick Jerry Jarret gave him, that all his clients would fire him but he would always get another one soon. It is almost true in real life, too, as he's been fired by WWE, TNA and Ring of Honor but still had people asking for services.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Though Cornette is most famous for his heel runs, he's pretty condescending even as a face.
  • Good Luck Charm: He carries a lucky horseshoe in his tennis racket case, which he obtained when a fan threw it at him in the ring. He deems it lucky because it missed.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: When he was pantsed while managing Big Van Vader and Mini Vader.
  • Hammy Herald:
    • For the Midnight Express. An example from WCW WrestleWar 90:
      Jim Cornette: Please welcome the Kings of the Ring, the Gangster of Lovenote  and the Sultan of Swing,note  Beautiful Bobby and Sweet Stan, the Midnight Express!
    • He also did some ring announcing in OVW. Sometimes prior to interviewing someone going up to WWE, sometimes to announce someone coming down.
  • Hot-Blooded: He has a tendency to become really worked up over what's done to his beloved sport: changing it from a competition to a spectacle, having wrestlers compete in full contact contests like the Brawl for All or making wrestling too violent and extreme will elicit at least a 10-20 Cluster F-Bomb. Bring up someone like Vince Russo, Kenny Omega, or Kevin Dunn and he will lose it completely.
  • Heel: He was so viciously hated early in his career that several fans were apparently arrested for trying to assault him during shows. Cornette has often joked about keeping actual death threats from young fans of the Rock N' Roll Express as mementos of the heat he had, even showing off examples for a scrapbook of photos and other memorabilia from his time managing The Midnight Express.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Made his first ever Face turn during the Midnight Express' "Battle of the Brutes" feud with the Original Midnight Express.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • A southern traditionalist fervently against the glitz and glamour of Sports Entertainment...that just happens to be an Internet-savvy atheist liberal firebrand.
    • Despite his hatred of video games players and wrestlers who frequently talk about "geeky" subjects, Cornette is an avid comic book fan. He's discussed his collection on his podcast several times.
  • I Did What I Had to Do
    • Cornette was a fan and friend of Buddy Landell(whom he feels Terry ruined the good name of) and wasn't happy about firing him from Smoky Mountain Wrestling, but Cornette felt Buddy had exposed the business wasn't going to give him a pass.
    • He actually suggested a double cross himself before the Montreal Screwjob, except Jim wanted to put Ken Shamrock, a legitimate fighter, over because he would shoot, for real, if Bret would not do the job. Bret shot the match down, it had to be he beat Shawn in Montreal. Because of how troublesome it was Cornette was in support of what happened but treats it as Shoot the Dog to keep the title and hates that Vince, Shawn, Triple H did it.
      • In June 2019, Cornette detailed on his podcast that he actually came up with the finish. He says he suggested it hypothetically because Vince McMahon rarely took his suggestions. He also spoke up out of anger and frustration that Vince wouldn't sign off on the simplest solution: a Hart Foundation run-in/DQ finish.note  Cornette didn't know Vince was actually going to use the finish until he saw it live that night.
    • Cornette had no interest in booking when he went to TNA, but at times felt the booking was so bad that it would be unconscionable not to lean in and give his opinion (from the beginning he said it was time for Jarrett to let someone younger be World Heavyweight Champion). Again with GFW, he had little interest in the workings of the company but did let a few of his opinions known, most notably being against suing Matt Hardy for the Broken! gimmick.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: The tennis racket. Ironically, his promos video for his debuts in territories often showed him to be incompetent at the sport.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes
    • Bright red on pink, bright red on blue, and pastels in every color combination imaginable. Plus his tennis racket was for some time fitted with a boa.
    • A WWE Magazine mini article from an issue in the early 90's brought up Cornette's outfits and claims to have seen him pick up a full suit at a K-Mart for $19.95. This is an article that very well could have happened in real life.note 
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • If Cornette really, really dislikes a wrestler, he will refer to them with an Embarrassing Nickname at all times to avoid promoting them to his listeners. Examples include referring to Joey Ryan as "The Dick Guy" in reference to Ryan's most infamous spot, Joey Janela as "Jelly Nutella", claiming his un-athletic body looks like "the jelly on the edges of a biscuit", Orange Cassidy as "My Little Dog Pockets" due to his tendency to wrestle with his hands in his pants pockets, and Kenny Omega as "Kenny Olivier", claiming Omega comes across as a poor actor rather than a fighter with talk of "art", which is a notable Berserk Button for Cornette, or "[Something] McFingergun" after Omega's finger gun taunt. Naturally Vince Russo gets the most insulting moniker, merely being referred to as "Shitstain".
    • Any wrestler who doesn't take their profession seriously enough by Cornette's standards is referred to as a "cosplay wrestler", since Cornette believes they’re not true professional wrestlers, but merely pretending to be. This excludes some wrestlers who literally cosplay like Fergal Devitt and Low Ki, despite Cornette disliking Ki on a sometimes critical sometimes personal level since he if nothing else take pro wrestling very seriously. Cornette's standards have also loosened over the years, as while he's still not the biggest fan of Colt Cabana's work Cornette no longer consider's Cabana a cosplay wrestler, just a wrestler a little goofier than he'd prefer.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Continually taunted and insulted Shawn Michaels in an effort to get him to accept continual rematches with Big Van Vader after numerous questionable finishes that lead to Shawn winning.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: When Eric Bischoff called and said he's eaten too many Big Macs and was 241 lbs. in a 12 oz. sack, Jim said he eats Wendy's Triples and he's a slim 231.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Pretty much every time you hear Cornette in an interview, he's a loud-mouthed, vitriol-spewing F-bomb machine that will eat up every second of time he can to bash everyone he hates in wrestling. However, this is because he loves the business and can't stand that the younger generation is being stifled by older stars that hog the spotlight.
  • Kayfabe: Came up in the days when it was sacrosanct and still believes it should be protected as much as possible. Contrary to popular belief, he's not opposed to things like high flying and hardcore wrestling on principle, but he does think every match should look as much like a real fight or athletic contest as possible, and hates when things are taken to such an extreme that it looks obviously choreographed. He's described his ideal match as one where fans think that the wrestlers really hate each other and the worked match may have degenerated into a shoot fight.
    "Say what you want about wrestling, those guys are mad!"
  • Kick the Dog: "I've got to go kick some puppies, kick the cat's milk over and treat people lousy, the way I usually do."
  • The Last DJ: He is without a doubt one of the most talented managers and promoters of all time, a man whose love for Professional Wrestling rivals Ric Flair's, John Cena's and Ryback's combined and has the knowledge to match. However, several things, including a caustic personality, a willingness to knock who he works for and his vision of wrestling not fitting in with "Sports Entertainment" or the Attitude Era has kept him mostly behind the scenes, and he has walked out of or been fired from every promotion he worked for.
  • Momma's Boy: Early on in his managerial career he was implied to be one of these - he was sometimes mockingly referred to as "Mrs. Cornette's baby boy". This aspect of his character was quietly dropped after his first several years in the business. Jim Cornette had started taking pictures and ring announcing while he was a teenager, so his mother had to drive him to shows. By the time Jim Cornette became a manager though he was 20 and had his own driver's license, so only the oldest and most astute fans would have known the "momma Cornette" people were talking about. In-storyline, it was her who gave the money that got Cornette his kayfabe bodyguard, Big Bubba Rogers. (The man who dropped him in the aforementioned reference to the scaffold match which screwed up both Cornette's knees.)
  • Mind Rape: The exact phrase he uses to describe what he believes WWE did to Doug Basham.
  • Motor Mouth: His trademark promo style consists of him talking constantly and very quickly. He developed it while working for World Class Championship Wrestling in Dallas due to his interview time being compressed.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: As he put it...
    Jim Cornette: I remember going to arenas in the 80s, where the audience was 60% female and they were all trying to kill us for beating up Ricky Morton. Those people spent the same amount of money as the guys did but now the audience is 80% men and whatever women those men can drag to the matches with em because it's their night out. So we have completely shut off... where else do you find a business featuring a bunch of good looking guys wearing very little clothes and no women want to see the show? Riddle me that, Lucy!
  • My God, What Have I Done?/My Greatest Failure: As is detailed elsewhere in this article, Jim admitted to coming up with the Montreal Screwjob in June 2019. (He did it as a hypothetical, not thinking McMahon would use it.) He later realized that the Screwjob was the event that killed off kayfabe. Cornette blames the decline of the wrestling business on the death of kayfabe and he's been trying to get the wrestling business to rebuild it ever since.
  • Nerd Glasses: A wrestling nerd and, to a lesser extent, a computer nerd. The oversized style he wears double as The Artifact, as they have not been fashionable since the 80s, but are so associated with his character he couldn't have it differently.
  • Non-Action Guy: Cornette actually has "worked" the occasional match, usually as part of a six man tag with The Midnight Express or as a result of a wrestler winning five minutes with Jim as part of a stipulation. His contributions would generally be to cower in the corner and bump around like a ping pong ball, the only offence he ever got was a sneak attack with his racquet. Justified since his gimmick as a manager was that he was an untrained, unathletic pansy who couldn’t fight, and he would have cursed out anyone who suggested he have anything resembling a competitive match with any wrestler.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Is open about hating most current wrestling, and holding his time with Bill Watts's Mid-South Wrestling as a Golden Age never to be reached again.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: Stock in trade as a heel manager, he had that tennis racquet for a reason.
  • Not Hyperbole: When Kenny Omega, in an interview claimed Cornette exaggerated his hatred for Omega to play a character, Cornette rather bluntly replied on his podcast that he was not playing a character, was not being hyperbolic, and meant every word of what he said about wanting someone to cripple Omega.
  • Oh, Crap!: "I see a sissy!"
  • Photographic Memory: He seems to be a rare real-life example of somebody having something closer to it, as noted by his many, many shoot interviews. Ask him about a topic, say the Brawl for All, and he'll happily describe it in great detail for 15 minutes on what it was about, who he could remember was involved and how good they were or could have been and everything he saw wrong with it. Especially everything he saw wrong with it.
    Madusa: How the hell do you remember this shit?!
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • His Fuck You's of the week on Who's Slamming Who.
    • After the aforementioned Mind Rape of Doug Basham, where WWE Creative sloughed off the trademark biker look of then-developmental champion Basham by shaving him bald because they couldn't imagine him bald, Cornette went off on John Laurinitis saying that, with two weeks' notice, he could book Basham in a hair match, shave it, and sell tickets and make money. "Thank you, fuck you, bye!"
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Off camera Cornette is a huge Ernie Ladd fan who sings the praises of Shelton Benjamin to Earth, Wind & Fire. On camera he wants you black people to stay out of his business, which made it strange when the sergeant of his militia turned out to be a black woman. And religious people were a favorite target of Cornette's if he happened to be working a town in the so called "Bible belt" of the South West United States(off camera he's tolerant of religious guys like AJ Styles unless practitioners start proselytizing or forcing their practices on non members). He's not much fan of the blue collar workers either. And he has little patience for you Boricuas, though Cornette was fairly nice to Carlito Colón(who is black and Boricua) during one of his baby face authority figure runs runs in Ohio Valley.
  • Power Stable
  • Power Trio: With the Midnight Express, Owen Hart, Yokozuna, The Briscoes and others.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: And just about every other pastel color imaginable.
  • Reality Ensues: Cornette has a ton of stories about his violent altercations with fans in the late Seventies and early Eighties, including getting arrested multiple times and even spending a few nights in jail. As a result of this fairly extensive record he is (legitimately) no longer allowed in Canada.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Tends to give these out like treats on Halloween to pretty much anybody who's crossed his path.
    • The most famous interview about Vince Russo produced the above picture.
      Jim Cornette: See, he was running a video store before Vince McMahon let him write for the magazine...He can't spell. He can't write or speak English! He "grew up in Brooklyn n' da Bronx or whateva" — I'm looking at the guy's pad: he can't spell, okay? It's not like he's a goddamn Rhodes scholar...So he's writing for the magazine. He insinuates himself. He's got good ideas. He has good ideas at a time when they need good ideas. And, you know, I'm not saying he's never had any good ideas. But you know what the problem is? The problem is that all the good ideas he's ever had is from watching those goddamn, cheap-ass B-movies that they used to rent at his goddamn loser video store. He doesn't know anything about wrestling. That's why when you hear "ding ding ding!", it's immediately followed 60 seconds later by "ding ding ding!" Keep the matches as short as possible. When that bell rings, Vince Russo is lost. Vince Russo is a babe in the woods. Vince Russo is a deer caught in the headlights, as long as there's a wrestling match going on. As long as he can make it a phony B-movie script or an outhouse in the ring, or women having miscarriages, or something that appeals to his New York bullshit attitude. So get the wrestling matches out of it, 'cause nobody wants to see that shit anyway. That's been proven over at WCW, where they don't even have wrestling matches anymore — I watched Thunder the other night, because I happened to be stuck in a hotel room; I saw Lance Storm falling around like a drunk man. When you make that guy uncoordinated, you can do it to anybody...He's got a bunch of fucking dancing bears parading around in the ring, a bunch of women with silicone, and a bunch of club-footed, slap-happy fucking guys that couldn't work their way out of a wet paper bag. And he don't know the fucking difference. And he's out there beating up Ric Flair with a baseball bat! Because he finally got to be a star. Now he doesn't have to subsist on the internet marks fuckin' clapping for him. He can have the fucking roar of their dwindling crowds, going, "ooh, that's uhh–yeah, that Russo guy. He's a star now! He beats the wrestlers!" He made this statement: "Well, we'll just teach actors to wrestle, because if I can learn to work in the ring, anyone can!" There's a goddamn news bulletin I didn't hear about when I heard about World War II and all the other great happenings of the past fifty years!: When did Vince Russo learn to fucking work? Jesus Fucking Christ. I wanna puke.
    • A rare editorial segment allowed to him on Raw during the Monday Night Wars saw him quite soundly tear apart a cage match pitting Hulk Hogan against "Rowdy" Roddy Piper at WCW Halloween Havoc 1997:
      Jim Cornette: I'm Jim Cornette, I just wonder if any of you are sick and tired as I am of people who claim to be the "ICON" of wrestling? Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper claim to be the icon, Shawn Michaels is the "icon that can still go", Bret Hart would claim to be the icon if he wasn't too busy crying about being screwed, and I guess Randy Savage is still "thinkin', thinkin'!" Well, Shawn Michaels is still the single most talented wrestler today inside the ring, but outside, he's an adolescent, obnoxious jerk who takes his tights and goes home if he doesn't get his way. Bret Hart is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, but if he'd been screwed as many times as he claims, he would've struck oil by now. And Randy Savage is a legend, but let's face it, how many records did Frank Sinatra sell last year?

      But the pinnacle of this "icon" garbage came at last night's cage match between Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper, to determine–in their minds only–who the real icon is. WCW had the gall to say "this is the greatest cage match in history", when it was only the greatest in three weeks since Hell in a Cell. But here you've got a 46-year-old bald movie star wannabe who looks like Uncle Creepy with a good build taking on a guy with an artificial hip that hadn't wrestled a full schedule in 10 years! It's a tribute to the massive egotism, in my mind, of both men and indictment of WCW's promotional policies that this match even took place, much less being the main event, when the card was probably the best that WCW's capable of havin'! By the 10-minute mark, they were suckin' wind so bad the first three rows passed out of oxygen deprivation! – would've been funny if it wasn't so sad.

      Well, I'm sick and damn tired of hearing guys claim to be The Icon, especially when it usually comes from guys who just didn't know when to quit. Roddy Piper was my idol when I was a teenager, but that was 20 years ago. Hulk Hogan during his best years was 50% media creation, and those are long gone. This match was a slap in the face to every wrestler that takes pride in his profession! And in my mind, no one man is bigger than this sport, but if there is an Icon, it would be a man who has great ability inside the ring and professionalism and maturity outside of it! Let's leave all the petty, backstabbing, I-make-more-money-than-you BS with the hat-check girl, and concentrate on talent and attitude! The Undertaker, Ric Flair, and Steve Austin have never claimed to be icons, which means they're big candidates to be just that!

      And on a personal note to Hulk Hogan: you are a household word, but so is garbage; and it stinks when it gets old, too. I'm Jim Cornette, and that's my opinion.
  • The Rival: Paul Heyman, in a more Worthy Opponent manner than some of his other rivalries, they respect each other as bookers, but aren't fond of each other as people.
    Jim Cornette: He'd rather climb a tree and tell a lie than stand on the ground and tell the truth.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: His reaction upon seeing the Montreal Screwjob. Being in the dark regarding what the plan was to end the match, Cornette hung around the back to see how it'd go down before quickly leaving the arena to avoid the mess that he'd knew would happen. That said, he said in a shoot interview that he would have done the same thing and that Bret should have just bitten the bullet. That being said, he has pointed out that most of the blame falls on Vince McMahon himself as he did not think to take the belt off of Bret before he decided to go back on the contract he had just signed Bret to. Cornette also has mentioned that, as wrestling has become sillier and sillier, with fake hand grenade spots and people being suplexed by a man's genitals, that he has grown to really appreciate, and miss, the seriousness in which Bret Hart took himself, and the sport of Wrestling. Finally, he has mentioned that he completely understands why Bret refused after all the crap Shawn Michaels had pulled, including openly refusing to ever put Bret over after Bret had just put him over in the Iron man match, and that if anyone in the whole world deserved to be treated with such disrespect...it was Shawn.
  • Self-Deprecating Humor/Unusual Euphemism: Jim originally spoke the above line about household names in reference to himself when he was called such on the news, saying that the name people used in their houses about him couldn't be spoken on television.
  • Serious Business: Wrestling. Jim lives and dies by the sport and is a staunch traditionalist. He despises people who disrespect and look down wrestling and cause damage to its credibility and integrity, such as Vince Russo (who, among other sins, insisted that he wasn't a wrestling booker, he was a "TV writer").
  • Seven-Year Rule: Besides naming the trope, he had the following to say when asked by Slam! Sports about Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle putting on an "MMA style match" (which is also what people said about Joe vs Low Ki in Ring of Honor):
    Jim Cornette: UFC and MMA is really professional wrestling from 100 years ago. Unfortunately they have been able to present our business better than anyone in our business can present our business! Everything that they are doing came from wrestling. But it's the circle; wrestling will pick back up from UFC and MMA, the things that it used to do 100 years ago, and will present them as new to our wrestling fans. NBC used to have a slogan: "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you," and that was their way to sell re-runs. Well we can do the same thing that wrestling did 50 or 100 years ago, and then we can act like we just thought of it.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Pastel suits! He would manage wearing more gaudy outfits and colors than seen in Miami Vice.
  • Sissy Villain: Invoked this trope during his early career, wherein he talked about his (unseen) "mama Cornette" and how she apparently paid for his tennis lessons (which explained why he carried around a tennis racket)
  • Smug Snake: As an interviewed fan said upon watching Cornette try to wrestle when he came to Charlotte, North Carolina, "Jim Cornette is the lowest life form there is." Cornette was insistent the people loved him while this was going on. When the crowd started chanting "Faggot!" he then admitted "some" people didn't like him and he couldn't please everybody.
  • Spoiled Brat: His original gimmick was a rich kid who bought his way into the wrestling business with his mother's money.
  • Take That, Audience!: When New York Post writer Phil Mushnick used Brian Pillman's death as an excuse to launch a crusade to shut down professional wrestling, Cornette fought back in one of his angrier segments where one of the many many things he said is that wrestling fans do not appreciate being insulted by a publication they pay money to read. This was point 141 of about 200 he got off his chest, and there was a follow up video where fans voiced their opinion of the New York Post being used to attack wrestling fans.
  • Talk Show with Fists: "The Louisville Slugger"
  • This Is Gonna Suck: How he described the infamous 25 ft. scaffold match. "Boys...the University of Alabama Crimson Tide couldn't 'catch me like they catch the girls at the football games'..."
  • Toothy Issue: Blamed a mouth injury he received in Ring of Honor on guest talents from CZW but this was later changed to Low Ki because Ring of Honor needed a way to write him off their shows.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Man loves his Wendy's.
    • And will order a Sprite with that combo. His trademark drink.
  • Underwear of Power: When Jim Cornette actually wrestled alongside the Midnight Express (or rather, tried to), he wore them. Unlike most wrestlers, Cornette wore these over top of his pants! This has basis in the way real athletes dressed in the 1920s, but Jim was doing this in the 80s!
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He considers Dave Bautista this. Batista was pushed as the top guy during his run in Ohio Valley Wrestling, winning the OVW Heavyweight Championship and going over such wrestlers as Kane and The Undertaker, and only doing the job a few times, once to Kane and on his way out to John Cena. Later in his career, Batista would run down his time in OVW, saying it was his Old Shame and disrespecting Cornette and Danny Davis. Cornette was furious.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He says in one interview that he was the first one in a booking meeting to suggest (jokingly) a double cross on Bret Hart in Montreal. However in his version, Bret would have faced Ken Shamrock instead. In June 2019 Cornette detailed on his podcast that he actually came up with the finish. He says he suggested it hypothetically because Vince McMahon rarely took his suggestions. Cornette didn't know Vince was actually going to use the finish until he saw it live that night. This crosses over into My God, What Have I Done? territory when Cornette realized that the Montreal Screwjob killed kayfabe, and he came up with the whole thing.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With a fellow/rival manager Synn, the wicked witch of Kentuckiana, who caused trouble in OVW with her disciples, whom he eventually married in real life. To a lesser extent, Sherri Martel, the first wrestler he ever managed but later wound up as the valet of his enemy, Shawn Michaels. To an even lesser extent but still worth mentioning, Vince McMahon. Jim does not like Vince's business practices, politics or philosophy on wrestling, but will admit Vince kept the WWF smoothly running, got the industry better than the Turner/Sinclair/Panda suits and that his main gripes were with Vince's stooges than with Vince directly.
  • Weapon of Choice: A tennis racket, usually kept inside a gaudy, fur-trimmed case. Once the Midnight Express loaded a horseshoe into the case to make Jim's racquet swings more powerful. In Real Life, Cornette claims to have used the racket to fight off several rabid fans who tried to assault him back in the territory days.
  • Whip It Good: He whipped Homicide with his belt after Adam Pearce had handcuffed him to the ring post.
  • Wimp Fight
    • Jim was initially terrified when he, a manager, was asked to participate in matches. Jimmy Hart reassured Cornette that they need only roll around.
    • In regards to women in the sport, he has said women do not make as good as managers as men, because it's not as acceptable to beat up on a petite woman as it is a wimpy man. He's also said there is nothing worse than pretty women who can't wrestle trying to do pro wrestling. He has said there is money to made in building two pretty women who can't wrestle towards a cat fight though. (For the record, he ended up dating and marrying a female manager.)
  • Worked Shoot:
    • He had several during the Monday Night Wars when he was still employed by the (then) WWF as on-screen talent. Of course, how much was "worked" and how much was "shoot" was up for debate, since apparently his instructions were limited to "Don't curse, don't get us sued;" a few even lambasted then-current WWF stars. These segments are basically the Spiritual Predecessor to his now-famous rants from so many online sources. Ironically they started when Jim decided to go off on web show Byte This, figuring no one watched them. Someone did, and there was demand to see more on Raw.
    • During the feud between Jim Cornette's The Midnight Express, and Paul E. Dangerously's Original Midnight Express, Jim and Paul were booked in a tuxedo match. What fans (and the bookers) were expecting was a brief comedy match between two non-wrestlers with minimal bumps. The two got together and decided to make it look like a legit brawl between two non-athletes who didn't know how to fight but wanted to cripple each other. It looked for all the world like Cornette and Paul had decided to settle their bad blood in the ring, that they really hated each other in Real Life, and that this feud was not a performance.
  • Writer on Board: Cornette has a low tolerance for head drops, never mind garbage wrestling. Also little for "cartoon wrestling", rapping, breast implants...which made him an ill fit for promotions that run off of one or more of those. Most famously, he always ranted about the WWF production crew while he was on commentary rather than admit Undertaker's special effects came from a supernatural source. It was also Cornette who decided Boogeyman just thought he was the Boogeyman. Banning pile drivers in Ring Of Honor turned out not to be a case of this, but an attempt to get heat on the wrestlers who would inevitably keep using them anyway. This had worked for NWA figures the fans tended to like but not in ROH because the fans hated Cornette and gave him heat instead of any wrestlers(so he had to be removed from sight).
  • You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses?: Averted during his career as a mostly Heel manager. Comes with the territory.

"Thank you. Fuck you. Bye!"

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report