- Born: 09/17/1961 in Louisville, Kentucky
- Birthname: James Mark Cornette
- Height & Weight: 6'1", 198 Ib
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Best Booker (1993, 2001, 2003)
- Best Non-Wrestler (2006)
- Best on Interviews (1985–1988, 1993)
- Manager of the Year (1984–1990, 1992–1996)
- Best Pro Wrestling Book (2009)
- Midnight Express 25th Anniversary Scrapbook
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 1996)
During his career, he has worked for the Continental Wrestling Association, Mid-South Wrestling, World Class Championship Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions, World Championship Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation (WWE), Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (Impact Wrestling), and Ring of Honor.
From 1991 to 1995, he was the owner and head booker of Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and from 1999 to 2005, was the co-owner, head booker, and head trainer of Ohio Valley Wrestling. During the later years of his career, Cornette focused primarily on backstage positions and transitioned away from his role as an on-screen manager.
In 2017, Cornette retired from managing. During a transitional period prior to the retirement, he worked as an on-screen “authority figure” character in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and Ring of Honor, promotions where he also held backstage positions. Cornette has also had an extensive commentary career, most recently serving as a color commentator for Major League Wrestling, What Culture Pro Wrestling, and the National Wrestling Alliance.
Cornette is noted for his long-standing real-life feud with fellow professional wrestling booker Vince Russo; in June 2017, Russo filed a restraining order (EPO) against Cornette for stalking. The Cornette vs. Russo feud has been featured on two episodes of Viceland’s Dark Side of the Ring series. Cornette, an atheist and democratic socialist, has made appearances on The Young Turks documenting his criticisms of religious and right-wing causes.
Journalist Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated wrote in 2019 that “Cornette remains one of wrestling’s more controversial personalities, but his beliefs are rooted in more than four decades of wrestling experience.” Cornette has been very vocal against other styles of wrestling, such as Paul Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling hardcore style, which he referred to as “hardcore bullshit”. “Comedy wrestling” (that which is deemed silly or goofy as opposed to serious) has also been on the receiving end of his rants, with him routinely criticizing those he considers “comedy wrestlers” such as Joey Ryan, Kenny Omega, and Chuck Taylor.
He has also criticized the physical appearance of wrestlers; for example Marko Stunt’s height, or Kevin Steen and Joey Janela’s weight. Cornette has garnered some support from industry personalities including NWA Champion Nick Aldis, who wrote an article for Flagged Sports defending Cornette and his position as NWA commentator after a separate article asked promoters to stop hiring him. Independent wrestler Phil Earley accused Cornette of pressuring other wrestlers into having sex with his wife during the Speaking Out movement in 2020. Cornette has vehemently denied the allegations.
Sherri Martel, Big Bubba Rogers, Buddy Landel, Adrian Street, Christopher Daniels, Crusher Broomfield, Jeff Jarrett, Salvatore Sincere, Mantaur, Yokozuna, The British Bulldog, Owen Hart, Vader, Dan Severn, Matt Morgan, Ron Powers, Mark Henry, Dutch Mantel, Ken Wayne, Nightmare Danny Davis, Adam Pearce, Carl Fergie, Norman Fredrick Charles III, Hercules Hernandez, Mr. Puerto Rico, Bruiser Beldam, Dick Murdoch, Barry Windham
Tag teams managed
The Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey and Bobby Eaton, Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane)
The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers)
The Fabulous Ones
The Dynamic Dudes (Johnny and Shane)
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson)
The Heavenly Bodies (Stan Lane and Tom Prichard, Tom Prichard and Jimmy Del Ray)
The Dynamic Duo (Al Snow and Unabomb)
The Headhunters (Headhunter A and Headhunter B)
The New Midnight Express (Bombastic Bob and Bodacious Bart)
Owen Hart and Yokozuna
Crush and Yokozuna
Owen Hart and the British Bulldog
The Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark)
Jeff Collette and Stan Lane
The Harris Brothers (Ron and Don)
Jeff Jarrett and Barry Windham
Other Notable Achievements
NWA Hall of Fame (Class of 2005)
PWI Manager of the Year (1985, 1993, 1995)
Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2012
World Wrestling Federation Slammy Award for Blue Light Special for Worst Dresser (1996)