WWE and wrestling legend Jim Cornette is known for drawing heat, both in and out of the wrestling ring. Arguably, the former WWE and WCW manager could get heat more than any wrestling performer before or after his tenured career. As heard on the audio below, on a recent episode of his podcast, Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru, the former WWE manager shared a story on having to wear a bulletproof vest in order to protect himself from the angry fans.
Over the past two decades, the WWE has been very open and clear that professional wrestling is a scripted form of sports entertainment. Though some of the maneuvers are called in the ring, many wrestlers choreograph their moves, and the outcome is always predetermined. But this transparency was lacking a few decades ago, and many fans thought that professional wrestling was not only a real sport, but they thought the characters were also genuine. So, when you have a huge heel manager like Jim Cornette, who managed the hated Midnight Express, it’s easy to understand why the former WWE manager would get a lot of heat from fans.
The WWE legend shared a story on his Mid-South Wrestling days during the mid-80s, and he said that a police officer helped him prepare for the angry fans in Little Rock, Arkansas. He shared that the Little Rock Police Department did the security for Mid-South Wrestling at the Barton Coliseum. Cornette explained that police officers were friendly with the wrestlers, that they would often turn a blind eye to some of the backstage happenings, and that the cops would do their best to protect the talent.
Many of the same officers would cover the wrestling events at the Barton Coliseum, and one of them assisted Jim with some protection. Cornette said that one time a cop approached him and gave him a bulletproof vest to protect himself from the fans. As transcribed by Wrestling Inc., Cornette was a bit stunned.
“When’s the last time a city police officer told you that you should wear a bulletproof vest in any instance, right? So that got my attention automatically. Then he said, ‘I don’t know if we have to worry about you getting shot at, but this is also useful for knives. It will keep you from getting cut or stabbed.’ I said, ‘oh, that’s good to know.’ Then he said, ‘but it won’t stop an icepick.'”
“So he’s really pepping me up for this, then he gives me the go**amn thing, right…People wonder why I was conflicted a time or two about whether I should quit the f**king business at ringside down there or not.”
Warning: Per his usual, Jim Cornette uses strong language in the video below.
Thankfully, it seems that no one attempted to shoot Jim Cornette, but the former WWE manager said that the bulletproof vest protected him from chair shots, and that it had worn out its usefulness by the end of the year.