An article by Mike Mooneyham
Published Sept. 25, 1994
Manager Jim Cornette is best known for whacking wrestlers in the head with his infamous “Louisville Slugger”tennis racquet.
Two weeks ago he used a real “Louisville Slugger” to smash the car windows of a former office employee at Smoky Mountain Wrestling.
Cornette, 33, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of vandalism after allegedly pounding a 1992 Toyota Tercel with a baseball bat.
Cornette called the incident “extremely blown out of proportion” and dismissed it as simply “an argument between two guys – a personal thing.”
The controversial manager says he drove to the Morristown,Tenn., home of ex-SMW employee K.C. O’Connor on Sept. 12 to retrieve a video camera Cornette claims belonged to him. When O’Connor refused to turn over the camera unless Cornette paid him $300 O’Connor says was owed to him in back wages, Cornette threatened to take a baseball bat to O’Connor’s car.
[ad#MikeMooneyham-336×280]O’Connor, according to Cornette, slammed the door in his face, and Cornette made good on his threat. After “fixing up the car for him,” Cornette drove off, spent the night in a Knoxville motel and turned himself in the next day when a warrant was issued for his arrest.The misdemeanor charge could be raised to a felony if the damage exceeds $500, and a hearing is scheduled Sept. 27.
“It was no big deal,”said Cornette. “I called the lawyer the next morning, he walked me over to the the station, signed a citation for vandalism and left. No bond. No fingerprints. It’s like nobody ever had an argument before. It’s been completely blown out of proportion.”
Cornette said he didn’t get his video camera back, but will continue to pursue the matter. “If he’d just be a man and return my property, I’d pay for his.”
In vintage Cornette fashion, a message on his answering machine the week after the incident included this greeting:
“Hi, this is Richard Kimble and I swear it was a one-armed man with that baseball bat. If you’ve got a message about Smoky Mountain Wrestling, leave it. If you’ve got a message about my new paint, body and auto glass shop, leave that, too.” Cornette later, however, was ready to put the whole matter in proper perspective.
“If that was the worst thing that happened to me in my life, I’d be a happy guy.”