The lifelong fan of the industry had reached his breaking point.
“I did a 14-hour day of producing five hours of television, to air on 50 stations,” Cornette said, “in an unheated 40-degree ice rink with concrete bleachers on the biggest shoestring budget I’ve had in my life for a major television production with the stress of an air traffic controller and with a wrestler injured and ambulances pulling up to the back of the building.”
“I’ll flesh it out more in Charlotte ‘Unplugged and Uncensored’. I was sitting at the Eat’n Park off the Pennsylvania Turnpike at 3 a.m. that morning eating two double cheeseburgers out of frustration all by my lonesome. I realized if Lawler can have a heart attack and if Brad Armstrong can die in his sleep and if all the other deaths and heart attacks and health problems that have plagued this industry goes on. I was almost 250 pounds. I was on the road 100 nights a year in a hotel room. I was putting 40-50,000 miles on my vehicle.”
Cornette decided he would rather live a while longer and change his lifestyle. He went home motivated to focus on what was really important like his health.
“I went on a diet,” Cornette said. “Today I weigh 204 pounds and went to the doctor who said my blood pressure was perfect. My cholesterol is so far down he is fixing to take me off my cholesterol medication. My blood sugar is back to normal. I’m even tanning. Everything is good. I just needed to get the wrestling monkey off my back. Ronnie West who I knew from the early 1980s left wrestling and entered the circus. They ended up finding him in a hotel room. He had passed away. That would have been me. If I had been Lawler or what had happened to Lawler had happened to me, instead of being next to an EMT crew, two blocks away from the best cardiac care hospital in Canada.
“I would been at the County Fair somewhere in Wartburg, Tennessee and the guy that ran the Ferris Wheel would be standing over me saying, ‘I don’t think he is going to make it.’ Or they would find me in a remote control in my left hand and a half-eaten cheeseburger in my right hand. Who was it that said it? It was Danny Glover who said in ‘Lethal Weapon’ I’m too old for this $%*^. I’m too old for this $%#@.”
• Catch the candid Cornette and a full lineup of wrestling stars Aug. 1-4 at the Hilton University Place in Charlotte for the Mid-Atlantic Legends Fanfest Weekend. Festivities include question-and-answer sessions, autograph signings, photo opportunities, karaoke, the Hall of Heroes, matches and more. For information or to get your tickets, visit www.midatlanticlegends.com.
• Visit www.JimCornette.com , which is expected to be updated through the summer.
• Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN, http://twitter.com/#!/smFISHMAN, where I post links and information. Opinions expressed reflect no other entity. I can also be found tweeting incessantly during wrestling shows weekly.