Both Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com and Dave Meltzer of f4wonline.com are reporting that Jim Cornette is currently "on sabbatical" from his job as Ring Of Honor's (ROH's) Executive Producer and has been ever since throwing a temper tantrum at the Nov. 3rd TV tapings in Belle Vernon, PA. Another polite way of putting it is that he's been put on gardening leave, a euphemism for being sent home for disciplinary reasons. He's not been fired, but there's no timetable for a return and thus it's very possible that he's worked his last day for the company.
This latest blow up is a symptom of the burnout and frustrations that led to him losing his position as ROH's head booker just four weeks earlier. Throughout the tapings he griped about things not being done quite like he wanted them to be done, which isn't out of character for him, but the straw that broke the camel's back and made him lose it much worse than usual was ROH's business manager leaving the tapings early and thus there being no member of senior management around to pay for Steve Corino's emergency care after he suffered sore ribs from a botched in ring stunt in the show's main event:
It finally culminated with a huge rant after Steve Corino was injured, as Cornette, at the end of his rope, was loudly screaming about Corino having to go to the hospital and not having anyone from ROH ownership around to "pay for it" or go with Corino to the hospital.
Cornette's final rant reportedly included claims of threatening bodily harm on some members of ROH management (who were not present) as he was angry they had already left the venue when the injury happened. Cornette reportedly told one person to repeat what he had said to ROH ownership. The incident was described to me by one wrestler as the usual Cornette "flip out over something going wrong times 50. He was beyond pissed off, even for Jimmy."
For once Cornette was right to be so angry, but how he expressed that rage was completely unprofessional. I don't care what your job is, you should never intimidate or physically threaten a senior colleague. Both Johnson and Meltzer discussed how this was typical behaviour by wrestling company owners like Bill Watts and Ole Anderson when he broke into the business in the early 1980s, so no big deal, right? However, Cornette doesn't own ROH and even if he did, such bullying, dictatorial management control strategies should always have been morally repugnant; it was wrong that they were tolerated for so long in the colourful, outlaw business of professional wrestling.
Cornette was very lucky that he wasn't fired outright for such a childish display of petulance and was instead able to come to an amicable, face saving arrangement with ROH COO Joe Koff where they both agreed that he needed to take a break from work.
Worryingly, it sounds like Cornette has sank into a deep depression, as he's not talking to anyone, answering his phone or even listening to his voicemail messages. Perhaps he is slowly coming to terms with the realisation that his career as a big hitter in the wrestling industry, his life's love, may be over prematurely at the age of 51, not due to being washed up, but because of his uncontrollable temper, which has blighted his whole career and burnt every last bridge there's left in this consolidated profession.
He butted heads constantly with WCW Executive Vice President Jim Herd which eventually led to him quitting the company with his Midnight Express protégé Stan Lane in late 1990, and soon after sending Herd a black funeral wreath to signify the death of his wrestling promotion. He left a huge booger on the front windscreen of Eric Bischoff's car after Superbrawl III, due to his belief that Bischoff was responsible for undermining his SMW (Smokey Mountain Wrestling) invasion angle of WCW. In September 1994, while still the owner of SMW, he was arrested for smashing the windows of his former employee K.C. O'Connor's car. His days as the WWF's head booker became numbered after he cruelly made fun of their Executive Producer Kevin Dunn's "fucking bucky beaver teeth" and was on the verge of assaulting him in an official creative team meeting in July 1997. Eventually, he happily left Stamford, CT and returned to his homeland of Louisville, KY to run WWE's developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), but he lost that job in July 2005 for slapping the hell out of trainee Johnny Geo Basco (now WWE's Santino Marella) for laughing at The Boogeyman's debut instead of running away in horror as he was supposed to in his role as a planted fan. Finally, in April 2010, TNA sent Cornette a legal letter for sending an email to their Head of Talent Relations Terry Taylor stating how much he despised their head writer Vince Russo, that he wanted him to die and would gleefully murder him if he could get away with it.
If he wants to get his ROH job back, then 2013 will have to be the year Jim Cornette finally grows up and starts behaving like a normal human being. Many of the young wrestlers on the ROH roster were happy to see his demotion and likely didn't shed any tears over the grumpy old dinosaur's wrestling extinction:
The Pittsburgh taping was the first one under Hunter "Delirious" Johnston following he and Cornette switching places in the creative hierarchy. Cornette, who was already written out of ROH storylines, was still taking an active management role at the tapings, although the scripts and the show were 100% booked by Johnston.
It should be noted that despite the Cornette incident, several ROH wrestlers considered locker room morale to be up overall after the TV taping and were happy with the new direction the company was moving towards. There are a lot of wrestlers looking forward to the PPV in NYC.
If the ROH locker room continues to be a more positive environment to work in, then management won't want his toxic personality in a powerful job again unless he changes and stops causing everyone he deals with headaches through his lack of anger management skills and lack of tact. In Cornette's case I don't think a leopard ever changes its spots.