Former WWE Attitude era head writer Vince Russo has filed a restraining order against legendary wrestling curmudgeon Jim Cornette, according to Cornette's Twitter account:
Golly, VOLDERMORT just filed a Emergency Protective Order on me. I can't hang out with him anymore! pic.twitter.com/jSx9CEFj0F
— Jim Cornette (@TheJimCornette) June 22, 2017
In the document, Russo checks a box indicating the reason for the restraining order is that he is or has been the victim of "stalking." How did we get here? The restraining order follows a podcast wherein Cornette challenged Russo to a fight, the continuation of a feud that's been running for almost two decades:
Cornette has always hated Russo, and he even bonded with another former enemy, Eric Bischoff, during a recent episode of WWE Table For Three. In the YouTube recording from his podcast released last week, Cornette refers to Russo as "Ol' ****stain" and "the Archbishop of Talent Bury," and "that unemployed ****ing loser." Cornette ran down Russo for ten full minutes in a profanity-laden tirade, making various statements that might not look great in court.
"If I could get away with murdering him and not go to jail, I would," Cornette said during the video. Cornette said that Russo doesn't believe Cornette would say the these sorts of mean things to his things to his face, so Cornette proposed a solution:
"You say you wanna meet me face to face, and you want me to say all these things to you in person instead of behind your back. Well we ain't gonna do it on a podcast. We ain't gonna have a debate. Here's the deal. You send me a date, and a time, and an address. It doesn't have to be your home address because I know you don't want me to know where you live because you probably do live in your in-laws' basement since you're an unemployed failure and you're toxic and nobody wants anything to do with you. And every wrestling promotor, every great wrestling veteran of the last twenty years who's ever drawn any money has nothing but bad things to say about you. Bret Hart said you ought to be hung in a parking lot. I know you don't want me to know where you live, so send me a date and a time a neutral address and I'll come to you."
"Make it a public park, maybe," Cornette suggested. "Somewhere out of the way. Somewhere where there won't be too many people to intervene."
"No cops. No guns. And no knives. And we both come alone. And what happens, happens. Nobody makes a dime off of it. Nobody gets any publicity off of it. Nobody's even gonna know that it's even gonna happen, until after it happens, and nobody ever hears from you anymore."
"It must really give you erectile dysfunction, you ****ing piece of ****, that you can't provide for your family and you're a failure and you're a laughing stock," Cornette added, before offering to bring $5,000 in cash to the meeting, which he said Russo could have if he could take it from him.
"I'm not saying I'm a badass," Cornette said, "But you, you never-been-in-a-fight gutless *****. I could whip you. Besides, it's not even gonna be hand to hand, because I said no guns and no knives, but I've got a bat. I can find a stick."
"If you don't ****ing take me up on that you piece of shit, then shut your fucking **** licker from now on."
Russo, however, responded with a public apology:
"By now, I'm sure many of you have heard Jim Cornette's latest Vince Russo comedy routine on his podcast," Russo began. "For me, it's nothing new. I've been hearing this since 1999. As a matter of fact, in 1999, the day I left the WWE, Jim Cornette left a very similar promo on my voicemail that my young children heard at the time, where he threatened to kill me, my wife, and my entire family. Eighteen years later, history repeats itself I guess."
Russo said his fans called for him to make a stand against Cornette, but he had a different idea: "About an hour ago, when I was outside and I was mowing my five and a half acres, you know, around my log cabin and around my lake, a property which I own thanks to my hard work and success in the wrestling business, I kept asking myself the question over and over: what does Jim want? After eighteen years of the same song and the same dance and the same act and the same threats, what exactly is it that he wants?"
"Now what Jim would like to do, according to him, is not have a civilized, man to man conversation," Russo continued. "What Jim Cornette would like to do is he'd like to fight. He'd like to meet somewhere with no cameras, no guns, no knives, and have a fight. Let me address that. I know a lot of you think I'm nuts and I'm a little out of my mind, but I'll tell you one thing I'm not. One thing I'm not is I'm not that crazy."
"Would I fight Jim Cornette?" Russo asked. "Well, in order to answer that, you have to look at him. You've gotta look at that barn door wide ass. You have to look at that Kamala belly. You have to look at those Gumby-like arms. Would I want to mix it up with somebody like that? Surely, I'd have to be out of my mind, because no doubt an asskicking would be coming my way. So yes, I'm afraid of Jim Cornette. That ripped, chiseled stomach. And as far as the $5,000, I think Jim still thinks we're in Memphis circa 1970 when $5,000 actually meant something. Jim, $5,000 is not a lot of money. I don't need your $5,000. I'm doing fine, Jim."
"To be hounding me for eighteen years like that pimple on your ass that just won't go away," Russo described. "Can you imagine having a pimple on your ass for eighteen years that no matter what you do won't go away. I'll take the high road. I'll ignore him. I'll challenge him to an open debate for charity. But the pimple on your ass just doesn't go away. You squeeze it and you pop it but the puss just doesn't fly. What is it that this man wants?
"So finally, as I'm mowing the Russo estates, the light bulb goes off in my head," he continued. "Eighteen years of diahrrea of the mouth. Eighteen years of the same tired act, over and over and over. What is Jim Cornette looking for? Well, then it dawned on me. What Jim Cornette is looking for is an apology from Vince Russo. That's what he's looking for. Because once you apologize to a man and say I'm sorry, then really nothing is left. You can't go any farther than that."
"I came to the conclusion today that I owe Jim Cornette an apology," Russo concluded. "I wanted to do this publicly so everybody can hear it, no slant is on it, my words won't be misconstrued. You're going to hear it straight from the horse's mouth. Jim: I apologize. And I apologize for a lot of things. First and foremost, I want to apologize for you blowing out your knees when you fell off that scaffold because you are a mark who didn't know how to take a bump. I want to apologize, Jim, for you putting Smokey Mountain Wrestling out of business. I want to apologize, Jim, for you being fired from Ring of Honor for a public emotional outburst. I want to apologize, Jim, for [you] being fired from WWE for assaulting another employee. I want to apologize, Jim, because I'm from New York. I want to apologize, Jim, because for my entire life, I was never 'fixin' to do anything. I want to apologize, Jim, because I don't believe that the Dukes of Hazard is a reality show. I'd like to apologize that I never went on national television and dressed like the village idiot. I want to apologize that I never asked a wrestler to chew on an Alka Seltzer so it would appear like he's foaming at the mouth. I want to apologize that even the great Terry Funk didn't get over when you had him come out of a box. But Jim, perhaps the two most important things: I want to apologize for setting ratings records at both the WWE and TNA and also raising the ratings at WCW the whole nine months that I was there. I sincerely apologize for that. And last but not least, Jim, from the bottom of my heart, I apologize for both Dixie Carter and Vincent Kennedy McMahon choosing me over you. Because at the end of the day, eighteen years later, that is what this is all about. It sticks in your craw because no matter what you do, no matter what you say, no matter what asinine promo you cut, it does not go away. From a creative standpoint, the numbers clearly dictate I was better than you. And I know that is hard for you to accept. And I know that is hard for you to deal with. So that is why, from the bottom of my heart, I apologize. I am sorry, and I hope from this point on we can move forward."
Cornette, of course, responded to Russo's apology, calling it "schtick" and a "comedy routine."
"He said that his five year old son heard when I called up and left a message on his answering machine where I threatened the lives of his wife and his children," Cornette said, claiming that Russo was lying about Cornette threatening his wife and child. "I admit I did call him up and threatened his life, but what happened was, back in the year 2000, it was the year after he had left the WWF, the people, Vince McMahon, the guy that gave him the biggest paying job he'd ever had and got him into wrestling on a mainstream basis, and he left him with no notice, just a phone call, even though the TV taping was fifty miles from his house and he could have come down and shaken Vince's hand. But he didn't want to make a big deal out of it, because Vince didn't want to steal attention away from the TV taping that night. So he left under cover of darkness. No phone call. No notice."
Cornette said that, back when he left the voicemail eighteen years ago, Vince Russo called WWE Human Resources rather than calling Cornette, according to Cornette, in order to get Bruce Pritchard and Kevin Kelly fired for giving Cornette Russo's number. Cornette ran down Russo's appearance and character some more in an extremely sarcastic response of his own, before ending with the following statment.
"To thank you, for showing me the error of my ways and putting me in my place, I've got something for you," Cornette promised. "I'm not gonna tell you what it is right here, right now. You're gonna have to wait to find out. You don't tell presents ahead of time. And I don't know when I'm gonna get a chance to give it to you, because I don't know where you live yet. But I assure you, Vince Russo, this is not an empty promise. I've got something for you. And I'm gonna give it to you. And like all the best presents, this is probably gonna be a surprise. You might even say that you're never gonna see this coming. It's gonna be a shock. Somewhere, sometime, I'm gonna give it to you. You deserve this. And you're gonna get exactly what you deserve. Because they say it's better give than to receive, Vince. And in this case, that couldn't be more true. So I can't wait. I promise you. I promise you. I cannot wait to give it to you. And I can't wait to see the look on your face when you get it."
Sadly, it looks like Cornette will have to see that look from afar, at least while the restraining order is in effect. However, fans will be treated to a response from Cornette this afternoon on his podcast:
— Jim Cornette (@TheJimCornette) June 22, 2017