Jim Cornette revealed that he has lingering neck issues from when a young Bobby Lashley gave him whiplash during an OVW angle.
Wrestling managers may not take regular bumps in the ring, but they’re certainly not immune from getting physical from time to time. Speaking on a recent episode of The Jim Cornette Experience, legendary manager Jim Cornette revealed that he still suffers from neck pain as a result of whiplash he got at the hands of Bobby Lashley.
“I get up this morning and my neck is bothering me. It doesn’t hurt as long as I don’t laugh, cough or turn. I’ve had problems on and off but this is from the Lashley whiplash, which sounds like a rib? Bobby Lashley gave me whiplash, have I not told you this?”
Jim Cornette made sure to emphasize that Bobby Lashley didn’t injure him maliciously and that he’s a wonderful person, but that he was young and inexperienced at the time. During Lashley’s time in the developmental OVW territory, Cornette served as both commentator and authority figure, and came up with an angle for Bobby Lashley to attack him at ringside – something that would shock the audience as authority figures were rarely touched in that promotion.
“Bobby Lashley is a wonderful person, I love him to death, he is a great talent now, but everybody starts somewhere. We had him in OVW nigh on 18 years ago now. This was literally from square 1 on Lashley’s pro wrestling training, he was an accomplished amateur. So he is a heel, because look at him. If anything he is in better shape now than he was then, I don’t know how the f*ck he does it, but otherwise he is bald so he can’t get grey, but you know what I mean.
“Anyway, he was very green back then, greener than a pepper tree. The people knew that not only was I the play by play announcer, but I was the matchmaker and carried some level of importance in OVW. At some point Bobby Lashley and his heel cohorts are doing something so heinous that I come in, roll in the ring to stop the carnage, and he is going to give me a bump. The thing is, since we were running a professional wrestling program, people didn’t touch me or touch the announcers, this is going to be a oh sh*t moment like ‘Oh my God he bumped Cornette!’”
The WWE Hall of Famer continued, describing Bobby Lashley’s offense at the time and making it clear that he wasn’t able to take the wrestler’s signature powerslam due to a hernia surgery he’d had three years prior. He told The Almighty to instead give him a simple bodyslam, which would have plenty of effect for the audience and pose less risk of injury for Cornette.
“Back then his punches did not look that great, and for his finish he would be using a simple over the shoulder sack of sh*t powerslam, no running or diving. But I was only 3 years removed from my last hernia surgery and I had this big green monster behemoth powerslam me.
“I said ‘Bobby, when I get in there and say stop, just scoop me up and give me a bodyslam. Scoop, slam, boom! I will sell it like death because you are a monster, you are 300lbs blah blah blah.’ he was like ok. Several times before we started with the show I reminded him not the powerslam, just the scoop slam. That will be fine and that will get the point across. He’s all scoop slam, got it.”
However, on the night that the angle was to take place, things didn’t go exactly as Jim Cornette planned. While he made it clear that this wasn’t Bobby Lashley’s fault because he tried to be as conscientious as possible, the head of OVW was still left with whiplash from the incident.
“The time comes and I slide in there, he bends over, grabs me and I go up. In hindsight, this wasn’t his fault, but he thought he was taking it easy on me. He didn’t powerslam me, but since I registered don’t powerslam me, he is going to take it easy on me. He thought that if he just turned me over a little further and puts my feet down first before I hit that it will soften my blow on the slam, which I am all ready to take. Do you know what happens when you over rotate?
“Well as we looked at it on the slow mo afterwards, because I thought that somebody had hit me with a Volkswagen. I was taking a regular slam and thinking I was going to be set down flat, I had no awareness that this was about to happen. When he flung me down to where my feet hit first, he over rotated me to where my feet hit first, followed by my ass, followed by my head flying in-between my knees.
“I folded up like an accordion and bit the end of my tongue and it gave me whiplash. That’s why you’re meant to land flat. My neck immediately I was like ow that hurt.”
The inexperience Bobby Lashley explained to Jim Cornette his reasoning for doing the move in the way he did, as he was trying to be as gentle as possible. Cornette was understanding, but explained why the strategy wasn’t the best to employ.
“That was when Bobby told me ‘I thought that if I put you where your feet landed first then it would soften the blow.’ I kissed my big toes practically if you can imagine landing in a sitting position on a bodyslam. We backed the tape and Bobby showed me what he thought would work and I explained to him why it didn’t.
Bobby Lashley recently became the WWE Champion for a second time when he defeated Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble with assistance from Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman. However, Brock Lesnar was successful at regaining the WWE Championship when he won the Elimination Chamber in Saudi Arabia, and Lashley is currently out of action with a shoulder injury.