Paul Heyman once wrestled Jim Cornette in a tuxedo match in WCW

The art of the manager is one that has been lost in struggle over the years. Once one of the most important roles in the industry, especially when it came to getting heels with very little mic skills, nowadays there are very few elite managers left in the industry. ‘company. In reality, Paul Heyman could be the very last.

The longevity the former ECW owner has shown is admirable to say the least, and he remains one of the most successful in the business, serving as a special advisor to Roman Reigns and The Bloodline.


On the other hand, Jim Cornette is considered by many to be one of the two greatest managers in wrestling history alongside Bobby Heenan, and he also continues to enjoy great popularity, not because from his direct involvement in the business but because of his two very popular weekly podcasts.

It’s hard not to see the similarities between Heyman and Cornette, as well as the differences. So much so that WCW would engage them in a Tuxedo Match in 1989 at the Great American Bash.

The original Midnight Express fights the new version of the Midnight Express

While The Midnight Express may have found its greatest success with Cornette as manager, their origins began in 1980, before Cornette even entered the business as manager. At the time, they weren’t a tag team, but rather a stable consisting of Dennis Condrey, Randy Rose, and Norvell Austin in Southeastern Championship Wrestling. More interestingly, Bobby Eaton actually argued with them.

Eaton would partner Condrey in Mid-South Wrestling under Cornette’s guidance a few years later, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Midnight Express would go on to enjoy one of the greatest runs in tag team wrestling history.

It would fall apart in 1987, however, when Condrey left Jim Crockett Promotions without giving a reason. He would be replaced in The Midnight Express by Stan Lane, and the team would go on to enjoy success.

Condrey would begin teaming with former partner, Rose, under the guidance of Heyman, then known as Paul E. Dangerously. The two versions of The Midnight Express would come face off in WCW. This would lead to the match between the two legendary managers at the 1989 Great American Bash.

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Jim Cornette defeats Paul Heyman at Great American Bash in a tuxedo match

Neither of them being known for their in-ring exploits or athletic abilities, this was always going to be a short contest, which depended more on the psychology of the thing.

Heyman entered as a heel, while Cornette was the babyface, a rare occurrence in his career. Another thing to point out is the fact that Cornette entered the match with an injured leg, which further limited what he could do in the ring.

Heyman took control of the game early on, with Cornette just trying to stay competitive with small bursts here and there. It was clear that both men were trying to work a serious match despite their limitations in the ring, and it was for the best, given the history surrounding the contest. It wouldn’t have made sense for it to be a “fun” match considering the two men “hated” each other going into the fight.

In the end, Heyman would try to use powder to blind his opponent, but it would backfire, as Cornette would kick him in the face and then strip him down to his bare underwear to win the match. , before Heyman sprints back.

RELATED: 10 Things Fans Should Know About Jim Cornette’s WWE Career

Paul Heyman vs. Jim Cornette is definitely a match worth watching

The main reason to go back and watch this game is for the personalities involved. Cornette had already accomplished a lot managing The Midnight Express, but the fact is he had only been in the business for about seven years at that point. He would go on to become one of the greatest managers of all time, create his own turf and mold some of the biggest names in wrestling history.

On the other hand, Heyman had only been leading for a few years and was very much a rookie, taking his first steps into an industry he would revolutionize in the ’90s with ECW.

In the end, as just a game, it’s good enough for what it was meant to be. Yes, it wasn’t a ring classic by any stretch of the imagination, but it got the job done, and the fans seemed to be into it as well.

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