On the most recent episode of "The Jim Cornette Experience" (Episode #55), Cornette shares fond memories of the late Jimmy Del Ray (David Ferrier), who passed away on December 6. He recounted having hired Del Ray to work in Smoky Mountain Wrestling at the recommendation of Kevin Sullivan. While in SMW, Del Ray replaced Stan Lane in the Heavenly Bodies, tagging with Tom Prichard.
"Nobody worked harder inside the ring in Smoky Mountain Wrestling," Cornette said. "He would take any bump. He threw himself into anything. That led to his surgeries and hip replacements and things like that years later. And that's why he retired and got out of the business…because of injuries. But he worked his ass off whether he was on offense or defense and you knew he was going to make the show. He was always going to be there."
Cornette discussed Del Ray's lengthy run in Florida and commented on the tenacious work ethic that ultimately led him to WWF.
"A lot of people don't realize that he was in Florida for about ten years before he became a Heavenly body and got on national television," Cornette explained. "He had never really had a big spot but that was the last decade of his Florida wrestling where he saw and learned from and even got to work with so many great talents… The first week of May in 1993, he was working independents on the weekends in Florida and the last week of August (1993), he was challenging for the WWF tag team titles at SummerSlam."
Cornette also shared his thoughts on CM Punk, offering high praise for Punk's appearances on Colt Cabana's podcast and the sentiments Punk expressed towards Vince McMahon and Triple H.
"He's becoming one of my favorite human beings in the world," Cornette said of CM Punk. "And Punk says, 'I don't accept your fake apology!'… The idea that somebody gets pissed off at somebody who has blatantly blatantly been pricks to (him) and tells people about it and what pricks they were and how (he) didn't like them…that whole genre of thing kind of appeals to me… Also, the level of, 'a gram of f—k shall not be given' because he's moving on with it where he lands a great gig and he's going to increase the UFC's buy rate tremendously… he's going to have a bucket list thing crossed off, he's—I'm sure—going to take it as seriously as a human being can take something because of the way he approached the wrestling business… Everybody in the equation would have to be complete f—king morons not to do that deal."
Cornette also slammed WWE for not make enough of an effort to retain Punk and laughed heartily at the idea that Punk allegedly told Triple H, "I don't need to wrestle you; you need to wrestle me."