Jim Cornette has said many times he’d never return to the WWE, but as the old saying goes, never say never in the wrestling business.
For those who don’t know, Cornette has had a long and storied career in the industry; one that includes noteworthy roles both in and out of the ring.
As a performer, he found great success managing The Midnight Express in Mid-South Wrestling back in the '80s, and he later joined the WWE and became the "American Spokesperson" for then-WWE champion Yokozuna.
Behind the scenes, Cornette has worked everywhere—he was a writer/booker for WCW, WWE, an agent for TNA and an executive producer for ROH.
He ran his own promotion, Smokey Mountain Wrestling, from 1991 to 1995 and was later the head booker of WWE's developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling, where he helped train megastars like John Cena, Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar.
He’s also become famous in recent years due to his hilarious shoot interviews, one of which you can see below (warning: NSFW language).
The problem is, Cornette was released from his contract by WWE following an incident in OVW when he slapped a young(er) Santino Marella for not selling The Boogeyman's entrance.
Since then, he has said in numerous interviews that he'd never work for the WWE again and has publicly said some very harsh things about Vince McMahon.
The thing is, there's another guy who was a manager in the territory days who would go on to own a promotion and then write for the WWE only to be let go for butting heads with officials too much.
He's the guy who was ringside for two out of the three WrestleMania 29 main events.
Paul Heyman left the WWE in 2006 after frequent heated arguments with top officials, namely Vince McMahon. Following that, he stated numerous times that he had no intention of ever returning to the promotion, or the wrestling business in general.
But while Paul E. Dangerously may have a similar legacy to Cornette, the two never exactly got along. As such, Heyman's return to the company isn't exactly something that would entice the Louisville Slugger back to the WWE.
One person who might do that, though, is one of Cornette's best friends in the business, Dirty Dutch Mantel, who debuted in 2013 as Zeb Colter and has also found great success as a manager in the WWE.
Vince McMahon has proved time and time again that he'll bring back anyone if it's right for business, and we've seen somewhat of a resurgence in wrestling managers over the past year or two.
Cornette is perhaps the only active figure in the wrestling industry with the same pedigree as Heyman and Mantel, so if the WWE decides it wants to put a manager on someone, he's a pretty damn good choice.
All working relationships start somewhere—Heyman started working with THQ through his advertising agency, which eventually brought him in contact with the WWE through video games. He then later appeared on Steve Austin's 2011 WWE produced documentary, and several months later, he found himself once again being an active performer in the company.
That working relationship may have already begun with Cornette; he recently did an interview with WWE.com editors about the history of Smokey Mountain Wrestling, and old footage of him was used in the recent Legends of Mid-South Wrestling DVD.
Of course, it'd be folly to claim that the return of a man who has talked of the WWE the way he has is a surefire thing.
Still, don't be surprised if Cornette finds himself on a "best talkers of 2014" list like Heyman and Mantel have this year.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @dvanboom.