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|Ring name(s)||Don Kernodle|
|Billed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Billed weight||290 lb (132 kg)|
May 2, 1950 |
Burlington, North Carolina
|Trained by||Ole Anderson
Professional wrestling career
After graduating from Elon College, Kernodle started wrestling in 1973 in the National Wrestling Alliance's Jim Crockett Promotions. He got his start by accepting a "shoot" wrestling challenge from Bob Roop. Although Roop defeated Kernodle by submission, Kernodle's skills impressed Ole Anderson and Gene Anderson who both offered to train Kernodle for free.
At first, he (now known as Pvt. Kernodle) was part of Sgt. Slaughter's "Cobra Corps" and teamed with Slaughter and Pvt. Jim Nelson. In 1982, the team of Kernodle and Nelson won the NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship from Porkchop Cash and Jay Youngblood. They later lost the title to Cash and King Parsons, from whom they also regained the title. After Nelson was removed from the alliance, Kernodle became the tag partner of Sgt. Slaughter, with whom he held the NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) in late 1982 and early 1983. They lost the titles in a legendary steel cage match vs. Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood on March 12, 1983.
Following the title loss, Kernodle remained a villain and formed a tag team with Bob Orton, Jr. and was managed by Gary Hart. He soon turned against America and formed a tag team with Ivan Koloff and won the NWA World Tag Team Title. When Koloff's "nephew" Nikita Koloff arrived in late 1984, Kernodle helped to train him. Also in 1984, the Koloffs turned on Kernodle after he and Ivan lost the NWA World Tag Titles to Dusty Rhodes and Manny "The Raging Bull" Fernandez and started a feud. Kernodle teamed with his brother Rocky to feud with the Koloffs and helped the Rock 'n' Roll Express to win the Tag Team Title from them at Starrcade '85: The Gathering.
In 1986, Kernodle left the NWA and wrestled in various independent promotions in the Carolinas. He later became a Sgt. for Immigration Customs Enforcement for Alamance County.
Since 2002, Kernodle and his brother have wrestled several times per year with CWF Mid-Atlantic near their home in Burlington, NC.
Don Kernodle and his brother Rocky won the $10,000 grand prize on an early 1990s episode of ABC's America's Funniest Home Videos (their video was of them getting their miniature Dachshund to growl and snarl). They qualified for the $100,000 competition but did not win.
Championships and accomplishments
- Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
- NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship (3 times) - with Pvt. Jim Nelson (2) and Ivan Koloff (1)
- NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Ivan & Nikita Koloff
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) (3 times) - with Sgt. Slaughter (1), Bob Orton, Jr. (1), and Ivan Koloff (1)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him # 463 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003
- PWI ranked # 29 of the 100 best tag teams of the "PWI Years" with Sgt. Slaughter
- Profile at Online World of Wrestling