Former WWE, NWA Star Don Kernodle Dead at 71

Former NWA and WWE star Don Kernodle passed away at the age of 71 this week. The North Carolina native made his debut in the pro wrestling business in 1973 in Jim Crockett Promotions and found success alongside Sgt. Slaughter and Jim Nelson in Mid-Atlantic Championship wrestling as a member of the Cobra Corps. His success within the promotion eventually led him to working on a series of co-promoted cards with the WWF and propelled him to win the NWA World Tag Team Championships three times with three different partners. Both the WWE and the NWA commented on Kernodle's passing shortly after the news broke.

"WWE is saddened to learn that Don Kernodle passed away at the age of 71," WWE wrote in a statement on Tuesday. "... Kernodle competed with WWE throughout 1982 and 1983, as a team with Nelson and in one-on-one bouts against legendary competitors such as Tito Santana and Rocky Johnson. After the singles stint, Kernodle returned to the NWA for memorable tag team runs with Bob Orton Jr. and Ivan Koloff. Kernodle stepped away from the NWA in 1986 but continued to wrestle in a number of independent promotions. Outside the ring, Kernodle served as a deputy sheriff with the Alamance County sheriff's office in North Carolina. WWE extends its condolences to Kernodle's family and friends."

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Several legends of wrestling business have also offered their condolences online.