WWE is saddened to learn that Don Kernodl has passed away at the age of 71.
After a college wrestling career, Ilona Kernodl burst into the world of sports and entertainment with Jim Crockett Promotions in 1973. Sergeant Slaughter’s “Cobra Corps” along with Slaughter and Pvt. Jim Nelson. The partnership spawned several NWA World and Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championships for Kernodle, battling the likes of Ricky Steamboat, Jay Youngblood, Ice King Parsons and others.
Kernodle competed with the WWE during 1982 and 1983 in a team with Nelson and in one-on-one battles against legendary rivals such as Tito Santana as well as Rocky Johnson… After a solo run, Kernodl returned to the NWA for memorable team runs with Bob Orton Jr. and Ivan Koloff. Kernodle retired from the NWA in 1986, but continued to fight in a number of independent promotions. Outside the ring, Kernodle worked as a deputy sheriff in the Alamance County Sheriff’s office in North Carolina.
WWE expresses its condolences to Kernodl’s family and friends.