With a horned mask and long hair, he had one of the more unique looks in 1990s wrestling. [10][11][12], Teaming and feuding with Diamond Dallas Page (1999–2001), During this reign, any two of Kanyon, DDP and Bigelow could defend the title under the, List of premature professional wrestling deaths, "Retirement Announcement, Howard Stern & Jim Ross", "WCW Thunder 12 February 1998 Thunder Results", http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/12867/, "Chris Kanyon The Book — Wrestling Reality", "Former WCW/WWE star Chris Kanyon passes away", "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 – 1998", Creative Control/The Harris Brothers (Gerald/Ron Harris and Patrick/Don Harris), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chris_Kanyon&oldid=981839766, Drug-related suicides in New York (state), NWA/WCW/WWE United States Heavyweight Champions, Professional wrestlers from New York (state), Professional wrestlers who committed suicide, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Ranked No. In 1997, Kanyon donned a mask and was repackaged as Mortis,[1] a Latin word meaning death. Memorable for its sheer scariness, Mortis’ rubber nightmare of a face covering comes in at No.

Watch The Great Sasuke and others tear it up on ECW's first pay-per-view. Since then, Hayabusa has slowly but heroically recovered, regaining the ability to walk. In February 1998, Kanyon (still in his guise as Mortis) asked Raven if he could join Raven's stable The Flock but was told that he could only become a member if he defeated Diamond Dallas Page for the United States Heavyweight Championship. And that eerie red and black mask. We take a look at 16 pro wrestlers with connections to Alabama, some deeper than others. Hayabusa was never a household name stateside, but the gutsy aerialist — a mainstay of Japan’s slice-and-dice Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling outfit — is remembered fondly in his native country for both the spectacular fashion in which he glided through the air and his captivating presence. Each time Krobelus traversed beyond the veil revealed ever more complexities of the entities that call such a place home. [8][9], Kanyon had been suffering from bipolar disorder, and he threatened suicide in the weeks prior to his death. Immensely popular from the start, Mascaras captured the imagination of all who saw him. [1] Kanyon also appeared in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla taking on PWG champion, Joey Ryan. We also see a wonderful array of other luchadors like the formidable champion Ramses, plus Carlos Rosales, Dynasty and Silencio. Too scary for wrestling? Next time you see a Superstar perform a Shooting Star Press, just remember that you have Jushin “Thunder” Liger to thank. Not to be overlooked is the fact that The Great Sasuke was also voted in as a legislator in Japan’s Iwate prefecture in 2003, becoming the first masked politician. The Japanese Superstar boasted the black ensemble and light-footed grace of a mysterious mercenary, and inside the ring, he was plenty ruthless, too. Although several ring warriors would go on to sport the distinctive tiger mask, Satoru Sayama was the first, and the best, ever to don the headgear. The four men fought one another over the following weeks, culminating in a match at Bash at the Beach on July 13 which was won by Mortis and Wrath. Still, his embrace of the lucha libre style and aesthetic helped him make a lasting impression.

Some fans may have been skeptical of the transformation, but Sayama quickly quelled such doubts as he pinned Dynamite Kid in his Tiger Mask debut. Popular WWE superstar Bray Wyatt repackaged himself in as unique a way we can recall another performer doing in recent memory, donning a petrifying Halloween mask and playing sinister mind games with his opponents (and fans), all the way to an impressive run as Universal Champion. Please expect a 6-10 week delivery time. El Paso native Jorge Arias earned widespread acclaim in various promotions and under ring names like Mistico and Incognito before signing with WWE in 2009, teaming with fellow masked wrestler Kalisto to form the aerodynamic tag team The Lucha Dragons. He found great success in America, but it was in Japan where his reputation arguably reached its pinnacle. The feud had not been resolved by the time WCW was purchased by the World Wrestling Federation in late March 2001. Best known as WWE superstar Sami Zayn, the skilled Canadian wrestled as El Generico for more than a decade with promotions like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Ring of Honor for signing with Vince McMahon and removing the mask for good. At this show, a team representing the Alliance took on a team representing the WWF in a tag team match. Thanks to his unconventional appearance, he was a cover boy for global wrestling magazines in the ’70s and ’80s, and millions of youngsters craved the opportunity to watch this real-life superhero compete in-person. On July 26, 2001, in the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, WCW World Heavyweight Champion Booker T, at the request of Stephanie McMahon, gave Kanyon his WCW United States Championship. He was more than just flash, though. An all-timer in the WWE, the monster initially billed as the Undertaker’s brother carved his own path through grand entrances and brutal matches. Beyer also gained notoriety under another masked alias, Dr. X. Mr. Wrestling II was denied entry both times, however, when he refused to remove his trademark mask.

Although La Parka’s outlandish antics, which included air guitar riffs and swinging chairs, regularly garnered cheers from WCW fans, his outfit was based on the Mexico holiday Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and it was only intended to inspire fear. Kanyon, after a storyline which saw him in a halo brace in a hospital and in a wheelchair, stepped out of the wheelchair and turned on Page at The Great American Bash costing him his Ambulance match against Mike Awesome. Sporting a black-and-green mask that looked like it sprung to life from the pages of “Justice League,” the caped crusader — widely speculated to be a persona of mild-mannered citizen Gregory Helms — won the European Championship in his WWE debut. On April 2, 2010, his brother Ken Klucsarits found him dead in his Sunnyside, Queens apartment with an empty bottle of antidepressants. The late Chris Kanyon took on a few gimmics during his 1990s run at WCW, including Mortis as he donned a frightening skeleton mask. [6] He later retracted these statements and acknowledged that he was in fact gay. Truly one of the great highfliers of all time, Dragon was a driving force behind the cruiserweight revolution of the 1990s. Kanyon later told reporters and radio personalities that this was just a publicity stunt. “The Brain” was right to show concern: Psicosis’ ring gear — among the most elaborate in ring history — was punctuated by a devilish mask with two curved horns that could very well puncture opponents. Depending on his disposition, The Masked Superstar could elicit a hero’s welcome or a hateful reaction with equal aplomb. Later, when her son was elected President of the United States, Mrs. Carter once again called Mr. Wrestling II, this time to invite the masked grappler to the White House and to Carter’s inauguration. Kanyon announced his second retirement on April 5, 2007.[2]. This event led to Kanyon discarding the "Mortis" persona and beginning a feud with Raven, in the course of which he was dubbed "The Innovator of Offense" by play-by-play commentator Mike Tenay due to his unique wrestling technique, which included multiple moves performed from a fireman's carry position. Where else would we look other than pro wrestling, where masks remain commonplace? The two would go on to have a classic series of matches over the course of their careers, further ensuring Tiger Mask’s place on our list. This storyline allowed Kanyon time to recover from injury.

Kanyon then joined Eric Bischoff, the leader of the New Blood faction.

His matches almost always began with him asking the rhetorical question "Who Better than Kanyon" as the crowd would respond "everybody" (or "nobody", if he was a face.)

Part of that could be owed to his mask — a red, black and silver design that sometimes featured lightning bolts alluding to his militaristic moniker. Price: $99.99 SKU: masks323 . “Revolutionary” only begins to describe his effect. [1] Their reign lasted until August 19, when they were defeated by The Brothers of Destruction (Kane and The Undertaker) for the title in a steel cage match at SummerSlam. A full-on face-covering! As a result of the Alliance team's loss, Kanyon was "fired" along with all the other Alliance members. In no particular order, here are some of our favorites. Speaking of Sid, he was one the long list of wrestlers who worked the Lord Humongous gimmick, based on the character popularized in the Mad Max sequel “The Road Warrior.” Originally introduced in Memphis’ Continental Wrestling Association, it appeared in several other promotions.

At just 5-foot-6-inches, the California native is a towering figure in professional wrestling history, performing since the age of 14 and becoming a star in WCW during the late 1990s and then a WWE world champion from the 2000s to now. Kanyon went on to lose the United States Championship to Tajiri on the September 10, 2001 episode of Raw. The late great Owen Hart died tragically while performing as the Blue Blazer in 1999, but fans fondly remember his intro to the WWE, making his acrobatic debut at the 1988 Survivor Series. Long before he came to WWE, Mick Foley had already established himself as a legendary figure in wrestling, developing a reputation through the independent circuits as hardcore specialist Cactus Jack. As much of a folk hero as legendary wrestler, this titan of lucha libre had a career that spanned five decades starting in the 1940s. That was only the start, as The Hurricane went on to capture the Hardcore Championship, Cruiserweight Championship and the World Tag Team Championship on two occasions (once with Kane and once with Rosey). An eerie combination of Skeletor and … well, we don’t know what else, really, the scary factor was turned up to a level befitting a grappler whose name in Latin translates to “of death.” (Props to Sid Vicious for acting his heart out in this clip.). Were it not for his colorful hood, with its flashes of green, red and blue, The Great Sasuke could easily be mistaken for a ninja. What follows is a list of the 20 Most Amazing Masked Wrestlers of All Time — no small undertaking, considering the sheer number of Superstars who have donned a mask over time. [1] Kanyon faced Glacier at Uncensored on March 16 in his pay-per-view debut but lost to the undefeated Glacier. OK, let’s just get this out of the way right up front — yes, Vader wore a mask. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Using her powerful son’s considerable political pull to have a face-to-face meeting with her in-ring idol, Mrs. Carter interviewed Mr. Wrestling II at her home. [1] He was released that same day after fellow wrestler Altar Boy Luke provided a US$750 cash bond. Kanyon returned to OVW in October 2002 and remained there for a further four months, while continuing working dark matches before Raw and SmackDown throughout late 2002 and early 2003.

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