WCW, the Misused Talent: Part 1, Chris Kanyon

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WCW, the Misused Talent: Part 1, Chris Kanyon

Hey Bleachers, now although we're nine minutes away from the Money in the Bank Pay Per View, I've wanted to do this series of articles for a while and I'm kind of feeling it at the moment, so I'm going to go for it.

In this series, I'm going to pick out some of the guys from WCW that could have been main eventers, but were never used and stuck in the low to mid card scene.

The first guy in this series is Christopher Klucsarits, also known as Chris Kanyon.

Kanyon first came to WCW in 1995 and placed in a tag team with another little known guy called Mark Starr. This rather forgettable gimmick saw the two as perennial jobbers before the team was disbanded, resulting in Kanyon drifting off screen. In reality, he had been sent to the WCW Power Plant, which was the company's training school to receive further training. Someone in WCW had obviously seen something in Kanyon.

He resurfaced in 1997 with a repackaged gimmick. He was back as the masked wrestler Mortis, which was to place him in the Mortal Kombat aspect that WCW had in their mid to lower card scene in 1997. 

When this angle was dropped in late 1997, Kanyon, now unmasked, went on to feud with Raven after Raven wouldn't allow Kanyon to join his stable, The Flock. In a swerve, Kanyon and Raven went on to form an alliance and compete in the tag team division. 

Kanyon then took some time away from WCW in order to do some stuntman work in a movie and returned in 1999, forming the trio of The Jersey Triad with his good friend Diamond Dallas Page and Bam Bam Bigelow. The Triad disbanded after one WCW Tag Team Title reign, as Kanyon took another hiatus to work on the film Ready To Rumble

Once he returned, WCW was well on its way down. He had a rather forgettable time from here on in, his only highlights being thrown from the three story cage by Mike Awesome (more in him in a future article) and a gimmick where he imitated Diamond Dallas Page.

Upon WCW's closure, Kanyon was picked up by the then WWF and had yet more forgettable times. After a joke of a US Title reign in the WWF, he quickly disappeared, only being used as a jobber on Sunday Night Heat until his release in 2004.

Now on to why I think he should have been given a push into the main event.

Whenever I saw Kanyon wrestle a match, I was amazed at his move set, innovation and unique spots. This was noted by commentator Mike Tenay, who dubbed him "The Innovator of Offense." I saw Kanyon pull off some moves I'd never seen before and they looked awesome. Numerous moves came from the fireman's carry position, including a move that I'll never forget, a flapjack being delivered from the same fireman's carry position. He also popularized the reverse STO, calling it the Flatliner, his finishing maneuver.

An example of his unique moveset

Kanyon also possessed above average mic skills. He had what I can only describe as the "it" factor. You either have it or you don't. The Rock, CM Punk, The Miz, they have "it." And Kanyon had "it" too. Whenever he was on the mic, I listened. And it stuck with me. I even used to have one of his entire promos memorized so that I could deliver it whenever I felt like.

Kanyon also had the look. He was a good size, he was built with long black hair and a mean look. Size-wise, he was of an extremely similar build and size to Edge. Kanyon definitely suited the look for a main event heel. Added to his wrestling skill and mic ability, he was a terrific talent.

He gave a lot to the business as well, putting in a lot of work at the WCW power plant with some of the younger guys and also brought a lot of talent into WCW, often going straight to Eric Bischoff after seeing guys in the Indys. The most notable of these was Billy Kidman.

One match which really makes Kanyon stand out for me was a match he had at Slamboree 2000 against Mike Awesome. Now Kanyon is more remembered for taking that ever so small bump of being thrown off the triple cage at this event. But he and Mike Awesome put on the match of the night in my opinion. Unfortunately, a classic Vince Russo dusty finish occurred resulting in a no contest. Had there been a clean finish in that match, it was worthy of a World Title match. 

Chris Kanyon was my favorite wrestler when I first started watching wrestling in the 90s and I often wonder what could have been if he was pushed. I firmly believe he could have been great no doubt worthy of a few world title reigns.

Sadly, Chris Kanyon passed away in April 2010 taking his own life after a long battle with bipolar disorder and depression. Not a day goes by where I don't miss the guy!

Let me know what you think guys! Hit me up with your opinions.

Oh and take care, spike your hair.

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