There was never bigger investment that didn't get to reach its full potential than WWE's Mr. Kennedy character.
From the moment he debuted, the character stood out.
He did his own ring entrance with his own microphone coming down from the ceiling—a stand-out look with short bleach blonde hair and constant smirk.
When it came time for the match, he had a realistic ability to sell. Mr. Kennedy made his matches in a “fake fight” look logical. He didn't just go through the routine motions in a wrestling match―he made his struggle look legitimate.
His matches would have a very fluid, entertaining feel to them. One of his moves he showed off early on his WWE career, while not realistic to ever see in any kind of real combat, was one of the most jaw-dropping moves.
It was a fireman's carry from the second rope. Mr. Kennedy would hold his opponent's stomach down on his own shoulders while standing on the second rope, then do a front flip slamming his opponent to the mat.
I'll never forget the first time I saw Mr. Kennedy (he was actually still using Mr. Anderson but would quickly be changed to Kennedy per Paul Heyman's suggestion) was a match he had against Funaki on WWE Velocity.
I watched at home while making the same sound as the live crowd when I saw the move he would dub as the Lambeau Leap.
Mr. Kennedy would go on to beat 10 world champions over the next few years with WWE. This included wins against Batista, Undertaker and Kane.
At WrestleMania 23, he would win the Money in the Bank briefcase. This was the first of his major career disappointments. Less than two months after winning the title which literally guarantees you being a world champion within the year, Mr. Kennedy had to drop the briefcase to Edge on an episode of Raw.
Kennedy was originally diagnosed by a Pennsylvania doctor with a torn tricep injury that provided too much risk of him being able to return within the year of needing to cash in the briefcase in the storyline.
Unfortunately, he would return several months later as his original diagnosis from the doctor on the severity of his injury was incorrect. After finally getting a second opinion from world-renowned Dr. James Andrews, the injury was seen to be only a bruise which allowed Kennedy to return in the summer of 2007.
Then, at the end of the summer, it appeared the brash superstar who billed himself from Green Bay was going to get another career-changing moment again. It was believed he would be revealed on Raw, in Green Bay, as the illegitimate son of Mr. McMahon.
Once again, things didn't go the way they were planned. At the end of August 2007, 12 WWE talents were found guilty of violating the companies wellness policy. Mr. Kennedy was one of those 12.
This led to Hornswoggle being revealed as McMahon's son and the storyline didn't go much further.
In hindsight, to make the situation even worse, only a month later, John Cena would vacate the WWE title due to injury. Just imagine if Kennedy had just been given the huge rub in the storylines of being the son of Mr. McMahon―you have to think he would have been a prime candidate for the WWE title.
Mr. Kennedy would serve his suspension, return to the roster and continue climbing the ladder. However, injuries remained with him as time went on.
In May of 2009, the final straw broke the camel's back—or, the final suplex that nearly broke Randy Orton.
In an eight-man tag team match, Mr. Kennedy performed a back drop on Randy Orton that many believe led to his release that week from the company. Orton landed awkwardly after just dealing with a collar bone injury within the last year.
The irony in the belief that Orton had a role in getting Kennedy out the door is the two were once good friends and travel partners in 2007 on the road.
Mr. Kennedy would then go on to TNA under his real name of Mr. Anderson.
Typically when a talent doesn't get to live up to expectations, they never make it past a certain starting point. They never catch on. This wasn't the case for Mr. Kennedy. He caught on. He got past many points. He held the U.S. Title. He beat 10 wrestlers who were once world champions. His character was over.
But bad timing, injury, decisions and potentially politics ultimately kept what could have been from ever being.
Will we ever see Mr. Kennedy in WWE again? If I was a betting man, I'd say no.
He's 36 years old, and that's his least worry. The rumors, “shoot” promos/interviews and reputation seems to be what will keep the WWE door closed. That's even if he would ever want to return.
In addition to injuries and top guys like Orton not feeling safe working with him, there is Triple H. As Mr. Anderson, he made reference in a TNA promo of Triple H getting in Vince McMahon's ear about not liking the Mr. Kennedy character.
It would seem the legitimate son-in-law isn't a fan of who was supposed to be the illegitimate son.
So, relive the moments that did get to be on YouTube and enjoy the moments you can get from a Mr. Anderson on Impact Wrestling.
But, in WWE, it seems we will never again get to see Mr. Kennedy...