Throughout the 1990s, the wrestling industry was filled with some of the biggest and brightest stars ever to lace a pair of boots. Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, The Rock, Undertaker and Kevin Nash were just a few of the industry icons who competed for ratings superiority every Monday night, making millions and entertaining even more.
With so many huge stars at the top of the business, though, there were sure to be numerous underrated talents that wound up forgotten or underappreciated for their contributions between the ropes.
One such star was 2 Cold Scorpio, a dynamic worker who found success in both World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling under that moniker, and was largely an enhancement talent in WWE as Flash Funk.
A fun, charismatic performer whose 450 splash was extraordinary and wowed fans, he consistently delivered night in and night out, working his hardest to give fans a quality show regardless of his place on the card.
An internationally recognized star, Scorpio has competed in Japan, Europe and Mexico. His stops in those countries only helped mold the performer he would become.
Today, some 30 years after his pro debut in 1985, Scorpio continues to lace the boots for independent promotions across the country, proving that there is no quit in the veteran of the mat wars.
In celebration of one of the most underrated workers of the last two decades, relive some of the finest matches and moments of Scorpio's career with this retrospective.
World Championship Wrestling
After years spent working overseas, 2 Cold Scorpio made his debut in WCW in 1992, partnering with Ron Simmons at that November's Clash of the Champions event. There, they defeated Tony Atlas, Cactus Jack and The Barbarian in a handicap match. Making matters even sweeter was the fact that Scorpio got the win for his team by pinning future Hall of Famer Atlas and announcing to the world that he was in WCW to make an impact.
The majority of his success in the Ted Turner-owned company would come in tag team action, though he still was able to make somewhat of a name for himself as a singles competitor. He wrestled a few matches with a young Chris Benoit, including a hidden gem at Super Brawl III in 1993, but it was still as a tag wrestler that Scorpio thrived.
With Marcus Alexander Bagwell as his partner, Scorpio captured his first championship on the national stage in the WCW Tag Team Championship. To do so, he and Bagwell knocked off the Nasty Boys in what was considered a huge upset at the time. Unfortunately, they would hold the gold for just 20 days before losing it back to Knobbs and Sags.
Scorpio and Bagwell demonstrated strong chemistry during their time as partners, both young stars determined to make a name for themselves. Before they could really develop into a team capable of carrying the tag division on its back, though, Scorpio was released in 1994.
Having had his stint in WCW cut short, Scorpio searched for another opportunity to make a name for himself in the industry. With WWE not interested, he made his way to a small, Philadelphia-based promotion that was gaining recognition for its groundbreaking storylines, its extreme style of wrestling and an undercard packed with some of the most talented wrestlers on the planet.
It was ECW, the promotion that Scorpio would call home for years to come and the place he would establish himself as one of the best workers in the industry.
In 1994, fresh off his stay in WCW, Scorpio competed in the finals of the tournament to crown a new NWA champion. His opponent? "The Franchise" Shane Douglas. Scorpio turned in a valiant effort, displaying some of the same skills that would help him thrive in the promotion.
In Paul Heyman's company, the television champion was typically a workhorse. He was trusted with that title because he could deliver in the ring, from bell to bell, whereas the heavyweight championship was the centerpiece of the crazier storylines at the top of the card.
On four separate occasions, Scorpio was trusted with the ECW TV title, and he more than delivered on his end.
Matches with Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero proved to the world just what kind of worker he was. He could cut a frenetic pace for 15 minutes or work a more methodical one for half an hour. Whatever the case may be, he brought work rate to the company.
Eventually, he found himself sharing the ring with the headliners, partnering with the Sandman to capture the tag titles and becoming a cog in one of the company's marquee stories.
Feuds with some of the most recognizable stars in ECW history, including Taz and Sabu, would help Scorpio catch the eye of Vince McMahon, whose war with WCW was not going according to plan. He needed fresh faces and stars to bolster his roster, and Scorpio was one of them.
In 1996, the four-time ECW Television champion jumped ship to the WWE, which, in hindsight, is likely a move he regretted.
Oh, Flash, You Are So Funky!
In 1996, Scorpio made his WWE television debut as Flash Funk. The character was the product of the times, meaning it was devoid of creativity and left to flounder in the undercard. Despite having a flashy (pun most definitely intended) skill set and outworking the majority of his opponents, Funk could not get past opening-match status.
He was merely a guy on a roster full of them. He lost more than he won, especially to other underwhelming midcard acts such as The Sultan or Leif Cassidy, and generally he was one of those huge busts Vince McMahon's company became synonymous with throughout the decade.
It was certainly through no fault of the performer himself. Scorpio still worked as hard as ever but soon enough, the writing was on the wall and no one could fault him if he became somewhat unmotivated.
In 1998, with his character dead in the water and the Attitude Era upon us, he was given a second chance to make an impact. Partnered with Al Snow and Bob Holly, Scorpio became one of the charter members of the J.O.B. Squad, a faction of guys who had spent their careers in WWE as enhancement talent.
The group experienced some success early in its run but ultimately wound up floundering, Snow the clear star of the group. In fact, Holly would go on to bigger and better things, leaving Scorpio out in the cold again.
After two-plus disappointing years in WWE, he would be released in early 1999.
Scorpio's talents have always been evident. Even in 1997, in the heart of a miserable run as Flash Funk, Pro Wrestling Illustrated crowned him the Most Underrated Wrestler of the Year.
His work was always strong, and the fans respected him for it, especially in ECW, where he became one of the cornerstones of that young promotion way back in the early 1990s.
Unfortunately, he was never really allowed the opportunity to move past a certain level and prove himself as anything but a workhorse in the midcard.
Still, Scorpio will always hold a place in the hearts of fans who were wowed by his jaw-dropping 450 splash and entertained by his undeniable charisma.