Wrestler of the Day – January 3: Chris Kanyon

Today we’re looking at someone who actually did some new innovative stuff in the ring: Chris Kanyon.

As is becoming a tradition here, we’ll look at a match from the jobbing days. This one is from WWF Superstars of Wrestling from December 10, 1994.

Owen Hart vs. Chris Kanyon

Owen is still one of the top heels in the company at this time. Hart cranks on the arm to start and hits a hard clothesline to take Kanyon down. Back to the wristlock before Owen avoids an elbow to stop Kanyon’s comeback attempt. Kanyon rams him into the buckle a few times but misses a moonsault press. The missile dropkick sets up the Sharpshooter to give Owen the win. Standard squash.

Owen beats him up a bit more post match.

Kanyon would eventually get to WCW as a masked man named Mortis. He would have a mysterious backstory that was never fully explained but he had some connection to Glacier. This led to a feud, and I mean a LONG feud, with no one caring about either guy. During this time though, Kanyon gained a tag partner named Wrath. They never did much of note, but they did have a shockingly good match on the July 22, 1997 episode of Monday Nitro.

La Parka/Psychosis vs. Mortis/Wrath

Wrath and La Parka start things off with the skeleton man (La Parka) taking over with some kicks. He goes up but jumps into an elbow so it’s off to Psychosis vs. Mortis. Mortis stomps away in the corner but Psychosis breaks free and goes up…..and falls without being touched at all. Ah the perils of live TV.

Psychosis comes back with a dropkick and everyone falls to the floor, where La Parka hits a big corkscrew plancha to the floor. Psychosis slides in to try to dive on Wrath, only to get caught and slammed onto the floor. Mortis suplexes Psychosis back in for two but misses a top rope backsplash. Onoo and Vandenberg get in a fight, as do Wrath and La Parka. Psychosis rolls up Mortis for two but there’s no referee to count. Wrath picks up Psychosis for a powerbomb and Mortis makes it a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo for the pin.

Rating: C+. This was WAY better than you would have expected and got pretty entertaining by the end. The botch was bad but it happens every now and then and there’s almost nothing you can do about it. La Parka and Psychosis didn’t look like jobbers here, but rather a tag team that got beat by a better one. This was a surprisingly fun match and I liked it way more than I was expecting to.

Mortis would eventually be unmasked and become known as Kanyon while involved in a long and confusing story with Raven and Saturn. Eventually he would turn on Saturn and join the Flock which mostly led nowhere. Kanyon would take a hiatus to work as a stuntman in Hollywood before returning as part of the Jersey Triad. They held the tag titles under the Freebird Rule and would defend the belts against Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn at Bash at the Beach 1999. The other part of the Triad is Bam Bam Bigelow and the three can swap in and out at any given time.

Tag Titles: Jersey Triad vs. Chris Benoit/Perry Saturn

 

This is the ONLY good thing about this entire show. Remember that the Freebird Rule is in effect but they can trade off who is in the match at any time, more or less making this a handicap match. The starters here are Bigelow and Page. As for the actual match it’s Page vs. Saturn. All three members of the Triad are on the apron even though Kanyon was announced as accompanying them.

 

Saturn cleans house to start us off, knocking everyone to the floor. Off to Benoit vs. Bigelow and Page is on the floor now. Bigelow hammers him down but Benoit gets a boot up in the corner. How often do you see a single clothesline drop Biegelow? The Triad hits the floor for a bit so now it’s Saturn vs. Kanyon. Kanyon was the betrayer that cost Raven and Saturn the tag titles a few weeks ago to get them on the Triad.

 

Saturn tries a German on Kanyon but Kanyon grabs the referee to block it. Off to Benoit now who runs over Kanyon. There’s that snap suplex and into a Liontamer. Benoit and Saturn clear the ring again and Saturn gets two on Kanyon. Benoit gets a backbreaker for two. Kanyon keeps getting beaten on as Saturn hits a top rope legdrop for two. Totally one sided so far.

 

Page comes back in without a tag and sends Saturn to the floor. Some heel shenanigans put Saturn down and we hit the floor for a bit. Silverman, the referee here, counts really slowly. Bigelow and Kanyon are beating on Saturn now as the fans are paying attention to something else. Bigelow hits a chinlock because the fans aren’t paying attention. That’s a veteran move there and proof of what experience can teach you.

 

Kanyon sits Saturn on the top rope and tries what looks like a Fameasser but crotches himself before he can hit it. Saturn hits a suplex off the top and it’s off to Benoit. He cleans house but the numbers catch up to him. Page goes insane for a bit, jumping up on the ropes to yell at the fans. He goes outside and keeps yelling, even climbing on the barrier. Weird.

 

DDP and Bigelow are the “legal” Triad members now. We’re told about how awesome Page is and how he’s held every title. The only other people I can think of that did that are Sting and Luger (if you count the NWA versions as title reigns which I do). Flair technically did but his TV Title reigns were in the 70s when the title was more of a regional one. Eh not that it matters but I love stuff like that.

 

Kanyon gets a sunset flip on Benoit for two. Bigelow beats on him for awhile as the crowd pops for something. Page gets his turn now as Benoit is getting destroyed. It’s to the point now where Saturn has to make saves. There’s the hot tag but the referee doesn’t see it. Page gets that WICKED helicopter bomb on Benoit for two. Love that move. Kanyon gets a middle rope legdrop for two.

 

Benoit suplexes Kanyon and Bigelow saves the tag again. Benoit is like screw it and suplexes Bigelow. The fans are distracted again as Bigelow counters a suplex into kind of a cross body. The moonsault that wouldn’t have hit even if Benoit hadn’t moved but he did move misses and there’s Saturn finally. Saturn cleans house with suplexes and kicks and Benoit is back in already.

 

Bigelow and Benoit are the only ones in the ring. Saturn goes up top as does Benoit. Splash by Saturn is followed by the Swan Dive but Page makes the save. Northern Lights gets two on Page. Kanyon has powder as the referee goes down. Powder to Saturn but Page messes up and hits the Cutter on Kanyon but he gets the foot on the rope. Crowd is WAY into this. The Canadian hits a German on an American for two. There’s a garbage can in the ring and the referee goes down again. Page cleans house with the can and Bigelow/Page hit a 3D on Saturn to retain.

 

Rating: B+. Like I said, this is the only reason to watch this show but it’s a pretty awesome tag match. The Triad would lose the titles after Flair either fired them or lost power next month. This was really fun though and it ate up over twenty minutes so it had more than enough time to develop. Very fun stuff here and it’s worth seeing.

After the Triad broke up, Kanyon would be called Positively Page in a parody of Diamond Dallas Page. This would eventually lead to a match that doesn’t need a backstory at all. It’s from New Blood Rising against Buff Bagwell and that’s all you’ll need to know.

Buff Bagwell vs. Chris Kanyon

Yep it’s Judy Bagwell on a pole. Kanyon is still imitating DDP here which must make Madden cringe. Bagwell isn’t even on a pole but rather a forklift. Do you win by pin I suppose? Kanyon is POSITIVELY Kanyon here (Page’s book was Positively Page) and if he wins then Judy has to be his Kimberly. The fans chant USA in Canada. I guess WCW managed to lower intelligences that fast.

There isn’t a pole that they could get to hold up Judy. They start by fighting next to the forklift and we’re already in the audience. I don’t think the match has actually started yet. Kanyon does his usual good stuff as no one cares about this. Seriously there’s a woman on a forklift match. I can’t believe I’m watching this. Kanyon gets the turnbuckle pad off and the referee is just fine with it.

Kanyon could do some solid stuff in the ring if nothing else. He really was innovative. Madden gets on DDP of course. Does he owe Madden money or something? Kanyon works on the neck of Bagwell which was broken like a year ago. Bagwell gets a hot shot onto the exposed buckle for two. Kanyon Kutter gets two and here comes the real DDP…never mind it’s David Arquette.

He hits Bagwell in the back with a construction hat for two. Buff hits a double Blockbuster, which is a front flip neckbreaker off the middle rope on both guys, with Arquette just getting smashed in the face by a forearm instead of a neckbreaker. This ends it and Judy is saved off the forklift. Oh and this is sports entertainment, not wrestling. Kanyon hits the Kutter on Arquette after the match, getting cheered despite being a heel.

Rating: D+. As idiotic as this was, the wrestling was watchable I suppose. At this point you couldn’t treat WCW as realistic from a wrestling standpoint so this was about as good as the midcard stuff would get. For the rating I’m factoring out the whole insanity because it meant nothing anyway. I can’t believe they brought Arquette back AGAIN. This was somehow watchable and I don’t know why.

 

Kanyon would go to the WWF for a few years and do nothing of note. He would be awarded the US Title and won some tag titles during the InVasion but he was never more than a warm body. We’ll skip that and go to a legends show which is the last match that I can find him competing him. Pay attention to the post match chat with Page, which gets a real answer from what I can find.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Kanyon

Well at least there’s some history here. DDP goes through the crowd as he tended to but gets jumped by Kanyon. The announcers call this a dream match. That’s kind of absurd but Kanyon is on a show called World Wrestling Legends so what do you expect here? They brawl in the crowd a bit and DDP dominates. And there’s the bell. I love brawls before the bell for some reason.

This is far more of a brawl than a regular match but who cares. Discus Lariat from DDP gets two. There’s a low blow that somehow the referee misses as he’s looking straight at DDP who is going strong and then has the face of someone that just got hit in the balls. Referees are idiots. Kanyon gets a big piece of wood that they call a table. Ah it is a table but not the standard kind. Maybe these will actually hold some weight.

Kanyon tries to suplex him over the top onto the table which wasn’t anywhere close to where DDP would have landed but who cares about something like that? Page comes back and pounds away but gets caught by more punches from the innovator of offense. Riveting stuff there. Sunset flip by Page gets two.

Sleeper by Kanyon with Page flailing all over the place to the extent that he looks like he’s dancing badly. Page comes back and gets a suplex for two. Pretty back and forth match so far here. Kanyon goes out and grabs a chair but due to the laws of wrestling averages it goes into his face for two. Page is sent to the floor as this is going back and forth too fast with little being sold.

Kanyon channels his inner Bret Hart by playing possum and hitting Page in the throat with some foreign object for two. Page hits a back drop onto the ramp as Kanyon is in trouble. In a SICK bump, Page throws Kanyon off the stage and onto the table which Kanyon just bounces off of. FREAKING OW MAN! After a brief comeback from Kanyon the Diamond Cutter ends him.

Rating: C-. Again not bad considering these guys hadn’t wrestled in years probably. The pacing was really weird here but the fans only wanted to see the Diamond Cutter to end it and that’s exactly what they got. Having some history here helped a good bit. This wasn’t good or anything but it worked fairly well I’d suppose.

Page gets on the mic and flat out asks Kanyon if he’s gay. Well ok then. Does Page have ANY right to ask this? If he does I certainly don’t see it. Kanyon affirms it and Page says rock on more or less. Well that came out of nowhere. I had no idea how ironic that wording was until after I typed it but whatever.

That’s Kanyon’s big claim to fame after his death: he claimed he was homosexual but wrestled in the closet his entire career. I say claimed because he said that it was both fake and real at different times (his last answer was that it was real) so there’s a chance it was a gimmick.

Kanyon was a guy who did some actually innovative things in the ring. Not a lot of his moves stuck save for the downward spiral (which I don’t think he innovated but I don’t remember seeing anyone do it before him) but he was always fun to watch. There was a ton of potential there in 1998 but since he was in WCW, he never had a chance.

Also you often hear about people dying too young but it’s true in Kanyon’s case. He was only 40 when he died of what appeared to be suicide by drug overdose. To end this on a positive note, I’d recommend you check out some of his stuff as Kanyon (not Mortis) in WCW if you want to see someone who could mix things up out there. I’ve become a fan of his while watching old Nitros which doesn’t happen often.

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1 comment

  1. matt says:

    May want to change the heading just so you know