Wrestler of the Day – June 24: Heidenreich

Today is someone a little off. It’s Heiden-Heidenreich.

Heidenreich got his start in 2001 so we’ll pick things up there with a dark match on December 18.

Perry Saturn vs. Jon Heidenreich

Jon is a hometown boy and comes to the ring in a football jersey. They fight over a lockup to start until Saturn takes over with some hard forearms. A clothesline puts Saturn down and Heidenreich stomps away but Perry comes back with some kicks to the ribs. Heidenreich gets dropped with a legsweep and we hit the reverse chinlock.

That goes nowhere so Saturn picks things up with a spinning springboard dropkick for two. The fans think this is boring and Saturn gets one off a neckbreaker. Heidenreich comes back with a powerslam and spinebuster for two and a back elbow gets the same. This is already dragging. Saturn finally puts on a standing armbar of all things for the win.

Rating: D. I can see why this was kept in the dark. This match just kept going and the fans had no reason to care whatsoever. Heidenreich looked good and was decent in the ring but these guys had no chemistry together. Bad match and not a good way to get the fans into a show that’s about to start.

After a year in OVW, Heidenreich would show up in 2003, where fought Rico on Heat, December 14, 2003. This was before Armageddon 2003.

Rico vs. Heidenreich

Heidenreich catches him in mid air but Rico kisses his way to freedom. An atomic drop puts Rico down and a clothesline sends him to the floor. Rico’s manager offers a good looking distraction and Rico grabs a neckbreaker for a pin out of nowhere.

Heidenreich would be in OVW for most of 2004 before returning in 2005 to feud with the Undertaker. Here’s their big showdown at Royal Rumble 2005.

Undertaker vs. Heidenreich

Taker grabs a headlock to start and pulls Heidenreich towards the casket but (Jon) Heidenreich runs away. That works so well that we do it again and Jon is terrified. Since that didn’t quite work, Taker hooks the leg with a half crab, causing Heidenreich to crawl towards the ropes in front of the casket. As we ignore the problem of crawling to the ropes, Jon bails to the floor to take the fight out there.

Heidenreich sends Taker into the casket and pounds his head into it, which apparently isn’t a problem for him. Back in and Heidenreich pounds away in the corner, only to get caught in a modified triangle choke. Taker pulls the hold down to the mat and Heidenreich is almost out, so here’s Snitsky to break up the hold. After a double suplex to Taker, the monsters start pulling him to the casket…..which has Kane inside.

Kane, who was feuding with Snitsky over Snitsky punting a plastic version of the baby that Kane’s wife Lita (just go with it) lost, destroys both guys and takes Snitsky into the crowd. Heidenreich starts shoving the casket away very slowly before slamming Taker into the steps. Heidenreich slides the casket into Taker, which looks rather stupid as Taker had nothing behind him to be crushed against but whatever.

Back in and Jon puts on a cobra clutch which chokes Taker out enough to get him into the casket. Well mostly in at least as Taker sticks an arm out and chokes away. With Heidenreich’s torso in the casket, Taker drops the apron legdrop in the spot of the match. Back in and Heidenreich is suddenly fine, pounding away on the Dead Man and hitting a Boss Man Slam for a cover. Taker chokes his way out of the casket and wins a slugout, followed by a bad running DDT. Chokeslam and tombstone hit and we’re done.

Rating: D. This just didn’t work. At the end of the day, Heidenreich just didn’t work at all and he never came close to it. This was supposed to be a preview of Snitsky/Heidenreich vs. Kane/Taker at Mania, but thankfully they went with Kane in MITB and Taker vs. Orton in a great match, whereas Snitsky and Heidenreich didn’t even make it onto the show.

Heidenreich would drop down the card after this, but would still get a PPV match at No Way Out 2005.

Heidenreich vs. Booker T

No real backstory here other than Heidenreich needed a feud after Taker got done beating him up. This was made after Smackdown apparently when Booker thought Heidenreich was laughing at Booker after a loss. He reads a poem before the match which isn’t very good. It’s kind of hard to get into this as it’s about as thrown onto the card as you could want a match to be.

Basic match to start and Jon (not typing that whole name out every time) talks to himself and hits himself in the head. Pretty back and forth here as Booker hits him a good deal but can’t drop him. Jon wasn’t an invincible guy which more or less took away any fear he would instill in anyone else. Well that and when he raped Cole. Jon takes over and gets a key lock as this is rather uninteresting.

Booker makes a comeback but gets kicked in the face to stop that. And now back to the same hold as he had on before. Booker makes another comeback and hits a superkick to set up the Spinarooni. Jon is sent to the floor where he grabs a chair and blasts Booker in the throat with it for the DQ.

Rating: F+. It was too long, it wasn’t interesting, there was no story, the ending sucked and the wrestling was boring. Why in the world was this on a pay per view? Heidenreich was a pretty big misfire if there ever has been one as he never was interesting or a threat to anyone really. This was a great example of how worthless he was.

Let’s try to make this be a bit better. From Velocity on May 19, 2005.

Heidenreich vs. Mike Mondo

Heidenreich throws him around with ease as Josh Matthews complains about Heidenreich injuring him recently. Mondo’s forearms have no effect and he gets a huge shoulder breaker for his efforts. A dropkick doesn’t work on Heidenreich either and a gutbuster has Mike screaming. There’s a Boss Man Slam to complete the squash.

Heidenreich would turn face and somehow get a US Title shot at Judgment Day 2005.

US Title: Orlando Jordan vs. Heidenreich

Jordan got the US Title in JBL’s Cabinet from Cena and just kind of kept it. He was never anything special at all but he kept it for like 6 months. For those of you that haven’t seen Heidenreich, he’s uh…..different. And remember who he’s in there against when I say that. First up though, he needs to find a friend.

This was his thing at the time: he would pick a kid out of the audience to be his friend and would read them a poem. He chants WHERE’S MY FRIEND as he looks around for one. The girl is named Alex and she’s like 10. She can’t say the word Minneapolis. She’s REALLY excited about being sat in a chair and having a big tattooed man read her a poem. Think she’s in porn yet? Also, chant and champ do not rhyme. This is one of those characters we would describe as out there.

Oh hey we have a match now. Cole talks about the Preakness winner being named Alex like the girl. That’s a very stupid man. Heidenreich beat Jordan on Smackdown to set this up. Belly to belly suplex gets two for Heidenreich. Out to the floor and they slug it out a bit. When Heidenreich hits him you can hear him say POW. I’m not sure if I should make fun of this or not. He might ask me to go get an espresso.

The fans chant Buckwheat Sucks which is rather appropriate for Jordan. You figure out what I mean by that. Heidenreich does his walk (don’t ask) and hammers away. Big boot gets two. Jordan gets a swinging neckbreaker for two as Alex is panicking. Jordan gets his WEAK DDT to end this abruptly.

Rating: D-. No idea why they thought Jordan should be champion but somehow he’s the best option here. Jordan was really bad at what he did and yet he kept winning for no apparent reason. Benoit beat him in like 30 seconds at Summerslam which was a breath of fresh air to everyone.

The title pushes would continue as Heidenreich was part of the New Legion of Doom and got a title shot at Great American Bash 2005.

Smackdown Tag Titles: MNM vs. Heidenreich/Animal

This is Heidenreich/Animal since Hawk died a few years ago. I think this is because of the LOD DVD. Despite MNM being an awesome tag team and the champions (and the predecessors to Miz/Morrison), what do you think is going to happen here? Heidenreich doesn’t have spikes because he’d have to earn them. They’re called Legion of Doom but they changed the music so I don’t consider them a team. Heidenreich runs off Mercury to start and then does the same to Morrison.

Animal throws him back in and Animal gets a big pop. A double suplex puts the champions down and man there’s a gut on him. This is a total squash so far. FINALLY the champions double team Heidenreich and take his knees out. Mercury works on the knee and the announcers try to compare Heidenreich, the guy that raped Cole remember, to Hawk. Morrison misses a cannonball down onto the knee so it’s back to Mercury. This is REALLY boring stuff. After he cleans house, a title shot to the head gets two. Snapshot is broken up and the Doomsday Device gives the not-LOD the titles.

Rating: D. There was zero reason to put this on PPV and it wasn’t a good match in the slightest. They were trying to go for the LOD formula of total domination, but the non-matching tights and the lack of anything resembling charisma (or talent) by Heidenreich kept that from working. Bad TV match and an awful PPV match. Somehow they would hold the titles for THREE MONTHS.

The team would feud with MNM, setting up this six person tag at No Mercy 2005.

MNM vs. Legion of Doom/Christy Hemme

This is Animal/Heidenreich which never worked at all. They’re the tag champions here. My goodness Christy was gorgeous. She took a Snapshot on Smackdown so she’s injured coming in. Animal has a taped up shoulder too. Heidenreich pulls Nitro in and the beating is on before he can even take the fur coat off. Heidenreich is all fired up and hits a three point clothesline for two. Off to the large gut with the Animal attached but Mercury gets in a kick to the shoulder to take over.

He keeps kicking at it and knocks Heidenreich to take draw him in. MNM hits the Snapshot on Animal very quickly but it only gets two because of the delay in getting to the cover. Mercury snaps the shoulder over the top rope to let Nitro get two. The double team continues and Animal is in trouble. Neckbreaker gets two. Mercury goes up but jumps into an almost powerslam for two. Everything breaks down and Melina tags herself in. She dives onto Animal and gets caught. Off to Christy for a bad Hart Attack and then a HORRIBLE rana. As in the legs were around Melina’s arms. Doomsday Device ends Melina.

Rating: D-. Christy Hemme is a fine example of a girl that looks good in tight pants and a black bra. She’s incredibly attractive and sexy, but but she had no business being in a wrestling ring as a competitor. It didn’t work for her at all and she was only in the ring for about 45 seconds. Again though, she’s there for her looks and those work very well.

That would be about it for Heidenreich as they would lose the titles soon after and Heidenreich would be released at the end of the year. After bouncing around the indies for a bit, Heidenreich would pretty much vanish. Here’s one quick match from a show in the Netherlands on September 26, 2009.

Heidenreich vs. Fury

No idea who Fury is but he’s well built. They circle each other to start with Heidenreich yelling at the crowd a lot. Heidenreich offers a handshake and they shout at each other a bit. No contact two minutes in. Some hard forearms knock Heidenreich into the corner and even more forearms knock him to the floor. The ring mat is shiny.

Back in and Heidenreich hammers him down before pounding on Fury in the corner. Fury fights back and kicks Heidenreich in the back before putting on a chinlock. The fans start singing Heidenreich’s WWE song and we hit the chinlock. Back up and Fury hammers away, only to walk into a Boss Man Slam for the pin.

Rating: D-. Just get this over with already. It was five minutes of punching and forearms. Next.

One final one, from Hulk Hogan’s Australia tour in 2009.

Pimp Fatha vs. Heidenreich

Godfather does the usual intro and offers Heidenreich the women. He actually takes them up on it but a fight breaks out anyway and the match is on. Back inside and Heidenreich hammers away before getting yelled at as the referee. Godfather charges into an elbow in the corner and we hit a quick chinlock. Heidenreich tries an elbow after Godfather has already rolled away and a missed splash leads to what was supposed to be a rollup but was more like Heidenreich laying down so Godfather can grab the tights for the pin. Barely even a match but neither guy has wrestled on the big stage in years.

Godfather is the kind of guy that was far more entertaining than good. The pimp character could have opened house shows for YEARS and kept getting huge pops. No he wasn’t much to watch in the ring, but not everyone needs to be. I’ll give him this though: not many people could go to that many characters and have more than one be memorable. He was very charismatic and that’s more important than being good in the ring.

If there has ever been proff that Paul Heyman isn’t perfect…..well it’s ECW, but this is a good indicator as well. That’s almost everything I can find on Heidenreich, meaning these were his highlights. The guy had a good look but he just wasn’t very good in the ring and it really showed. To be fair though, when your first major feud is with Undertaker in a casket match, you’re kind of screwed coming out of the blocks.

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