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WRESTLING COLUMNS

What Happened To These Guys"
March 24, 2006 by David Baldwinson


Chuck Palumbo, Sean O'Haire, Mike Awesome, Chris Kanyon, Johnny Stamboli, Shawn Stasiac and Mark Jindrak looked to be the future of WCW, so how come their WWE careers didn't work out as well"

All seven seemed to have gold written all over them. They were big, athletic, talented and cocky. They were champions of multiple titles, they were a part of several super groups in WCW, and for them the future seemed brighter than ever. And then WCW was bought out by WWE and their careers have been far from successful since. So what happened to them, why did it not work out for them"

Lets first look at Mike Awesome, who was in the prime of his career upon WCW's collapse. After having a successful ECW career, he went to WCW where he had some major ups and some really lows there. There was his 'career killer' gimmick, which was great heat, and then there was his battle royal victory for a shot at the WCW title held by Scott Steiner. Then there was also his 'That 70's guy' gimmick and his 'The Fat chick thriller' gimmick, but otherwise he had huge potential in WCW. Then WWE bought out WCW and the future looked good for Awesome. He came on right away and pinned Rhyno to win the WWE hardcore title. He was then dropped in favor of RVD and Jeff Hardy and they battled for the hardcore title back and forth. After having a few low-key matches, he got injured and required surgery. Still the future looked good for Awesome in the WWE, there was even in the WWE magazine Dec 2001 issue on 2002 predictions that said Awesome would regain his Career Killer gimmick and make a big splash. When he finally did make his return many months later, nothing. Hell, I barely knew he was back. A few dark matches later he was released. Awesome is now retired.

Chris Kanyon looked like he would be a huge thing in the WWE. He had had a successful run with DDP in WCW and showed all the skills and charisma to be a big player. When WCW invaded WWE Chris Kanyon was dubbed Alliance MVP and was playing in up well. He was a United States champion (although it was only awarded to him, not won by him) and a WWE tag champion with DDP during this time before he got injured and required surgery. Just like Awesome, Kanyon had a prediction in WWE magazine that stated big things upon his return. Another injury set Kanyon back further, and then when he did return, there was no push for Kanyon. After a year of floating around WWE released him. Kanyon is currently working on the independent circuit.

Sean O'Haire looked to be on the verge of great things in WCW. He was big, agile and charismatic. He was a multiple time WCW tag champion, first with Mark Jindrak, and then with Chuck Palumbo when WCW was sold. He was also apart of the super group "Natural Born Thrillers" with other future WWE flops. He and Palumbo soon got into a rivalry with Undertaker and Kane and lost the WCW tag titles to them in some great matches. But an injury to O'Haire slowed his rise and broke up him and Palumbo. After a short absence, he was given a new darker image, a new anti-everything gimmick and Rowdy Roddy Piper as his manager. After some brief mid-card success, Piper disappeared and O'Haire was left alone by WWE. Months later he was released by WWE, with best wishes.

O'Haire's partner Palumbo had a very similar career in WCW. After having a brief feud with Lex Luger, he teamed with Shawn Stasiac and they captured the tag titles. They then joined the "Natural Born Thrillers" and soon he changed partners and became WCW tag champions with O'Haire. After O'Haire's injury in WWE, Palumbo, for no real reason, stood up to WCW in the locker room and was fired by them (WWE's way to get him to WWE) and began teaming with Billy Gunn. The two began a kind of "gay" persona and were multiple tag champions on Smackdown. After Billy Gunn's injury, Palumbo then joined Nunzio and another "Natural Born Thriller" bust Johnny Stamboli to form the Full Blooded Italians. After starting with a tough gang angle, the three became nothing more than a comedy act. After WWE's 2004 lottery draft, Palumbo was traded to Raw where he got no angle and slowly disappeared. Johnny Stamboli was like most of the people on this list, a "Natural Born Thriller", although not for a very long time due to injury. He formed a tag team with Big Vito and they enjoyed mild success in WCW. Still the young Stamboli and potential. He was not part of the alliance invasion in 2001 and wasn't scene till shortly after the brand expansion draft in 2002. He made an impact right away, attacking Bradshaw and winning the Hardcore title on Raw (he would lose the title later that show). Still he was proving to be a top contender in the Hardcore division, and the Bischoff merged in with the European title. Stamboli would float a bit, till moving to Smackdown to form the FBI. Unfortunately, as u already know, didn't work so well. After Palumbo was traded to Raw, Nunzio and Stamboli became a tag team, but they weren't much more than a comedic pairing. By November 2004, he was released.

Shawn Stasiac I guess should be no surprise that he flopped in the WWE. His first go around was down right embarrassing, wrestling under the name Meat, for a group of man hating women. He was then fired from WWE for taping phone conversations between his fellow co-workers. Once he got to WCW though, he then began to shine, teaming with Palumbo for a few tag team title reigns and being apart of the 'Natural Born Thrillers' where he was perceived at times to be the first of them to reach the top. When WCW began invading WWE, Shawn was shown on T.V, trying to impress Austin, but kept screwing up. The announcers soon gave him the identity of being strong and athletic, but not too bright,, which is never a good thing. Once WCW lost the battle to WWE, Shawn for some reason was still around, periodically wrestling on velocity or heat. He soon disappeared and the reappeared in what was supposed to be a better angle. Planet Stasiac, was his new name, and like earlier he was perceived as not too bright, and believe me, he must not be to go along with that idea. Shawn is soon given his termination from WWE management.

Now we come to the last of our flunkies, amazingly, although Mark Jindrak lasted the longest of this group of superstars, it was him who seemed to have the least future in WCW. He started with Sean O'Haire, winning multiple tag titles and was part of 'Natural Born Thrillers', and then Sean teamed with Chuck and that left Mark with Shawn. After a few matches with each other Shawn looked to be going solo and Mark was nowhere to be found, then WCW was bought out. Have a few matches during the Alliance invasion, he had surgery on his PCL and was out for a year almost. Upon his return he was sent down to the OVW where he was really making strides. Many appearances on Heat followed, but an injury always slowed Jindrak's full time return to the WWE. He returned to RAW in July 2003, teaming with Garrison Cade. The team showed some potential on RAW's depleted tag team division, but was never given the full chance to become hugely popular or even tag champs. After turning heel for really no reason, they soon broke up when Jindrak was drafted to Smackdown. After starting his Smackdown career with a 'reflection of perfection' angle that seemed doomed to start, he aligned himself with Angle, which should be gold for any wrestler. After a few months, Jindrak and tag partner Luther Reigns broke off from Angle and soon after that they broke up with Jindrak beating his former partner. From there Jindrak was a forgotten man. After a few months on Smackdown, he was traded to RAW and soon after that was released.

Why is it these seven stars had so much promise and potential in WCW and ECW, yet failed so miserably in WWE" Could it be true WWE doesn't treat WCW wrestlers very well" Look at Booker T, his WWE career has gone relatively nowhere and he was the champion in WCW. Perhaps these guys aren't really as good as they were thought to be or maybe they weren't given the chance to truly shine. Whatever the reason was, these seven sure-fire WCW future stars couldn't make the cut in WWE. Perhaps one day they will get the chance to prove themselves again. Recently, Chuck Palumbo resigned with the WWE with high hopes for the future and Mark Jindrak is currently in Deep South Wrestling, an official WWE development territory. Till then they will remain seven of the biggest post WCW flops.

by David Baldwinson ..


Jack MacLaine wrote:
You want to know why all those guys failed in the WWE" Because the Higher Power didn't make them. If you wren't created by Vinnie Mac or his goons then you are inferior. Vince McMahon wants you to believe that all other promotions have inferior wrestlers and his wrestlers are the best. Thats why alot of WCW stars like O'Haire and Booker T are in the mid card. Luckly, many people realize this and people are choosing to not work for WWE. You know if someone like AJ Styles, who can run in cirlcles around Vince's inner circle, ever goes to WWE; His name would be changed from "Mr. TNA" To Mr. Volocity.
Anthony Chowanec wrote:
Mike Awesome went back to Japan for a little while and now he retired from wrestling and is selling real estate in Florida. The others im not so sure.
Nathan wrote:
This part is to Jack MacLaine: I think you have a very narrow minded view of Vince McMahon and the way he handles talent. Sure some times talented people get the shaft but you said Vince wont push people unless its his creation. There is so many things wrong with that Bret Hart, Jerry Lawler, British Bulldogs, Sid, Goldberg, Scott Steiner, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat and so on were pushed and they were not WWWF/WWF/WWE creations.

Every promoter has their own view of what works and what they like. Its obvious what Vince McMahons is and although people says it suck you all tune in to see it. Theres a reason he is a millionare and thats because he knows the business and has a better brain for it.

Dont get me wrong I love indy feds and TNA as well as WWE but there is a reason why WWE is number 1 and that is Vince McMahon. But David Baldwinson yes you have a great point they did not deserve the shaft and I honestly think the reason why they did not succeed was because of the draft split which at the time was not a wise idea.
Richard wrote: What, have you lost your mind.........."

People tune in to Vinny Mac's sideshow of freaks and frauds because it's called a "monopoly" meaning he is the only true game in town. TNA, a good start up but right now no serious contender to Vinny Mac's empire. And the smaller promotions around the country, forget it, they are roaches compared to McMahon's goliath of WWE............

As for those guys that you stated earlier, Vinny Mac has changed the rules of the game. At this point in time, you must be one of his creations. Otherwise, you get the shaft..............
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