When talking about talent that was badly overlooked in WWE in the early 2000s, Kanyon has to be somewhere in that conversation. Sure, he was probably never going to be champion of the company, but he was one of the most innovative and consistently entertaining acts in WCW during the Nitro years, but Vince didn't know what to do with him.
While some of the “big boys” of the promotion half-assed it on Monday nights to earn their fat paychecks, Kanyon was giving it his all every time out. In the ring he lived up to his “Innovator of Offense” moniker and was often busting out moves that fans had never seen in WCW or the WWF.
He was incredibly versatile as well. He played the masked monster Mortis, but was far superior as the lovable loser who asked the eternal question “Who betta than Kanyon?” Just for the sake of clarity, the correct answer is “nobody!”
Add in his runs as Chris "Champagne" Kanyon and Positively Kanyon, and he was one of the most entertaining midcarders of the era. Sadly, most of his best work came as fans of the promotion were leaving in droves.
When WCW was bought out in 2001, it seemed big things were in store for Kanyon. He was given the US Title, and had a big SummerSlam match where he teamed up with DDP against Kane and Undertaker. Then an injury took him out of action for a lengthy spell. To make matters worse, he nearly died from an allergic reaction to some of the medication he was on while recovering. Finally he made his grand return...as a Boy George impersonator on SmackDown, who was quickly beaten up by The Undertaker. That was pretty much it, as he was largely jobbed out on the B-shows until his release.
Still, you’d think that being on TV in WCW and WWE for nearly a decade would at least earn him a photo to open up an episode of Raw after his passing. Somehow it was not. This was likely due to the troubled star claiming he was fired because he was gay (he later retracted that statement) and taking his own life at the age of 40 in 2010.
As Rust Cohle from True Detective said "Life's barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you're good at."
Sadly, I can't solve a murder like Rust...or change a tire, or even tie a tie. But I do know all the lyrics to Hulk Hogan's "Real American" theme song and can easily name every Natural Born Thriller from the dying days of WCW. I was once ranked 21st in the United States in Tetris...on the Playstation 3 version...for about a week.
Follow along @AndrewSoucek and check out my podcast at wrestlingwithfriends.com