Wrestling Salvage Yard: Mike Awesome

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We’re back at the Wrestling Salvage Yard! This time we look at salvaging the career of Mike Awesome. An impressive heavyweight with a lot of power and surprising agility, Awesome’s career spanned the late 1980s into the late 2000s. Retiring in February 2006 after 23 years, he would take his life the following year at 42. 

He was pretty successful in most places he appeared but suffered two stumbling blocks when it came to the big stage. 

Mike Awesome and the Big Leagues 

There are two promotions where Awesome experienced a lot of success: FMW in Japan and ECW. In that order. In ECW, he managed two World Title reigns and a Tag Title reign with Raven that I forgot about. Mind you, it was 1999 ECW and parts of that year will skip your mind as a lot happened. After that year, he joined WCW as part of the New Blood. 

His first few months saw him used as he should’ve been in a larger promotion. However, after tossing Kanyon from the top of the triple-tier steel cage, things went south for him. Mike Awesome was now a 70s guy and it just wasn’t a gimmick that was working for him. WCW switched him back but by this time it was too late for anyone in the company. 

His time in WWE was forgettable. Even as a two-time ECW World champion, he was included in the rest of the ECW rabble. Think about the reduction in status experienced by Tazz, Jerry Lynn, and Justin Credible. For a period, it seemed as though he was being brought into the mix of WWE television but just like his time in WCW, he wasn’t used to the maximum. 

That said, WCW invested in Mike Awesome to a degree. The investment was mostly trash but there was a creative investment made. 

Salvaging Mike Awesome 

So, I hope you got your permission slips signed because salvaging Mike Awesome’s career requires The Overtimer time machine. At the latest, we’ll need to start with his WCW stint. That’s the jump-off point for his actual national rise. 

We want to focus on the point where Awesome was being presented as the “Career Killer.” This could’ve been the point where he becomes a major heel in WCW. Just run him against some jobbers or have him face talent who are at the end of their contract. Awesome can continue the “Career Killer” gimmick by putting wrestlers out of WCW. 

When he is moved into feuds with franchise wrestlers if he’s to win he could’ve “ended their career”. This would’ve really worked in the late 90s with Hogan and Sting leaving for a period to do TV and films. Hogan and Sting return from filming and defeat Awesome.  

This gimmick runs on Awesome handling his own mic time and hunting competition either in the main event or right below it. If he’s given a mouthpiece, his gimmick from ECW would’ve done perfectly in WCW and WWE. On top of that, he would’ve gotten over with mild promos. Interviews wouldn’t need to be as intense as they were in ECW. 

So, you have the time machine. How would you have salvaged the early 2000s for Mike Awesome? Let us know in the comments! 

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