There are some fans put there who might not remember the name “Maxx Payne” from WCW but Man Mountain Rock is one that 90s WWE fans might just remember.
He wasn’t in either company that long but he had the look, the big man ability, and natural charisma. Of course, depending on who you ask, he didn’t get far because of attitude problems.
It’s the Wrestling Salvage Yard where we throw out their problems, look at their tools as a wrestler, the company landscape they were in, and their peak career to see what potential was there for a better push or better use on a roster.
Man Mountain Rock was a 6’6, 350lbs big man who made his debut in 1987. He was an All-American in amateur wrestling and utilized his background into a power brawling and mat-based style.
This resulted in him getting quite a bit of work wrestling for New Japan, the CWA in Germany, Bill Watts’ UWF, and Memphis. As Maxx Payne—his main gimmick—he used this grungy, dark gimmick of a metal musician.
Half of the gimmick was right for the decade, the other half was too dark for the 80s, honestly.
On the big stages of WCW and WWE, he experienced more success in WCW where he was involved in feuds with Dustin Rhodes, Johnny B. Badd, and The Nasty Boys while tagging with Cactus Jack.
After getting released from WCW in 1994, he joined WWE in 1995 after Rick Rude vouched for him. He wasn’t in the company long as the Man Mountain Rock gimmick just failed to catch on.
In his time with WWE he became known for his WWF-shaped guitar and repeated his routine of playing the guitar on air. Drug use to deal with physical pain from his amateur wrestling career ensured he wouldn’t have a lengthy stay in the company.
Salvaging Man Mountain Rock
First off, forget MMR. The gimmick wasn’t good to begin with and it was just as bad when he left WWE. What we want to salvage is his badass Maxx Payne gimmick.
This gimmick was somewhat dark for WCW but it would’ve worked later in the 90s if he was a member of the Dungeon of Doom or Raven’s Flock. Hell, it would’ve worked in ECW anytime between 1992 and 1994.
With that setting, he’d have to evolve the gimmick to a degree. As far as a push on the big stage of WCW, his attitude prevented that. However, he had the tools to be a star in the company.
He had the size, a menacing look, and a gimmick that would’ve worked better in the late 90s or when Sting was fighting weirdos and monsters.
Also, his skills were sound enough that he could work with most wrestlers decently—as long as they weren’t overly stiff.
I’d say he was very salvageable. Also, just in case it’s mentioned: yes, I’m also surprised that he never had a program with Van Hammer considering they were in WCW at the time, and both used heavy metal-influenced gimmicks.
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