3-Up Spotlight: Chris Kanyon AKA Mortis

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We went into Chris Kanyon who started his career as an enhancement talent for World Championship Wrestling in 1995.  

This occurred at just the right time as he right there before the hot WCW vs. new World order run. 

His rise came under a mask as Mortis, one of Glacier’s mortal foes. Joining him against Glacier was Wrath. With more of a spotlight and more flexibility to contribute to a storyline, he was able to display more of his in-ring ability. 

That’s where we’re starting off with this 3-Up Spotlight. What are three special ingredients that Kanyon possessed that should’ve seen him as a bigger star in WCW? 

Chris Kanyon Had Ridiculous In-Ring Ability 

This has to be the number one thing. Not everyone needs great ring ability if they have stronger skills or assets that eclipses their skills. Kanyon started matches short and long 

As for Kanyon, his ring ability was on display while involved with the mid-card. He displayed the most innovative arsenal of techniques of any wrestler on WCW’s roster that wasn’t a cruiserweight. 

Kanyon hung around the work rate blocks—the first one or two hours depending on how long WCW Monday Nitro ran—most of the time.  

There was a dope match with Booker T that almost ended horribly for the Invasion MVP, some shorter bouts that featured a ton of action, and some solid matches once he was moving a little further up the card while associated with DDP and Bam Bam Bigelow. 

And just as a bonus to this: it’s not unusual for wrestlers to double as stunt performers for films or non-wrestling shows. However, Kanyon was the only one who bumped clean off the top of the triple-tier steel cage. 

There Was Some Charisma There 

When it comes to mic work and charisma, I tend to be more forgiving on promos and segments where a wrestler at least gives an effort or really puts themselves out there. 

If they just appear totally out of their element with a mic in their face or are just bombing spectacularly, there’s little you can do. I don’t think you can even award an A for effort in that case. 

Chris Kanyon was a wrestler who gave total effort in the ring and as a character. I always liked his portrayal of Mortis not as this otherworldly martial artist assassin wrestler but as a weird martial artist with cool gear. 

Just admit it, the Mortis gear was dope. 

After the Mortis thing ended, he became Kanyon and started pestering Raven to join The Flock. He was obnoxious but you would see him almost every Monday night, constantly involved in something on the mid-card. 

By 1999, he was pretty much as high as he was going to get in WCW with the main event it had at the time. Unless a lot of people jumped ship or retired, Kanyon wasn’t cracking the main event. 

Regardless, his involvement in the Jersey Triad continued to display that he would give 100-percent to a storyline or a specific angle. 

Who Better Than Kanyon? 

This guy had a catchphrase that worked, folks. It’s not like he was a mid in-ring talent with little charisma and subpar mic skills asking you “Who Betta Than Kanyon?” 

Chris Kanyon had tools in abundance and could play to the crowd. Even when the crowd was said “Everybody!” you knew he was a respected wrestler and that the fans rocked with him. 

It was a time when fans were better conditioned by larger companies and didn’t hijack broadcasts. When he was a face, the fans would say “Nobody!” 

Whatever his alignment, Kanyon got the response that a booker would traditionally in a promotion with national TV. There wasn’t a situation where the crowd was just cheering heel Kanyon doing heel-type sh**. 

Wrestling fans can and will ruining the intended booking plans just by taking to a heel en masse or dunking a face that was forced on them. 

Kanyon worked extremely well in the traditional booking approach of the time and would’ve been higher up if WCW became tight-fisted and started cutting out the toxic elements of the backstage. 

Of course, this is all would’ve-could’ve-should’ve and it’s overly easy to do that with a promotion that ended 20 years ago. 

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