Mike Awesome made a controversial jump to WCW in April of 2000. The move sent shockwaves through wrestling, as Awesome was still ECW World Champion at the time of his arrival. Eventually dropping the ECW Title, Awesome had done enough to shock the world with his move.
With his size, agility, and impressive in-ring ability, many people thought Awesome would have a successful run with the company. Instead, Awesome’s WCW tenure was plagued with bad gimmicks and becoming a supporting player for several people, including long time friend Lance Storm. In addition to that, Awesome revealed in a shoot interview he believed being in Hulk Hogan’s family tree may have been a factor in his failed WCW run thanks to Vince Russo’s issues with the Hulkster.
Arn Anderson thinks there were other reasons at play that caused his failure to launch with WCW and he spoke about them on his Arn Show podcast where they reminisced about Starrcade 2000, a pay per view where Awesome faced Bam Bam Bigelow in an ambulance match. Arn doesn’t think that it was the gimmicks that let down Awesome, but instead politics at play.
“I think Mike, who was a nice enough guy, came into an environment of wolves and sharks. I think there was a little bit of sniffing out that hey, this guy is a big star in ECW and will be a big star here. I think the antenna went up on a lot of the top guys, the more vicious top guys, the smarter top guys and they figured we are going to have to get this guy to sabotage himself or we are going to have to sabotage him. It was not too many TV’s you started to see adding layers onto his characters that he didn’t need, putting him in precarious situations instead of just winning for 9 weeks. If the guy was big, he was a good performer, the easiest way to get a guy over today, tomorrow, 25 years ago, is to put him in matches that have enough time, give him an opponent that knows what time it is, and just go out and win every week and have good matches. I don’t think he really had a fair start. If he would have come to the company 10 years earlier, who knows what the guy could have been.”
One of the biggest complaints about the final days of WCW was how it was plagued with backstage politics destroying things that could have been potentially great angles or new talent. Mike Awesome had a real opportunity to become a star player in WCW, but due to whatever reason you’d like to believe, it never happened.
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