Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chris Kanyon, 1970-2010. R.I.P.

Former professional wrestler Chris Kanyon was found dead yesterday of an overdose of pills. His death is believed to be a suicide. He was 40.

Kanyon (who was born Chris Klucsaritis) is best remembered for wrestling in the now defunct World Championship Wrestling in the late 1990s and early 2000s before it was taken over by World Wrestling Entertainment. Unfortunately, Kanyon never got much of push in the WWE.

I first remember Kanyon when he wrestled as a masked wrestler named Mortis. At one point Mortis wanted to join Raven's Flock. But he had to defeat Diamond Dallas Page in a match. Mortis failed to do so and was attacked by Raven. For the next several weeks Raven would be attacked by someone in various disguises. It was Kanyon now unmasked. It was one of my favorite storylines from WCW.

Later when Kanyon became a heel character he would ask the fans before each match, "Who better than Kanyon?" The fans would chant in unisom, "Everybody!!!" A flustered Kanyon would reply, "No! No! No! It's nobody!!! Nobody!!!"

Kanyon also worked as a consultant on the movie Ready to Rumble starring Oliver Platt, David Arquette and a multitude of WCW wrestlers. It was one of the worst movies I've ever seen mostly because of Arquette's screeching dialogue. Even Martin Landau couldn't save that movie.

Unfortunately, Kanyon struggled with mental health problems. At one point he claimed Vince McMahon had fired him because he was homosexual. Kanyon later sued the WWE with fellow wrestlers Scott Levy (the aforementioned Raven) and Mike Sanders over health benefits but this suit was dismissed by a Connecticut judge.

Since being released by the WWE in 2004, Kanyon wrestled sporadically in independent shows.

It's a shame because under different circumstances Chris Kanyon could have been a huge star in wrestling and beyond.

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