One night, many years ago, I was on the phone with my friend John, a man you would know better as “Earthquake”. I remember it like it was yesterday. Us talking on the phone was not uncommon; we’d talk about wrestling sometimes, but mostly we’d talk about our families, we’d talk about what we each had to eat that day, we’d talk about whatever was on our minds. We were two friends, and to this day, he is still the best friend I ever had who had worked in the WWF.
On this night, though, John had a bit of a surprise for me. It wasn’t planned…it was just something that kinda happened as a friend of his was walking by at a wrestling show. “Hey, buddy…this is RD Reynolds on the phone with me…you should talk with him, he writes about stupid things in wrestling.”
Next thing I knew I was talking to Mike Awesome.
Good guy. I mean, really good guy. We talked for about 15 minutes, and he laughed at with me at the idiocy he’d seen in the business, the buffoonery he’d been forced to be part of. I talked to him about how I was there the night he lost the ECW title to Taz(z) in Indianapolis, and what insane heat he had. I figured he couldn’t miss when he hit WCW.
Then I remembered it was WCW, so I knew he was doomed.
He laughed at that one. He then told me that no matter how bad I thought it was there, it was actually a million times worse.
Awesome was a big guy; guessing probably 6’6″ or so, close to 300 pounds. But he could move like a cat, and wasn’t afraid to climb the ropes and take to the air. His raw talent was really pretty, well, awesome. And as he came into the WCW, he did so as “The Career Killer”. So far, so good, right?
Well, this being WCW we couldn’t have that.
Soon the Career Killer was dead. Instead, let’s change some letters around, and make his new gimmick rhyme with his old one.
All hail Mike Awesome: The FAT CHICK THRILLER!
Really – he was now the big guy with the mullet who hit on plus size women. Not really sure what to add to that sentence. That was the sum and total of the gimmick.
Now I understand, you hear something like that, and you think there has to be more to it. Maybe you think I am making it up. Well, if the chyron doesn’t convince you (I could have Photoshopped that I guess), then maybe this audio, where Awesome explains the subtle nuances of the character, will.
Here he is with Nitro Girl Beef.
Sadly, that’s not a joke.
That was the name the company came up with for Rhonda Singh. To be fair, I guess it’s not any worse than Bertha Faye. And on the plus side, Harvey Whippleman wasn’t around to sing her theme song during her run with Turner.
As best I can tell, Beef rebuked Mike’s advances; they appeared together in one backstage skit and that was it.
I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. I’d say good, because one might have thought it would lead to the dropping of the gimmick, but that didn’t happen immediately because soon enough…
…”fans” were throwing panties at him…
…and bringing signs to the events in support of being his next conquest.
So not only were these women fat, they also couldn’t spell.
Now what you may be rightly asking is how, precisely, did Mike thrill these fat chicks?
By feeding them of course!
Again, not joking. Wish I was.
Here is providing ample sustenance to one of his girls after spending a couple of Benjamins at the Arby’s drive thru…
…and here’s another instance, plopping a cupcake in a porker’s kisser.
I should be wildly offended. Instead, I will cry foul about another WCW missed opportunity.
If he was truly the “Fat Chick Thriller” (and trust me, Mark Madden told us 800 times a show he was), he really should have been feeding them his Ding Dong while quoting from the classic “Weird Al” video:
Sadly, Awesome’s primary fat chick would turn on him and side with Lance Storm.
By ripping off her shirt. Yeesh.
Wait, did I say “sadly”? I should have said “HAPPILY” (yes, in all caps) because this spelled the end of the gimmick. I guess once a fat chick turns on you, you say to heck with them all.
But again, this being WCW, Awesome didn’t go back to being the Career Killer. Instead, he feathered his hair back, hopped on a Partridge Family bus, and was reborn as…
That 70’s Guy!
It was horrible, of course, but on the plus side in his debut he interviewed Pamela Paulshock (whatever happened to her???) in what may have been the most jaw dropping outfit to ever appear on television. I mean, I watched this again for purely journalistic purposes, and I was agape at that get up. Yowzers. (Should you wish to read more about that gimmick, I suggest checking out the archives, available here.)
In the interest of fairness, I will note he did eventually renounce THAT character as well, and became the Canadian Career Killer, keeping that persona until WCW’s very final day. He even appeared on the last Nitro in a losing effort with Lance Storm.
Unfortunately, Mike died a few years ago. I didn’t talk to him much after that phone call, but still, I was honored to chat with him. And I’d like to think that he and Quake are up in heaven together, still laughing at all the dumb things they did in wrestling. I know they both laughed at themselves when they were here on earth with us, and that’s one of the things I liked so much about them.
Hopefully they can look down at this induction and smile that they are still making us laugh to this day.
We miss you guys.
If you love these stories of WCW, I urge you to check out the brand new Death of WCW: 10th Anniversary Edition. It’s a whopping 40% larger than the original, and available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle versions here.