Dead Wrestler Wednesday: Chris Kanyon

WWE, TNA, Wrestling

Who betta than Kanyon?!

Christopher Klucsarits, better known to wrestling fans as Chris Kanyon, kicked around the big leagues for almost a decade.  Holding titles in both WCW and WWE, Kanyon never developed into a main event star, but he was a more than serviceable midcard wrestler for the duration of his career.

Kanyon debuted in WCW in 1995 as Mortis, a masked wrestler based loosely around concepts found in the Mortal Kombat video game series.  He found a natural feud partner in Glacier, who was also based on a character from the game.  Their feud expanded into one of the tag team variety when Glacier began teaming with Ernest “The Cat” Miller and Mortis, under the tutelage of James Vandenberg, formed an alliance with WCW newcomer Wrath.  Mortis remained primarily a tag team wrestler for a couple of years until his career took a sharp turn in another direction when he unmasked, abandoning the Mortis gimmick and adopting the Kanyon name.  The shift in his character corresponded with the start of his association with Raven.

During the course of his turbulent relationship with Raven, Kanyon’s wrestling style changed to incorporate more non-traditional maneuvers, earning him the nickname the “Innovator of Offense.”  When his program with Raven came to a close, Kanyon began teaming with fellow New Jersey natives Diamond Dallas Page & Bam Bam Bigelow.  Collectively known as the Triad, the stable gave Kanyon his first taste of gold when they won the WCW Tag Team Titles.  Later yet, after the Triad’s disbandment, Kanyon’s gimmick underwent drastic changes once again.  Becoming Chris “Champagne” Kanyon, or simply C.C.K., Kanyon began to indulge in the life of luxury.  This gimmick, like his others, proved to be short-lived.  After a brief hiatus, Kanyon was repackaged once again, becoming Positively Kanyon.  His new name was meant to mock DDP, who had recently released an autobiography entitled Positively Page.  After the feud between Kanyon and Page was complete, and with WCW in its death throes, Kanyon also gained the dubious distinction of competing in history’s only Judy Bagwell on a forklift match.

When WCW was purchased by the WWE, Kanyon was one of the stars who transitioned into World Wrestling Entertainment.  Becoming the “Alliance MVP,” Kanyon enjoyed a short reign as the WCW United States Champion.  He also added a WWE Tag Team Title reign to his resume, winning the belts with longtime rival / partner Diamond Dallas Page.  After the completion of the Alliance storyline, Kanyon was used sporadically on WWE programming until his release in 2004.  Although he announced his retirement following his release, Kanyon continued to work independent bookings and even appeared in TNA in late 2005.  On April 2, 2010, Kanyon was discovered deceased in his New York apartment.  He was found next to an empty bottle of anti-depressants and a note offering his apologies to his family.

One thought on “Dead Wrestler Wednesday: Chris Kanyon

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