Saturday, April 03, 2010

Chris Kanyon dead
Pro wrestlers keep dying. Wellness policy or no wellness policy. Chris Kanyon's real name was Chris Klucsaritis. He was only 40, and he's dead. He apparently committed suicide.
I've seen some refer to Kanyon as a "WWE star", but he hadn't been in the big time for many years. He had a few matches for TNA, but had his biggest run in WCW in the late 1990s, teaming with Raven and the also now-deceased Bam Bam Bigelow as a member of the triad.

I remember first really seeing Chris on a WCW pay per view in 1998 against Perry Saturn. My first impression of his was that he was doing some moves that I had never seen before, and honestly, I haven't seen them since.

When WCW was going under at the turn of the century, Kanyon got something of a push as a DDP-wannabe. Vince Russo was writing then. In may of 2000, Mike Awesome (who committed suicide a few years ago) threw him off the top of a steel cage in Kansas City. The bump looked just as impressive as some that Mick Foley took that helped make him a star, but WCW didn't seem to have much interest in making him a star. Then again, maybe it did, but had no idea how to do it.

When WCW was bought by WWF in 2001, Kanyon went north and teamed with DDP, who was probably the biggest star from WCW that jumped right after the sale.

Yet despite his stature, WWE seemed intent on destroying Page, for reasons I've never completely understood. Paige and Kanyon did hold the tag belts (I think WWF, but I'm not really sure since there were 81 belts circling the promotion at the time), but were destroyed by Undertaker and Kane at Summerslam, and Kanyon (who actually held the US title at one point) never really recovered to the point where he was pushed as a star.

Of course, you could say that about most ex-WCW wrestlers that came to the WWF at that time.

With Kanyon, I can say I was a fan of his, but he never became the star I thought he would be a decade ago. But it's not like baseball. Talent doesn't always get one to the top.

He continued with his career (he wrestled as an openly gay character, then came out as gay in real life), and he was part of a lawsuit filed with Scott Levy (Raven) and Mike Sanders against WWE just recently, regarding talent being classified as independent contractors. From what I read, I thought they had a point, but it was thrown out.

Kanyon obviously had issues, and Vince McMahon and WWE may not have had anything to do with them. But at the end of the day, he's another young man who was a wrestler who died to young. He'll be added to a list that grows and grows.

It makes one sad for so many reasons. Put it this way: I like wrestling, and have been a fan for a long time. But if someone I cared about wanted to get in the business, I'd do almost anything to dissuade them.

Maybe the business is not to blame for Kanyon's death. But so many have died, and sadly, I think so many will follow.



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