Awesome Moments in Wrestling -- Mallory Looks Back at the Career of Mike Awesome
By Mallory Mahling
There are some moments in wrestling that stick with you for a very long time. For me it was a moment on the old "ECW on TNN" show. One of the things I loved about ECW was the agility of the smaller wrestlers, but here was a big guy--a really big guy--flying off the ropes with the ease of a cruiserweight. It wasn't just breathtaking. It was awesome. Mike Awesome.
At 6 foot 6 and a few pounds shy of 300, Mike Alfonso literally stood out in the crowd on the ECW roster. While relatively new to American wrestling fans, he had honed his skills and headlined in Japan with All Japan Wrestling and Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling under the name of The Gladiator. It was there that he'd begun his longstanding feud with Masato Tanaka which made for thrilling viewing when they continued it on E-C-Dub.
But eventually it was time to move on. WCW was calling his name. Just one problem, though--Awesome was still the ECW Champ. After much heartburn on Paul Heyman's part, the situation was resolved with one of the more awkward title changes I've ever watched. Tazz (who had already departed for the greener pastures of WWE) returned for one night only to win back the ECW title for the company. At the time it was historic having ECW, WWE, and WCW talent on the same show. How things have changed.
Unfortunately, WCW was bereft of storylines that suited Awesome's talents. He was the 70's Guy, the Fat Chick Thrilla, the host of the Lava Lamp Lounge, and a few other mullett-related gimmicks best forgotten.
He was part of the WCW/ECW invasion storyline in WWE and briefly appeared in TNA, but given the state of wrestling, it was time to move on again--this time to a career in residential real estate sales with Coldwell Banker.
Sadly, last weekend Mike "Awesome" Alfonso chose to move on one last time when his life ended tragically at age 42.
He truly was an awesome talent and will be missed. Sincerest condolences to the friends and family he left behind.
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|© 2005-2007 All content contained here Copyright 2006 by James Guttman *** World Wrestling Insanity and ClubWWI are not affiliated with any wrestling promotion.|