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Wrestling / Konnan

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Charles Ashenoff (born Carlos Santiago Espada Moises, January 6, 1964), best known as Konnan, is a Cuban-born, American-based professional wrestler best known for his time working for both major lucha libre promotions in Mexico, CMLL and AAA (the latter he helped co-found), and also known in the United States for his time in WCW and TNA.

Starting as El Centurión in Lucha Libre Internacional, he felt the UWA was holding him back there and later adopted the name Konnan el Barbaro in CMLL, quickly becoming a main event star after losing his mask in a moving story where his crying "brother" went to the ring to physically remove it; Konnan later became the first CMLL World Heavyweight Champion. After a falling out with the company, he and booker Antonio Peña started a new company, AAA. In AAA he further cemented his stardom while behind the scenes, he and Peña introduced future stars such as Rey Mysterio Jr., Psicosis, and La Parka.

In 1996, after several appearances for the company in the past several years, he became a full time performer for WCW. He portrayed a charismatic, urban character, often rapping and reciting catchphrase-laden promos. Behind the scenes, he became a liaison between WCW and AAA, again bringing wrestlers like Rey and La Parka to prominence. After WCW's demise, he later joined TNA, forming teams such as Latin American Xchange and 3Live Kru. He was a big part of season 1 of Lucha Underground as the mentor and adviser of Prince Puma before being killed off.

"Yo yo yo let me speak on dese tropes!":

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Konnan's retirement match against Cien Caras drew 48,000 spectators into El Plaze de Toros bullring of Mexico City. Lose (which he did) or not, it was pretty obvious someone was going to get him to return some way or another.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: The Mexican regional equivalent to Hulk Hogan, but only during Hogan's "Hollywood" and nWo phase. Both were color baby face heavyweight champions of what was arguably the top promotion of its nation who left and helped a newer rival surpass the older company, both going "gangsta" in the process. Konnan's baby face run in EMLL was completely unlike pre nWo Hogan however. The closest thing Mexico had to that was El Canek. And both El Canek and Konnan had most of their act down before Hogan got his together, but enjoyed enough longevity for them to interact with him when he was acting the most like them.
  • Arch-Enemy: Until the mid-2000s, Vampiro (which came back with a vengeance when both of them appeared on Lucha Underground together, Konnan as a manager and Vampiro as the colour commentator/interviewer). He also is this to Cibernético in AAA.
  • Arm Cannon: Max Moon had one that shot pyrotechnics during his entrance.
  • Author Avatar: Eventually became a booker for AAA while working in WCW, making him this whenever he returned in any visible capacity to AAA shows during this period.
  • Badasses Wear Bandanas: He would wear a one bandana over his head and another over his face in TNA. The sunglasses went along way in making this look less ridiculous and sort of cool, unlike when Mustafa Saed tried the look before him.
  • Bald of Evil: Less so during his face runs, such as the 3live kru.
  • Bash Brothers: With Jack Evans in real life.
  • Call-Back: His confrontation with Vampiro during the Prince Puma interview. Vampiro and Konnan were archenemies for years, and old habits die hard.
  • Cane Fu: Anyone who messed with him would have that cane of his flying towards their noggin faster than you can say "Orale!"
  • The Cast Show Off: Recorded a rap album in his early days and several raps for WCW and TNA. The fact he did the LAX theme allowed Homicide to take it to ROH(though they mixed it up a little anyway)
  • Carpet of Virility: He's not excessively hairy but after seeing him for so many years with shirts and or chest concealing ring gear, his chest hair caused some to double take.
  • Catchphrase: "Yo yo yo let me speak on dis! Orale! Arriba la Raza! We are los vatos locos forever, man! We bout it bout it (pronounced "Bowdy bowdy") and rowdy rowdy!"
  • Cool Shades: He seemed to think so to keep wearing them so much
  • Cool Mask: El Centurión and later, Max Moon.
  • Combat Commentator: At the Spanish Announcers' Table in TNA during his LAX run
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: Konnan used Super Fly to convince AAA that Cibernético had turned against the promotion from bringing back La Parka by having him attack Octagón, who was supposed to be teaming with Cibernético against La Sociedad at Héroes Inmortales IV, and put leave him too injured to wrestle. Konnan was believed, Dark Ozz and Dark Cuervo replacing Octagón and Cibernético in the match. Cibernético came out to prevent La Sociedad from cheating team AAA out of victory, proving he was still loyal to the company, then attacked La Parka team AAA won, also proving he was upset with them for bringing him back.
  • Crowbar Combatant: Konnan used a crowbar to hit Jessie James during a dog collar match on the first WWA show.
  • Cyborg: As Max Moon
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Recorded his own theme as well as one of the Filthy Animals themes in WCW, and later the 3 Live Kru themes and the first version of the LAX rap theme in TNA. (His theme and the LAX theme still found use later on in the indies by him and Rey Mysterio Jr.note  as well as LAX partner Homicide respectively.)
  • Finishing Move: Tequila Sunrise, One Eight Seven.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: An evil Mexican for a time, such as in LAX and true to the trope, Konnan is really of Cuban origin and his nationality is USA. For this reason he naturally became an evil foreigner in Mexico also, in fact leading an entire stable of them. He became so reviled in Puerto Rico he needed a police escort when coming to and exiting arenas.
  • Gangbangers: His most frequent gimmick in the continental US, and it's based on real life. He was a legit gang banger in Miami before going to prison and then joining the USA Navy.
  • Gangsta Rap: Which made him a natural fit with Ron Killings in TNA. BG James, not so much (he was probably in the group as a nod to when he teamed with K-Kwik as the Road Dogg).
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Wore a pair of tinted goggles while with the Filthy Animals in WCW.
  • Handicapped Badass: The years of bumps and bloodshed were not kind to Konnan, and he walked with a cane. Mess with him, however, and he wouldn't hesitate to break that cane on your head.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Played with when he tazed Brother Runt, who suffered no long term effects from it but was still something of a Kick the Dog for Konnan.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Rey Mysterio, who has referred to Konan as his "big bro".
  • Hidden Depths: Hardly anyone ever mentions it but in addition to wrestling he also won the California Middleweight Amateur Boxing Championship. He also took up competitive body building.
  • I Have Many Names: El Centurion, El Electrico, Maximillion Moves, Max Moon, K-Dawg, Mexican Champion, Konnan. Born Carlos Santiago Espada Moises, legally known as Charles Ashenoff.
  • Invincible Hero/Invincible Villain: Revealed in a 2001 interview with Canadian Slam Sports to be tropes Konnan despises, saying that not only could he not get a lot of guys in WCW to job, they wouldn't even give out a Hope Spot.
    Konnan: I have seen The Rock do more jobs than any other main event guy I've seen in my life and he stays on top. And even though Hunter's gotten out of doing a lot of jobs, he's put a lot of people over, made a lot of people look good.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Of the ankle biter variety for a time in his CMLL run.
  • Killed Off for Real: Written out of Lucha Underground when Mil Muertes, Catrina and the Disciples of Death knocked him out, crammed him into a coffin and carted him away, never to be seen again, with Catrina later taunting his student Prince Puma about his death.
  • Living Legend: Konnan accomplished more in his tenure as a wrestler than countless other guys, and he used that knowledge to mentor Puma the best he could.
  • Martial Arts Headband: Wore them when he lost his mask but still kept his hair grown out. One of them featured polka dots, it was an 80s thing that seemingly hadn't died out yet.
  • Masked Luchador: Until he lost his mask to Perro Aguayo.
  • Mentor: To Prince Puma on Lucha Underground.
  • Misplaced Retribution: He called out Carlos Colon, gave him his mantel and his hat, had a mariachi band come out to perform for his daugher, Stacy... and then bashed Stacy Colon in the head with one of their guitars to punish Carlito Colón for losing in a tag match. He hit Carlos too but Stacy had to be carried out on a stretcher.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Turned out that bringing Hernandez in on Lucha Underground was a big mistake, cause he was soon gunning for Puma's title, having betrayed them both.
  • Not So Similar: When asked why he thought Lucha Underground would be successful when Victor Quiñones's efforts to bring lucha libre to the continental United States were not, Konnan argued that Quiñones was trying to pass off Puerto Rican wrestling as Mexican Lucha Libre, even though they are two different things and that he and the others working on Lucha Underground actually understand Lucha.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: While Konnan showed complete sincerity in claiming to have only Puma's best interests in mind, Vampiro insisted at every opportunity on accusing him of wanting to corrupt Puma and only using him for his own gain. Oh, and of being ugly.
  • Parts Unknown: Max Moon was from "The Future" or "Outer Space".
  • Power Stable:
  • Power Trio: 3 Live Kru (With Ron Killings and BJ James) and LAX (With Apolo and Homicide) in TNA. Team TNA (With Samoa Joe and Ron Killings) in AAA.
  • Prejudiced For Pecs: A trope he tends to avoid as a booker, which lead to a little culture clash in WCW with the "vanilla midget" mentality. Konnan freely admitted to not being very big for a wrestler and that Eddie Guerrero was even smaller but couldn't see what that mattered since Eddie was so popular.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Konnan el Barbaro wore lots of bright colors, including Pink. Max Moon also wore a lot of pink.
  • Red Baron: "K-Dogg"
  • Retired Badass: Retired from active wrestling; instead, he mentored a new-generation luchador in Lucha Underground.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: First he felt the "Universal Wrestling Association" was holding him back in LLI, then he followed Antonio Peña out of CMLL to help establish AAA.
  • Shout-Out
  • The Smart Guy: He served as the voice of reason and strategy for Prince Puma.
  • So Proud of You: Of Prince Puma, who he came out to see after he became the first Lucha Underground Champion
  • The Strategist: He even cited Sun Tzu when discussing how to be deceptive.
  • Tattooed Crook: Around his neck, though they're usually covered up, especially when he's not drawing on this gimmick.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Defeated Jake The Snake Roberts in a hair vs hair match, getting a measure of revenge for Roberts almost forcing out of the business by interfering in Konnan's retirement match.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Especially in TNA, but it's really a staple of many Mexican styles.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: While he has very public gripes with Kevin Nash that started in the WCW days, they still get along quite well.
  • What Have You Done for Me Lately?: The Three Live Kru accused Vince Russo of showing favoritism to AJ Styles and Raven and felt under appreciated, pointing out how they had been responsible for Russo's continued employment several times over at their own expense. When Russo tried to remind them of things he had done, they wanted to know of things lately.
  • Worked Shoot: Cibernético had left AAA to wrestle on the independent circuit when Konnan "took" control with La Legion Extranjera in 2008 and returned after Konnan lost it 2009. Even though Cibernético participated in AAA's tour of the USA in between this time people believed there were enough real issues between the two that they bought the two having a fight in the locker room. At least for a little while.
  • Xtremely Kool Letterz: Well the gimmick was pretty different, especially after unmasking but you know they spelled Conan with a K for a reason.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: What he subjected Mari Apache to for a month after she was pinned by Jennifer Blake in a trios match against Las Gringas Locas at Triplemanía XVIII.
  • You Have Out Lived Your Usefulness: Vampiro was one of the men representing La Legion Extranjera at Triplemanía XVIII against Abyss and Cibernético but during the match Konnan got frustrated with Vampiro and threw salt in his eyes before having other Legion members attack Abyss and Cibernético after the match.