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Wrestling / Mike Awesome

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"Awesome is what they say
All his victims feel the pain
Trapped with an Awesome Bomb
You go down and you never come up

Michael Lee Alfonso (January 24, 1965 February 17, 2007) was an American Professional Wrestler from Tampa, Florida known as Mike Awesome and, in FMW in Japan, The Gladiator. He started in 1989 in Florida and was a masked Jobber for WCW as The Pro. He jumped to FMW in 1991 and became a regular there. He made his ECW debut defeating Randy Starr at ECW Holiday Hell on December 26, 1993. He continued to compete in FMW, though he made a few more appearances in ECW in 1994, including his famous match with JT Smith at ECW The Night the Line Was Crossed, where Smith surprised everyone by pinning Awesome with a small package after Awesome had crushed Smith against the guardrail. He returned to ECW in 1998, resuming his big feud with Masato Tanaka to great acclaim. He surprised everyone by making his WCW debut on the April 10, 2000 episode of WCW Monday Nitro while he was still the ECW World Heavyweight Champion. He stayed with WCW until it closed and, after WWE bought out WCW, he was brought in for the InVasion/Alliance angle, an experience he hated. He was released in September 2002 and would spend time in TNA, Pro Wrestling NOAH, MLW, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and some independents. His last in-ring appearance was his match with Tanaka at ECW One Night Stand on June 12, 2005. He announced his retirement in 2006 and started a career in real estate. Sadly, he was found dead of suicide on February 12, 2007. (See Would Hit a Girl below.) Among his in-ring achievements, he was a 2x ECW World Heavyweight Champion, a 1x ECW World Tag Team Champion with Raven, a 1x WWE Hardcore Champion, a 1x MLW World Heavyweight Champion, and a 2x FMW World Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Champion.

"Awesome Tropes":

  • '80s Hair: Why, yes, that is a mullet.
  • Acrofatic: He was 6'6" and almost 300lbs, but could fly just as well as most cruiserweights.
  • Arch-Enemy: Masato Tanaka, of course, also El Vampiro in WCW
  • Canada, Eh?: Not really, but he did turn heel and join Lance Storm's Team Canada stable.
  • Captain Ersatz: While in WCW he got an ersatz in Fire Pro Wrestling. It's possible it was inspired by something earlier but eventually it was confirmed as Mike Awesome.
  • Catchphrase: "Because I'm AWESOME!"
  • Demoted to Extra: He only had one PPV match during his WWE run, which was he and Lance Storm losing to Edge and Christian at InVasion.
    • He lost to Funaki on the September 7, 2002 Velocity. The guy who was such a jobber he lost to a nobody called Diamondback Funaki.
  • Disco Dan: He was briefly repackaged as "That '70's Guy", wearing polyester suits, driving a Patridge Family bus and hosting "The Lava Lamp Lounge".
  • Fake Nationality: Had the distinction of being part of two groups called "Team Canada" in both FMW and WCW despite being obviously American (and from Florida, which is as far from Canada as you can get in the contiguous US).
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel:
    • In Japan, he played the typical "gaijin brute" that the rival Japanese face must overcome, with Masato Tanaka being said rival in FMW.
    • In WCW, he was this as part of Team Canada (despite definitely not being Canadian).
  • Garbage Wrestler: Kinda obvious when you come from ECW, but most of his time in WWE was spent fighting for the Hardcore Title. In fact, he won it in his WWE TV debut.
  • Hired Guns: One of many hired by Ray González to defeat WWC Universal Heavyweight Champion Carly.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Joey Styles would negatively contrast Mike Awesome's ability against his supposed inferiors in WCW. WCW announcer Scott Hudson loved to describe him as 'the heavyweight that flies like a cruiserweight.
  • Malaproper: He would call WCW interviewer Pamela Paulshock "Paula Pamshock".
  • Power Stable:
  • Prejudiced For Pecs: Unlike most cases in professional wrestling, this worked against him, as some promoters and agents actively discouraged his jumping around, believing it too unbelievable for a guy his size to resort to, which unfortunately made Mike Awesome look more generic, as WWF and WCW were not experiencing a major shortage of guys his size.
  • The Quisling: He debuted in WCW on the April 10, 2000 episode of Nitro while he was still the ECW World Heavyweight Champion. ECW fans never forgave him.
  • Red Baron: (in WCW): "That '70's Guy", "The Fat Chick Thrilla". Both as awful as they sound and a clear sign of his Villain Decay from his ECW days. But hey, six figures.
  • Would Hit a Girl: It was apparently what led to his death. He had had an altercation with his wife and she called the police and he was arrested. While he was in jail, his wife walked out on him. Reportedly, when he got back home he felt he had nothing to live for and he killed himself.
    • In-Universe: During his title defense against 2 Cold Scorpio (w/Jazz) on the December 10, 1999 ECW on TNN, she got involved and tried punching away at him to no effect. He set her up for the Awesome Bomb but Scorpio came off the top with a clothesline to make the save.
      • Also clotheslined Spike Dudley's girlfriend after she hit the Acid Drop DDT on Awesome's manager.
  • Wrestling Family: His cousin is Horace Hogan, who is Hulk Hogan's nephew.