Muhammad Hassan (real name Mark Copani; November 7, 1981) is an American professional wrestler best known for having had a brief but memorable run in WWE as an Arab-American heel who was angry about the prejudice he faced after 9/11. Before a controversial segment ended up killing his career, this guy was being pushed to the moon. On his very first appearance, he got to interrupt Mick Foley. He wasn't even on TV for a year, and he got wins over various wrestling legends (including Sgt. Slaughter and Jerry Lawler), a WWE title match, feuds with three of the greatest wrestlers of all time (Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker), and a win over then-WWE World Heavyweight Champion Batista (it was by disqualification, but a win's a win).
Under his previous ring name of Mark Magnus, he was a 1x OVW Heavyweight Champion.
In 2018, Copani has returned to wrestling as the Hassan character at Dynasty Wrestling's King Of Thrones show.
The Other Wiki has a more detailed rundown on his life and (very brief) career.
Tropes associated with Muhammad Hassan include:
- 0% Approval Rating: As showcased at the 2005 Royal Rumble. JR and Taz, who had been bantering thanks to the SmackDown vs RAW theme of the PPV, immediately stopped all commentary when he entered, with JR even expressing shame over the fact that Hassan was from RAW. Then, when he actually entered the ring, all ten wrestlers immediately stopped fighting and ganged up on him.
- Ambiguously Brown: Copani is actually a very dark-skinned Italian-American, he has no Middle Eastern heritage.
- Arab Oil Sheikh: According to this interview, Hassan's character was originally conceived as one of these.
- Badass Beard: Likely in part of playing up his "Arab" heritage.
- Badass Teacher: After he retired from wrestling, he took up a job as a global history teacher.
- Bilingual Bonus: Daivari, Hassan's manager, spoke mostly in Farsi. In fact, as mentioned below, there were even times where he would swear in Farsi.
- Bilingual Dialogue: Hassan would only speak English, but would hold conversations with Daivari well enough in spite of his insistence on keeping to Farsi.
- Cloth Fu: He sometimes used his headdress to choke people.
- Combat Pragmatist: So he might not of been a criminal, militant or anything else of the sort but he was a dirty cheat, BOOO!
- Corpsing: Crossed with a (most certainly unintentional) example of Actually Pretty Funny. One segment in Raw had Hassan interrupting John Cena's promo before going on one of his trademark over-the-top Motive Rants, before Cena interrupted him and mocked his speech by talking about how Hassan liked "receiving glorious spankings from Daivari." An eagle-eyed viewer could see Hassan trying to contain a smirk before regaining his serious expression just in time for a close-up.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Wrestled in WWE's developmental promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling as "This Year's Model" Mark Magnus and looked VERY different from how he looked as Hassan.
- Enemy Mine: When he entered the 2005 Royal Rumble, the eight other men already participating in the Rumble immediately stopped fighting and ganged up on him to eliminate him. This approach is usually reserved for the Mighty Glacier/The Giant-type of wrestlers (André the Giant, Earthquake, Yokozuna, etc.), since it would be necessary to have a bunch of guys team up to eliminate them), not a 243 lbs. normal-sized wrestler such as Hassan, who could have been tossed at any time by anyone.
- Hassan was also part of a different enemy mine. During Triple H's feud with Batista, Batista had a lumberjack match with an opponent Triple H selected (Kane), and Hassan was one of the lumberjacks. When Ric Flair was motivating the lumberjacks by telling them about how Batista screwed them all (each lumberjack had previously suffered a loss to Batista), he mentions Hassan and "whatever country you come from." Hassan uncharacteristically didn't launch into a tirade against Flair about how he comes from the same country as him and how Flair was being prejudiced for assuming that he came from a different country.
- Finishing Move:
- The Camel Clutch, in line with many Foreign Wrestling Heels.
- He would also use repeatedly a reverse STO. Strangely enough for such a gimmick-driven wrestler, the move wasn't renamed with a flashy-sounding name for him.
- Flanderization: Towards the end of his run first run before his first retirement, he slowly began to act more like a terrorist, even though the point he was trying to make was that he was not a terrorist.
- Foreign Curse Word: His manager, Daivari, would frequently swear in Farsi. At least once, he referred to Chris Benoit as a motherfucker.
- Foreign Wrestling Heel: Inverted. His character was born and raised in the United States, and the main part of his gimmick was that he was fed up with people treating him like one of these post-9/11. He was portrayed as a villain because of this.
- The fans would chant "USA" whenever he was in the ring, regardless of who he was confronting. This was particularly humorous when he interrupted Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel, and the crowd still chanted "USA". Hassan was American, and Jericho is Canadian (he was born in America, but was raised in Canada and identifies as Canadian). Therefore, the crowd was unintentionally cheering for Hassan.
- Fun with Foreign Languages: A segment where Hassan interrupted Chris Jericho's "The Highlight Reel" had this exchange between Daivari and Jericho:Jericho: You still have penises, right? (referring to Daivari) Well, I don't know about that guy there, but Hassan, you still have a penis, right?Daivari: (Yells something in Persian while making various hand movements that include gesturing to his penis and pointing at Jericho)Jericho: (disgusted look on his face) Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa! That is disgusting, you wanna do what with me? Y2J doesn't play on that side of the fence, junior, okay?
- An earlier segment, in which Hassan and Daivari were guests on the Highlight Reel had Jericho intentionally misinterpreting ("Carry the 'R'") Daivari's yelling as a request for his band Fozzy's then-new album.
- Garbage Wrestler: In WWC, which did not have a whole bunch of guys to carry him like WWE did, nor the star power.
- Genius Bruiser: He's a teacher now.
- Insistent Terminology: He's not Arab, he's Arab-American.
- Interrupting Meme: After his debut in WWE, he would often interrupt other wrestlers promos and whatnot, with his distinctive theme music. This spread to YTMND, and became what is now referred to as "Hassaning," where his music would oftAN ALIEN, ALIEN, ALIEN, ALAYLEE....
- Jerkass: John Cena called Hassan and Daivari out on this."These people don't hate you because you're Arab-American. They hate you because you're (censored) Asshole-American."
- Killed Off for Real: In a sense. While no one really dies in WWE, Hassans career was ended when Undertaker removed part of the entrance ramp and dropped him through it with a Last Ride.
- Mistaken for Terrorist: The reason why his character was angry.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: The reason for his bashing of Americans is because of how they treated him after 9/11.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Inverted, he was a villain pushing for political correctness.
- Power Stable: (both in OVW)
- The Revolution (led by Doug Basham and also featuring Damaja [WWE's Danny Basham], Rob Conway, Big Bad John [Heidenreich], Mike Hardnote , Kanyon, Queen Victoria and Jackie Gayda.)
- The Team Players (led by Johnny Ace and featuring Inspector Max Impactnote , Rob Conway, Nick Dinsmore and Chris Masters).
- Red Baron: (as Mark Magnus): "This Year's Model"
- Small Role, Big Impact: Still being discussed today dispite only being with the company for less than a year. Though not in a positive way.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: At The Great American Bash 2005, July 24, 2005, The Undertaker gave him The Last Ride through the floor to send him out of WWE.
- You Bastard!: Some of the hottest heat he ever got was in the UK, when he stated the nation tended to follow the social trends of the USA. Going on to say they had become prejudiced racists jingoists before defeating William Regal and Yoshihiro Tajiri was just icing on the cake.