Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Positively Kanyon

POSITIVELY KANYON – WCW, 2000

History
Chris Kanyon was having a rough time. After being thrown off the first tier of the triple cage by Mike Awesome at the 2000 Slamboree, he found himself in a hospital bed wearing a halo – a device to stabilize the head and enable a spinal injury to heal. The very next day, DDP was staying in Kanyon’s hospital room when the New Blood attacked, leveling DDP. Kanyon wasn’t seen again for a week and a half, when Mike Tenay did an interview with him from his hospital room. Kanyon emphatically stated that he knew he would recover and gave Page his full support. Unfortunately, the next week on Thunder Mike Awesome retaliated, by appearing in Kanyon’s hospital room on the TurnerTron. On the other hand, all Awesome did was talk before Thunder went to commercial. But apparently everything would be okay because DDP called hospital security on his cell phone.

Kanyon wouldn’t show up again until the Great American Bash. DDP pushed Kanyon in a wheelchair up onto the stage so he could watch Page defeat Awesome in an ambulance match. As DDP began pushing Awesome back toward the ambulance, Eric Bischoff’s music hit. Bischoff came out on the stage and began moving threateningly toward Kanyon. Page left Awesome to fight off Bischoff. Behind him, Kanyon stood up, pulled off the halo, and leveled DDP with a Diamond Cutter.

Later, Gene Okerlund caught up with Kanyon in the back. Okerlund asked why Kanyon had attacked his friend. Kanyon smugly replied that Bischoff had visited him in the hospital and told him that all he had to do to be a star was take Page out of the picture. Kanyon smiled as he told Okerlund that now he was Positively Kanyon (which marked the title of DDP’s book – Positively Page).

The next night, Positively Kanyon made his in-ring debut, taking on Scott Steiner for the US title. He even had a copy of his book (Positively Kanyon) and a manger (Kimberly). The match ended … well… First Mike Awesome ran in to attack Steiner. Then Kronic ran in to attack Awesome. I don’t think that there was a winner. Moving on, the next Wednesday on Thunder, Kanyon comes out with Mike Awesome for a tag team match against Rick Steiner and Tank Abbott. By now Kanyon had lost Kimberly, but had picked up DDP’s entrance routine, complete with posing and pyro. Unfortunately, 90 seconds into the match Scott Steiner showed up and leveled Tank Abbott, leaving Kanyon with 0 wins, but also 0 losses. Hey, he’s not winning, but he’s not losing either. That’s positive, right?

Things wouldn’t change anytime soon as Nitro rolled around again. This time Kanyon took on GI Bro (Booker T). Bro pounded Kanyon, and then threw him out of the ring, which was apparently the end of the match. On the plus side, after the match Booker dumped the GI Bro gimmick. On Thunder, Kanyon had had enough. He announced to the crowd that he was going to read an entire chapter of his book. While he was doing so, Booker came out and jumped him. Kanyon leveled him with the book, and then tore it apart to reveal a brick hidden inside. I’d call that a win, even if there wasn’t a match.

On Nitro, Kanyon’s fortunes weren’t looking too positive. He was doing a book signing, and nobody was interested. About a half hour later, the cameras came back to reveal a long line of people waiting to get their books signed. The camera panned back to Kanyon’s sign to reveal how he’d drawn the crowd – free drink vouchers.

Thunder started off very positive. For most of the show, Kanyon wandered around backstage, randomly Diamond Cutting crew members and even took out the cameraman after an interview between Gene Okerlund, Lance Storm, and Billy Kidman. Then he decided he wanted a match against Buff Bagwell, which Buff won by DQ after Kanyon Diamond Cut the referee. Afterward, Booker T ran in to get some revenge after Kanyon dropped Bagwell with a book shot. They would mix it up the next Nitro in a battle royal, where Booker would eliminate Kanyon (Kevin Nash wound up winning, by the way).

The next Thunder contained one of my personal favorite Positively Kanyon moments. Jeff Jarrett was walking backstage, when Kanyon suddenly Diamond Cut a crewman. Off in the distance you heard Jeff Jarrett saying, “Knock that crap off, Kanyon.” Unfortunately that would be Kanyon’s only high point of the night, as he lost a world title shot to Booker T in a tag team match (Kanyon’s partner was Shane Douglas, Booker’s was Buff Bagwell) later in the night.

Bash at the Beach was the next Sunday, and Kanyon was finally getting his hands on Booker one-on-one. The match was back and forth until Jeff Jarrett nailed Booker with his guitar, which enabled Kanyon to hit the long-ago-renamed Kanyon Cutter. Of course, Booker’s sorrow was short-lived as he went on to win the world title from Jarrett later in the night.

On the following Nitro, Kanyon was first jumped by Scott Steiner in the back, and then lost another title shot, this time to Jeff Jarrett in a four man match between himself, Jarrett, Goldberg, and Scott Steiner. Unfortunately, the joke was beginning to get old. On Thunder, the first death knell sounded. It wasn’t Kanyon’s loss (again) to Jeff Jarrett in a #1 contender’s match. No, this was far, far worse. Kanyon discovered a new lady he had a fancy for. Not Kimberly, like DDP. Kanyon had fallen for a former WCW tag team champion who also happened to be Buff Bagwell’s mother. Yes, Positively Kanyon was falling for… Judy Bagwell.

To skip a lot of the decline, we’ll cut right to the end of the Buff Bagwell feud. At the next pay per view (New Blood Rising), Kanyon took on Buff Bagwell in a match with a very special stipulation – a Judy Bagwell on a pole match. However, Judy (who was an overweight older lady) wasn’t on a pole. Kanyon drove her out on a forklift. Hey, she wasn’t that big. Long story short – David Arquette showed up and attacked Buff, who Blockbustered both Kanyon and Arquette for the win, so he got his mother back.

Final Analysis
Let’s be honest. No matter how athletically skilled Kanyon is (he is) or how dead-on his Page impersonations were (they were), this gimmick was nothing but comedy. The problem was that you can only hear a joke so many times before it stops being funny. That was what happened here. The joke stopped being funny, so the writers decided to add a dose of high-larity by having Kanyon become captivated by Judy Bagwell. As a result of this, Kanyon would disappear from WCW TV for months.

Where Are They Now?
Kanyon was with WCW until the company closed in 2001, and was one of the wrestlers whose contract was picked up by the WWF. While there, he declared himself the “Alliance MVP” and was awarded the US title, then won the WWF tag team titles with… Diamond Dallas Page. Unfortunately, by the end of the year Kanyon damaged his ACL in a match, and then developed an infection after he began training again after the surgery, which developed into a life-threatening condition.

Kanyon was released from the WWE in February of 2004. Today, Kanyon is still active on the independent circuit. He also has a website at http://www.chriskanyon.com.

Next Week
We hop to the WWF to take a look at an event I consider “The Trifecta.” Any guesses as to what it is?

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