Missing Wrestlers of the Week: ECW Edition
With the recent return of ECW mastermind Paul Heyman to WWE and the questionable success Shane Douglas’ Extreme Reunion show, the promotion that put hardcore on the map is at the forefront of many people’s minds. But while guys like Heyman and Douglas have managed to maintain decent public profiles of their own, many ECW Originals have largely fallen off the map to all but the most dedicated and obsessive wrestling fans.
Keep reading to find out where five of your favorite, forgotten ECW wrestlers are now…
Who he was: From 1993 to 1997, Peter Polaco wrestled in WWE as Aldo Montoya, the Portuguese Man O’ War, but he found the most success afterward, during a run as Justin Credible during ECW’s heyday. He went on to form the Impact Players tag team with Lance Storm and even fought his way to the ECW World Heavyweight Title.
Where he is now: After WWE devoured ECW, Credible sent a couple years in the larger promotion, before going on to stints in TNA, Ring of Honor and MTV’s short-lived Wrestling Society X and eventually returning to WWE for a brief run in 2006. Since then, he has performed mainly on the independent circuit, and in a story that made the rounds on numerous dirt sheets, was, for a period, reportedly in the process of becoming a chef for the Olive Garden chain of restaurants.
Who he was: Balls Mahoney was hardcore even by ECW standards, forming the tag team “Hardcore Chair Swingin’ Freaks” with Axl Rotten. Not a technical wrestler by any stretch of the imagination, Balls made his name by dealing out and absorbing obscene amounts of damage in the original ECW, as well as the reincarnated WWE version in the mid-2000s.
Where he is now: Since the dissolution of ECW, Balls has, frankly, spiraled out of control. Now 40 years of age, the wrestler still sadly competes in uncomfortably hardcore, violent matches. As a result of his chosen profession, and what has been reported to be a nasty drug habit, he has also lost the majority of his teeth. Despite an appearance on “Who Wants to Be a Superhero?” Mahoney is still mostly found taking nasty bumps and chairshots on the independent scene.
Who he was: The man whose mama named him Mike Bucci was an incredibly influential wrestler during the late 1990s, with so many of his moves borrowed/copied/stolen by other wrestlers that he was dubbed “the most imitated man in wrestling” by ECW announcer Joey Styles. As a part of the Blue World Order, Bucci became one of the most visible parts of the ECW program.
Where he is now: Bucci went on to have a run in WWE from 2002 to 2007 as the physical-fitness personality Simon Dean, but never reached the heights of his time in ECW. After a brief time spent running WWE’s developmental system, Bucci moved away from the business, becoming a licensed mortgage broker, and only occasionally stepping back into the squared circle.
Who he was: One of the more constant members of the Full Blooded Italians stable in the original ECW, the revamped version and WWE, Little Guido/Nunzio made up for his small-for-a-wrestler stature with a full arsenal of high-energy moves. After time spent wrestling in the revamped WWECW, he took to the independent circuit.
Where he is now: After wrestling on the indies for a while, Guido made it back to WWE in 2010, but this time as a referee. Starting on house shows, he eventually worked his way up to televised events, officiating numerous matches before parting with the company in late 2011. Most recently, he competed in TNA’s Indian promotion, Ring Ka King.
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