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Getting personal with Mr. Kennedy
Rising WWE superstar targets King Regal, fan popularity
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling


Mr. Kennedy delivers his trademark intro at the Bacon, Bagels and Biceps Brunch WrestleMania 24 weekend in Orlando. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea

Hello, Mr. Kennedy. Welcome back from your movie shoot. Now drop your pants, lift your shirt and pee in this cup, please.

True story.

Ken Kennedy, off shooting the straight-to-DVD film Behind Enemy Lines 3: Ghost Watch in Puerto Rico, returned to Monday Night Raw a week ago, and faced the music before he faced the fans.

"That's how we had to take our urinalysis. The guy was sitting there watching us from the front. It was pretty invasive and a little humiliating, but that's how you have to do things nowadays because people cheat," Kennedy explained to SLAM! Wrestling before the start of the WWE swing through eastern Canada. "I think I'd have a hard time peeing if there was a dead guy in the room with me, let alone another male sitting there checking you out. Then the guy tried to talk to me while I was doing it, like I was in the dentist's office. 'So Ken, how long have you been doing this for?'"

Kennedy, whose real name is Ken Anderson, was one of the wrestlers named on the Orlando-based Signature Pharmacy list. According to documents, between October 2006 and February 2007 he had received shipments of anastrozole, somatropin and testosterone. He was suspended 30 days for violations of the company's drug policy in September 2007.

He's open and honest in conversation, including about the error of his ways.

"I'm going to say that I made mistakes. I will probably make more mistakes in the future. The thing is that I just try to learn from my mistakes, and admit wrongdoing when it's necessary or when it's prudent, and just try to move on, man. I've tried not to live in the past," he said.

On talk shows around the time of the Chris Benoit double murder/suicide, Kennedy was adamant about the WWE Wellness Policy and its success.

He believes in it even more now, even with the new difficulty of getting used to peeing in a cup in front of a stranger.

"The Wellness Policy is in place, in effect, and we continue to get drug tested. Yeah, I'm sure, maybe, some people will continue to slip through the cracks. That's just life," he said. "But I think WWE is doing everything that they can and their power to make sure that we're being safe and we're taking care of our bodies."

Kennedy hopes that his own trouble with his body is behind him as well. A torn latissimus dorsi muscle in late 2005 sidelined him six months. Then, after claiming the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania 23, he tore his triceps muscle; again, he was sidelined for a few months.

The fans had always taken to the charismatic Kennedy, even though he did everything he could to have the crowd against him.

"I've done some stuff, I've tried to be as dastardly as I possibly can be, for lack of a better word, it's just really hard to get the fans to truly boo for you night after night after night," he explained.


Mr. Kennedy confronts William Regal at Hamilton, Ontario's Copps Coliseum on Saturday, May 3, 2008. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea
But his current program, lining up against the latest "King of the Ring" William Regal, who has proclaimed himself the most powerful man in the WWE, should change that.

"Here I was, I was in Puerto Rico filming a movie, and they did this King of the Ring tournament, and Mr. Kennedy wasn't even involved. For Mr. Regal to come out there and say that he's the best of the best, and everybody else in the WWE is beneath him, well, I take exception to that. I think we need to have a little showdown before he can say that he's the best of the best," Kennedy said.

This past weekend on house shows, the confrontations between the two figures has continued. No doubt on Monday Night Raw tonight from Toronto's Air Canada Centre, it will escalate.

Kennedy acknowledges that the fans may cheer him.

"The thing is that I don't plan on changing anything. I'm not going to change my attitude, I'm not going to change the way I wrestle. It'll be interesting to make that transition to have the fans cheering for a change. It's going to be different, but I think it's going to be fun, and it's going to be exciting. I'm excited about it. It's something new and fresh and I think that's something we need right now in the WWE, new and fresh."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Watch for the Mr. Kennedy SLAM! Wrestling reader Q&A in the coming days.

RELATED LINKS

  • Ken Kennedy bio and story archive

    Greg Oliver often refers to himself as Mr. Oliver, but no one else does. Suggestions on improving the situation are welcome at goliver845@gmail.com.