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Heidenreich

Heidenreich

REAL NAME:John Heidenreich
6' 7", 300 pounds
BORN: June 28. 1972 in Los Angeles, California
NICKNAMES:John Heidenreich, Big Bad John

Like many pro wrestlers, Heidenreich came from a football background. In 1992, he was a member of the Washington Redskins, winners of that year's Super Bowl. In 2001, he was signed to a WWE developmental deal and assigned to UPW for training.

Before long, however, the organization released him, and Heidenreich travelled to Japan. On October 20, 2002, he teamed with Nathan Jones to defeat Shinjiro Ohtani & Masato Tanaka and win the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship, only to lose the titles six days later to Shinya Hashimoto & Naoya Ogawa.

Heidenreich was eventually given another chance by WWE and in the fall of 2003, after several dark matches, he began showing up on Raw, trying to convince "Stone Cold" Steve Austin to give him a tryout with the organization. Austin agreed and Heidenreich and The Hurricane defeated La Resistance.

However, Heidenreich soon disappeared from Raw and headed to Ohio Valley where, as Big Bad John, he spent the first half of 2004. When Heidenreich returned to WWE in the late summer of 2004, he made quite the impression, having been heralded by a series of vignettes that paired him with manager Paul Heyman.

His on-screen appearances involved him attacking cruiserweights such as Funaki and Paul London, as well as announcers Josh Matthews and Michael Cole. In an even more disturbing twist, Heidenreich also began spouting poetry. All that aside, the newcomer took on quite the task, challenging The Undertaker, costing 'Taker a "Last Ride" match against JBL at No Mercy.

The Undertaker qot a measure of revenge, however, by defeating Heidenreich at Survivor Series. The feud would continue into 2005, when 'Taker defeated Heidenreich again, this time in a casket match at the Royal Rumble, a match marred by interference from Kane and Snitsky.

After a feud with Booker T, Heidenreich began to turn face, continuing to read his poems and looking for friends as he went along. He even began enlisting children from the crowd as corner men. After a run at Orlando Jordan's U.S. title, Heidenrich began teaming with Road Warrior Animal and at the 2005 Great American Bash, Animal and Heidenreich defeated MNM to win the WWE Tag Team titles.

Animal helped turn Heidenreich into a full-fledged member of the Legion of Doom, complete with face paint, hair cut and shoulder pads. The new champions defended their tag titles against mostly jobbers, with the odd team like William Regal and Paul Burchill and even Batista and Eddie Guerrero thrown in.

Outside of the ring, September 2005 was a stressful time for John Heidenreich, as he had family in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit, and was out of touch with them for some time, before finding out all was okay.

On October 28th, Heidenreich and Animal lost the tag team titles in a fatal four-way match won by MNM, and quickly disappeared from the main show, relegated to the likes of Velocity.

On January 17, 2006, WWE and Heidenreich announced that they had come to terms on his release from the company. Since then, Heidenreich has appeared on several independent wrestling shows, working for such companies as Outlaw Championship Wrestling and Carolina Wrestling Association.

HEIDENREICH STORIES

  • Jan. 18, 2006: Heidenreich released by WWE
    Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store


  • WWE Ruthless Aggression Series 15.5 Figure: Heidenreich
  • WWE Adrenaline Series 11 Figures: Heidenreich & Paul Heyman

    --- compiled by John M. Milner