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Ken Kennedy / Mr. Anderson

Ken Kennedy at WWE Niagara Falls on Tuesday, March 14, 2007.
Photo by Mike Mastrandrea
RELATED STORY: Mr. Kennedy goes over in Niagara Falls

REAL NAME: Ken Anderson
6' 2", 225 pounds
BORN: March 6th in Minneapolis, Minnesota
NICKNAMES: Ken Anderson, Kamikaze Ken, Mr. Ken Anderson, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Anderson

Many wrestling superstars can boast having a unique entrance, but very few have decided they'd rather do the ring introductions themselves. One of those few is Ken Kennedy...

Kennedy!

Swimming and track and field were two of the more traditional sports that Ken Anderson excelled at while at Washington High School in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. However, he also became interested in Tae-Kwon-Do and a form of stick fighting called Escrima. Anderson excelled in the latter to the point where in 1997, he took first place at the Midwest Regional Escrima Championship.

Two years later, after being hooked back into pro wrestling by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Anderson turned his attention towards a career in the ring and, while working as a security guard for a nuclear plant, he began training with Mike and Eric Hammers in Green Bay, Wisconsin. After eight months of training, he made his debut against Derrick St. Holmes, Esq.

Known as "Kamikaze Ken" for his high-risk style, Anderson's career nearly came to an end in 2000 when he was admitted to the hospital with a tennis-ball sized hole in his lung, which doctors believed came from taking a bump in the ring.

After recovering, Anderson returned to the ring in ACW in June 2000. Kennedy would go on to win the ACW Television, Tag Team and Heavyweight Championships.

Ken Kennedy's WWE debut actually came in early 2001, when, as Ken Anderson, he was used as "enhancement talent" on B-level shows such as Jakked and Heat. He would fall to the likes of Essa Rios, Rodney Mack, Rosey, William Regaland the team of Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo, among others over the next three years.

Kennedy would also compete in the indies, including the 2002 and 2003 IWA Ted Petty Invitational tournament, although he never advanced past the first round in either tournament.

In February 2005, he was signed to a development deal with WWE and assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling. Still wrestling as Ken Anderson, he was aligned with Chad and Tank Toland, but also teamed with Paul Burchill and Daniel Puder.

On August 11th, Anderson defeated Sho Funaki on an episode of Velocity, before returning for one final run in Ohio Valley. He had already adapted the "Mister" gimmick while on Velocity, but also announced that Vince McMahon had convinced him to change his name to Kennedy.

The newly-named Mr. Kennedy returned to the WWE in late August and once again defeated Funaki, only this time it was on Smackdown. Kennedy, by now doing his own ring announcing, followed it up with a defeat of Booker T, Paul London and Rey Mysterio (thanks to help from JBL). After a feud with Hardcore Holly that led to a victory at No Mercy), Kennedy got involved in the Ortons' feud with Batista, Roddy Piper and the late Eddie Guerrero. (Guerrero's victory over Kennedy on Smackdown was Eddie's final televised match.)

Just as it seemed as though Kennedy was building momentum, he suffered a lat tear, similar to but more serious than the one sufferd by Batista and would be out for six months. However, Kennedy would become a rising star in spite of the series of setbacks.

Kennedy had his first match back with Ohio Valley Wrestling, and nearly a month later would make his return to Smackdown. He’d compile a string of victories until Matt Hardy defeated him on TV.

He went on to defeat Batista by DQ at the Great American Bash (replacing an injured Mark Henry) and won the U.S. Championship on Smackdown. Shortly after starting a feud with The Undertaker, Kennedy lost his belt to Chris Benoit.

The angle with Undertaker, though, continued on TV with Kennedy and Montel Vontavious Porter taking on 'Taker and Kane. Kennedy beat Undertaker in a First Blood match at Survivor Series but lost at Armageddon in a Last Ride match.

Kennedy would get title shots in the first couple months of 2007, first unsuccessfully taking on Batista for the World Heavyweight title and then Bobby Lashley for his ECW belt.

WrestleMania 23 would be a high water mark for Kennedy as he defeated seven other wrestlers to win the Money in the Bank ladder match. An injury (first thought to be a tricep muscle injury requiring surgery, but then found to be a much less serious massive hematoma) kept him from building on the angle. WWE brought in Edge to defeat Kennedy in a quick match to take the Money in the Bank contract so that Kennedy could take time off to recuperate.

Kennedy returned about two months later, but now on RAW. He’d wrestle at SummerSlam, but Umaga would retain his Intercontinental belt in a three-way against Kennedy and Carlito.

Kennedy’s push again would be impeded, this time because he was suspended for violating the WWE’s wellness policy.

A month later, he lost to WWE Champion John Cena on RAW in a match during which Cena tore his right pectoral tendon. Kennedy, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch would defeat Jeff Hardy, Brian Kendrick and Paul London in a six-man tag match a week later at No Mercy.

--- compiled by John M. Milner and Richard Kamchen

KEN KENNEDY STORIES

  • May 11, 2012: Anderson excited to face 'living legend' Hardy at TNA Sacrifice
  • May 29, 2009: WWE releases Mr. Kennedy ... Kennedy
  • Jan. 5, 2009: Guns a'blazing for Behind Enemy Lines III
  • Dec. 6, 2008: Mr. Kennedy game for arm rehab
  • Nov. 21, 2008: Mr. Kennedy makes his Survivor Series picks
  • May 12, 2008: Ken Kennedy answers your questions
  • May 10, 2008: Mr. Kennedy: 'It sucked being suspended'
  • May 5, 2008: Getting personal with Mr. Kennedy
  • June 9, 2007: Kennedy keen to climb ladder
  • Mar. 16, 2007: Mr. Kennedy goes over in Niagara Falls
  • May 28, 2006: Mr. Kennedy: Smackdown! not a B show
  • Jan. 17, 2006: Mr. Kennedy ... Kennedy speaks!