October 21, 2005
Simon Dean

Simon Dean

REAL NAME: Mike Bucci
5' 10", 220 pounds
BORN: June 5, 1972 in Bricktown, New Jersey
NICKNAMES:Nova, Hollywood Nova, Super Nova, Simon Dean, Mike Moraldo

Ten years ago, a super hero debuted in Extreme Championship Wrestling. Today that super hero has become a parody of fitness informercial hosts. Along the way, Mike Bucci, aka Nova, aka Simon Dean has impressed many with his athleticism and ability to entertain.

After earning a college degree in mathematics, Mike Bucci turned his attention to the wrestling world. Enrolling in wrestling school at the age of 19, Bucci was trained by Canada's own "Iron Mike" Sharpe, and made his debut in 1992. A year later, in the latter-half of 1993, sharp-eyed WWE viewers might have gotten their first look at the future Simon Dean. Bucci, wrestling as Mike Bucci, made several appearances on Raw, wrestling (and losing) mostly in tag matches, against the Headshrinkers and the Steiner Brothers. For the next couple of years, Bucci continued to wrestle on the independent circuit before being signed to Extreme Championship Wrestling.

Bucci debuted in ECW in 1995 as Nova, a superhero precursor to the Hurricane, and soon joined Raven's Nest. However, before too long, Nova, the Blue Meanie and Stevie Richards as the Blue World Order or BWO, a parody of WCW's New World Order. The Blue Meanie became Da Blue Guy (a parody of Scott Hall), Richards became the Kevin Nash-like Big Stevie Cool and Nova added the tag "Hollywood", a parody of Hollywood Hulk Hogan. The BWO quickly became one of the most popular factions in ECW and all of wrestling.

Even after Richards returned to the Nest, Meanie and Nova began teaming up, and made a name for themselves in the tag ranks. Despite becoming the most popular team in ECW following a bloody feud with the FBI, the tandem was never considered seriously for title contention. When Meanie left ECW, Super Nova, as he was now called, would also team with Chris Chetti. After several months of teaming together, however, Chetti turned on Nova, leading to a feud between the two tag partners. At November to Remember 2000, it seemed as if Nova had rid himself of Chetti, defeating him in a "Loser Leaves ECW" match. However, Chetti returned at Guilty as Charged", dressed as a referee and interfered in Nova's match against Chris Hamrick. Spike Dudley came to ringside and put a stop to that, however.

With the demise of ECW, Nova hit the independent scene again, forming a successful tag team with Frankie Kazarian, winning the Ultimate Pro Wrestling and the Pheonix Championship Wrestling Tag Team titles in short order. Nova also teamed with fellow ECW alumni Tommy Dreamer to win the Border City Wrestling Tag titles.

In April 2002, Nova was signed to a WWE developmental deal, and in his debut with Ohio Valley Wrestling, defeated the Prototype (John Cena) to win the OVW Heavyweight Championship, a title he defended against Prototype, Christian, Lance Cade and Chris Kanyon, among others, until October 2002, when he lost to Damaja (Danny Basham).

In January 2003, Nova began making appearances (as Mike Bucci) on WWE Velocity, but remained more active in Ohio Valley. In addition to trying (unsuccessfully) to regain the Heavyweight title, he teamed with Aaron Stevens to defeat Tank Toland and Chris Cage to win the OVW Tag titles on October 10, 2003. After losing the titles in March 2004, Nova began working dark matches on Raw and Smackdown tapings before being made "assistant booker" in Ohio Valley.


In August 2004, a series of mock infomercials about the "Simon System" weight loss plan were shown on WWE TV. Nova had become Simon Dean, an obnoxious fitness guru that was to be a sponsor of WWE Raw. After "buying time" on Raw in November, Dean seemed as interested in insulting the fans as he was in shilling his product, which drew the ire of the Hurricane and Rosey.

In the spring of 2005, Simon Dean took Maven under his wing as a protege, with the pair teaming together several times in pursuit of the World Tag Team titles. The team had several title matches but never gained the titles.

On June 12, 2005, Nova reappeared, reforming the Blue World Order with Da Blue Guy and Big Stevie Cool at ECW One Night Stand. With Simon Dean traded to Smackdown, the BWO made several appearances on that show and making an appearance at the Great American Bash before Nova left and Simon Dean returned.

Simon Dean remains on Smackdown, although his star seems to be fading. He crossed paths with newcomer Bobby Lashley, only to be defeated at No Mercy.

After appearing mostly on Velocity, Dean had the misfortune of being the Boogeyman's first opponent on Smackdown. Dean was so spooked that he had to be dragged to the ring before being defeated in short order.

Dean tried to reverse his fortunes by turning his attention to managing a new tag team: Gymini. Gymini, led by Simon Dean, looked impressive in their debut against Paul London and Brian Kendrick, but Dean is now back in singles competition, losing during periodic Smackdown appearances.

NOVA / SIMON DEAN STORIES

  • Mar. 13, 2001: Nova looking to shine

    --- compiled by John M. Milner with files from "Bloodthirsty" Bob Kapur


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