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   April 18, 2014



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Simon Diamond

Simon Diamond

REAL NAME: Patrick Kenney
6' 2", 230 pounds
BORN: Wilmington, Delaware
NICKNAMES: Lance Diamond, Empire Saint, "Irish" Pat Kenney

Pat Kenney almost became a major league baseball player, rather than a wrestler. Picked by the San Diego Padres in the 34th round of the 1988 draft (ahead of All-Star Catcher Mike Piazza chosen by the Dodgers in the 62nd round), Kenney decided to go to college instead. Attending Virginia Commonwealth to earn an English degree, Kenney remained active in baseball, playing catcher for the college's team. He had planned to make a career in professional baseball after graduation, but a severe shoulder injury curtailed that dream.

While working for Pepsi as a marketing director, Kenney met wrestling trainer Jim Kettner. Kenney debuted in 1991, dubbing himself Simon Diamond and first found success in Kettner's ECWA. Diamond defeated the Cheetah Master for the ECWA Heavyweight Championship on May 1st, 1993 and later, teamed with Steve Corino to become part of the ECWA Tag Team titles. So successful was Diamond that he was inducted into the ECWA Hall of Fame in 1995.

But Diamond wasn't ready to rest, yet. Pennsylvania Championship Wrestling was his next stop, and Diamond spent the next couple of years there, winning the PCW United States titles on three occassions between December 27, 1996 (when he won a steel cage battle royale) and May 15, 1998. On July 24, 1998, Diamond would win the PCW Tag titles, with Reckless Youth, the same man he had defeated for the NWA North American title nearly a year prior, on April 12, 1997.

In March 1998, Diamond (Lance Diamond instead of Simon by now) returned to ECWA to defeat Mark Schrader, Scott Taylor and the Inferno Kid to win the Super 8 Tournament. A few months later, Diamond was off to the WWE, appearing on WWE Shotgun, losing to Dustin Runnells and Tiger Ali Singh.

Diamond's time in WWE was short and by the end of 1999, he was wrestling in ECW. He soon formed a tag team with Johnny Swinger. Dawn Marie (who later became Diamond's wife) became the team's valet after a loss to Joey Matthews and Christian York at ECW's Massacre on 34th Street in December 2000.

After the demise of ECW, Diamond wrestled quite frequently on the independent circuit, wrestling the Blue Meanie at an MECW show and travelling with Dawn Marie and Swinger to the XWF tapings in November 2001.

When Diamond was given a tryout match with WWE, he battled his long-time tag partner, Swinger. Instead of staying with WWE, Diamond continued to work the independent scene, showing up on the World Wrestling All-Star's European tour in November 2002.

In February 2003, Diamond and Swinger reunited in NWA-TNA, where they battled America's Most Wanted for the NWA World Tag Team titles, finally winning the titles six months later, on August 27, 2003. The title reign would last until November, when the titles were held up following a bout against 3 Live Krew, and a week later, 3LK won the titles.

Meanwhile, Diamond, still active on the independent scene had joined C.W. Anderson to form the Extreme Horsemen in Major League Wrestling, even winning the first-ever MLW Global Tag Team titles in May 2003 and then joining a team led by Steve Corino in a WarGames match against a team led by Terry Funk.

Back in TNA, the team of Diamond/Swinger became allied with Glen Gilbertti and David Young. This alliance lasted only until January 14, 2004 when Young defeated Diamond in a match where Gilbertti declared that the loser was out of the group. Of course, it didn't help that Gilbertti, serving as the referee, turned on Diamond. To make matters worse, the team of Diamond and Swinger broke up shortly after, when Swinger signed a loyalty oath to Jeff Jarrett.

In addition to wrestling for USA Pro Wrestling and PWWorld-1, Diamond teamed with Sonny Siaki against Gilbertti and Swinger in TNA.

In April, in the midst of his feud with former partner, Swinger, Diamond changed his named to "Irish" Pat Kenney. For much of late 2004 and early 2005, Diamond, initially as Kenney but later returning to the Diamond tag, worked more on the independent circuit than in TNA. Diamond worked in 3PW and teamed with CW Anderson, losing to Chris Chetti and Mikey Whipwreck at Hardcore Homecoming.

In June 2005, Diamond returned to TNA, teaming initially with Trytan and later with David Young. Diamond would also team with Elix Skipper, with the trio being known as "Diamonds in the Rough". The trio had a mixed record against teams like 3 Live Krew, the Naturals and America's Most Wanted, even defeating Raven in a House of Fun match on a December edition of Impact.

Diamond returned to the baseball workd, sort of, when he interrupted a special ceremony honoring the World Series Champion Chicago White Sox and featuring AJ Pierzynski. At Turning Point, Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt and Dale Torborg (with Pierzynski in their corner) defeated Diamonds in the Rough. But Diamond wasn't finished, showing up at the White Sox spring training to taunt Pierzynski, only to get hit by manager Ozzie Guillen.



--- compiled by John M. Milner

SIMON DIAMOND STORIES

  • March 17, 2004: Competitive spirit keeps Diamond shining
  • January 15, 2002: Simon Diamond has a problem: Former ECW star talks to SLAM! Wrestling