Whatever Happened to Mike ‘Bart Gunn’ Polchlopek?


Craig Wilson

Mike Polchlopek appeared on our screens for the best part of 6 years winning the tag team titles four times and the Brawl for All tournament. But Whatever Happened to Bart Gunn?

Polchlopek first appeared on our screens back in 1993 as Bart Gunn alongside his kayfabe brother – and future Mr. Ass – Billy Gunn as one half of The Smokin’ Gunns. Their PPV debut came at the 1993 King of the Ring where they teamed with the Steiner Brothers to face The Headshrinkers and Money Inc. with Billy Gunn scoring the pinfall. The following month they teamed with Tatanka to defeat Bam Bam Bigelow and The Headshrinkers.

1994 saw them appear infrequently on PPV but their luck changed in 1995 when they returned from injury the night after the Royal Rumble to defeat 1-2-3 Kid and Bob “Sparky Plugg” Holly to win the WWF tag team titles. They held those until the truly atrocious Wrestlemania XI where Owen Hart and his mystery partner Yokozuna triumphed and took home the gold.

Smokin' GunnsThe cowboy pairing eventually reclaimed the gold in September of the same year and held them until February 1996 when an injury to Billy Gunn forced the pair to relinquish the straps. They’d return to the top of the mountain for the third, and final, time at ‘In Your House 8: Beware of the Dog’ when they bested The Godwinns to win back their titles.

After this match Sunny left The Godwinns and began to side with the new champions. It caused friction between the two and after losing the titles at ‘In You House 10: Mind Games’ to Owen Hart and The British Bulldog, the pair went there separate ways with Billy as a heel and Bart as a face.

A proposed feud between the pair didn’t come to match with Bart injuring his former partner and putting him on the shelf or a few months. Meantime, Bart headed to the NWA and returned to our screens under the tutelage of Jim Cornette as one half of the New Midnight Express as “Bodacious Bart” with partner “Bombastic Bob” Holly. The NWA Invasion angle was short-lived, thankfully, although The New Midnight Express did win the NWA tag titles.

brawl-for-all1After this, Gunn participated in the WWF’s shoot boxing tournament: the Brawl for All. He faced his tag partner Bob Holly in the first round, and was declared the winner on points. In the next round he defeated “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, with a surprising knockout – it was expected that Williams would win the tournament and it would be used to start his push. Gunn then defeated The Godfather in the semi-finals before beating Bradshaw in the finals to win the tournament.

This led the WWF to book Gunn versus heavyweight boxer Eric “Butterbean” Esch at WrestleMania XV. It didn’t end well for Gunn with Esch knocking him out in less than 30 seconds. He was released from the WWF soon afterwards. He did return briefly to our screens during the 15th anniversary Raw Battle Royal where he was eliminated by ‘The Lethal Weapon’ Steve Blackman.

After leaving the WWF he appeared in All Japan Pro Wrestling, briefly for TNA and for New Japan Pro Wrestling before retiring from professional wrestling in 2004.

Upon his retirement from wrestling he went back to doing what he did before it: being an electrician. He cited in a ‘Where are they Now?’ interview with WWE.com that “I didn’t lose anything,” he said. “I retained everything I learned, even though I hadn’t done it in 15 years.”

The article goes on to say that when Gunn’s not working he enjoys riding motorcycles, barbecuing and playing with his grandkids.

You can read all previous ‘What Ever Happened to?’ pieces here.

2 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to Mike ‘Bart Gunn’ Polchlopek?

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2015 week 25 | Ring the Damn Bell

  2. Pingback: Double Trouble: WWE Tag Team Specialists | Ring the Damn Bell

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