Today we take a look at a wrestler who was pegged for super-stardom not once, but twice by the WWE. A man who went on to become a star with TNA wrestling, until a bad falling out. Today on the blog, we ask: ‘Whatever Happened to’ ‘Mr. Kennedy’ Ken Anderson?
Ken Anderson started training and actively wrestling beginning in 1999. He wrestled primarily for a number of independent organizations in the mid west of the United States including Minnesota and Wisconsin. He first wrestled under the moniker of Two Rivers Jack and later was named Kamikaze Ken. In 2002, Anderson got his first big break when he had a try out match for Jeff Jarrett’s TNA wrestling. Ultimately, he wasn’t signed to a deal.
He continued wrestling on the mid west indie scene, when the WWE came calling in 2005. He was signed to a developmental deal and assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) At first, Jim Cornette was running the territory and didn’t see too much potential in Anderson and was barely used. It wasn’t until Cornette got fired and Paul Heyman took over the OVW booking that Anderson began to flourish.
Paul Heyman saw the tremendous amount of charisma Ken Anderson had and began to push him hard as a heel. Five weeks after Heyman took over, Ken Anderson was called up to the main roster. WWE creative didn’t like his real name as they felt he would get confused with the former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback of the same name. It was Paul Heyman who suggested that Ken Anderson change his name to Mr. Kennedy as a homage to Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
Mr. Kennedy went on to win the United States title and received his first real big push when he won the Money in the Bank briefcase at Wrestlemania 23. He was to cash in that contract at Wrestlemania 24 the following year, but an injury forced him to lose the briefcase in a match against Edge. His next big opportunity would come after he returned from his injury. He was slated in an angle to be the bastard son of Vince McMahon.
His part in the angle was scrapped when Anderson was named in a steroid ring and was suspended for 30 days. Mr. Kennedy would return from suspension and fall down the card as a result. He would fall out of fvor with a large majority of the locker room which included, Hardcore Holly, Randy Orton and John Cena. Orton and Cena would allegedly complain to Vince McMahon that Mr. Kennedy was too dangerous to work with in the ring and as a result…was released from the WWE in 2009.
Ken Anderson’s next stop was with TNA wrestling. Mr. Anderson as he was being dubbed, went on to win the TNA world title on two separate occasions. He would also join the dreaded faction known as Aces & Eights. Anderson would go on to destroy the faction from within and feud with Bully Ray in the process. In 2016, Anderson was fired by TNA for allegedly failing a drug test.
So the question is…Whatever Happened to ‘Mr. Kennedy’ Ken Anderson? Anderson partnered with his good friend and former WWE/TNA wrestler Shawn Daivari and opened up their own wrestling school. The school is named The Academy: School of Professional Wrestling and was opened in 2016. Anderson still wrestles on independent shows, but his main focus is now on training his students at the Academy. Ken Anderson is married with 2 kids, Pearce and Prescott. He and his family reside in Minnesota.
You can read all previous ‘Whatever Happened to’ pieces here.