Back in the 80’s and 90’s, it was very common to see some no name wrestler go up against a proven star of a promotion. Whether that be from the WWF, NWA/WCW, AWA or elsewhere, these nomads of professional wrestling were there to make the stars look great. They were known as enhancement talent, preliminary wrestlers or as many fans have come to know them…”jobbers.” While fans were clamoring to see big time match ups, these “squash matches” served a very important purpose. While perhaps not appreciated at the time, they were just as important as the stars themselves.
In 1994, Chris Kanyon was brought in by the World Wrestling Federation to work several “squash matches” against top WWF stars of that era. Kanyon was only wrestling for approximately two years on a part time basis when the WWF called. He used his wrestling name, but spelled it differently during that time…going by the spelling Chris Canyon. He went on to wrestle and lose a few matches on television to the likes of Tatanka, Shawn Michaels and the 1-2-3 Kid.
Kanyon would join WCW where he would eventually establish himself as a star. He got his first big break as a member of the tag team ‘Men At Work’ and then under a mask known as the character Mortis. He would go on to feud with the likes of Glacier, Raven, Perry Saturn and Diamond Dallas Page. WCW announcer Mike Tenay called Kanyon ‘The innovator of Offense’ due to all the creative moves Kanyon was able to do.
Chris Kanyon joined WWE after WCW’s sale to Vince McMahon. He would become the United States champion and also co hold the WWE tag team titles with good friend DDP. He was also the self proclaimed “Alliance MVP” referring to being the best part of the Alliance faction that invaded the company. Many of his friends and peers considered Chris Kanyon ahead of his time as a wrestler. Sadly, Kanyon committed suicide after a long battle with mental illness. He was just 40 years old.