Definitions

Konnan el Barbaro

Konnan

Charles Ashenoff (sometimes seen Hispanicized as Carlos Ashenoff), (born June 6, 1964 in Santiago de Cuba) better known by his ring name, Konnan, is a semi-retired professional wrestler and rapper of Cuban descent.

Konnan is well-known in Mexico due to his appearances on Mexican television, particularly with the Asistencia Asesoría y Administración, and has in the past been described as "the Mexican Hulk Hogan", reflecting his mainstream popularity. He has also wrestled for major American promotions such as the World Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Early life

Born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, Ashenoff's family relocated to the United States of America while he was a child. He had a troubled childhood in Miami, Florida, during which he was expelled from several schools before graduating from Southwest Miami Senior High School in 1982. Ashenoff went on to serve time in prison after joining a street gang. After his incarceration was over, Ashenoff fled Miami due to conflicts with other drug dealers. He was given a choice of either going to jail, or entering the Military. He decided to join the United States Navy, and served in it for four years. While in the Navy, he trained as a boxer, becoming the Californian Middleweight Amateur Boxing Champion in 1982 and 1983, and representing the United States in fights around the world.

During his residence in San Diego, Ashenoff became a bodybuilder then later a wrestler, following a meeting with wrestling promoter John Roberts. Comparing the masked and caped wrestlers he met to "superheros", Ashenoff was impressed by the colorful Mexican wrestling culture. He subsequently traveled to Tijuana, Mexico where, alongside Psicosis, Rey Mysterio, Jr., Halloween and Damián 666, he trained under the tutelage of various veteran luchadores. Wearing a mask and billed as El Centurión ("The Centurion"), Ashenoff debuted in the Universal Wrestling Alliance on January 6, 1987. He competed in an eight man tag team match for the sum of $200 MXP ($19.13 USD / €16.03 EUR).

Feeling that he was being held back, Ashenoff departed the UWA for Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre, where he was pushed into the main event. In the EMLL, Ashenoff adopted the ring name Konnan El Barbaro ("The Barbarian"). He lost his mask in 1991 to Perro Aguayo in a mask versus hair match after the referee took the side of Aguayo. After the match, a young boy who was introduced as Konnan's brother entered the ring crying and handed Konnan his mask back, generating considerable bonhomie towards Konnan from the sympathetic crowd (in lucha libre, losing one's mask is a major, career shaping event). Konnan went on to become the first ever CMLL World Heavyweight Champion by winning a tournament in Mexico City on June 9, 1991. However, he lost the title to Cien Caras in his first title defense on August 18, 1991.

Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (1992-1996)

In 1992, with the EMLL allegedly plagued by corruption and the wrestlers' union fraught with embezzlement, Konnan, along with several other EMLL wrestlers, joined Antonio Peña's upstart Asistencia Asesoría y Administración. Shortening his ring name to simply "Konnan", he feuded with Cien Caras. Following interference from Jake Roberts, Konnan lost a two out of three falls retirement match by count-out to Caras at TripleMania on April 30, 1993 in front of 48,000 fans in Mexico City, setting the all-time attendance record for a Mexican wrestling event. Konnan did not comply with the stipulations of the match, and returned to defeat Roberts in a hair versus hair match at TripleMania II on May 27, 1994 in Tijuana.

Later in 1994, Konnan entered into an angle where he betrayed his tag team partner, Perro Aguayo, and formed a heel stable known as Los Gringos Locos with Eddie Guerrero, Art Barr and Madonna's Boyfriend. Aguayo gained his revenge on Konnan by defeating him in the first, and, to date, only, AAA pay-per-view, "When Worlds Collide", in a steel cage match in Los Angeles, California on November 6, 1994. By this point, Konnan was among the most prominent wrestlers in Mexico, and had achieved a significant degree of crossover popularity, was often featured on Mexican television, and had been offered a part in a Mexican soap opera. He eventually became the AAA booker.

Konnan defeated Killer on February 2, 1996 in Queretaro to become the first ever AAA Heavyweight Champion. He vacated the title after leaving AAA in October 1996 to form his own promotion, Promo Azteca, and the title remained inactive until 2004. Konnan's Mexican wrestling career was hampered in the late-1990s by his American wrestling commitments, and Promo Azteca closed in 1998. He made a return to the Mexican wrestling circuit in the 2000s after a six year absence, selling-out arenas in Mexico City and Guadalajara.

World Wrestling Federation (1992-1993)

After he was approached by talent scout Pat Patterson, Konnan spent eight months in the American World Wrestling Federation as Max Moon in 1992. The Moon character, created by Konnan, and based on a Japanese cartoon he had watched, was that of a cyborg, and saw Konnan wear an outfit (purchased by the WWF at the cost of $1,300) bedecked with circuitry and a pyrotechnic gun during his approach to the ring. Konnan was given many ring names, including his own name, the Comet Kid, Maximillion Moves, El Electrico, and eventually Max Moon.

His character hailed from "The Future" or "Outer Space", his entrance music was a techno song, and his finishing move was the flying bodypress (a somersault onto his opponent with them on his shoulders).

His attire was unique - blue leather, silver foam tubing and a mask. On his way to the ring, he shot sparkles into the crowd, and wore a jetpack which he used to propel him to the ring. The character and particularly the outfit is often the subject of ridicule in internet literature as it was even more cartoonish than many of the gimmicks of the early 1990s. Many seem to forget his array of aerial wrestling ability.

Debuting in the WWF on September 1, 1992 in Hershey, PA under the name the Comet Kid, he pinned Barry Horowitz. He had televised matches against non jobbers in the following matches:

  • disqualification victory over Rick Martel (after Martel got a 3 count by hooking the tights) on October 19, 1992 on Prime Time Wrestling.
  • a disqualification victory over Repo Man on Wrestling Challenge on November 1, 1992.
  • 6 man tag victory with High Energy (Owen Hart & Koko B. Ware) against the Beverly Brothers & the Genius when Moon pinned the Genius on December 7, 1992 Prime Time Wrestling.

Konnan left the WWF following a disagreement with WWF owner Vince McMahon, believing that he was being discriminated against and resenting McMahon's refusal to give him a guaranteed contract. The Max Moon gimmick was subsequently given to Paul Diamond, before being abandoned. Konnan's last appearance as Max Moon is presumed to be on December 12, 1992 in Los Angeles, CA when he pinned Repo Man. Max Moon's next appearance at a WWF show was against Shawn Michaels in the first ever Monday Night Raw episode on January 11, 1993, then presumably played by Paul Diamond.

Max Moon was then set to wrestle "Terrific" Terry Taylor at the 1993 Royal Rumble, but ultimately both just competed in the Royal Rumble match and Max was eliminated by Jerry Lawler.

Max Moon's last appearance in the WWF was on February 7, 1993 in Hamburg, Germany.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1995)

Konnan once again attempted to expand his activities out of Mexico in the mid-1990s. After meeting Extreme Championship Wrestling booker Paul Heyman while on a wrestling tour of Singapore, Konnan joined ECW in 1995, and feuded with The Sandman. He appeared at November To Remember 1995 on November 18, 1995, squashing Jason, and wrestled at an event co-promoted by ECW and the AAA in Chicago, Illinois.

World Championship Wrestling (1990-2001)

Konnan's first appearances with World Championship Wrestling came after WCW employee Jim Barnett offered him a tryout match with Bobby Eaton. The match was well-received by WCW management, and Konnan was booked at Starrcade 1990 on December 16, 1990 in the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, Missouri. Teaming with his trainer and mentor, Rey Misterio, Sr., Konnan entered the Pat O' Connor Memorial International Cup Tag Team Tournament. He and Mysterio defeated Norman Smiley and Chris Adams in the quarter-finals, but lost to eventual winners, the Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner and Scott) in the semi-finals.

Feeling that he had accomplished all that he could in Mexico, and desiring to expand his popularity north of the border, Konnan returned to WCW on a full-time basis in January 1996. As a WCW employee, he was largely responsible for the hiring of several prominent Mexican wrestlers by WCW, including Rey Misterio, Jr., Psicosis, Juventud Guerrera and La Parka all of whom were wrestling in Konnan's newly formed Promo Azteca in Mexico. Konnan defeated The One Man Gang for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship in Canton, Ohio on the January 28, 1996 episode of WCW Pro. During his reign, he continued to defend his IWAS and AAA Heavyweight Championships in Mexico (these championships were billed as a "Mexican Heavyweight Title" wherever Konnan wore one or the other to a WCW ring). He lost the United States Title to Ric Flair in Daytona Beach, Florida on July 7, 1996 at Bash At The Beach 1996 following interference from Flair's valets, Miss Elizabeth and Woman. Several months after losing the United States Championship, Konnan turned heel and joined the Dungeon of Doom.

Konnan joined the nWo on July 14, 1997. During his first stint in the nWo Konnan feuded with the Luchadores who he had brought to WCW. The most notable matches that took place during this Storyline were a Mexican Death Match at Hog Wild '97 against Rey Mysterio and a match against Juventud Guerrera later that year at Uncensored. When the nWo divided into two rivals factions on the May 4, 1998 episode of Nitro, Konnan sided with the nWo Wolfpac, led by Kevin Nash. The Wolfpac feuded with nWo Hollywood, led by Hollywood Hogan, and became tweeners. Konnan developed an increasingly hip-hop based gimmick, and was nicknamed K-Dawg. On the November 30, 1998 episode of Nitro in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Konnan defeated Chris Jericho for the WCW World Television Championship. His reign lasted until December 28, 1998, when he lost to nWo Hollywood member Scott Steiner on Nitro in Baltimore, Maryland following interference from Buff Bagwell.

When the two halves of the nWo reunited in January 1999, Konnan was thrown out of the nWo and attacked. He thus became a face, and teamed with Rey Misterio, Jr. to fight the nWo. After feuding with nWo member Lex Luger, Konnan and Mysterio, Jr. were defeated by The Outsiders at SuperBrawl IX, with The Outsiders removing Mysterio's mask in the process. Konnan later criticized WCW for not respecting Mexican wrestling culture by writing storylines that saw several Mexican wrestlers unceremoniously unmasked. He compared asking a luchadore to remove their mask to "going to Japan and telling the Japanese they have to eat with a fork instead of chopsticks."

Konnan spent several months feuding with Disco Inferno, then began a rivalry with Stevie Ray. He and Mysterio then formed an alliance with Master P and his "No Limit Soldiers" and fought with the West Texas Rednecks. After Master P left WCW, Konnan formed a stable known as the Filthy Animals. He and Mysterio, representing the Filthy Animals, defeated Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) for the WCW World Tag Team Championships on October 18, 1999 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the assistance of Billy Kidman and Eddie Guerrero. They were scheduled to defend the titles against Harlem Heat in the MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 24, 1999 at Halloween Havoc 1999, but on the night of the event Misterio was announced as being injured. The titles were then contested in a three way tag match pitting Konnan and Billy Kidman, representing the Filthy Animals, against Harlem Heat and the First Family (Hugh Morrus and Brian Knobbs). Harlem Heat regained the titles after Stevie Ray pinned Morrus. Konnan and Kidman defeated Harlem Heat for the titles the next night on Nitro in Phoenix, Arizona, but lost to Creative Control (Patrick and Gerald) on November 22, 1999 at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Konnan was inactive throughout early 2000, as he was suspended for three months by Bill Busch after requesting his release from WCW, unhappy with the way he was being used. It was rumored that he might jump to the WWF with The Radicalz, but this did not come to pass. Shortly after returning from suspension and reforming the Filthy Animals, Konnan was sidelined once again, this time with a legitimately torn triceps muscle, damaged when Van Hammer threw Juventud Guerrera at him during a match and Guerrera's elbow connected with Konnan's upper arm as he attempted to catch him. Throughout 2000, the Filthy Animals feuded with other stables, including the Misfits In Action, the Natural Born Thrillers and Team Canada. At WCW Greed on March 18, 2001, Lance Storm and Mike Awesome (representing Team Canada) defeated Hugh Morrus and Konnan in one of his last appearances with the promotion before it was sold to the WWF in March 2001.

Following the sale of WCW, Konnan toured Australia and Europe throughout 2001 with the newly-formed World Wrestling All-Stars promotion. In addition to wrestling, Konnan acted as a color commentator. He also studied criminology during a period in which he briefly considered working alongside his father as a private investigator.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2002-2007)

Konnan appeared on the inaugural Total Nonstop Action Wrestling pay-per-view on June 19, 2002 in the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He entered the Gauntlet for the Gold match for the vacant NWA World Heavyweight Championship, but was chokeslammed and subsequently eliminated by Malice. He returned to TNA on February 12, 2003 and formed a heel stable, the Authentic Luchadores, with fellow Latino wrestlers Juventud Guerrera, Super Crazy and the Spanish Announce Team. The stable feuded with Jerry Lynn until April 2, 2003, when Lynn claimed that he had been heavily influenced by lucha libre and that he respected his Mexican opponents, thus earning the friendship of Konnan.

The 3Live Kru

In May and June 2003, Konnan began teaming with B.G. James and Ron Killings, and in July 2003 the trio formed a face stable known as the 3Live Kru. The Kru first wrestled as a unit on August 13, 2003, defeating the New Church (Sinn, Vampire Warrior and Devon Storm). On November 26, 2003 in Nashville, Tennessee, the Kru defeated Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger and Glenn Gilberti in a six man tag team match with the vacant NWA World Tag Team Championships on the line. The NWA World Tag Titles were thus held by all three members of the Kru, until January 28, 2004, when they were defeated by Kevin Northcutt and Legend in Nashville.

After several abortive attempts to regain the tag titles, the Kru began supporting Ron Killings's bid to become NWA World Heavyweight Champion. On June 9, 2004, NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett took part in a "3Live Kru Challenge" which saw him face Konnan, James and Killings in three subsequent matches. Jarrett defeated Konnan in a strap match and James in a "trailer park trash match" (hardcore match), but lost to Killings in a "Ghetto Justice match". The Kru would later feud with Jarrett's mercenaries, The Elite Guard (Chad Collyer, Hotstuff Hernandez and Onyx). On July 14, 2004, the 3Live Kru, Dusty Rhodes and Larry Zbyszko defeated Jarrett, Ken Shamrock and the Elite Guard in a ten man tag team match.

The Kru began feuding with Team Canada in August 2004, and at the inaugural three hour TNA pay-per-view, TNA Victory Road 2004, on November 7, 2004 in Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida, Konnan and James defeated Team Canada members Bobby Roode and "Showtime" Eric Young for the NWA World Tag Team Championships. Their reign lasted one month, with Team Canada regaining the titles in Orlando on December 5, 2004 at TNA Turning Point 2004 with the help of the injured Johnny Devine.

Throughout early-2005, the Kru feuded with Michael Shane and Kazarian, Team Canada and The Naturals. Dissension arose after James's former tag team partner from the WWF, Billy Gunn, joined TNA as "The New Age Outlaw" and began trying to convince James to reform their highly-successful tag team, the New Age Outlaws. Konnan and Killings feuded with The Outlaw and "The Alpha Male" Monty Brown, with James's loyalties divided. Brown and The Outlaw, who had by now renamed himself "Kip James" as a psychological ploy, defeated Konnan and Killings at TNA No Surrender 2005 on July 17, 2005, with James declining to help either team. Konnan and Killings became increasingly frustrated, at one point referring to themselves as the "2Live Kru". The two teams faced one another in a No Surrender rematch on August 14, 2005 at TNA Sacrifice 2005, with James appointed guest referee by Director of Authority Larry Zbyszko, and James reaffirmed his loyalty to the Kru by attacking Kip, enabling Konnan to pin him and win the match. The Kru, apparently undivided, celebrated together following the match.

Over the following weeks, Kip James began assisting the 3Live Kru, and on October 23, 2005 at TNA Bound For Glory 2005 he saved Konnan from a beating at the hands of Team Canada. On the November 26 episode of iMPACT!, B.G. James brought Kip James and the 3Live Kru to ringside, then asked Killings and Konnan whether James could join the stable. Following a heated argument between the still sceptical Konnan and B.G., both Killings and Konnan gave their assent, and the "4Live Kru" was born.

At TNA Turning Point 2005 the Four Live Kru faced Team Canada in an eight man tag match. In the course of the match, Konnan struck Kip James with a chair, then instructed Bobby Roode to pin James. Following the match, B.G. James demanded an explanation, only to have Konnan hit him as well. Killings then angrily asked Konnan if he intended to hit him also, but Konnan dropped the chair and attempted to hug Killings. The incident appeared to spell the end of the short lived 4Live Kru, as well as ending the legacy of the tight bond of the 3Live Kru.

The Latin American Exchange

On the December 31, 2005, episode of iMPACT!, Konnan told B.G.'s father, Bob Armstrong, that he was a "hothead" and invited Armstrong to accompany him backstage for an apology. However, instead of apologizing, Konnan led Armstrong into an ambush at the hands of Apolo and the debuting Homicide. The trio, later identified as the Latin American Exchange, then instructed an unconscious Armstrong to tell B.G. and Kip to "take care of their own business". At TNA Final Resolution 2006 on January 15, 2006, Konnan and Homicide defeated The Naturals. After Apolo was released by TNA, he was replaced by Machete, who was in turn evicted from the LAX by Konnan and Homicide. In subsequent weeks, Konnan began feuding with Bob Armstrong. On the April 8, 2006 episode of iMPACT!, Konnan faced Armstrong in a "Arm Wrestling Challenge"; the contest ended in a no-contest after LAX member Hernandez attacked Armstrong. At TNA Lockdown 2006 on April 23, 2006, Konnan was decisively defeated by Armstrong in an arm wrestling contest held within the confines of a steel cage; following the bout, each member of the LAX received ten lashes from the James Gang.

In May 2006, Konnan became the iMPACT! Spanish color commentator. In the same month, he and the LAX began a storyline that saw them refuse to wrestle (as well as himself and Moody Jack refusing to commentate), claiming that Latinos were discriminated against within TNA. After the LAX were forced to resume wrestling by Jim Cornette, they began feuding with A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels, who Homicide and Hernandez traded back and forth the NWA World Tag Team Championship with. The LAX went on to feud with America's Most Wanted and Team 3D, losing the NWA World Tag Team Championship to Team 3D at Lockdown 2007.

In early 2007, Konnan underwent hip replacement surgery. His appearances in TNA from then on saw him frequently wheelchair bound.

In June 2007, Konnan left TNA for AAA in Mexico.. He successfully underwent kidney transplant surgery in July 2007.

Independent Circuit (2008-)

In March 2008, Konnan served TNA Wrestling with lawsuit papers for racism and discrimination amongst other things. Konnan is alleging that while the company said that they would help pay for his hip replacement surgery, they did not. To add leverage to the suit, Konnan claims that TNA helped pay for Scott Steiner's recent operation while not helping Ron Killings pay for his most recent surgery. TNA has thirty days to respond to try and reach a settlement out of court, or, if TNA wishes, they may settle things in court, which, if accepted, Konnan claims "Things will get messy." His WCW racism lawsuit is also included to support the fact against Vince Russo.

In wrestling

  • Finishing and signature moves

  • Managers
  • Championships and accomplishments

    Notes

    1. Konnan (online biography at TNAWrestling.com). .
    2. (2001). World Wrestling All-Stars: Official Souvenir Programme.
    3. Walsh, James "Konnan talks about Hogan, Luger, Bischoff, Nash". Pro Wrestling Torch, .
    4. Konnan (online biography at Canoe.ca). .
    5. Konnan (online biography at Canoe.ca). .
    6. Konnan audio interview for f4wonline.com May 4, 2006 (Restricted members only access). .
    7. Apter, Bill "Konnan the Creator". Wrestling Digest, .
    8. Konnan Shoot Interview (recap). .
    9. Varsallone, Jim "Renaissance wrestler". St. Petersburg Times, .
    10. Konnan (online biography at TNAWrestling.com). .
    11. Konnan Shoot Interview (recap). .
    12. Konnan Shoot Interview (recap). .
    13. Molinaro, John "TripleMania: Mexico's answer to WrestleMania". Canadian Online Explorer, .
    14. Konnan (online biography at Canoe.ca). .
    15. AAA World Heavyweight / Americas Title history. .
    16. Kapur, Bob "Veterans relishing time in TNA". Canadian Online Explorer, .
    17. Apter, Bill "Konnan the Creator". Wrestling Digest, .
    18. Walsh, James "Konnan talks about Hogan, Luger, Bischoff, Nash". Pro Wrestling Torch, .
    19. Konnan Shoot Interview (recap). .
    20. Walsh, James "Konnan talks about Hogan, Luger, Bischoff, Nash". Pro Wrestling Torch, .
    21. WCW United States Heavyweight Title history / Americas title history. .
    22. World Television Title history. .
    23. Apter, Bill "Konnan the Creator". Wrestling Digest, .
    24. WCW World Tag Team Title history. .
    25. Walsh, James "Konnan talks about Hogan, Luger, Bischoff, Nash". Pro Wrestling Torch, .
    26. Konnan Shoot Interview (recap). .
    27. Molinaro, John "Konnan: Politics killed WCW". Canadian Online Explorer, .
    28. Konnan (online biography at onlineworldofwrestling.com). .
    29. NWA World Tag Team Titles history. .
    30. NWA World Tag Team Titles history. .
    31. Konnan (online biography at onlineworldofwrestling.com). .
    32. Konnan's Kidney Transplant information (from wrestleattitude.com). .
    33. 2 stars quit TNA before tonight's TV tapings. .
    34. Hart, Bret. (2005). "The Best There Is...The Best There Was...The Best That There Ever Will Be". [DVD]. Silvervision.
    35. Konnan Completes Successful Kidney Replacement Surgery. .
    36. Konnan sues TNA Wrestling. .

    References

    External links

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