Jim Ross has discussed why former ECW Champion Mike Awesome did not make the grade when he came to WWE following the closure of WCW in 2001.
In 2001 the wrestling landscape changed forever when Vince McMahon bought his competition bringing the ‘Monday Night Wars’ to an official conclusion. With WCW purchased McMahon set about picking up some of the talents from their roster that he thought could make a difference in his then-WWF.
One of those talents was Mike Awesome. Awesome had been a star in Japan and in the land of Extreme before heading to WCW in 2000 while still ECW World Champion. The first WWF fans saw of Mike Awesome was in Madison Square Garden on June 25th, 2001 when Awesome won the Hardcore Championship.
Awesome teamed with his former Team Canada partner Lance Storm at the Invasion pay-per-view in July, losing to Edge and Christian. This was as good as it got in this run in the company for Awesome and he was released from his contract in September 2002.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast [first available early and ad-free at AdFreeShows.com], Jim Ross discussed Awesome’s time in the World Wrestling Federation and says it failed for one very straightforward reason.
Jim Ross explained:
“He didn’t connect with the audience. It’s the intangible thing you can’t colour or smell or paint a colour on or whatever. He just didn’t have the charisma to connect with the audience. He was a mechanic, and sometimes can be a little bit too stoic.”
Mike Awesome is probably best remembered in the WWE for his performance at the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view in 2005. Awesome reignited his storied feud with Japanese star Masato Tanaka as the two put on a brawling clinic inside the Hammerstein Ballroom.