The life of a professional wrestler is not an easy one. Without fail, every single year another one of our iconic, larger than life heroes passes away before their time. The cause is always different but the tragedy is always the same. One has to even wonder how someone comes to the realization that they want to be a wrestler someday. It certainly doesn’t seem like all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, you will never be short of fans who adore you but you will live every single day of your life in horrific pain until the day your body finally gives in.
Mike Awesome had wrestling roots, if there is such a thing. He was connected to the Hulk Hogan legacy early in his life but somehow never made it to WWF/WWE super stardom. Maybe he was not tall enough, too slow, or just didn’t have the “it” factor. Whatever the result, it didn’t stop Mike Alfonso from pursuing the fame and fortune promised to wrestlers who “make it big” in the industry.
After many years, Mike began to make a name for himself in Japan until landing in Extreme Championship Wrestling, where he became “Mike Awesome”. It didn’t take long for Mike to become a star in E.C.W. By the late-90’s, Mike was the E.C.W Champion but the organization was on its last legs and was about to go under. Having a family to look after, Mike left the promotion to join World Championship Wrestling. After a horrible “gimmick” AKA character, Mke made his W.W.E debut in 2001.
Unfortunately, World Wrestling Entertainment didn’t know how to use him and by the following year Mike was without a job. He made a few appearances in local shows before retiring from wrestling. A few years later, with both W.C.W & E.C.W out of business and the rights owned by Vince McMahon, E.C.W was resurrected for ‘One Night Stand’, a one-time only Pay Per View.
On that night, Mike Awesome made his final appearance in front of a TV crowd against Masato Tanaka and had the match of his career. After the event, Mike went back to Tampa, Florida and continued his new life as a Real Estate Agent, with his family & friends at his side.
One night in early February of 2007, Mike’s friends arrived at his home only to find a lifeless Alfonso hanging from a rope in his garage. Mike was 42 years old at the time of his death and unlike another infamous wrestler he once worked with, Chris Benoit, Mike didn’t hurt anyone but himself on that night. Well, at least not physically.
The following is a video I made as a tribute to Mike Awesome’s greatest wrestling match, which was also his last one. I put together the highlights from the E.C.W One Night Stand DVD, ripped them and edited the files with Windows Movie Maker. I have something a little more powerful but I have not used it much yet.
I hope you guys enjoy!