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Ken Anderson (wrestler)

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Ken Anderson
Mr Anderson BFG 2015.jpg
Anderson in October 2015
Birth name Kenneth Anderson
Born (1976-03-06) March 6, 1976 (age 42)
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, U.S.
Residence Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Spouse(s)
Shawn Trebnick (m. 2008)
Children 3
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Kamikaze Ken[1]
Ken Anderson[2]
Ken Kennedy[2]
Mr. Anderson[1][3]
Mr. Kennedy[4]
Two Rivers Jack[5]
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[3][4]
Billed weight 243 lb (110 kg)[3]
Billed from Green Bay, Wisconsin[3][4]
Trained by Eric Hammers[6][7]
Mike Mercury[8][7]
Ohio Valley Wrestling[2]
Debut 1999[2]

Kenneth Anderson (born March 6, 1976) is an American professional wrestler, professional wrestling trainer and actor working with Top Rank as a ring announcer. He is best known for his time under the ring name Mr. Kennedy during his time with WWE, and in Impact Wrestling, where he performed under the ring name Mr. Anderson and he has become a two-time Impact World Heavyweight Champion in addition to being a member of Immortal and the former vice-president of Aces & Eights.

Before working for WWE, Anderson wrestled for numerous promotions, winning various singles and tag team championships. Upon signing with WWE, Anderson was assigned to the company's developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in Louisville, Kentucky in 2005.

After signing with WWE, Anderson made his debut on the SmackDown! roster in August 2005. In September 2006, he captured his first and only title with the company, the United States Championship. The following year at WrestleMania 23, Anderson won the annual Money in the Bank ladder match, a contract, which guarantees a match for one of WWE's then three world level championships. He was fired from WWE on May 29, 2009.[9] He returned to the independent circuit before signing a contract with TNA in 2010. He was fired from TNA in 2016 and would return to the independent circuit for a second time. He opened a wrestling school called The Academy in Minneapolis, Minnesota in late 2016 along with Shawn Daivari, Molly Holly, Ariya Daivari, and Arik Cannon.

Early life

Kenneth Anderson[10] was born on March 6, 1976[8] in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin,[11] the son of James Alan Holmes and Sheryl Anderson. He has one sister, Jennifer Holmes. His father died on April 13, 2006 from cancer.[12] Anderson graduated from Washington High School in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. During his time there, he excelled at swimming and track and field.[11] He also announced school basketball games and did a radio assignment in his Mass Media class.[13] When doing this, a friend suggested to Anderson to repeat the surnames to make it funnier.[13] That element was eventually used again in his wrestling character when encouraged by Paul Heyman.[10][13][14] Before starting a wrestling career, Anderson worked as a security officer at Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant and a personal trainer.[10][11] He also served in the United States Army.[3][15]

Professional wrestling career

NWA: Total Nonstop Action (2002)

During his early career, Anderson made some appearances on NWA Total Nonstop Action's secondary television program, Xplosion. The owner of the Total Nonstop Action promotion, Jeff Jarrett, approached him for a contract but communications broke down.[7]

Ted Petty Invitational (2002–2003)

Anderson competed in the 2002 and 2003 Ted Petty Invitational tournaments (the first one then known as the Sweet Science Sixteen tournament) but did not advance past the first round in either of them.[11] After he had wrestled for over six years,[13] World Wrestling Entertainment signed Anderson to a developmental contract in February 2005.[7]

World Wrestling Entertainment

Ohio Valley Wrestling (2005)

Upon signing with WWE in February 2005, Anderson was sent to the Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) developmental territory, where he would remain for six months. When he arrived, Jim Cornette was in charge of the organization and, according to Anderson, did not see potential in his abilities and declined to feature him as more than an occasional bit-player on OVW's programming.[16] When Cornette departed, his replacement, Paul Heyman, showed immediate interest in Anderson, comparing his qualities to The Rock and Steve Austin.[16] Five weeks later, Anderson was called up to WWE's main roster to work on Velocity, and he credits Heyman with helping him develop the character with which he would achieve success.[16] Before his first SmackDown! match, a victory over Funaki, he showed himself to be a cocky and arrogant wrestler with not only his mannerisms by taking a microphone and performing his own ring announcement.[10][17] He referred to himself as "Mr. Anderson" for this match.[1] A few weeks later, to avoid comparisons with the more famous Anderson family (as well as former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson), he changed his name to "Ken Kennedy", or "Mr. Kennedy".[7] This idea was initially suggested by Paul Heyman and was chosen as his name because it is the middle name of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.[14]

United States Champion (2005–2007)

Kennedy taunting ring announcer Tony Chimel.

Kennedy, as a heel, defeated Funaki once again in his SmackDown! debut on August 25, 2005.[18] Kennedy also created an ongoing mini-feud with SmackDown! ring announcer Tony Chimel, based on Kennedy believing that Chimel's announcing was not done well enough or with sufficient respect, and therefore performing his own introductions or forcing Chimel to introduce him again. Kennedy's self-ring introductions before the match became one of his trademarks.[10] While working on both Velocity and SmackDown!, he was also still working in OVW. Kennedy made his pay-per-view debut at SmackDown!'s No Mercy, defeating Hardcore Holly and injuring Holly's ribs during the match.[2]

On the November 11 episode of SmackDown!, Kennedy faced Eddie Guerrero to compete for a spot on SmackDown!'s Survivor Series team. He lost the match when Guerrero tossed him a steel chair and played possum, a move which Guerrero had made famous. The groggy referee turned around and saw Guerrero on the ground with Kennedy holding the chair, and consequently disqualified Kennedy, awarding the place on Team SmackDown! to Guerrero. This was Kennedy's first loss. In retaliation, Kennedy struck Guerrero over the head with the chair after the match.[19] This was Guerrero's final televised match,[20] as he died on November 13 in his hotel room in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In interviews about the incident, Kennedy has stated that he considers this an "unfortunate honor".[14]

In December 2005, Kennedy participated in WWE's overseas tour. On the second day in Italy, Kennedy suffered a serious latissimus dorsi tear.[20] Even after surgery in December, Kennedy was still forced out of the ring for nearly six months while he rehabilitated the legitimate injury.[21] He continued to make appearances on SmackDown! and Velocity throughout January and February and even made an appearance on the January 11 episode of WWE Byte This![22] with Todd Grisham to maintain visibility.[23]

Mr. Kennedy's trademark ring announcement.

At the OVW tapings on May 10, Kennedy returned to in-ring action facing the Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk, in a title match that Kennedy was unable to win.[2] Kennedy made his return to SmackDown! on the June 9 episode with a victory over Scotty 2 Hotty after using the Kenton Bomb.[24] On the July 14 episode of SmackDown!, Matt Hardy used a roll-up to defeat Kennedy, ending Kennedy's streak of never being defeated by pin or submission.[25] On the July 21 episode of SmackDown!, Batista put out an open challenge to find an opponent for The Great American Bash, as his original opponent, Mark Henry, had been injured.[26] Kennedy accepted the challenge and won the match by disqualification, however, he suffered a severe injury during the match after being thrown headfirst into the steel steps, resulting in an exposed cranium laceration which required twenty stitches to close.[27] He then entered into a short feud with Batista, defeating him by countout in their second match, but losing via pinfall in the third.[2] Kennedy helped The McMahons (Vince and Shane) in their feud with D-Generation X (DX), appearing at both SummerSlam and the August 28 episode of Raw to attack DX.[28][29]

On the September 1 episode of SmackDown!, Kennedy defeated Finlay and Bobby Lashley in a Triple Threat match to win the WWE United States Championship, his first and only Championship reign in WWE.[30] On the September 8 episode of SmackDown!, Kennedy announced that he wanted to move over to Raw, as SmackDown! did not interest him anymore because he had already defeated every top performer on the roster. This led to SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long making a match between Kennedy and The Undertaker, who Kennedy had never faced, to be held at No Mercy. Kennedy won the match by disqualification.[31] On the October 13 episode of SmackDown!, Kennedy, now with a win over The Undertaker, again stated his desire to move to the Raw brand. However, Long put him against an opponent who he had never faced—this time Chris Benoit—with Kennedy's title on the line. Long said that, if Kennedy were to defeat Benoit, he would be given his release and be allowed to go to Raw. Ultimately, Kennedy lost the match and the United States Championship to Benoit after submitting to the Crippler Crossface following a distraction by The Undertaker, which also marked Kennedy's first loss via submission.[32]

Mr. Kennedy taunting Hardcore Holly at a Raw house show.

In November 2006, Kennedy joined forces with Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) in matches against The Brothers of Destruction (Undertaker and Kane) in various combinations. On a November episode of SmackDown!, Kennedy and MVP lost to the Brothers of Destruction three times. After first getting counted out, Theodore Long restarted the match with no countouts. When they disqualified themselves following a low blow by Kennedy, Long restarted the match again with no countouts and no disqualifications.[33] Kennedy and MVP continued to feud with the brothers, with MVP feuding with Kane while Kennedy challenged the Undertaker to a match at Survivor Series, which was later announced as a First Blood match. Kennedy won the match after MVP turned on him and aimed for his head with a steel chair, but missed and hit the Undertaker instead, leaving him bleeding. After the match, the Undertaker attacked Kennedy, forcing him to bleed.[34] At Armageddon, Kennedy and the Undertaker met in a final match; they were scheduled in a Last Ride match. In the match, the Undertaker defeated Kennedy.[35]

After a brief hiatus, Kennedy returned to SmackDown! on January 5 and defeated Chris Benoit in a "Beat the Clock" match, with the overall prize being a shot at Batista's World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble.[36] After he prevented The Undertaker from beating his time, Kennedy's time of 5:07 ended up being the fastest.[37] At the Royal Rumble, he lost the match, as well as a subsequent rematch.[38][39] From there, Kennedy began a short feud with ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley, leading to a match at No Way Out for the title which Kennedy won by disqualification.[40] Kennedy challenged Lashley unsuccessfully on ECW and SmackDown! as well.[41][42]

Mr. Money in the Bank (2007–2008)

Kennedy earned a spot in the 2007 Money in the Bank ladder match by defeating Sabu in an Extreme Rules match in a February episode of ECW on Sci Fi.[43] At WrestleMania 23, Kennedy won the Money in the Bank ladder match, giving him the right to challenge any World Champion in WWE at any date up until WrestleMania XXIV.[13][20] Kennedy announced on the April 30 episode of Raw that he would be cashing in his Money in the Bank championship opportunity at WrestleMania 24.[44] On the May 7 episode of Raw, Kennedy, however, lost his Money in the Bank opportunity to Edge,[20] losing mere moments after being struck with a monitor before the match began.[45] Because of the injury Kennedy sustained during his match with Edge, it was revealed that his right triceps muscle tore off the bone and he would be out for a minimum of five to seven months.[20] The injury, however, was not as serious, as the triceps tendon did not tear off the bone but was, in fact, a massive hematoma.[20][46][47]

On the June 11 episode of Raw, Kennedy was drafted from SmackDown! to Raw as part of the WWE Draft.[48] On the August 20 episode of Raw, Carlito hosted the interview segment Carlito's Cabana. During the segment Carlito challenged his special guest, Umaga for his Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam, and Kennedy also demanded a shot at the title.[49] Raw General Manager William Regal, scheduled a match between Kennedy and Carlito, in which the winner would receive an opportunity to face off against Umaga at SummerSlam.[49] After the match ended in a draw, Regal booked a Triple Threat match at SummerSlam between the three men for the Intercontinental Championship; at the event, Umaga retained the title.[50] On the September 10 episode of Raw, Mr. McMahon revealed that Kennedy had, in storyline, been suspended for "impersonating a McMahon". This angle was written because Kennedy being named one of the eleven wrestlers implicated in a steroid scandal and therefore suspended for thirty days in accordance with WWE's Wellness Policy.[51]

Kennedy making his ring entrance at a Raw house show in 2007.

After his suspension, Kennedy returned to television on the October 1 episode of Raw, facing John Cena in the main event.[52] At No Mercy in October, Kennedy took part of a six-man tag team match alongside then World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch defeating then-Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy and Paul London and Brian Kendrick.[53] For several weeks, Kennedy began a feud with Jeff Hardy, which consisted of the two facing off in a singles match and numerous tag team matches, most of which Hardy won.[54][55] At Cyber Sunday, Kennedy and Hardy were two of the eligible wrestlers that could earn a WWE Championship match for that evening, pending the fan's votes. Neither man won the opportunity, as Shawn Michaels won the vote and earned a shot at the title.[56] Although neither won the title shot, Kennedy defeated Hardy in a scheduled match made by William Regal.[56]

Kennedy next entered a feud with Shawn Michaels on the night after Survivor Series. Kennedy claimed that it was time for Michaels to move on and let the younger wrestlers climb the ladder to success.[57] At Armageddon, Michaels defeated Kennedy after Sweet Chin Music.[58] On the December 31 episode of Raw, Kennedy and Michaels had a rematch where Kennedy pinned Michaels following his new finishing move, the Mic Check.[59] In subsequent rematches, the two traded wins over each other.[59][60]Kennedy lost a tag team match in which Michaels was involved ending the rivalry between the two.

After several months of minor feuds and short storylines, Kennedy was not seen for weeks after WrestleMania XXIV, because he was filming a role for the new film Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia.[51][61] Kennedy returned to Raw on April 28, as he confronted and brawled with General Manager and newly crowned King of the Ring William Regal, turning face in the process.[51][62] On the May 18 episode of Raw, Kennedy defeated Regal in a "Loser Gets Fired match", thereby opening up the General Manager spot on the Raw brand.[51][63]

Brand switches and departure (2008–2009)

During the sixth annual WWE Draft on June 23, 2008 on Raw, Kennedy was drafted from Raw back to the SmackDown brand.[64] On August 4, he dislocated his shoulder in a match against Shelton Benjamin at a house show, sidelining him from active competition.[65] Kennedy made his return to WWE television, in a non-wrestling capacity, on the November 24 episode of Raw, while promoting his film Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia,[66] and also made an appearance on SmackDown on the November 28 episode.[67] He also presented the Match of the Year award during the 2008 Slammy Awards along with Eve.

On April 15, 2009, Mr. Kennedy returned to the Raw brand as Raw's first pick of the 2009 Supplemental Draft.[68] On May 7, Kennedy returned to in-ring action at Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE's developmental territory, to gain match fitness before returning to Raw.[69] On the May 11, 2009 episode of Raw, WWE aired a video package to promote Kennedy's return. He made his official Raw return on May 25, competing in a 10-man tag team match, which his team won.[70]

Kennedy was released from his WWE contract on May 29, 2009, just four days after his return.[9] In a March 2010 interview with wrestlezone.com, Ken Anderson explained his release was due to fellow wrestler Randy Orton complaining to WWE management that Kennedy was reckless in the ring, citing a botched backdrop that caused Orton to land on his head and neck instead of on his back. Orton argued that this could potentially end his career. According to Kennedy, Randy Orton also persuaded his friend and fellow wrestler John Cena to complain to Vince McMahon about Kennedy's in ring performance, which prompted McMahon to release Kennedy from his contract.[71]

Independent circuit (2009–2010)

In an interview with Pro Wrestling Report on 540 ESPN Radio in Milwaukee, Anderson expressed an interest in joining TNA.[72] Anderson appeared at World Wrestling Council's 2009 Anniversary, where he wrestled, and lost to, former WWE affiliate Eddie Fatu. On Friday October 2, he won the NWE Heavyweight Championship in the Nu-Wrestling Evolution promotion, when he defeated Chuck Palumbo and Tiny Iron in Malta. On November 1, 2009, Anderson defeated Darkko to become the CRW Heavyweight Champion, before the title was vacated. He then competed at the Hulkamania: Let The Battle Begin tour of Australia, again working with Fatu in what would be Fatu's final matches before his unexpected death on December 4, 2009. Anderson wrestled against Armando Estrada in his retirement match at Great Lakes Championship Wrestling's Blizzard Brawl 5.

Return to TNA

TNA World Heavyweight Champion (2010–2011)

Mr. Anderson at a TNA event in 2010.

In January 2010, Anderson signed a one-year deal with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).[73] He would make his debut to the company at the Genesis pay-per-view on January 17, 2010, working under the ring name Mr. Anderson. As a mystery opponent, he wrestled Abyss, whom he pinned after using brass knuckles, establishing himself as a heel in the process.[74] Anderson made his Impact! debut on January 21, 2010. He would deliver a promo explaining why he came to TNA and disparaging Abyss before he was attacked by Abyss.[75]

At Against All Odds, Anderson defeated Kurt Angle and Abyss to advance to the finals of the 8 Card Stud Tournament, where he lost to D'Angelo Dinero.[76] On the following edition of Impact!, Angle, whom Anderson had defeated by using his dog tags against him, promised to make him suffer for disrespecting U.S. soldiers, which led to Anderson coming out and laying him out by hitting him with a mic, effectively starting a feud between the two.[77] At Destination X, Angle defeated Anderson by submission in a rematch.[78] Anderson and Angle were booked in a rubber match inside a steel cage at Lockdown.[79] On the April 5 edition of Impact!, Anderson defeated Angle in a ladder match to win possession of the key to the cage door.[80] At Lockdown, Angle defeated Anderson in a steel cage match.[81] At Sacrifice, Anderson was defeated by Jeff Hardy. After the match, Anderson offered to shake Hardy's hand, but the offer was declined.[82] On the following edition of Impact!, Anderson helped Hardy defeat Sting in the main event of the show. After the match, both Anderson and Hardy were attacked by Sting. This would turn Anderson face as a result of this.[83]

At Slammiversary VIII, Anderson and Hardy, the team now known as the Enigmatic Assholes, defeated Beer Money, Inc. (Robert Roode and James Storm) in a tag team match.[84]

At Victory Road, Anderson and Hardy attempted to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Rob Van Dam in a four-way match, also involving Abyss, but were unsuccessful.[85] On the following edition of Impact!, Anderson saved former rival D'Angelo Dinero from Matt Morgan.[86] On the July 22 edition of Impact!, Anderson defeated Morgan, but was after the match assaulted and bloodied by him.[87] On the August 19 edition of Impact!, the TNA World Heavyweight Championship was vacated and Anderson was entered into an eight-man tournament for the title, defeating Jay Lethal in his first round match.[88] At the semifinals at No Surrender, Anderson defeated D'Angelo Dinero to advance to the finals at Bound for Glory.[89] On September 21, TNA President Dixie Carter announced that Anderson had signed a new long term contract with the company.[90]

At Bound for Glory, Anderson failed in his attempt to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship when Jeff Hardy, with Hulk Hogan, and Eric Bischoff's assistance, pinned him in a three-way match (which also included Kurt Angle) to win the title, ending his partnership with Hardy in the process.[91] On the October 21 edition of Impact!, Anderson was given an opportunity to earn a shot at Hardy and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Turning Point; all he had to do was survive an Ultimate X match with Fortune member Kazarian. Kazarian managed to win the match, following interference from his stable mates, but Anderson persevered and thus earned himself a World Heavyweight title shot against the now heel Hardy, who attacked him after the match.[92] However, during the attack, Anderson suffered a legitimate concussion, which would sideline him for a few weeks and prevented him from taking part in the title match.[93][94]

Anderson after winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Jeff Hardy at Genesis.

The vacant spot in the title match ended up going to Matt Morgan, who turned face during Anderson's time away from TNA, standing up for him against Hardy's, Hogan's, and Bischoff's group Immortal as an advocate for the effects of concussions.[95] Anderson returned on the December 2 edition of Impact!, chasing Hardy and Fortune out of the ring, before being announced as the special guest referee for the World Heavyweight title match between Hardy and Morgan at Final Resolution.[96] Anderson was bloodied and taken out of the match by Eric Bischoff, who managed to help Hardy retain the title, after a three count made by a replacement referee.[97] On January 9, 2011, at Genesis, Anderson defeated Matt Morgan in a number one contender's match. Immediately afterwards, Eric Bischoff came out, and announced that Anderson would get his title match against Jeff Hardy straight away. After interference from Morgan, Mick Foley, Matt Hardy, Rob Van Dam, and Bischoff, Anderson defeated Hardy to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for the first time.[98] On the February 3 edition of Impact!, Anderson defeated Hardy in a rematch for the title, after Fortune turned on Immortal as they were interfering in the match.[99] On February 13 at Against All Odds, Anderson lost the TNA World Heavyweight Championship back to Hardy in a ladder match.[100] On the February 24 edition of Impact!, Anderson defeated Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam in a three–way match to earn a rematch for the World Heavyweight Championship.[101] Anderson was looking to get his title match on the following edition of Impact!, but it was instead given to the returning Sting, who defeated Hardy to become the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion.[102] On the March 10 edition of Impact!, Anderson attacked Sting backstage, after claiming that he had been screwed out of his title match. In the main event of the evening, Anderson teamed with rival Jeff Hardy in a tag team match against Rob Van Dam and Sting. During the match, Anderson took on more of a role as a tweener by turning on Hardy, before being pinned by Van Dam, following an attack from Sting.[103] On March 13 at Victory Road, Anderson wrestled Rob Van Dam to a double countout in another number one contender's match.[104] On the April 7 edition of Impact!, Anderson feigned joining Immortal, before turning on them and announcing his intention of going after Hulk Hogan next.[105] On April 17 at Lockdown, Anderson failed in his attempt to regain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Sting in a three–way steel cage match, which also included Rob Van Dam.[106] On the May 12 edition of Impact!, Anderson defeated 24 other men in a battle royal to earn a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Slammiversary IX.[107] In the weeks leading to Slammiversary, Anderson tried to get under Sting's skin by dressing up like he did in the early '90's during his "surfer" gimmick, attacking Disco Inferno during his own "Scorpion Sitdown" interview segment, and wrestling Eric Young, who was dressed as The Great Muta.[108][109][110]

Immortal (2011–2012)

On June 12 at Slammiversary IX, Anderson defeated Sting after interference from Eric Bischoff, a low blow, and a Mic Check to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for the second time, turning heel in the process once again.[111] On June 18, Anderson represented TNA at Mexican promotion AAA's Triplemanía XIX pay-per-view, where he and Abyss unsuccessfully challenged Extreme Tiger and Jack Evans for the AAA World Tag Team Championship in a steel cage match.[112] At the tapings of the July 7 edition of Impact Wrestling, Immortal forced Anderson to choose whether he was with them or against them. In the main event of the evening, Anderson turned on Kurt Angle and joined Immortal.[113] On July 11 at the tapings of the July 14 edition of Impact Wrestling, Anderson lost the TNA World Heavyweight Championship back to Sting.[114][115] On the July 28 edition of Impact Wrestling, Anderson faced Kurt Angle in a steel cage match, but was defeated following a distraction from fellow Immortal member Bully Ray.[116] The tension between the two stablemates eventually led to a match on August 7 at Hardcore Justice, where Ray defeated Anderson with a low blow.[117] On the following edition of Impact Wrestling, the rest of Immortal turned on Anderson and kicked him out of the group. This turned him face.[118] Anderson returned on the August 25 edition of Impact Wrestling, attacking his former stablemates.[119] On the September 8 edition of Impact Wrestling, Anderson challenged Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, but the match ended in a disqualification following interference from Immortal.[120] On September 11 at No Surrender, Anderson again failed to capture the title in a three-way match, which also included Sting.[121] Anderson and Bully Ray settled their grudge on October 16 at Bound for Glory, where Anderson won a Falls Count Anywhere match.[122] On November 13 at Turning Point, Anderson and Abyss defeated Ray and Scott Steiner in a tag team match, ending his year long storyline with Immortal.[123]

After a four-month absence, Anderson returned to TNA on the March 8, 2012, episode of Impact Wrestling, aligning himself with A.J. Styles in his feud with Christopher Daniels and Kazarian.[124] The following week, Anderson defeated Daniels in his return match.[125] On March 18 at Victory Road, Anderson and Styles defeated Daniels and Kazarian in a tag team match.[126] The rivalry continued on April 15 at Lockdown, where the two duos were on opposing teams in the annual Lethal Lockdown match. Anderson's and Styles' team, led by Garett Bischoff, ended up defeating Daniels' and Kazarian's team, led by Eric Bischoff.[127] On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Anderson and Jeff Hardy were defeated by Rob Van Dam in a three-way number one contender's match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.[128] During the first "Open Fight Night" the following week, Anderson teamed up with Hardy to unsuccessfully challenge Magnus and Samoa Joe for the TNA World Tag Team Championship.[129] On May 13 at Sacrifice, Anderson defeated Hardy in a singles match.[130] On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Hardy defeated Anderson in a rematch.[131] On June 10 at Slammiversary, Anderson defeated Hardy and Rob Van Dam in a three-way match to become the number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.[132] On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Anderson unsuccessfully challenged Bobby Roode for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. As a result, he was entered into the 2012 Bound for Glory Series to try to earn another shot at the title.[133] Anderson's participation in the tournament ended on the August 23 episode of Impact Wrestling. Despite a win over Bully Ray, he finished outside a spot in the semifinals of the tournament.[134] On the September 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, Anderson received a shot at the vacant TNA Television Championship, but was defeated by Samoa Joe after being choked out with the Coquina Clutch.[135]

Aces & Eights (2012–2013)

Aces & Eights in January 2013.

After not being seen for several weeks, Anderson returned to Impact Wrestling on December 27, where he was offered a position in the Aces & Eights stable.[136] The following week, Anderson accepted Aces & Eights offer, turning heel again in the process.[137] On the January 10 episode of Impact Wrestling, Anderson explained his joining by noting how nobody helped him when he was attacked by the Aces & Eights back in October.[138] Anderson wrestled his return match on three days later at Genesis, defeating Samoa Joe after interference from Aces & Eights member Mike Knox.[139] On March 10 at Lockdown, Aces & Eights, consisting of Anderson, Devon, DOC, Garett Bischoff, and Mike Knox were defeated by Team TNA, consisting of Eric Young, James Storm, Magnus, Samoa Joe, and Sting in a Lethal Lockdown match.[140] On June 2 at Slammiversary XI, Anderson, Garett Bischoff, and Wes Brisco were defeated by Jeff Hardy, Magnus, and Samoa Joe in a six-man tag team match.[141] On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Anderson began campaigning to be the new Vice President of the Aces & Eights.[142] The following week, Anderson defeated his fellow Aces & Eights stablemates in a battle royal to qualify for the 2013 Bound for Glory Series.[143] Anderson went on to defeat Joseph Park in his first BFG series match via pinfall on the June 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, to earn seven points in the tournament.[144] On the July 11 episode of Impact Wrestling, Anderson was voted over DOC by his fellow Aces & Eights members to become the Vice President of the stable.[145]

In August, tension began to be teased between Anderson and Aces & Eights President Bully Ray, with Anderson disagreeing with Ray's decisions.[146] Anderson's participation in the Bound for Glory series ended on the September 5 episode of Impact Wrestling, when he was eliminated from a twenty-point battle royal by Samoa Joe. Later that night, Anderson turned face after he cost Bully Ray his no disqualification match with Sting, attacked him afterwards, and announced himself as his World Heavyweight Championship opponent at No Surrender.[147] The following week, Anderson unsuccessfully challenged Ray for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match. Afterwards, as Anderson was being stretchered away, Ray attacked him and piledrived him onto the stage.[148] He was removed from TNA to negotiate a new contract, though, on September 23, 2013, his profile was removed.[149] On the October 24th edition of Impact Wrestling, Anderson returned and saved A.J. Styles from an attack from Bully Ray. On the November 7 edition of Impact, Anderson was attacked by Aces and Eights after being led to believe the group had disbanded. On the November 14 Impact tapings, Anderson received a match against Bully for the Impact Wrestling: Turning Point episode with the stipution that if Ray loses, the Aces & Eights must disband, but if Anderson loses, he must leave. At Turning Point on November 21, Anderson successfully defeated Bully Ray after an overshot with a hammer from Brooke, thus forcing Aces and Eights to disband.

Final feuds and departure (2014–2016)

On February 20, 2014, Anderson and Christy Hemme were attacked backstage by Samuel Shaw during an interview, starting a feud.[150] On February 27 Impact Wrestling, Shaw would confront Hemme in an attempt to explain himself. After failing and being interrupted by Anderson, Shaw would solidify himself as a heel after using Hemme as a shield to fend off Mr. Anderson who was attempting to exact revenge for the previous week. Shaw would use his kata gatame finishing move to choke out Anderson. On the March 6th edition of Impact Wrestling, Samuel Shaw faced off against Eric Young with Anderson replacing Hemme as the ring announcer for the match. Anderson's presence at ringside ultimately cost Shaw the match as he would be disqualified due to Anderson's distraction. After the match, Shaw would choke out Anderson like last week then claim he was "going to claim what was rightfully his", heading for the backstage area where Hemme had been watching via a ring monitor. At Lockdown on March 9, Shaw defeated Anderson after escaping the cage following the use of Christy Hemme as a distraction by pulling Hemme through the camera cut-out of the steel cage, Anderson successfully rescued Hemme but was caught in Shaw's kata gatame. The previously unconscious referee only saw Samuel Shaw escape the cage thus declaring him the winner. Shaw lost a rematch against Anderson on the following Impact Wrestling, bringing a mannequin dressed as Christy Hemme to the ring. On April 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, Shaw defeated Anderson in a Straitjacket match after rendering him unconscious following two kata gatame attempts. At Sacrifice, Anderson defeated Shaw in a Committed match, whereby he put Shaw into a van heading for a psychiatric facility for intervention.

On May 1, 2014, Anderson attacked James Storm after Storm lost to Willow. On May 22, Anderson challenged Storm to a drinking contest, then went on to attack him outside the bar. On June 5 episode of Impact, Anderson impersonated Storm, with Storm's retro entrance music, then attacked Storm after he refused to grant him a match. After Anderson lost the brawl, the match was set at Slammiversary, who was win by Anderson. A Following Slammiversary, Anderson formed a tag team with Gunner but tensions already rose between them because of Gunner's relationship to Samuel Shaw, whom Gunner had been helping through psychiatric counselling. Anderson and Gunner would continue to team together with Shaw at their side who would try to help them in their matches but Anderson refused because of his lack of trust. On the August 14th edition of Impact, Anderson and Shaw finally came to punches during a match between Anderson and Gunner. At Hardcore Justice, Anderson was defeated by Shaw in a I Quit match. On September 17, 2014, Mr. Anderson came to the aid of fellow former Army Sergeant and amputee wrestler Chris Melendez on his debut from a post-match attack by Kenny King.[151] On November 20, 2014 tapings, Mr. Anderson came to the aid Chris Melendez again from a post-match attack, this time by MVP.

Anderson returned to TNA on the February 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, confronting Ethan Carter III and Tyrus for what they were doing to Rockstar Spud and Mandrews, then attacking Tyrus and giving Tyrus a haircut. On the April 17 episode of Impact Wrestling, Anderson participated in the TNA World Tag Team Championship Tournament with Rockstar Spud, but they lost in the first round against The Beat Down Clan. On the May 8 episode of Impact Wrestling, Anderson was defeated by Ethan Carter III in a Falls Count Anywhere match. On the May 15 episode of Impact Wrestling, he defeated Tyrus. On the May 29 episode of Impact Wrestling he suffered a loss once again against Ethan Carter III. At Slammiversary, Anderson team with Lashley but lost against Ethan Carter III and Tyrus. Several months later, he started a feud against Bram. At No Surrender, Anderson defeated Bram and defeated him once again at Turning Point in an Open Mic Challenge for ending the feud. At Bound for Glory he participated in the Bound for Gold but was eliminated last by Tyrus. During October and November (taped in July), Anderson participated in the TNA World Title Series for the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Championship. However, he ended fourth of his block by failing to defeat Ethan Carter III, Lashley and Austin Aries.

In March 2016, it was revealed that Anderson was fired from TNA for failing an on-the-spot drug test at an Impact Wrestling taping.[152]

Return to the independent circuit (2016–present)

On February 5, Anderson competed in the Road to Glory tournament for Preston City Wrestling, defeating Luther Ward in the first round. The following day, Anderson was defeated by Drew Galloway in the quarter-finals. That same night, Anderson would team with Billy Gunn and Tajiri to defeat the team of Dave Rayne, Joey Hayes and Martin Kirby. On March 6 taping of Friday Night Fight Club for Insane Championship Wrestling, Anderson would compete against Joe Hendry in a losing effort. On December 3 at House of Hardcore XXI: Blizzard Brawl, Anderson would defeat The Sadist. Anderson is now splitting time between his wrestling school and local Minnesota promotions with occasional big name promotions.

On April 29, 2017, at ROH Masters of the Craft, Anderson made his Ring of Honor debut when he unsuccessfully challenged for Marty Scurll's ROH World Television Championship.

Other media

Anderson appeared in a feature film Fighting The Still Life, directed by Matt Burns, who wrestled under the name Sick Nick Mondo.[8] In late March 2008, Anderson began shooting a role for an action film in Puerto Rico.[51] The film, titled Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia, was released direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray Disc on January 6, 2009 to the sequel of the original 2001 film, Behind Enemy Lines.[51] Anderson booked the role through WWE.[51]

On July 24, 2007, Anderson appeared on Tom Green Live! in character.[153] He also appeared on Slime Across the UK & Ireland in character on August 15. During the week of November 5, he appeared as Mr. Kennedy on five episodes of Family Feud with several other WWE wrestlers.[154]

Anderson, along with Mickie James and Josh Mathews, represented WWE at the 2008 Republican National Convention in an effort to persuade fans to register to vote in the 2008 US Presidential election.[155]

During the Pittsburgh Penguins' 2009 Stanley Cup championship run, when National Hockey League winger Tyler Kennedy scored a goal, the Mellon Arena public address team would announce his family name twice, and the local crowd would chant it in a way reminiscent of Anderson's wrestling persona.[156]

After his departure from WWE, Anderson created a video blog on YouTube about his life during his 90-day "No Compete" clause.[157]

In November 2010, Anderson was again a contestant on Family Feud, this time as Mr. Anderson, teaming with Jay Lethal, Matt Morgan, Mick Foley and Rob Van Dam against Angelina Love, Christy Hemme, Lacey Von Erich, Tara and Velvet Sky.[158]

In June 2014, Anderson and comedian David Vox Mullen started the Push The Button podcast. The show is available on the DVM Production Empire, and covers topics such as religion, sex, and politics.[159]

Anderson has appeared in the following wrestling video games; WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 and WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 as a playable character.

Filmography

Personal life

On August 18, 2007, Anderson gave an interview in which he admitted to using steroids when he was performing on the independent wrestling scene, stating that he had quit using them in November 2005 to comply with WWE's Talent Wellness Program, implying that his job in the promotion was worth more than extra muscle mass.[5][20] 12 days later, on August 30, his statements were shown to be incorrect when he, along with nine other WWE wrestlers, were named in a Sports Illustrated article as having received performance-enhancing drugs in direct non-compliance with the WWE Talent Wellness Program. Anderson received anastrozole, somatropin, and testosterone between October 2006 and February 2007.[20] He later claimed that the steroids were for a legitimate medical reason, saying that they were from when he tore his latissimus dorsi muscle in 2005.[20][161]

Anderson married girlfriend Shawn Trebnick on January 9, 2008; together they have three children.[162][163][164]

Anderson has a red and black tattoo on his upper back,[165] which took nearly eight hours to complete.[166] He also has a clown tattoo on his biceps,[165] which he got at age 19 because he was voted "class clown" in high school, but says it did not turn out the way he wanted it to and that he plans to get it replaced with another clown that more closely matches what he originally requested.

In 2016, Anderson and fellow WWE alum Shawn Daivari founded The Academy professional wrestling school.[167]

Championships and accomplishments

Mr. Kennedy, the 2007 Money in the Bank winner at WrestleMania 23.

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External links

  • Ken Anderson on Twitter
  • TNA Wrestling profile
  • Ken Anderson on IMDb
  • Ken Anderson's profile at Cagematch.net, Wrestlingdata.com, Internet Wrestling Database

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