Chris Kanyon, R.I.P.

Mark Madden


My tag-team partner, Chris Kanyon, committed suicide. Yeah, it was a terrible match, but that was a long time ago. I take no responsibility.

If you don’t laugh, you cry. The bi-polar Kanyon was certainly capable of both. Kanyon was in the closet when we worked together, but after his homosexuality was revealed, he struck me – in retrospect – as the classic self-loathing gay man, resigned to what he was but ashamed, too. Whether that contributed to his depression and suicide, only Kanyon knew.

Good wrestling teacher. Kanyon instructed Jay Leno before the 1998 Road Wild match pitting Leno and DDMe against Eric Bischoff and Hollywood Hogan. Anything good that happened in that bout was Kanyon’s doing.

When Kanyon and I tagged on Thunder against Buff Bagwell and Gene Okerlund, Kanyon laid everything out and walked me through it. It sucked, and I sucked, but Kanyon was an excellent instructor. Made everything seem simple. Two lasting memories of that match: 1) How loud the spots got called. I can’t believe the crowd couldn’t hear. 2) Kanyon screaming “Take it off! Take it off!” when I teased removing my Hawaiian shirt. “It would have got major heat,” Kanyon said after. Yeah, and been on the Internet forever.

Easily manipulated. Kanyon was feuding with DDMe, imitating him, wearing a wig, toting around his book “Positively Kanyon” (“co-authored” by me) and trying to assume DDMe’s life. DDMe didn’t get his way on something so, like the big baby he was, he stayed home for a few weeks. During that time, DDMe convinced Kanyon to continue his imitation, but to tone it down. For example, don’t flash the “diamond cutter” hand sign.

That served two purposes, both DDMe’s: 1) Continuing the imitation kept DDMe’s presence on TV. 2) Toning down the imitation made everyone aware that Kanyon was second-rate, that DDMe was the real deal. I pointed this out to Kanyon, urging him to either drop the imitation or continue doing it as he had. Do what’s best for you.

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