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#MisusedMonday (3/28/16): Sean O'Haire's Less-Than-Thrilling WWE Career

 


For those of you who don’t know, you should know, I am “Classical” Bryan Leo, current two-time Philippine Wrestling Revolution champion, one-third of the hosts on The Wrestling Gods on FOX Philippines, and more importantly, a wrestling fan of over a decade, and I present to you the inaugural #MisusedMonday! Every other Monday, I'll be discussing some of the apparent darker times of a pro wrestler's career, which could potentially introduce to many of you several gems that were treated as mere pebbles. 





You’re probably wondering, why should I care about a bunch of guys who never made it? Well, one, because I said so. And two, like I’ve stated, these guys were pure gems! The wrestlers highlighted in these columns all had a certain "it" factor that would make you want to tune in. 

Were they all deserving of being at the top of where they were? Some yes and some no, but all of them certainly had far more to offer than what they were given a chance to show off. This is my way of thanking them and hopefully readers of this column will go check out some of the work these men and women put forth, and see why they were truly worthy of being called awe-Inspiring classics. 

Spotlighted on the first ever Misused Monday is none other than a natural born thriller known as Sean O'Haire, and his less than thrilling (see what I did there?) WWE run. 



Athletic, strong, with a very muscular frame, O’Haire looked like he had a lot of potential back in WCW. He was placed in a stable known as The Natural Born Thrillers, featuring six other young upstarts who looked to have just as much potential. O’Haire appeared to be one of the young guys they wanted to invest in for the future, considering he was a three-time tag team champion so early during his run in the company, with stablemates Mark Jindrak and Chuck Palumbo—two guys who arguably deserve their own Misused Monday highlights in the future. 


WCW folded, and he was picked up by WWE in the now infamous Invasion storyline to do... absolutely nothing. Brought in with Palumbo as his partner, they lost to several tag teams before the tandem lost their tag titles to the Undertaker and Kane. Afterwards, he was sent to developmental, while Palumbo ventured into, ahem, other affairs.


Some time later, he returned in the form of vignettes repackaged under a "devil's advocate" gimmick, trying to convince people to give in to vices, break laws and do things that most people would consider atrocious, which included getting Dawn Marie to flash the live audience (love you, Sean!), as well as getting Brian Kendrick to run around Smackdown butt naked during a broadcast, both backstage and in front of the live audience (this one I didn’t appreciate much). The gimmick was gold, to say the least.


When he finally made his in-ring debut, for some reason, the Devil's Advocate gimmick was completely dropped. He had little time to show off his promo skills, and was even given Roddy Piper as a manager—an odd pairing to say the least. 



While this would normally look like a big deal at first glance, it felt completely unnecessary. His vignettes had proven he was very capable in communicating, while also making it seem almost as if Sean was the legend's sidekick. While he got victories over such notable names as Rikishi and Eddie Guerrero, as well as a count out victory over Mr. America (Lex Luger under a mask. Yes I said it!), these were either throwaway matches or were stemmed from feuds Piper had in the past, making O'Haire look more like a stooge than anything else.


Eventually, Hot Rod reportedly got into some hot water—no puns please!—that ended up spilled over to the promising upstart. O'Haire suffered a motorcycle accident, shelving him for a month. And after getting sent back to developmental, he and WWE mutually agreed to his release, and he would officially retire from pro wrestling after an uneventful run in the indies.  

Other than a bit of career in kickboxing and mixed martial arts, nothing noteworthy was mentioned of him, until he tragically passed on, the victim of an apparent suicide.

O'Haire was brilliant. He was a big, strong looking guy, with a unique look and great in-ring work that included a lot of powerhouse maneuvers. His kickboxing background and remarkable speed and agility were impressive not just for a man his size, but impressive for anyone in general, big or small. 

He also had good mic skills (which no doubt would have improved over time) and a gimmick that should have kept him relevant for years to come. O'Haire and his devil's advocate gimmick seemed tailor-made against wrestlers who preached good American values like Hulk Hogan. His physique made him look like a believable opponent for guys like Brock Lesnar, as well as the then up-and-coming John Cena and Batista. It certainly would have been intriguing to eventually see him go up against the WWE’s future stars (both on main roster and those still in developmental), particularly the straightedge CM Punk. 



O'Haire looked like he had all the qualities that many of the higher-ups in the WWE were looking for, and it is to this day a big mystery as to why he wasn't looked at in the same light as young lions like Orton, Cena and Batista. 

Mind you, there may have been issues backstage we do not know about, but from the outside looking in, Sean O'Haire was the total package and could have been a big time player in WWE. It’s a shame that he didn’t reach his potential which, by the way, seemed endless. For those of you who have had the privilege of watching O’Haire, allow me to quote him by saying, “I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know."

So what did you guys think of Sean O’Haire? Was he the gold mine that I thought he was? Was he nothing more than a cookie cutter wrestler who couldn’t hold a candle to Orton, Cena and Batista? Who else deserves their own spotlight on #MisusedMonday? Let me know below, because like I always say, it is 4 your own good!


*****


"Classical" Bryan Leo hails from a First World country, is the King of the Royal Flush, and remains to be the first and only two-time champion in Philippine Wrestling Revolution history. A fan of professional wrestling for over a decade, he co-hosts "The Wrestling Gods" on FOX Philippines. Everything he says is 4 your own good.

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