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Alex Wright

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Alex Wright (May 17, 1975) is a German former professional wrestler. The son of British wrestler Steve Wright (one of many early rivals of the original Tiger Mask, Satoru Sayama) and nephew of British wrestler Bernie Wright, he wrestled professionally in Germany and Japan before signing with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1994. He became known for his distinctive pre-match dancing as well as his technical in-ring ability that would ultimately lead him to WCW championship gold.

Career History

Alex was trained by his father Steve Wright, a British professional wrestler. He wrestled his first match in 1991 in Germany when he was sixteen years old. He wrestled in his hometown during his early career and also worked in Japan.

World Championship Wrestling (1994–2001)

Das Wunderkind (1994–1996)

Wright was discovered by World Championship Wrestling in mid-1994 when WCW did a tour through Germany. He signed a contract with Time Warner, the parent company of WCW, and went through more training at the WCW Power Plant. He originally wrestled as a babyface and was known as "Das Wunderkind" (German for "prodigy", literally "wonder child") Alex Wright. His entrance music was of the techno genre, which was popular in some American and German dance clubs at the time, and he often danced as he walked to the ring or once he got in the ring. His first feud was with Jean-Paul Levesque, whom he defeated at Starrcade 1994 in December in both men's pay-per-view debut. In his early career, Wright went undefeated in matches against several WCW superstars including Bobby Eaton in January 1995 at Clash of the Champions and Paul Roma at SuperBrawl V in February of '95. However, the latter saw Roma's contract later terminated by WCW because of his stiff performance and his ignorance of instructions to put Wright over during the match. WCW had Alex feud on and off from time to time with another wrestler who danced in the ring or on his way to the ring named the Disco Inferno. This made for an interesting, sometimes humorous feud; with Alex representing modern dancing and music, and Disco Inferno representing older dancing and music.

Alex wrestled against Arn Anderson for the WCW World Television Championship on an episode of WCW Saturday Night, and beat Arn by DQ. The title did not change hands though, as Alex was unable to win by pinfall or submission. Thus, a rematch for the title was scheduled for the next pay-per-view. Wright's first loss was to World Television Champion Arn Anderson at Slamboree 1995 in May.

Due to WCW's partnership with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), Wright participated in NJPW's Best of the Super Juniors Tournament and finished third in the tournament. He started wrestling against fellow cruiserweight and babyface Brian Pillman, whom he defeated in the opening match at The Great American Bash. On the July 16 edition of Main Event before Bash at the Beach, Wright teamed up with Marcus Bagwell to face Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck in a losing effort. He had encounters with other up and coming WCW stars, such as Diamond Dallas Page in August at a Clash of the Champions. In September of '95 on a Monday Nitro, Alex wrestled famed ECW wrestler Sabu. Sabu was able to win the match, but then continued to beat Alex after the match was over; even going so far as to put Alex through a table. Referree Nick Patrick reversed his decision, disqualifying Sabu for his violence and giving the win to Alex. He had several matches against Eddie Guerrero, with a very notable match taking place on The Main Event before Fall Brawl 1995: War Games, which resulted in a draw. Alex also had several matches in '95 and '96 against Dean Malenko. In January 1996, at another Clash of the Champions, Malenko was able to pin Wright.

At World War 3, Wright took part in the first-ever Battle Royal#World War 3 three-ring 60-man battle royal for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship, which was won by Randy Savage. At Starrcade, WCW wrestlers faced NJPW wrestlers in a World Cup of Wrestling. Wright represented WCW against NJPW's Koji Kanemoto (for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship even though WCW never announced it as such) but ended up losing the bout to Kanemoto. Wright then began a feud with Dick Slater, to whom he lost at Uncensored in a singles dark match. At Slamboree, Alex was forced by WCW to be teamed with his wrestling and dancing nemesis Disco Inferno, in a tag team match against Slater and Eaton. Alex and Disco lost when Disco was pinned. In June of '96, famed Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki helped put together the World Wrestling Peace Festival, which was held in Los Angeles. Alex Wright wrestled and lost to Chris Benoit on that card. On the August 10 edition of Saturday Night that aired immediately before the pay-per-view Hog Wild, Wright defeated Bobby Eaton in a rematch.

At World War 3, Wright again participated in a three-ring, 60-man battle royal, with the winner getting a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. The battle royal was won by The Giant. In January '97 on Clash of the Champions, Wright lost to Japanese wrestler Masa Chono, who had recently come to the U.S. and joined the NWO.

Heel turn, Cruiserweight Champion and World Television Champion (1997)

WCW had Alex wrestle in several tag team matches with what some might call sub-par tag team partners. Alex and the rotating list of wrestlers he had as partners would usually lose to tougher teams. And ironically, though Alex was still popular on the television programs WCW Pro and WCW Saturday Night, he was losing popularity, and even getting booed by some fans, on Monday Nitro and on some pay-per-views. Some believe that these two things combined began to frustrate Wright. On a Monday Nitro, Alex was partnered with the wrestler Ice Train against another tag team. When Ice Train needed some help, Alex claimed to be unable to continue due to a sudden, unexplainable knee injury and left Ice Train to wrestle the other two opponents by himself. Wright was then pushed as a heel in the summer of 1997. On the July 28 edition of Nitro, he defeated Chris Jericho to win the Cruiserweight Championship. After winning the title, Wright began a feud with Jericho at that point, including a successful title defense against Jericho at Road Wild, before dropping the title back to Jericho on August 16 edition of Saturday Night. However, five days later, he defeated Último Dragón on the August 21 Clash of the Champions XXXV edition of Clash of the Champions to win the World Television Championship. Alex was able to successfully defend the TV title against Lord Steven Regal on an episode on Monday Nitro. Though Regal was also a heel, the fans disliked Alex so much, they often cheered or rooted for Regal during the match.

At Fall Brawl, Wright made a successful title defense against Último Dragón in a rematch before dropping the title to rival Disco Inferno on September 22 edition of Nitro. Wright feuded with Steve McMichael after McMichael's valet Debra left him and became Wright's valet. She ordered the feud and in the rivalry, Wright defeated McMichael at Halloween Havoc, with help from Goldberg, who promptly attacked Wright postmatch. The next month at World War 3, McMichael took out Goldberg prior to their match and Wright was literally dragged to the ring by Debra to wrestle McMichael again, and this time suffered a defeat.

Wright would go on to be managed by Debra for a little while longer. Debra would often try to illegally interfere in matches to help Alex win, but the plan would usually backfire, causing Alex to lose. After a string of losses that Alex felt was her fault, he fired Debra on a Monday Nitro. Incredibly, though Alex was still competing as a heel, his firing of the despised Debra garnered him some applause by the crowd in attendance at the arena that night.

The Dancing Fools (1998)

Wright would then begin to patch things up with former rival Disco Inferno as they began teaming in 1998 to form a moderately successful tag team called the Dancing Fools, which at times also featured Japanese wrestler Tokyo Magnum in the role of a tag-along who regularly attempted to imitate their dancing styles. Wright and Inferno feuded with The Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock), including a loss to Grunge and Rocco at Road Wild. Wright then began an angle where he claimed that he was the best WCW wrestler to come out of Europe. British Bulldog, however, disputed Wright's proclamation, leading to a feud between Wright and Inferno against Bulldog and Jim Neidhart. The feud culminated at Fall Brawl, where the Dancing Fools lost to Bulldog and Neidhart. After suffering losses, Wright and Inferno split and began singles careers again.

Wright feuded with another fellow European wrestler, Fit Finlay, because he blamed Finlay for ending his father's career. Wright took his father's revenge from Finlay by beating him at Halloween Havoc.

Wright again competed in the 60-man battle royal at the '98 edition of World War III, with that year's battle royal being won by Kevin Nash.

Berlyn (1999)

At the beginning of 1999, Wright was kept off WCW television for an extended length of time until May, when promotional spots began appearing on WCW television featuring Wright as a surprising new Rivethea-style character named Berlyn (an intentional misspelling of the city Berlin, the capital of Wright's home country Germany), with a black Mohawk and goatee replacing his blond hair. He was clad entirely in black with a long trench coat and arrogantly refused to speak English. He spoke through an interpreter who was a knockout blonde and was accompanied to the ring by a larger wrestler wearing a suit, who would eventually become known as The Wall. The promos coincided with the aftermath of the Columbine school massacre, which threw a hitch in WCW's plans. Sensing the unintentional similarities in dress between Berlyn and the teenage killers, WCW delayed the debut of Berlyn for several months. Despite the shock value upon his debut, which occurred on August 30 on Nitro, Berlyn never really got over with fans.

Wright was supposed to face Buff Bagwell at Fall Brawl shortly after his debut and had been booked to defeat Bagwell, who would not take the loss and instead deliberately missed his flight to Winston-Salem, North Carolina (where the event was taking place). WCW replaced Bagwell with Jim Duggan, and Wright's problems continued as Duggan no-sold all of Wright's offense and was totally uncooperative with him in the ring. Despite Duggan's lack of help, Wright's debut as Berlyn was successful. Berlyn took revenge on Bagwell, and defeated him the next night on Nitro. Berlyn attacked Scott Armstrong and began a feud with Brad Armstrong. Alex (as Berlyn) and Brad Armstrong had a match at Halloween Havoc, which Berlyn lost. But after the match, Berlyn and The Wall attacked Armstrong. Although Berlyn beat Duggan and Bagwell, irreparable damage had already been done to the character. WCW furthered the damage by giving The Wall a singles push, leaving Wright to flounder in the mid-card.

On the October 25 edition of Nitro, it was announced that a tournament would be held for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship and the finals would occur at Mayhem. On the following edition of Nitro, Berlyn participated in the tournament but lost his first round match to Vampiro. Berlyn began a small feud with Vampiro and cost him his second round match in the tournament against Buff Bagwell. At Mayhem, Vampiro defeated Berlyn in a Dog Collar match after the Wall turned on Berlyn. Berlyn then feuded with the Wall but they never competed on any pay-per-views. Wright would again disappear from WCW television for a while.

Boogie Knights, World Tag Team Champion and departure (2000–2001)

After some time off from wrestling, Wright returned to wrestling under his real name on the September 27, 2000 edition of WCW Thunder with a bald head (but he was still dancing) during a match between former partner Disco Inferno, now renamed "Disqo", and Konnan. Wright helped Disqo in getting the victory and the duo reunited as the Boogie Knights. The Boogie Knights began a feud with the Filthy Animals while they also feuded with two members of the Natural Born Thrillers (Sean O'Haire and Mark Jindrak), who were the World Tag Team Champions at the time. At Halloween Havoc, the three teams participated in a triangle match but O'Haire and Jindrak won the match. They were scheduled to take on O'Haire and Jindrak in a match for the titles, but Disqo was sidelined with an injury, leading to General Rection substituting for him. Rection and Wright would then go on to win the World Tag Team Championship from O'Haire and Jindrak at Millennium Germany on November 16. However, four days later, on Nitro, Wright and another substitute Elix Skipper lost the titles to Chuck Palumbo and Shawn Stasiak, two other members of the Natural Born Thrillers.

Wright then started an angle where he kept KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clark) as his bodyguards to squash other cruiserweights. At Mayhem, Wright and KroniK faced Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio, Jr. in a 3-on-2 handicap match. However, KroniK betrayed Wright by abandoning him, leading to him being pinned. Disqo eventually returned from his injury and the Boogie Knights gimmick lasted until WCW was purchased by World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in March 2001.

Retirement

Wright fell out of the spotlight after the folding of WCW, and has not appeared on American television since then. In the years following, Wright has stayed away from regular active competition, only wrestling on rare occasions for German wrestling promotions NAWA and GWP. Despite this, Wright is still well-respected as a wrestler, as indicated by Ring of Honor (ROH) fans chanting his gimmick name at ROH shows. After working as a banker and fitness instructor he opened a pro-wrestling school called "The Wright Stuff" in Nürnberg, Germany. In 2009 he started his own wrestling promotion called New European Championship Wrestling (NEW).

Wrestling facts

  • Finishing and signature moves
  • Nicknames
  • "Das Wunderkind"

Championships and accomplishments

External links

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