Jon Heidenreich (June 28, 1969) is an American former professional wrestler, better known simply as Heidenreich. He is best known for his tenure with World Wrestling Entertainment, where he was a one time WWE Tag Team Champion with Road Warrior Animal as a part of the new Legion of Doom.
American football career
Prior to professional wrestling, Heidenreich played American football and in 1992, he was a member of the Washington Redskins, winners of that year's Super Bowl. He played as an offensive lineman for two seasons (1994 and 1995) in the Canadian Football League for the Shreveport Pirates before playing for the Texas Terror of the Arena Football League (AFL) in 1996 and the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europa in 1997. Though he was signed by several National Football League (NFL) teams (New Orleans, Atlanta, and Washington), he never played an NFL league game due to getting cut in training camp. As such, he does not appear on any NFL team's historical roster. Heidenreich has a son, Jasper Orton-Heidenreich, who was born on April 1, 1995.
Professional wrestling career
Heidenreich began training at California-based Ultimate Pro Wrestling before he was first signed to a World Wrestling Federation developmental contract in 2001 after he impressed Bruce Prichard. After being released from the WWF, he wrestled in Japan's Pro Wrestling ZERO1-MAX promotion, where he won the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship with Nathan Jones and impressed WWE scouts, who re-signed him in 2003.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2003–2006)
Heidenreich made his World Wrestling Entertainment debut on the September 29, 2003 episode of Raw with a gimmick that had him first trying to secure a tryout on the different WWE brands, then being "controlled" by an entity known as "Little Johnny". Despite speculation as to Little Johnny's identity – Heidenreich's doll, a doll similar to George "The Animal" Steele's "Mine", a split personality – the angle was dropped before being resolved. In an interview with ThePainClinic.net in 2007, Heidenreich revealed that "Little Johnny" was actually meant to be a small doll that represented his inner child who was still angry at being born in a charity hospital. He stated that he used the character in OVW and brought the doll out to the ring with him in the same vein as Al Snow used to bring out the styrofoam head. According to Heidenreich, the angle was supposedly inspired by his own childhood where he spoke to a doll himself at one point. Heidenreich was then sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling to further hone his skills.
He returned on the August 26, 2004 episode of SmackDown! as a heel under the management of Paul Heyman. His new gimmick was as a psychopath: running in during random matches, attacking fans, and reciting hateful poetry. On an episode of SmackDown!, he attacked commentator Michael Cole and dragged him to the arena restroom to frighten him. In a 2008 interview, Heidenreich explained that the Cole scare angle was McMahon's idea, and that Pulp Fiction came to mind when Stephanie McMahon approached him with the idea.
His first feud came against The Undertaker, and began after Heidenreich ran in during Undertaker's WWE Championship match at No Mercy. Undertaker beat Heidenreich at the next month's Survivor Series, but again Heidenreich cost him a WWE Championship match at December's Armageddon when he interfered in the main event fatal four way match not once, but twice.
At Survivor Series and at the 2005 Royal Rumble, Heidenreich had encounters with like-minded psychopath from the Raw brand, Snitsky. During their brief Survivor Series meeting they exchanged their views on each other – while breathing heavily, a mannerism they shared, Snitsky told Heidenreich "I like... your...poetry."; and Heidenreich replied "I...like what you do...to babies", referencing an earlier Raw angle that had Snitsky accidentally cause the miscarriage of Lita's baby.
At the Royal Rumble, Heidenreich broke out on his own; he secretly partnered with Snitsky, who agreed to interfere in Heidenreich's Casket Match with The Undertaker. During the match it was revealed that Kane was hidden in the casket, who pounced on both Snitsky and Heidenreich; they continued their fight in the crowd, while Heidenreich lost the Casket Match. This started a chain reaction of feuds, originally planned to lead to a match at WrestleMania 21 in which The Undertaker would partner with Kane to take on Snitsky and Heidenreich. This idea was later nixed by The Undertaker, who instead fought Randy Orton.
After a short feud with Booker T, Heidenreich turned face, altering his psychotic gimmick to become a more sympathetic character. Calling them "disasterpieces", his poetry became more light-hearted and began receiving cheers from the crowd. Heidenreich was then given a segment on SmackDown! in which he "made friends" with audience members, read them a piece of his poetry, and had them to stand in his corner during his match. He also had a brief feud with Orlando Jordan, unsuccessfully challenging him for the United States Championship.
Heidenreich went on to feud with MNM (Melina, Johnny Nitro, and Joey Mercury) after they attacked him while he was eating chocolate with the divas, during an event in Hershey, Pennsylvania. After being attacked week in and week out on SmackDown!, he was finally helped out by Road Warrior Animal. Animal and Heidenreich then challenged MNM to a match at the Great American Bash, where they defeated them to win the Tag Team Championship.
On the July 28, 2005 episode of SmackDown!, Heidenreich shaved his hair into a mohawk at Animal's request with reluctance. After Animal convinced him he wasn't looking for a "replacement" for Road Warrior Hawk to become Road Warrior Heidenreich, but simply a partner with talent, Animal talked him into wearing face paint and, on the August 18 SmackDown!, he was made an "official" member of the Legion of Doom and presented with a pair of Road Warrior spikes. On the October 28 episode of SmackDown!, the Road Warriors lost the Tag Team Championship back to MNM in a match also involving The Mexicools and William Regal and Paul Burchill.
After Hurricane Katrina hit Heidenreich took some time off to be with his family. On January 17, 2006, WWE announced that Heidenreich had been released from his contract. What happened was that Heidenreich checked himself into a hospital, citing an ear infection. When WWE agents (Finlay and Ricky Steamboat) came to collect Heidenreich to bring him to the next show, he turned them down. This led to his release.
World Wrestling Council (2006–2007)
After the WWE, Heidenreich moved on to World Wrestling Council, where he defeated Abbad on October 28, 2006 to win the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship, the top title in the Puerto Rico based promotion. Two months later he lost the title to Carlito at the Lockout event. However, he was given the title back when Carlito was stripped of the title due to Carlito's contractual compromises with World Wrestling Entertainment. He lost the title a second time to Eddie Colón, Carlito's brother, on January 6, 2007.
Independent circuit (2007–2009)
After leaving the WWE, Heidenreich made his debut in All-American Wrestling, a Louisiana-based promotion on May 19, 2007, where he defeated J.T. Lamotta. On May 18, 2008, he teamed with Rodney Mack to defeat Latinos Locos for the promotion's Tag Team Championship. However, the title was vacated soon afterwards due to interference in the original title match. On December 14, Heidenreich won the promotion's Heavyweight Championship in a three way Loser Leaves AAW match involving then-champion The Angel of Sinn and Haniel, in which he pinned Angel to win the title.
Heidenreich participated in the wrestling film, Bloodstained Memoirs.
- Finishing moves
- Cobra clutch
- Overhead gutwrench into an inverted shoulder breaker
- Spinning side slam
- Catapult backbreaker
- Electric chair drop
- Tag Teams and Stables
Championships and accomplishments
- All-American Wrestling (Louisiana)
- AAW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- AAW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - w/ Rodney Mack
- American Wrestling Rampage
- AWR No Limits Championship (1 time)
- Bluegrass Championship Wrestling
- BCW World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Florida
- NWA Mid-Florida Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- No Limit Wrestling
- NLW Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
- World Wrestling Council
- WWC Universal Champion (2 times)
- World Wrestling Entertainment