The Spirit Squad was a five member tag team who wrestled for World Wrestling Entertainment on the RAW brand, as well as in "farm territory" Ohio Valley Wrestling. The team consisted of Kenny, Johnny, Mitch, Nicky, and Mikey with the gimmick of an all-male cheerleading squad, developed from an idea suggested by Paul Heyman. They are former World Tag Team Champions and, by "executive decision", were all collectively recognized as champion and internally decided which two defended the belts at any given time (see Freebird Rule). Their reign marked the first time five wrestlers had been simultaneously recognized as World Tag Team Champions. They currently are a professional wrestling tag team that consists of Kenny and Mikey, who are both performing in WWE on the SmackDown brand
The group made their first appearances in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) at house shows and in dark matches. On January 23, 2006 they had their television debut, appearing on RAW and helping Jonathan Coachman win a Royal Rumble qualifying match against Jerry "The King" Lawler by performing cheers for the Coach and distracting Lawler. In subsequent weeks the team was (kayfabe) hired by several wrestlers to perform cheers for them.
They eventually became a part of the ongoing feud between WWE chairman Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels. The heel McMahon brought in the Squad to perform disrespectful cheers about and attack Michaels on numerous occasions, including placing them in multiple handicap matches.
While involved in the Michaels/McMahon feud they also continued wrestling in the tag team division, and on the April 3, 2006 edition of RAW, won the World Tag Team Championship when Kenny and Mikey—with outside help from the other three Squad members—defeated Kane and The Big Show. After winning the titles an "executive edict" was declared stating that all five members were recognized as the champions, with any two members allowed to defend the titles at once (see Freebird Rule).
On May 1, the night after Backlash, the five members of the Spirit Squad were jointly named "Co-General Managers" of RAW. During the night, after drawing "spirit straws", they placed Kenny into a title match with WWE Champion John Cena. Before the match they ordered play-by-play analyst Joey Styles in their office to instruct him on how to call Kenny's upcoming win (which never did come to pass), instructing him to do it "with spirit" or they would force him to call all of the next RAW while wearing a (female) cheerleading uniform. This lead to Styles confronting color-commentator Jerry Lawler and eventually quitting the show (and WWE) in a worked shoot promo.
Three weeks later, from RAW in Las Vegas, Nevada, Vince McMahon signed another Handicap Match pitting the Spirit Squad against Shawn Michaels. However, the match never started, instead the Spirit Squad brutally beat down Michaels, ripping apart his ring attire and (kayfabe) shattering his knee with a steel chair as he was going for his Sweet Chin Music. McMahon then called Triple H to the ring to finish Michaels off with a sledgehammer shot, however, Kenny snatched the sledgehammer away—disrespecting Triple H -- leading to him attacking the group.
Triple H and Shawn Michaels revived D-Generation X (DX) and as a team began a feud with the Spirit Squad. DX played various sophomoric pranks on the Squad and the McMahons, as well as defeating the Spirit Squad in handicap tag matches at Vengeance and a clean sweep in an elimination handicap match at Saturday Night's Main Event.
At the same time as their feud with DX and their alignment with McMahon, the team also wrestled other teams in RAW's' tag division over their World Tag Team Title. The Squad successfully defended the titles against the teams of Jim Duggan and Eugene, Charlie Haas and Viscera, Snitsky and Val Venis before entering a lengthy feud with The Highlanders, whom they eventually defeated to retain the titles at Unforgiven.
At the end of September and into October the Squad as a whole began a losing streak with separate members losing singles matches to Ric Flair on consecutive episodes of RAW. After Johnny and Mikey lost to the debuting Cryme Tyme on October 16, Kenny started yelling at the other members of the Spirit Squad in the ring and walked off shouting "I'm tired of losing". Tensions further escalated on the October 23 RAW when the Spirit Squad lost to Cryme Tyme a second consecutive week. After the defeat Kenny attacked Mikey then announced that he would take on Flair, and win, since no other member of the group could do it. Later in the night he made good on his promise with help from the rest of the Squad, despite Flair bringing a number of fellow "Legends" (Dusty Rhodes, Sgt. Slaughter, and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper) to the ring with him to even the odds. It was then decided that Flair and one of the legends, of the fans choosing, would wrestle the Squad at Cyber Sunday for the Tag Team championship. At Cyber Sunday the fans chose Piper and he and Flair defeated Kenny and Mikey to win the title. At the time of their loss the team had held the title for 216 days, the longest since Owen Hart and The British Bulldog held it for 241 days in 1996 and 1997.
The group was "killed off" on the November 27 RAW after they were defeated in a 5 on 3 match by DX and Ric Flair. After a triple submission, and being buried in a backstage segment, they were dumped into a large crate stamped "OVW. Louisville, Kentucky", a reference to the WWE farm territory the members had all come from.
The breakup was confirmed by Johnny on his MySpace blog on November 30, and furthered on the December 4 RAW by Kenny.
The Frat Pack
Following the breakup, Kenny was the only member to remain on RAW, gaining the last name "Dykstra" and continuing the feud with Ric Flair that led to the Spirit Squad's break up. Meanwhile, in Ohio Valley Wrestling, Nicky and Mikey were repackaged as a tag team, calling themselves The Frat Pack. Johnny returned to OVW, while Mitch has yet to appear on television since the disbanding of the Spirit Squad. Nicky currently appears on SmackDown as Dolph Ziggler.
- Finishing and signature moves
- Simultaneous Diving leg drop (Kenny) and high angle senton bomb (Mikey)
- High Spirits (Four or Five man Sky Lift Slam)
- Spirit Squad also perform the move while Kenny performs a leg drop so that Kenny's leg will drop across the throat of the opponent just as this opponent is lifted into the air by the remaining four members of the Squad.
- Ring entrance
- Spirit Squad had a unique entrance in which Mitch stood in the middle of the ring and the other four members on the apron, at each corner, and simultaneously did a springboard somersault over the ropes and into the ring. Pyro was later added in the form of golden sparks "raining down" behind them.
- Signature taunts
- Jumping from a trampoline to enter the ring - All five members
- Jumping jacks - All five members
- Various breakdance moves - All five members
- Blowing an air horn - All five members (usually only one or two during a match)
- Sits and hopping across the ring - Mitch
- Michael Jackson impersonation - Johnny
- Spinning in a circle - Nicky
- High pitched scream - Nicky
- Martial arts moves - Johnny
- Common cheers
- "Kenny!" "Johnny!" "Mitch!" "Nicky!" "Mikey!" "And we are...The Spirit Squad!"
- "Ready, OK!"
- "Let's hear it for Spirit Squad!"
- "Who's got spirit!"
- "2,4,6,8, who do you appreciate?"
- "1,2,3 Spirit Squad!"
- "Let's see those spirit fingers!"