Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mr. Kennedy

Kenneth Anderson (born March 6, 1976) is an American professional wrestler and actor. He is currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), under the ring name Mr. Anderson. He wrestled under the ring name Mr. Kennedy during his time with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) between 2005 and 2009. Before being promoted to the main WWE roster, Anderson wrestled for numerous promotions in his career. While performing in these promotions, he won various championships, both in tag team and singles competition. Anderson was assigned to WWE's developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in Louisville, Kentucky in 2005. After signing with WWE, Anderson made his debut on the SmackDown! roster in August 2005. In September 2006 he captured his first and only title with the company, the WWE United States Championship, and would hold onto it for a month. The following year, at WrestleMania 23, Anderson won the annual Money in the Bank ladder match, a contract, which guarantees a match for one of WWE's world titles. He was released from his WWE contract on May 29, 2009. He returned to the independent circuit before signing a contract with TNA in 2010. He is a one time world champion, having held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship once. Anderson was picked first overall by All-Star Championship Wrestling Alumni Eric Hammers and Mike "Mercury" Krause. He was invited to appear in a trial basis on WWF Jakked, WWE Velocity, and WWE Sunday Night Heat as an independent jobber several times from 2001 to 2004. Anderson made some appearances on TNA Xplosion and was initially approached for a contract at Total Nonstop Action Wrestling by Jeff Jarrett but communications broke down. Anderson competed in the 2002 and 2003 Ted Petty Invitational tournaments (the first one then known as the Sweet Science Sixteen tournament) but did not advance past the first round in either of them. After wrestling for over six years, in February 2005, WWE signed Anderson to a developmental contract.[Upon signing with WWE in February 2005, Anderson was sent to the Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) developmental territory. After six months he was called up to work on Velocity. Before his first SmackDown! match, a victory over Funaki, he showed himself to be a cocky and arrogant wrestler with not only his mannerisms but by taking a microphone and performing his own ring announcement. He referred to himself as "Mr. Anderson" for this match. A few weeks later, to avoid comparisons with the more famous Anderson family (as well as former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson), he changed his name to "Ken Kennedy", or "Mr. Kennedy". This idea was initially suggested by Paul Heyman and was chosen as his name because it is the middle name of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.

Kennedy defeated Funaki once again in his SmackDown! debut on August 25, 2005. Kennedy also created an ongoing mini-feud with SmackDown! ring announcer Tony Chimel, based on Kennedy believing that Chimel's announcing was not done well enough or with sufficient respect, and therefore performing his own introductions or forcing Chimel to introduce him again. Kennedy's self-ring introductions before the match became one of his trademarks. While working on both Velocity and SmackDown!, he was also still working in OVW. Kennedy made his pay-per-view debut at SmackDown!'s No Mercy, defeating Hardcore Holly and injuring Holly's ribs during the match. On the November 11 episode of SmackDown!, Kennedy faced Eddie Guerrero to compete for a spot on SmackDown!'s Survivor Series team. He lost the match when Guerrero tossed him a steel chair and played possum, a move which Guerrero had made famous. The groggy referee turned around and saw Guerrero on the ground with Kennedy holding the chair, and consequently disqualified Kennedy, awarding the place on Team SmackDown! to Guerrero. This was Kennedy's first loss. In retaliation, Kennedy struck Guerrero over the head with the chair after the match. This was Guerrero's final televised match, as he died on November 13 in his hotel room in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In interviews about the incident, Kennedy has stated that he considers this an "unfortunate honor". In December 2005, Kennedy participated in WWE's overseas tour. On the second day in Italy, Kennedy suffered a serious latissimus dorsi tear. Even after surgery in December, Kennedy was still forced out of the ring for nearly six months while he rehabilitated the legitimate injury. He continued to make appearances on SmackDown! and Velocity throughout January and February. He even made an appearance on the January 11 episode of WWE Byte This! with Todd Grisham to maintain visibility. In November 2006, Kennedy joined forces with Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) in matches against the Brothers of Destruction (Undertaker and Kane) in various combinations. On a November episode of SmackDown!, Kennedy and MVP lost to the Brothers of Destruction three times. After first getting counted out, Theodore Long restarted the match with no countouts. When they disqualified themselves following a low blow by Kennedy, Long restarted the match again with no countouts and no disqualifications. Kennedy and MVP continued to feud with the brothers, with MVP feuding with Kane while Kennedy challenged the Undertaker to a match at Survivor Series, which was later announced as a First Blood match. Kennedy won the match after MVP turned on him and aimed for his head with a steel chair, but missed and hit the Undertaker instead, leaving him bleeding. After the match, the Undertaker attacked Kennedy, forcing him to bleed. At Armageddon, Kennedy and the Undertaker met in a final match; they were scheduled in a Last Ride match. In the match, the Undertaker defeated Kennedy.Kennedy earned a spot in the 2007 Money in the Bank ladder match by defeating Sabu in an Extreme Rules match in a February episode of ECW. At WrestleMania 23, Kennedy won the Money in the Bank ladder match, giving him the right to challenge any World Champion in WWE at any date up until WrestleMania XXIV. Kennedy announced on the April 30 episode of Raw that he would be cashing in his Money in the Bank championship opportunity at WrestleMania 24. On the May 7 episode of Raw, Kennedy, however, lost his Money in the Bank opportunity to Edge, losing mere moments after a blow to the head from a monitor before the match began. Because of the injury Kennedy sustained during his match with Edge, it was revealed that his right triceps muscle tore off the bone and he would be out for a minimum of five to seven months. The injury, however, was not as serious, as the triceps tendon did not tear off the bone but was, in fact, a massive hematoma.

At Bound for Glory Anderson failed in his attempt to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, when Jeff Hardy turned heel with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff and pinned him in a three-way match, which also included Kurt Angle, to win the title and ending his partnership with Hardy in the process. On the October 21 edition of Impact!, Anderson was given an opportunity to earn a shot at Hardy and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Turning Point; all he had to do was survive an Ultimate X match with Fortune member Kazarian. Kazarian managed to win the match, following interference from his stable mates, but Anderson persevered and thus earned himself a World Heavyweight title shot against Hardy, who attacked him after the match. However, during the attack Anderson suffered a legitimate concussion, which would sideline him for a few weeks and prevented him from taking part in the title match. The vacant spot in the title match ended up going to Matt Morgan, who turned face during Anderson's time away from TNA, standing up for him against Hardy's, Hogan's and Bischoff's group Immortal as an advocate for the effects of concussions. Anderson returned on the December 2 edition of Impact!, chasing Hardy and Fortune out of the ring, before being announced as the special guest referee for the World Heavyweight title match between Hardy and Morgan at Final Resolution. Anderson was bloodied and taken out of the match by Eric Bischoff, who managed to help Hardy retain the title, after a three count made by a replacement referee. On January 9, 2011, at Genesis Anderson defeated Matt Morgan in a number one contender's match. Immediately afterwards, Eric Bischoff came out, and announced that Anderson would get his title match against Jeff Hardy straight away. After interference from Morgan, Mick Foley, Matt Hardy, Rob Van Dam and Bischoff, Anderson defeated Hardy to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for the first time. On the February 3 edition of Impact!, Anderson defeated Hardy in a rematch for the title, after Fortune turned on Immortal as they were interfering in the match. On February 13 at Against All Odds Anderson lost the TNA World Heavyweight Championship back to Hardy in a ladder match. On the February 24 edition of Impact! Anderson defeated Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam in a three–way match to earn a rematch for the World Heavyweight Championship. Anderson was looking to get his title match on the following edition of Impact!, but it was instead given to the returning Sting, who defeated Hardy to become the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion. On the March 10 edition of Impact!, Anderson began to show signs of a possible heel turn when he attacked Sting backstage, after claiming that he had been screwed out of his title match. In the main event of the evening Anderson teamed with rival Jeff Hardy in a tag team match against Rob Van Dam and Sting. During the match Anderson took on more of a role as a tweener by turning on Hardy, before being pinned by Van Dam, following an attack from Sting. On March 13 at Victory Road, Anderson wrestled Rob Van Dam to a double countout in another number one contender's match. On the April 7 edition of Impact!, Anderson feigned completing his heel turn by joining Immortal, before turning on them and announcing his intention of going after Hulk Hogan next. On April 17 at Lockdown, Anderson failed in his attempt to regain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Sting in a three–way steel cage match, which also included Rob Van Dam. On the May 12 edition of Impact!, Anderson defeated 24 other men in a battle royal to earn a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Slammiversary IX. Anderson soon turned heel after that, when on the May 26th edition of Impact Wrestling, attacked Disco Inferno. The following week, he joined Immortal's Gunner in assaulting Eric Young.

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