Mike Rotunda


Mike Rotunda
Mike Rotunda

Rotunda as "I.R.S." at a WWF event in 1994
Ring name(s) Captain Mike
Irwin R. Schyster
Michael Wallstreet
Mike Drond
Mike Rotunda
Mike Rotundo
Mr. Wallstreet
V.K. Wallstreet
Billed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[1]
Billed weight 248 lb (112 kg; 17.7 st)[1]
Born March 30, 1958 (1958-03-30) (age 53)
St. Petersburg, Florida[2]
Billed from Syracuse, New York[2]
Washington, D.C. (as IRS/Wallstreet)[1]
Sioux City, Iowa
Trained by Dick Beyer[1]
Debut October 22, 1981
Retired 2004

Lawrence Michael "Mike" Rotunda (born March 30, 1958) is a former American professional wrestler, perhaps best known under the name Irwin R. Schyster or I.R.S. for short. He is currently signed with WWE working as a road agent and making occasional appearances on WWE shows as Irwin R. Schyster.

Contents

Before Professional Wrestling

Rotunda was a varsity wrestler for the Syracuse Orangemen in New York. While he was never an All American, he did win the EIWA Championships in 1981 at HWT.

Career

After graduating from Syracuse University, Rotunda began wrestling in 1981 as a face in Florida Championship Wrestling. He often teamed with his real life brother-in-law, Barry Windham.

World Wrestling Federation (1984–1986)

Rotunda and Windham joined the World Wrestling Federation as the U.S. Express in 1984. They won the WWF World Tag Team Championships twice, first winning them from Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis in January 1985. The US Express' most notable feud was with The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff, to whom they lost the tag titles to at the first WrestleMania. The US Express regained the belts in June 1985, but lost them two months later to Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine. Windham left the WWF soon after. Rotunda continued to wrestle in singles until he eventually left the WWF himself in early 1986.

American Wrestling Association (1986)

The U.S. Express reunited in the AWA to wrestle at Wrestlerock 86 on April 20, 1986, where they won against the Fabulous Ones. The team did not stay long as Windham left the AWA almost as soon as he came in. Rotundo stayed around for a few more months with minimal success.

World Wrestling Federation (1986–1987)

He briefly returned to the WWF in the fall of 1986 to team with "Golden Boy" Dan Spivey as a new version of "The U.S. Express", but they were more or less used as a jobber team against up and coming teams such as Demolition in house shows. They were not considered top contenders.

National Wrestling Alliance (1987–1991)

Rotunda left the WWF in early 1987 and returned to Florida, where he won the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship in March. There, he feuded with Sir Oliver Humperdink's "Shock Troops".

Later in the year, Rotunda joined the National Wrestling Alliance affiliate Jim Crockett Promotions, where he lingered at mid-card level as a face before turning heel and joining Kevin Sullivan's Varsity Club, a group of wrestlers with amateur wrestling credentials. Rotunda began bickering with fellow Varsity Club member Rick Steiner, a graduate of the University of Michigan, over which of the two had a superior alma mater. This in turn led to the two arguing over which of them was the superior wrestler.

Rotunda went on to win the NWA World Television Championship from Nikita Koloff in January 1988 and subsequently gave the Florida title to Steiner. He then began a feud with Jimmy Garvin because Sullivan wanted Garvin's wife Precious. Steiner eventually left the group and began feuding with Rotunda, with the enemies trading the Television Championship before Rotunda lost the title to Sting.

"Dr. Death" Steve Williams and Dan Spivey joined the Varsity Club in late 1988, and Rotunda teamed with Williams to win the NWA World Tag Team Championships from the Road Warriors. Referee Theodore Long turned heel during the match and administered a fast count, enabling Rotunda and Williams to overcome the champions. Long went on to become a manager following the controversial officiating.

In May 1989, Williams and Rotunda were stripped of their titles and shortly after Sullivan and Rotunda concluded a feud with the Steiner Brothers Rotunda briefly left the NWA. He returned in 1990 as a face, using the maritime gimmick Captain Mike Rotunda. He formed a "crew" consisting of Abdullah the Butcher and Norman the Lunatic and feuded with Kevin Sullivan's new stable, "Sullivan's Slaughterhouse" (Cactus Jack, Buzz Sawyer, and Bam Bam Bigelow).

In mid-1990, Rotunda turned heel again and became Michael Wallstreet with Alexandra York and her computer as his manager. They founded the York Foundation. The two would claim to have the ability to pick how to win the match and how long it would take for Wallstreet to become victorious. In this brief run he was undefeated and often a timer was present on screen to further the duo's claim. The partnership was a brief one, as Rotunda left the NWA for a bigger role in the WWF in early 1991.

World Wrestling Federation (1991–1995)

In the WWF, Rotunda became Irwin R. Schyster (I.R.S.) and he is perhaps best known for this role. Irwin R Schyster was a heel "tax-man" gimmick (he was portrayed as a former IRS tax collector from Washington, D.C.) who harassed all of the faces and fans, urging them to pay their taxes. He was, however, a sound technician in the ring, and was a serious challenger to Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Championship. He had a short-lived feud with The Big Bossman in the fall of 1991, accusing the Bossman of being a "Tax Cheat" for not paying the taxes for the law.

He would later form the team of "Money Inc." with Ted DiBiase and together the two men won the WWF World Tag Team Championship a further three times. Money Inc.'s first title reign was at the expense of the Road Warriors (using the name "the Legion of Doom" in their WWF stint), making Rotunda the only tag team wrestler to defeat the Warriors twice for Tag Team titles.

After Money Inc. was disbanded due to Ted DiBiase retiring from wrestling on a performing basis, Rotunda went back to singles wrestling. Rotunda's biggest singles feud was with Razor Ramon. He also engaged in a feud with Tatanka, who he accused of failing to pay a gift tax on a sacred headdress. Rotunda would join Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation stable, going on to often team with fellow member Bam Bam Bigelow while trying to regain tag team gold. Rotunda later refocused again on singles wrestling, feuding with The Undertaker in a long rivalry, with both gaining momentum leading up to their clash at the 1995 Royal Rumble. This included I.R.S. defeating many jobbers on Monday Night Raw, re-possessing the headstone of a child, and also interfering in a Casket Match between The Undertaker and Yokozuna. When the two eventually squared off, the Undertaker was victorious following a chokeslam, but was thwarted when his urn was stolen after the match. Rotunda was then only used sparingly on WWF TV, with his final two appearances being a loss to Savio Vega in a King of the Ring qualifying match in June 1995, and then appearing as a lumberjack the following month at In Your House 2. Rotunda then left the WWF, resurfacing in World Championship Wrestling as Michael Wallstreet in September 1995.

World Championship Wrestling (1995-2000)

Rotunda returned to WCW in September 1995 as V.K. Wallstreet with the V.K. being based on Vince McMahon's real name: Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Rotunda used the name for nearly a year but didn't go far and was used in the low midcard with his only highlight being taken part in the 1996 Battlebowl where he teamed with Jim Duggan and made it to the semi finals losing to Dick Slater and Earl Robert Eaton.[3] Eventually Rotunda's name was changed to Michael Wallstreet and Mr. Wallstreet and in December 1996 he joined the nWo after being offered a membership by former tag team partner: Ted Dibiase.[4] Despite joining the nWo, Rotunda continued to remain in the low midcard with his only highlight being losing to Jeff Jarrett at nWo Souled Out in January 1997. On the April 21st episode of Nitro, Rotunda was forced out of the nWo when his nWo contract was declared null and void by James J. Dillon due to his WCW contract.[4] Despite this, he still appeared with the nWo weeks later on the May 5th Nitro before finally acknowledging J.J. Dillon's authority and leaving the group soon after. Although no longer a member of the nWo, he openly expressed his contempt for WCW (frequently wearing anti-WCW t-shirts to the ring) and continued to compete in WCW until the summer when he left for New Japan Pro Wrestling as WCW had a working relationship with them.

Rotunda returned to WCW at Starrcade 1999 when he reunited the Varsity Club with Rick Steiner and Kevin Sullivan as they teamed with Jim Duggan against The Revolution (Shane Douglas, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and Asya). The Club lost when they abandoned Duggan during the match. Following Starrcade, Rotunda continued to wrestle in WCW but was never pushed. His only highlight was in early 2000, when he took part in a lethal lottery tournament for the vacated WCW World Tag Team Championship where he was paired with Buzzkill. The two defeated Dean Malenko and Konnan in the first round but lost in the quarter finals to the The Harris Brothers.[3] Rotunda eventually left WCW in the spring of 2000 and returned to Japan and made some appearances in the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (1997-1999)

Rotunda jumped to New Japan Pro Wrestling in the summer of 1997 where he joined nWo Japan. He would tour full-time with New Japan but was used in the midcard. Like many gaijin, Rotunda wasn't used at Dome Shows and was left off New Japan's top tournaments such as the G1 Climax and the Super Grade Tag League tournaments. Rotunda did participate in 2 tournaments. In May 1998, Rotunda teamed with Big Titan in a tournament for the vacated IWGP Tag Team Championship but lost in the first round to Kensuke Sasaki and Kazuo Yamazaki.[5] In September 1998, Rotunda teamed with Scott Norton in a tournament to crown the #1 contenders for WCW World Tag Team Championships. Rotunda and Norton made it to the semi-finals where they lost to eventual winners Kensuke Sasaki and Yuji Nagata.[6]

By 1999, Masahiro Chono left nWo Japan and formed a new group: Team 2000. Rotunda along with nWo Sting would follow. Rotunda along with the rest of Team 2000 would feud with nWo Japan throughout 1999. By December, Rotunda left New Japan when he was called back to WCW.

All Japan Pro Wrestling (2000-2003)

Rotunda joined All Japan Pro Wrestling in the summer of 2000 shortly after the Pro Wrestling NOAH exodus. He reunited the Varsity Club this time with "Dr. Death" Steve Williams. Originally, Rotunda was pushed as he and Williams won the 2000 World's Strongest Tag League[7] and also challenged for the AJPW Unified World Tag Team Championship against Taiyo Kea and Johnny Smith on February 24, 2001 but lost.[8] In late 2001, Rotunda returned to Team 2000 as part of the All Japan branch and returned to New Japan for one match on October 28, teaming with Chono to defeat Ten-Koji.[9] Rotunda finished the year teaming with Williams in the 2001 World's Strongest Tag League where they finished in 5th place with 6 points.[10]

In January 2002, Keiji Mutoh jumped to All Japan and eventually became the owner and president. With the arrival of Mutoh, a growing roster, and nagging injuries, Rotunda was no longer pushed and returned to the midcard. He entered the 2002 Champion's Carnival but finished in 5th place with 3 points.[11] Shortly after, Rotunda entered the Giant Baba Six Man Tag Team Tournament teaming with Steve Williams and Yoji Anjo and the team ultimately made it to the semi-finals losing to Genichiro Tenryu, Arashi, and Nobutaka Araya.[6] On July 20, 2002, Rotunda and Williams entered the Stan Hansen Cup 4 way but lost to Mike Barton and Jim Steele with Rotunda getting pinned by Barton.[12] In the fall, Rotunda and Williams entered the 2002 World's Strongest Tag League where they finished in 4th place with 9 points.[13] Rotunda left All Japan in early 2003 after wrestling the New Year's Shining Series Tour.

Retirement

Rotunda continued to wrestle primarily in Japan throughout the 1990s until he retired to run a security company with his wife in 2004.

Rotunda was rehired by WWE as a road agent in 2006, and has made face appearances (like some other retired wrestlers) as Irwin R. Schyster. One such appearance was on the August 6, 2007 edition of WWE Raw; Mr. McMahon was discussing his IRS troubles with Jonathan Coachman, and when the conversation ended, Rotunda lowered the paper covering his face (The Financial Times) and revealed himself.

Rotunda appeared as I.R.S. on the December 10, 2007 15th Anniversary edition of Raw, winning a 15 man Battle Royal, only to be paid off by his former tag team partner Ted DiBiase to eliminate himself and give DiBiase the win.[14]

On the March 10, 2008 episode of Raw, U.S. Express made an appearance in a rematch from WrestleMania I against Volkoff and The Iron Sheik. They were interrupted by diva Jillian Hall, who offered to sing "Born in the USA" for them; however, she was given an airplane spin by Rotunda.

Rotunda appeared in the segment, "Top Rope Theatre" on WWE.com on February 19, 2009 talking to Kelly Kelly. In this online storyline he played a heel character once again and his arch enemy was "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.

Rotunda appeared as I.R.S. on the September 7, 2009 edition of "Raw," of which Bob Barker was the guest host. Rotunda was a contestant in a "pricing game" similar to the "One Bid" qualifying segment of The Price Is Right along with Santino Marella, Jillian Hall, and Chris Jericho, and bid on a "Best of Smackdown" DVD. Rotunda bid $50.00 (including tax), but overbid as the DVD's actual retail price was $18.99. Chris Jericho won the pricing game with a bid of $1.00 (as erroneously proclaimed by Bob Barker). Rotunda was again one of the contestants during the second round of the pricing game as is the format of the "One Bid" segment. A.J. Pierzynski of the Chicago White Sox filled in the vacated spot Chris Jericho held. This time the bid was for a travel package to WrestleMania XXVI in Glendale, Arizona. Rotunda bid $2,000.00 for the package. The actual retail price was $1,247.00, making Santino the winner after a bid of $1,200.00

Mike later appeared on an episode of Monday Night Raw as part of the 80's Legend Lumberjack match in which Christian defeated Ted Dibiase Jr.

Mike was on the May 5, 2010 Smackdown when he helped throw Drew McIntyre out of the arena.

On June 7, 2010 he appeared on Raw as I.R.S. for a comedy segment in which he announced he had taken Jerry Lawler's Crown because he had not paid his taxes. On June 28, Rotunda who became a face again was one of the four people that came out to congratulate Ricky Steamboat's career, but were attacked by the Nexus.

Personal life

Rotunda is married to Stephanie Windham, the daughter of wrestler Blackjack Mulligan, and the sister of wrestlers Barry and Kendall Windham. They have two sons, Windham and Taylor, who are both professional wrestlers, currently working for WWE.[15] The couple also has a daughter named Mika.[16]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him #26 of the top 500 wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1994[27]
    • PWI ranked him #164 of the top 500 wrestlers during the PWI Years in 2003[28]
    • PWI ranked him #61 of the top 100 tag teams with Ted Dibiase during the PWI Years in 2003[29]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "IRS WWE Alumnni profile". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/superstars/wwealumni/irs/. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Mike Rotunda's OWOW profile". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/m/mike-rotundo.html. 
  3. ^ a b http://www.cagematch.de/?id=2&nr=893&view=matches&gimmick=&jahr=&liga=2&region=&land=&art=&artmatches=&partner=Partner&gegner=Gegner&suchbegriff=Suchbegriff
  4. ^ a b http://www.accelerator3359.com/Wrestling/index2.html
  5. ^ http://www.puroresufan.com/njpw/results/bosj98.html
  6. ^ a b http://www.prowrestlinghistory.com/
  7. ^ http://www.purolove.com/ajpw/history/rwtl00.php
  8. ^ http://www.purolove.com/ajpw/history/ajpwtagdefenses.php#43
  9. ^ http://www.purolove.com/njpw/results/01survival.php
  10. ^ http://www.purolove.com/ajpw/history/rwtl01.php
  11. ^ http://www.purolove.com/ajpw/history/carnival02.php
  12. ^ http://www.purolove.com/ajpw/results/results02.php
  13. ^ http://www.purolove.com/ajpw/history/rwtl02.php
  14. ^ http://www.obsessedwithwrestling.com/profiles/m/mike-rotundo.php Obsessed with Wrestling
  15. ^ Bernhardt, Jr., Chris (2009-06-12). "Hernando High alumni ready to hit the ring". Hernando Today. http://www2.hernandotoday.com/content/2009/jun/12/ready-rumble/. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  16. ^ "The final bell Longtime professional wrestler Mike Rotunda is ready to trade in the sport for full-time parenthood". SPTIMES.com. 2004-02-22. http://www.sptimes.com/2004/02/22/Hernando/The_final_bell.shtml. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  17. ^ "Finishing Moves List". Other Arena. http://www.otherarena.com/nCo/finish/finish.html. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  18. ^ a b c d e "Bart Sawyer Vs. VK Wallstreet". World Championship Wrestling. WCW Worldwide. 1995.
  19. ^ "Jimmy Hart profile". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/j/jimmy-hart.html. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  20. ^ Florida Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  21. ^ NWA Southern Heavyweight Title (Florida version) history At wrestling-titles.com
  22. ^ NWA United States Tag Team Title (Florida version) history At wrestling-titles.com
  23. ^ NWA World Tag Team Title (Mid-Atlantic/WCW) history At wrestling-titles.com
  24. ^ NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  25. ^ NWA/WCW World Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  26. ^ NWA Canadian Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  27. ^ http://cagematch.net/?id=2&nr=893&view=awards#awards
  28. ^ http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/pwi/pwi500yr.htm
  29. ^ http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/pwi/pwi100tg.htm
  30. ^ WWWF/WWF/WWE World Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com

External links


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  • Lawrence Rotunda — Mike Rotunda Mike Rotunda en 1994 Nom(s) de ring Mike Rotunda Mike Rotundo Captain Mike Rotundo Irwin R. Schyster I.R.S. Michael Wallstreet Mike Drond Mr. Wallstreet V.K. Wallstreet Taille 1,91 m Poids …   Wikipédia en Français

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