michael dworkis looks at wrestling history…
This week on Superstars Spotlight, we look at two wrestlers who can be considered ‘legacy’ wrestlers — Michael McGillicutty and Ted DiBiase, Jr. who are both third generation wrestlers, who are trying to break back onto the main WWE rosters.
Please tell me you know who Michael McGillicutty is. Who he really is. If you do not know he is Joe Hennig, the grandson of Larry “The Ax” Hennig and son of “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. The third-generation star began his career out in Iowa for World League Wrestling (WLW), a promotion run by wrestling legend Harley Race, partnering with another third-generation star, Ted Dibiase Jr. While competing for WLW, he, along with mother, grandfather, and siblings, accepted the 2007 Hall of Fame Award in honor of his father “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. Shortly after he had some try-out matches and in 2008 signed a Developmental deal with WWE and reported to the Florida Championship Wrestling training camp (FCW). Once there he quickly rose to main event status, challenging and winning a number of titles. During his time there, Joe Hennig teamed with the brother of Ted Dibiase Jr., Brett Dibiase. At the end of his FCW run, under the name Michael McGillicutty, won the FCW Tag Team Titles with Kaval (Low Ki).
In 2010, McGilligutty and Kaval were both part of the second season of NXT. Ironically, the former FCW Tag Team titleholders wound up as the final two, with Kaval winning the contest. Although losing the contest, he and fellow season two NXT member Husky Harris made their way to Raw, appealing to Wade Barrett to allow them into The Nexus. Once joining the team he found his success in tag team matches, continuing when CM Punk took over and renamed the group The New Nexus. McGilligutty won the WWE Tag Team Championships with Otunga, defeating Kane and Big Show. Upon losing the tag belts to Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne in 2011, McGilligutty has not been seen much since.
Current Status: NXT
Back in NXT, McGilligutty occasionally would compete on WWE Superstars or in pre-show dark matches. He was in the finals of the first Gold Rush Tournament to crown the first NXT Champion, losing to Seth Rollins in the final. He was partnered with Johnn Curtis under the name Aggressively Weird, now he’s teaming with another legacy wrestler, Bo Dallas (who’s lineage includes: Blackjack Mulligan, Barry Windham and Mike Rotondo).
What can be done with McGilligutty to prevent his release? He has the legacy of his father, but that has not stopped WWE from letting second or third generation superstars go. Manu or D.H. Smith ring a bell? I hope McGilligutty comes back to Raw or SmackDown, and since he is known as the son of Mr. Perfect, why not let him wrestle as Joe Hennig? Call him Michael Hennig. McGilligutty sounds like a hick name which will get him nowhere. Although, no one though a guy by the name of Dolph Ziggler would get to be where he is now. So, maybe I might be wrong on the name. Regardless, he needs to get pushed to Raw or SD in order to even see if the WWE Universe can take to a guy like him.
Future Outlook: NXT
TED DIBIASE JR.
Like Joe Hennig, Ted Dibiase Jr. is a third-gen wrestler. His grandfather was “Iron” Mike Dibiase and of course his father is “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. Along with his brother Mike (named after their grandfather), began wrestling for Harley Race’s WLW, the same place where Joe Hennig started out. In 2007 he toured the wrestling circuit in Japan until being signed by WWE.
Ted Dibiase Jr. was sent to FCW for training but in 2008 was sidelined due to numerous injuries. Once recovered, he came up to the main roster and challenged then-Tag Team champions Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly. He came to the ring alone, where it was revealed that Rhodes was in cahoots with Dibiase, turning on Holly and bringing over the tag titles. They traded the titles with John Cena and Batista, then held them through the summer until October, losing to CM Punk and Kofi Kingston. Manu joined Rhodes and Dibiase as part of a Legacy stable. The stable was broken briefly when Orton attacked Dibiase, taking him on TV with an injury. Upon his return Dibiase and Rhodes sided with Orton to be a new legacy stable, one which main evented for the rest of the year, even helping Orton win the Rumble match. Participating in the Elimination Chamber match at the next PPV, Dibiase would eliminate Orton, and once The Legacy dissolved, he resumed competing in singles matches.
In 2010, he was given a new Million Dollar Title from his father and proceeded to become the new Million Dollar Man of WWE. He even recruited Virgil, but soon fired him. He feuded with Goldust and Daniel Bryan until being moved over to SmackDown in 2011. He partnered with Rhodes once again, but Rhodes soon turned on his former friend, leaving Dibiase to once again venture out on his own. Having been off television, he returned that fall to retaliate against the paper-bag carrying Cody Rhodes and began his career as a fan-favorite. Creating The Dibiase Posse, he would shoot YouTube videos of tailgate parties before WWE events. Injuries plagued Dibiase and was on and off television sporatically until surgery sidelined him.
Current Status: Jobber
A mainstay on WWE Superstars, Ted Dibiase Jr. has nothing going for him. He has a great look and is versatile whether playing the babyface or heel. Wrestling skill is picture-perfect, but his mic skills do need some polishing. If he could make a comeback, with his father as manager, I could see something for the youngster. Sadly, right now, I see nothing.
Future Outlook: Good Luck On Your Future Endeavors