Konnan in July 2011.
|Birth name||Carlos Santiago Espada Moises|
January 6, 1964 |
|Resides||San Diego, California, US|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Conan the Barbarian
Konnan el Barbaro
The Latin Fury
|Billed height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Billed weight||250 lb (110 kg)|
|Billed from||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Trained by||Super Astro
Rey Misterio, Sr.
|Debut||January 6, 1987|
Carlos Santiago Espada Moises (born January 6, 1964), also known as Charles Ashenoff and better known by his ring name, Konnan, is a Cuban professional wrestler and rapper. Konnan is well known in Mexico due to his appearances on Mexican television, particularly with the Asistencia Asesoría y Administración, and has in the past been described as "the Mexican Hulk Hogan", reflecting his mainstream popularity.
After serving in the United States Navy, Ashenoff began his professional wrestling career in Mexico, wrestling in both Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre and Asistencia Asesoría y Administración. In the latter, he also acted as a booker and the first AAA Americas Heavyweight Champion. From 1992 to 1993, he worked in the World Wrestling Federation as Max Moon, and in 1996, he began working full-time for World Championship Wrestling (WCW). In WCW, he helped bring in other Mexican wrestlers to the promotion, as well as being a member of the Filthy Animals alliance. In 2002, he joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling where he was a part of two major alliances: 3Live Kru and The Latin American Xchange. He left the company in 2007 after filing a lawsuit against it, which was eventually resolved.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 2.1 Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (1992–1996)
- 2.2 World Wrestling Federation (1992–1993)
- 2.3 Extreme Championship Wrestling (1995)
- 2.4 World Championship Wrestling (1990; 1996–2001)
- 2.5 World Wrestling Council
- 2.6 Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
- 2.7 Return to AAA (2004–present)
- 3 In wrestling
- 4 Championships and accomplishments
- 5 Footnotes
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Born in Santiago, Cuba Konnan's family relocated to Miami, Florida while he was a child. He had a troubled childhood, during which he was expelled from one other high school before graduating from Southwest Miami Senior High School in 1982. Ashenoff served time in prison after joining a street gang. After his incarceration was over, Ashenoff fled Miami due to conflicts with other drug dealers. He was given a choice of either going to jail or entering the Military. He decided to join the United States Navy and served for four years. While in the Navy, he trained as a boxer, becoming the Californian Middleweight Amateur Boxing Champion in 1982 and 1983. He also represented the United States in fights around the world.
Professional wrestling career
During his residence in San Diego, Ashenoff became a bodybuilder then later a wrestler, following a meeting with wrestling promoter John Roberts. Comparing the masked and caped wrestlers he met to "superheroes", Ashenoff was impressed by the colorful Mexican wrestling culture. He subsequently traveled to Tijuana, Mexico where, alongside Psicosis, Rey Mysterio, Jr., Halloween and Damián 666, he trained under the tutelage of various veteran luchadores. Wearing a mask and billed as El Centurión ("The Centurion"), Ashenoff debuted for the Universal Wrestling Association (UWA) in 1987, coincidentally on January 6, his 23rd birthday. He competed in an eight man tag team match for the sum of $200 MXP ($19.13 USD / €16.03 EUR).
Feeling that he was being held back, Ashenoff departed the UWA for Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre (EMLL), where he was pushed into the main event. In the EMLL, Ashenoff adopted the ring name Konnan El Barbaro ("The Barbarian"). He lost his mask to Perro Aguayo in a Lucha de Apuesta, mask versus hair match. After the match, a young boy—introduced as Konnan's brother—entered the ring crying and handed Konnan his mask back, generating considerable bonhomie towards Konnan from the sympathetic crowd (in lucha libre, losing one's mask can be a major, career shaping event). Konnan went on to become the first ever CMLL World Heavyweight Champion by winning a tournament in Mexico City on June 9, 1991. He, however, lost the title to Cien Caras in his first title defense on August 18, 1991.
Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (1992–1996)
In 1992, Konnan, along with several other EMLL wrestlers, joined Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA). Shortening his ring name to simply "Konnan", he feuded with Cien Caras. Following interference from Jake Roberts, Konnan lost a two out of three falls retirement match by count-out to Caras at Triplemanía I on April 30, 1993 in front of 48,000 fans in Mexico City, setting the all-time attendance record for a Mexican wrestling event. Konnan did not comply with the stipulations of the match and returned to defeat Roberts in a hair versus hair match at Triplemanía II on May 27, 1994 in Tijuana.
Later in 1994, Konnan began a storyline where he betrayed his tag team partner, Perro Aguayo, and formed a villainous alliance known as Los Gringos Locos with Eddie Guerrero, Art Barr and Madonna's Boyfriend. Aguayo gained his revenge on Konnan by defeating him in the only AAA pay-per-view, "When Worlds Collide", in a steel cage match. He eventually became the AAA booker. Konnan defeated Killer on February 2, 1996 in Querétaro to become the first ever AAA Heavyweight Champion. He vacated the title after leaving AAA in October 1996 to form his own promotion, Promo Azteca, and the title remained inactive until 2004. Konnan's Mexican wrestling career was hampered in the late-1990s by his American wrestling commitments, and Promo Azteca closed in 1998. He made a return to the Mexican wrestling circuit in the 2000s after a six-year absence, selling-out arenas in Mexico City and Guadalajara.
World Wrestling Federation (1992–1993)
After he was approached by talent scout Pat Patterson, Konnan spent eight months in the American World Wrestling Federation as Max Moon in 1992. The Moon character, created by Konnan, was that of a cyborg who wore an outfit (purchased by the WWF at the cost of $13,000) bedecked with circuitry and a pyrotechnic gun during his approach to the ring. Konnan was given many ring names, including his own name, the Comet Kid, Maximillion Moon, El Electrico, and eventually Max Moon. His character hailed from "The Future" or "Outer Space", his entrance music was a techno song, and his finishing move was the flying bodypress (a somersault onto his opponent with them on his shoulders). His attire was blue leather, silver foam tubing and a mask. On his way to the ring, he shot sparkles into the crowd.
Debuting in the WWF on September 1, 1992 in Hershey, Pennsylvania under the name the Comet Kid, he pinned Duane Gill. After three televised matches, Konnan abruptly left the WWF following a disagreement with WWF owner Vince McMahon in 1993 after he simply began not showing up for WWF events, due to his rising fame in Mexico. His supposed "bad attitude" and heat from fellow WWF workers lead to a very strained relationship with McMahon, who had invested heavily in the Max Moon character, both financially and creatively, up until that point. The Max Moon gimmick was subsequently given to Paul Diamond for a brief run, before being abandoned.
Extreme Championship Wrestling (1995)
Konnan once again attempted to expand his activities out of Mexico in the mid-1990s. After meeting Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) booker Paul Heyman while on a wrestling tour of Singapore, Konnan joined ECW in 1995 and feuded with The Sandman. He appeared at ECW November to Remember on November 18, 1995, squashing Jason Knight. He also wrestled at an event co-promoted by ECW and the AAA in Chicago, Illinois.
World Championship Wrestling (1990; 1996–2001)
Konnan's first appearance with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) was at Starrcade on December 16, 1990. Teaming with his trainer and mentor, Rey Mysterio, Sr., Konnan entered the Pat O'Connor Memorial International Cup Tag Team Tournament, and they defeated Norman Smiley and Chris Adams in the quarter-finals, but lost to eventual winners, the Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) in the semi-finals.
U.S. Champion; Dungeon of Doom (1996–1997)
Feeling that he had accomplished all that he could in Mexico and desiring to expand his popularity north of the border, Konnan returned to WCW on a full-time basis on the January 22, 1996 edition of Nitro. Promising, in a promo at the start of the show, to defend his "Mexican Heavyweight Championship" against Psicosis the next week. As a WCW employee, he was largely responsible for the hiring of several prominent Mexican wrestlers by WCW, including Rey Mysterio, Jr., Psicosis, Juventud Guerrera and La Parka. Konnan defeated The One Man Gang for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship on January 29, 1996. During his reign, he continued to defend his IWAS and AAA Heavyweight Championships in Mexico (these championships were billed as a "Mexican Heavyweight Title" wherever Konnan wore one or the other to a WCW ring). He lost the United States Title to Ric Flair on July 7, 1996 at Bash at the Beach following interference from Flair's valets, Miss Elizabeth and Woman. Several months after losing the United States Championship, Konnan became a villain and joined the Dungeon of Doom.
Konnan joined the New World Order (nWo) on July 14, 1997. Konnan developed an increasingly hip-hop based gimmick and was nicknamed "K-Dawg." During his first stint in the nWo, Konnan feuded with the Luchadores whom he had brought to WCW. During this storyline, he wrestled in a Mexican Death match at Road Wild against Rey Mysterio, Jr. and a match against Juventud Guerrera at Uncensored in March 1998. When the nWo divided into two rival factions on the May 4, 1998 episode of Nitro, Konnan sided with the nWo Wolfpac, led by Kevin Nash. The Wolfpac feuded with nWo Hollywood, led by Hollywood Hogan and became tweeners. On the November 30, 1998 episode of Nitro, Konnan defeated Chris Jericho for the WCW World Television Championship. His reign lasted until December 28, 1998, when he lost to nWo Hollywood member Scott Steiner on Nitro following interference from Buff Bagwell. When the two halves of the nWo reunited in January 1999, Konnan was thrown out of the nWo for standing up for Rey Misterio, Jr and was attacked by Lex Luger. As a result, he became a fan favorite and teamed with Misterio to fight the nWo. After feuding with nWo member Lex Luger, Konnan and Mysterio, Jr. were defeated by The Outsiders at SuperBrawl IX, with The Outsiders removing Mysterio's mask in the process. Konnan later criticized WCW for not respecting Mexican wrestling culture by writing storylines that saw several Mexican wrestlers unceremoniously unmasked (Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis, and Mysterio unmasked in WCW). He compared asking a luchadore to remove their mask to "going to Japan and telling the Japanese they have to eat with a fork instead of chopsticks".
No Limit Soldiers; Filthy Animals (1999–2001)
Konnan spent several months feuding with Disco Inferno, and then he began a rivalry with Stevie Ray. He and Mysterio formed an alliance with Master P and his No Limit Soldiers and fought with the West Texas Rednecks. After Master P left WCW, Konnan formed a stable known as the Filthy Animals. He and Mysterio, representing the Filthy Animals, defeated Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) for the WCW World Tag Team Championship on October 18, 1999. They were scheduled to defend the titles against Harlem Heat in the MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 24, 1999 at Halloween Havoc, but on the night of the event Mysterio was announced as being injured. The title was then contested in a three way tag match pitting Konnan and Billy Kidman, representing the Filthy Animals, against Harlem Heat and the First Family (Hugh Morrus and Brian Knobs). Harlem Heat regained the title after Stevie Ray pinned Morrus. Konnan and Kidman defeated Harlem Heat for the title the next night on Nitro, but lost to Creative Control (Patrick and Gerald) on November 22, 1999.
Konnan was inactive throughout early 2000, as he was suspended for three months by Bill Busch after requesting his release from WCW, unhappy with the way he was being used. Shortly after returning from suspension and reforming the Filthy Animals, Konnan was sidelined once again, this time with a legitimately torn triceps muscle, damaged when Van Hammer threw Juventud Guerrera at him during a match and Guerrera's elbow connected with Konnan's upper arm as he attempted to catch him. Throughout 2000, the Filthy Animals feuded with other stables, including the Misfits In Action, the Natural Born Thrillers and Team Canada. At Greed on March 18, 2001, Lance Storm and Mike Awesome (representing Team Canada) defeated Hugh Morrus and Konnan in one of his last appearances with the promotion before it was sold to the WWF in March 2001.
Following the sale of WCW, Konnan toured Australia and Europe throughout 2001 with the newly formed World Wrestling All-Stars promotion. Konnan would also compete in Xtreme Pro Wrestling (XPW) where he led a group of luchadores including Halloween, Psicosis, and Juventud Guerrera through 2001 into 2002. In addition to wrestling, Konnan acted as a color commentator. He also studied criminology during a period in which he briefly considered working alongside his father as a private investigator.
World Wrestling Council
Konnan worked in Puerto Rico's World Wrestling Council as a friend of the Colón Family until he turned heel during an angle that turned in to a very intense situation in Humacao, Puerto Rico when Konnan came to the ring with some Mariachis to play a Serenata for Stacy Colón Carlos Colon's daughter. Moments later Konnan blasted Stacy Colón with a guitar on top of her head and attacked Carlos Colón as well. The entire face locker room including brothers Carly and Eddie Colón came to their sister's rescue. That incident started a riot with the fans inside and outside the arena. Konnan had to be excorted by police out of the arena.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Konnan appeared on the inaugural Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) pay-per-view on June 19, 2002 in the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He entered the Gauntlet for the Gold match for the vacant NWA World Heavyweight Championship, but he was chokeslammed and subsequently eliminated by Malice. He returned to TNA on February 12, 2003 and formed a villainous alliance, the Authentic Luchadores, with fellow Hispanic wrestlers Juventud Guerrera, Super Crazy and the Spanish Announce Team. The stable feuded with Jerry Lynn until April 2, 2003, when Lynn claimed that he had been heavily influenced by lucha libre and that he respected his Mexican opponents, thus earning the friendship of Konnan.
The 3Live Kru (2003–2005)
In May and June 2003, Konnan began teaming with B.G. James and Ron Killings, and in July 2003 the trio formed a heroic alliance known as the 3Live Kru. The Kru first wrestled as a unit on August 13, 2003, defeating The New Church (Sinn, Vampire Warrior and Devon Storm). On November 26, the Kru defeated Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger and Glenn Gilberti in a six man tag team match with the vacant NWA World Tag Team Championships on the line. The championship was held by all three members of the Kru, until January 28, 2004, when they were defeated by Kevin Northcutt and Legend in Nashville. After several abortive attempts to regain the tag title, the Kru began supporting Ron Killings's bid to become NWA World Heavyweight Champion. The Kru later feuded with Jarrett's mercenaries, The Elite Guard (Chad Collyer, Hotstuff Hernandez and Onyx). On July 14, 2004, the 3Live Kru, Dusty Rhodes and Larry Zbyszko defeated Jarrett, Ken Shamrock and the Elite Guard in a ten man tag team match. The Kru began feuding with Team Canada in August 2004, and at the inaugural three-hour TNA pay-per-view, Victory Road on November 7, 2004, Konnan and James defeated Team Canada members Bobby Roode and "Showtime" Eric Young for the NWA World Tag Team Championship. Their reign lasted one month, with Team Canada regaining the title on December 5, 2004 at Turning Point with the help of the injured Johnny Devine.
Throughout early-2005, the Kru feuded with Michael Shane and Kazarian, Team Canada and The Naturals. Dissension arose after James's former tag team partner from the WWF, Billy Gunn, joined TNA as "The New Age Outlaw" and began trying to convince James to reform their highly successful tag team, the New Age Outlaws. Konnan and Killings feuded with The Outlaw and "The Alpha Male" Monty Brown, with James's loyalties divided. Brown and The Outlaw, who had by now renamed himself "Kip James", defeated Konnan and Killings at No Surrender on July 17, 2005, with James declining to help either team. Konnan and Killings became increasingly frustrated, at one point referring to themselves as the "2Live Kru". The two teams faced one another in a No Surrender rematch on August 14, 2005 at Sacrifice, with James appointed guest referee by Director of Authority Larry Zbyszko, and James reaffirmed his loyalty to the Kru by attacking Kip, enabling Konnan to pin him and win the match. The Kru, apparently undivided, celebrated together following the match.
Over the following weeks, Kip James began assisting the 3Live Kru, and on October 23, 2005 at Bound for Glory, he saved Konnan from a beating at the hands of Team Canada. On the November 26 episode of Impact!, B.G. James brought Kip James and the 3Live Kru to ringside, then asked Killings and Konnan whether James could join the stable. Following a heated argument between the still skeptical Konnan and B.G., both Killings and Konnan gave their assent, and the "'4Live Kru" was born. At Turning Point the 4Live Kru faced Team Canada in an eight man tag match. In the course of the match, Konnan attacked both B.G. and Kip James.
The Latin American Xchange (2005–2007)
On the December 31, 2005, episode of Impact!, Konnan told B.G.'s father, Bob Armstrong, that he was a "hothead" and invited Armstrong to accompany him backstage for an apology. Instead of apologizing, Konnan turned heel by leading Armstrong into an ambush at the hands of Apolo and the debuting Homicide. The trio, later identified as The Latin American Xchange (LAX), then instructed an unconscious Armstrong to tell B.G. and Kip to "take care of their own business". At Final Resolution on January 15, 2006, Konnan and Homicide defeated The Naturals. After Apolo was released by TNA, he was replaced by Machete, who was in turn evicted from LAX by Konnan and Homicide. In subsequent weeks, Konnan began feuding with Bob Armstrong. On the April 8, 2006 episode of Impact!, Konnan faced Armstrong in a "Arm Wrestling Challenge"; the contest ended in a no-contest after LAX member Hernandez attacked Armstrong. At Lockdown on April 23, 2006, Konnan was defeated by Armstrong in an arm wrestling contest held within the confines of a steel cage; following the bout, each member of the LAX received ten lashes from the James Gang.
In May 2006, Konnan became the Impact! Spanish color commentator. In the same month, he and the LAX began a storyline that saw them refuse to wrestle (as well as himself and Moody Jack refusing to commentate), claiming that Latinos were discriminated against within TNA. After LAX were forced to resume wrestling by Jim Cornette, they began feuding with A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels, with whom Homicide and Hernandez traded the NWA World Tag Team Championship back and forth. LAX then feuded with America's Most Wanted and Team 3D, losing the NWA World Tag Team Championship to Team 3D at Lockdown.
In early 2007, Konnan underwent hip replacement surgery, and his appearances in TNA from then on saw him frequently using a wheelchair. In June, Konnan left TNA for AAA in Mexico. He successfully underwent kidney transplant surgery in July 2007. In March 2008, Konnan sued TNA for racism and discrimination, alleging that while the company said that they would help pay for his hip replacement surgery, they did not. To add leverage to the suit, Konnan claimed that TNA helped pay for Scott Steiner's operation, but did not pay for Ron Killings's surgery from around the same time.
Return to AAA (2004–present)
After leaving TNA, Konnan later returned to Asistencia Asesoría y Administración, where Juventud Guerrera claimed in 2009 that Konnan is the "real boss" of the promotion. In AAA he is the leader of the company's top rudo stable La Legión Extranjera (Foreign Legion). Konnan remained in the role until February 3, 2013, when he was in storyline fired from the promotion. He returned to the promotion on April 15, announcing that he was once again becoming an in-ring performer.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Entrance themes
- "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor (AAA; 1992–present)
- "In Yer Face" by Howard Pfeifer (WCW; 1996)
- "Dungeon of Doom Theme" by Jimmy Hart (WCW; 1996–1997)
- "Tear It Up" by Jimmy Hart and H. Helm (WCW; Used while a part of the New World Order; 1997–1998)
- "Rockhouse" by Jimmy Hart and H. Helm (WCW; Used while a part of the New World Order; 1997–1998)
- "Wolfpac Theme" (WCW; Used while a part of the nWo Wolfpac; 1998–1999)
- "Psycho" (WCW; 1999)
- "Bow Wow Wow" by Konnan featuring Madd One (WCW; 1999)
- "Filthy" (WCW; 1999, 2000)
- "Reason" (WCW; 2000–2001)
- "3 Live K" by 3 Live Kru (TNA; while a part of 3 Live Kru with Ron Killings and B. G. James)
- "Beware" by 3 Live Kru (TNA; while a part of 3 Live Kru)
- "Dawgz" by Konnan (TNA; Used while a part of the Latin American Xchange)
Championships and accomplishments
- Asistencia Asesoría y Administración
- Championship Wrestling USA Northwest
- International Wrestling All-Stars
- Latin American Wrestling Association
- LAWA Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
- World Championship Wrestling
- World Wrestling Council
- '"Konnan Is Still the reigning : Chula Vista Apartment Intergender Middleweight Champion'"
- '"Current reigning: Jack in the Box Parking Lot Champion'"
Luchas de apuestas record
|Hairs||Konnan and Unknown||Red Killer and Junior Killer||Monterrey, Nuevo León||Unknown|
|Hair||Konnan||As Charro||Tijuana, Baja California||February 24, 1989|
|Mask||Perro Aguayo||Konnan||Mexico City||March 22, 1991|
|Hair||Konnan||Perro Aguayo||Mexico City||September 6, 1991||[Note 2]|
|Hair||Konnan||El Cobarde II||Los Angeles, California, USA||July 4, 1992|
|Hair||Konnan||Rey Gestas||Apatlaco, Mexico State||August 15, 1992|
|Hair||Konnan||Jake Roberts||Tijuana, Baja California||May 27, 1994|
|Hair||Konnan||Cien Caras||Los Angeles, California, USA||July 15, 1995||[Note 3]|
|Hair||Konnan||Mike Awesome||Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA||January 15, 2001||[Note 4]|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Konnan.|
- AAA profile
- Max Moon's profile on WWE.com
- Konnan Online
- Konnan at the Internet Movie Database
- "An interview with Konnan, conducted by Shawn Walters". Archived from the original on 2006-03-17.