Mike Rotunda

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Mike Rotunda
Irwin R Schyster in 1994.jpg
Rotunda as "I.R.S." at a WWF event in 1994
Born (1958-03-30) March 30, 1958 (age 56)
St. Petersburg, Florida[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Captain Mike Rotunda
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)[2]
Billed weight 248 lb (112 kg)[2]
Billed from Syracuse, New York[1]
Washington, D.C. (as IRS/Wallstreet)[2]
Sioux City, Iowa
Trained by Dick Beyer[2]
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, a play on the abbreviation of the Internal Revenue Service. He works with the WWE as a road agent and makes occasional appearances on WWE shows as Irwin R. Schyster. Rotunda was a first generation professional wrestler, as son-in-law of Blackjack Mulligan, and is the father of two successful second-generation wrestlers, Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas.

Wrestling Career[edit]

Collegiate[edit]

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

Florida Championship Wrestling[edit]

After graduating from Syracuse, 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)[edit]

Rotunda and Windham joined the World Wrestling Federation as the U.S. Express in 1984. They won the WWF World Tag Team Championship twice, firstly 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 title 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 matches until he left the WWF himself, in early 1986.

American Wrestling Association (1986)[edit]

The U.S. Express reunited in the AWA to wrestle at Wrestlerock 86 on April 20, 1986, defeating The Fabulous Ones. The team did not stay long as Windham left the AWA very shortly after debuting. Rotunda stayed around for a few more months with little success.

Return to World Wrestling Federation (1986–1987)[edit]

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)[edit]

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" stable.

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 won the NWA World Television Championship from Nikita Koloff in January 1988, and subsequently gave his Florida Heavyweight title to Steiner. He then began a feud with Jimmy Garvin, because Sullivan wanted Garvin's wife Precious. Steiner left the group and began feuding with Rotunda, the enemies trading the Television Championship before Rotunda lost it 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 Championship from the Road Warriors. Referee Theodore Long turned heel during the match and administered a fast three 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 the title 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 claimed to know (via computer analysis) how to win each 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 onscreen to further the duo's claim. The partnership ended when Rotunda left the NWA for a new role in the WWF, in early 1991.

Return to World Wrestling Federation (1991–1995)[edit]

Money Inc. (1991-1993)[edit]

Main article: Money Inc.

In the WWF, Rotunda became Irwin R. Schyster (or I.R.S.). Schyster had a heel "tax-man" gimmick (he was portrayed as a former IRS tax collector from Washington, D.C.), and harassed the faces and fans, scolding them to pay their taxes. He was, however, a sound technician in the ring, and a serious challenger for Bret Hart's 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". In February 1992, he formed the tag team Money Inc. with Ted DiBiase, and won the WWF World Tag Team Championship together three times. Money Inc.'s first title reign was at the expense of The Road Warriors (called The Legion of Doom in the WWF), making Rotunda the only wrestler to twice defeat them for a tag team title. Schyster renewed his feud with former Varsity Club partner Rick Steiner, and Money Inc. lost the tag team title to The Steiner Brothers twice.

The Million Dollar Corporation and departure (1993-1995)[edit]

After Money Inc. was disbanded (due to Ted DiBiase retiring from wrestling to become a manager), Schyster went back to singles competition. He feuded with Razor Ramon, and later with Tatanka, whom he accused of failing to pay a gift tax on a "sacred headdress" he received from Chief Jay Strongbow. He then joined DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation stable, often teaming with fellow member Bam Bam Bigelow, in an unsuccessful effort to regain tag team gold. Schyster later refocused 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 WWF Monday Night Raw, repossessing the headstone of a child, and interfering in a Casket Match between The Undertaker and Yokozuna. When the two eventually squared off, the Undertaker was victorious following a chokeslam, but Schyster stole his urn after the match. I.R.S. then competed less frequently on WWF TV, his final two appearances being a loss to Savio Vega in a King of the Ring qualifying match in June 1995, and as a lumberjack the following month at In Your House 2: The Lumberjacks. Rotunda then left the WWF.

World Championship Wrestling (1995-2000)[edit]

Rotunda returned to WCW in September 1995. On the debut of WCW Monday Nitro, which aired on September 4, 1995, he was introduced as Michael Wallstreet, but by the next episode he was known as V.K. Wallstreet (the "V.K." an allusion to Vincent Kennedy McMahon) with announcer Eric Bischoff asking Bobby Heenan on-air why his name had suddenly changed. Rotunda used the name for nearly a year, stuck in a lower midcard position. The highlight of this run came at the 1996 Battlebowl, where he teamed with Jim Duggan and made it to the semifinals, losing to Dick Slater and Earl Robert Eaton.[3] Eventually his name returned 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] While in the nWo, Wallstreet remained in the low midcard. His highest profile match in this period was a loss to Jeff Jarrett at nWo Souled Out in January 1997. On the April 21 episode of Nitro, Wallstreet was forced out of the nWo when his nWo contract was declared null and void by James J. Dillon, due to his pre-existing WCW contract.[4] Despite this, he appeared with the nWo weeks later on the May 5 Nitro, before finally accepting Dillon's ruling and leaving the group. Although no longer an nWo member, he openly expressed his contempt for WCW (frequently wearing anti-WCW t-shirts to the ring). In the summer of 1997, he left for New Japan Pro Wrestling, which had a business relationship with WCW.

He returned (as Mike Rotunda) to WCW at Starrcade 1999, reforming the Varsity Club with Rick Steiner and Kevin Sullivan to team with Jim Duggan against The Revolution (Shane Douglas, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and Asya). His team lost when they abandoned Duggan during the match. In early 2000, he took part in a "Lethal Lottery" tournament for the vacated WCW World Tag Team Championship, paired with Buzzkill. The two defeated Dean Malenko and Konnan in the first round, but lost in the quarterfinals to the Harris Brothers.[3] Rotunda left WCW in the spring of 2000. He returned to Japan and also made some appearances for the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (1997-1999)[edit]

Rotunda jumped to New Japan Pro Wrestling in the summer of 1997 (as Michael Wallstreet), where he joined nWo Japan. He toured full-time with New Japan, and was used in the midcard. Like many gaijin, he 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. Wallstreet did participate in two other tournaments. In May 1998, he teamed with Big Titan in a tournament for the vacant IWGP Tag Team Championship, losing in the first round to Kensuke Sasaki and Kazuo Yamazaki.[5] In September 1998, he teamed with Scott Norton in a tournament to decide the #1 contenders for the WCW World Tag Team Championship. They made it to the semifinals, where they lost to eventual tournament winners Kensuke Sasaki and Yuji Nagata.[6]

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

All Japan Pro Wrestling (2000-2003)[edit]

Rotunda (as Mike 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. The team won the 2000 World's Strongest Tag Determination League[7] and also challenged for the World Tag Team Championship, against Taiyō 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 Tencozy.[9] Rotunda finished the year teaming with Williams in the 2001 World's Strongest Tag Determination League, which 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 returned to the midcard. He entered the 2002 Champion Carnival, finishing in 5th place with 3 points.[11] Shortly after, he entered the Giant Baba Six Man Tag Team Tournament, teaming with Steve Williams and Yoji Anjo. The team made it to the semifinals, losing to Genichiro Tenryu, Arashi, and Nobutaka Araya.[6] On July 20, 2002, Rotunda and Williams entered the Stan Hansen Cup 4-Way, and lost to Mike Barton and Jim Steele, Rotunda being pinned by Barton.[12] In autumn, Rotunda and Williams entered the 2002 World's Strongest Tag Determination League, finishing in 4th place with 9 points.[13] Rotunda left All Japan in early 2003, after wrestling on the New Year's Shining Series Tour.

Retirement[edit]

Rotunda retired from wrestling to run a security company with his wife in 2004.

Rotunda was rehired by WWE as a road agent in 2006, and has made guest appearances 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 (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 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, The U.S. Express were to have a rematch from WrestleMania I against Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik. However, the match was interrupted before it could begin by diva Jillian Hall, who offered to sing "Born in the U.S.A." for them; 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 exclusively online storyline, he played a heel character once again and his arch enemy was "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.

I.R.S. appeared 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, bidding on a "Best of Smackdown" DVD. Rotunda overbid $50.00 (including tax); 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). I.R.S was, later that night, one of the contestants during the second round of the pricing game. 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

He appeared on an episode of Monday Night Raw as a lumberjack in the "'80s Legend Lumberjack Match", in which Christian defeated Ted DiBiase, Jr.

On the May 5, 2010 Smackdown, he helped throw Drew McIntyre out of the arena.

On June 7, 2010, I.R.S appeared on Raw in a comedy segment. He announced he had taken Jerry Lawler's crown, because Lawler had not paid his taxes. On the June 28 Raw, he was one of the four people who entered the ring to celebrate Ricky Steamboat's career, but were attacked by the Nexus.

Rotunda appeared on the April 9, 2012 edition of Monday Night Raw. He, along with numerous other WWE officials and superstars, attempted to break up a brawl between Brock Lesnar and John Cena.

On the January 6, 2014 "Old School" episode of RAW, Irwin R. Schyster encountered Big E. Langston on his way to a match and told him to pay his taxes, to which Langston smiled. Immediately prior, Langston walked past fellow Million Dollar Corporation members, Nikolai Volkoff and Ted DiBiase. He continued work as a WWE road agent and was occasionally seen on TV.

Personal life[edit]

Rotunda is married to Stephanie Rotunda (née Windham), the daughter of wrestler Blackjack Mulligan, and sister of wrestlers Barry and Kendall Windham. They have two sons, Windham and Taylor, who are professional wrestlers working for WWE under the ring names Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas.[15] The couple also has a daughter named Mika and two granddaughters named Cadyn and Kendyl.[16]

In wrestling[edit]

  • Entrance Themes
    • "Wallstreet" (Production theme) (WWE)
    • "It's All About the Money" by Jimmy Hart and John J. McGuire (WWE)

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Mike Rotunda's OWOW profile". Online World of Wrestling. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "IRS WWE Alumnni profile". WWE. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  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. 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. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  17. ^ "Finishing Moves List". Other Arena. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  18. ^ a b c d e World Championship Wrestling (1995). "Bart Sawyer Vs. VK Wallstreet". WCW Worldwide.
  19. ^ "Jimmy Hart profile". Online World of Wrestling. 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/WCW World Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  25. ^ NWA Canadian Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  26. ^ http://cagematch.net/?id=2&nr=893&view=awards#awards
  27. ^ http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/pwi/pwi500yr.htm
  28. ^ http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/pwi/pwi100tg.htm
  29. ^ WWWF/WWF/WWE World Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com

External links[edit]