Mr. Strongko

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Mr. Stronko
Birth name Brian Wenzel
Born Butler, New Jersey, United States[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Brian Wenzel[1][2]
Moondog Wenzel[1]
Alexei Strongkov[1][2]
Mr. Strongko[1][2]
Saint Stronko[1]
Scarred[1]
Wenzel[1]
Wyld Chyld Wenzel[1][2]
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1][3]
Billed weight 260 lb (120 kg)[1][2]
Billed from Russia[3] (As Mr. Strongko)
Trained by Afa Anoaʻi[1]
Gino Caruso[1][2]
Debut February 26, 1999[1]

Brian Wenzel is an American professional wrestler. He is perhaps best known for his stint in Ohio Valley Wrestling/ WWE under the ring name Mr. Strongko.

Early life[edit]

Prior to becoming a professional wrestler, Wenzel was an amateur wrestling champion in high school and was also on his high school's varsity football and baseball teams.[4] After graduating in 1998, Wenzel later attended Penn State University in 2001 and graduated with a degree in Business Management and marketing in 2004.[4]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

After training under Afa Anoa'i and Gino Caruso, Wenzel made his debut on February 26, 1999 for Caruso's East Coast Professional Wrestling promotion with a disqualification victory over Pub Bully.[3] Soon after his debut, Wenzel began wrestling all over the United States independent circuit, competing against and teaming with legendary performers such as The Honky Tonk Man, The Road Warriors/Legion of Doom, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka.[3] Wenzel then a joined Jersey Championship Wrestling full-time, forming a tag team with Danny Gimondo/Inferno called The Hybrid.[2]

The Moondogs 2000[edit]

In 2000, Wenzel and Jak Molsoon, both wrestling as singles competitors in Independent Superstars of Professional Wrestling, joined together to form a tag team called the Moondogs 2000, renaming themselves to Moondog Wenzel and Moondog Molsoon, respectively. As their name implied, the team was that of a new version of the prominent tag team of the same name. The team found success soon after forming, as they won the promotion's Tag Team Championship on June 24, 2000 after defeating Judas Young and Ryan Wing in the finals of a tournament for the vacant title.[5][6] They held the championship for 341 days, beating out Glen Osbourne and Julio Sanchez's reign by one day to become the longest reigning champions in the title's history, and they ultimately became the final champions after the promotion folded in 2001.[6]

World Xtreme Wrestling[edit]

While in ISPW, the Moondogs 2000 also competed in World Xtreme Wrestling. On October 15, 2000, the Moondogs defeated the Latin Hit Squad (Nuisance and Puerto Rican Chile) to win the Tag Team Championship, their first in WXW.[7] They would hold remain champions for a few months before losing the title back to the Latin Hit Squad on January 9, 2001.[7] The Moondogs would then reclaim the title after defeating the New Jersey Hit Squad (Mafia and Monsta Mack) on July 13, 2001 and would hold the title for just over a month before losing it to Neil and Bob.[7] After the title loss, Wenzel took a hiatus from wrestling.

Wenzel returned to wrestling in 2003 and in that same year, he reunited with Molsoon and together, they won their third and final Tag Team Championship on January 4.[7] The Moondogs would then lose the title to Los Lunatics (Eddie Guapo and Low Ryda) on March 8.[7]

Ohio Valley Wrestling[edit]

After another hiatus, Wenzel made his debut in Ohio Valley Wrestling on April 12, 2006 as Alexei Strongkov, a Russian shoot fighter and "comrade" to Boris Alexiev. His ring name was soon tweaked to Mr. Strongko and in addition to being Alexiev's cornerman, Strongko would also wrestle in matches. On July 26, Strongko made his in-ring debut for OVW in a losing effort to Chet the Jett.[8] The next day, he competed in a battle royal to name the number one contender for the Heavyweight Championship, which was won by The Miz.[8] On August 19, Strongko wrestled in another battle royal, this time to name the number one contender for the Television Championship, which was won by Ryan Reeves.[8] Wenzel made his World Wrestling Entertainment debut on the March 18, 2007 episode of Heat, where he and Mike Tolar lost to Cryme Tyme.[8] After Alexiev was called up to World Wrestling Entertainment's main roster in April, Strongko began teaming with Vladimir Kozlov. Strongko and Kozlov continued to team throughout 2007 and on August 22, Strongko wrestled his last match in OVW as he lost to Jacob Duncan.[8]

Hiatus and return[edit]

After leaving OVW, Wenzel took a two-year hiatus from wrestling before returning to the ring for Independent Superstars of Professional Wrestling's one day only reunion show, Summer Rumble, on July 11, 2009 under the ring name Stronko.[8] At the event, he wrestled in a 20-man battle royal for the vacant ISPW Heavyweight Championship, which was won by Judas Young, and he also wrestled a tag team match with Mario Bokara in a losing effort to The Logan Brothers (Bryan and Matt).[8]

Personal life[edit]

Wenzel has five brothers and sisters and sixteen nieces and nephews.[4] His cousin, Lee Mandon, is also a professional wrestler, who competes under the ring name Ashe Samuels.[1] After leaving OVW and returning to New Jersey, Wenzel received his certification to become a school teacher.[4]

Wenzel is also a big fan of the New York Yankees and former employee of the NY JETS.[3][4]

He currently is in the process of writing his 1st book and is a budding inspirational speaker.

In wrestling[edit]

Wrestlers trained[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

ECPW Heavyweight Champion x1

References[edit]

External links[edit]