Heidenreich (professional wrestler)

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Jon Heidenreich
Jon Heidenreich in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.jpg
Heidenreich in 2005
Born (1972-06-28) June 28, 1972 (age 46)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.[1]
Residence New York City, New York, U.S.[2]
Spouse(s) Marissa Heidenreich (m. 1990)
Children 1
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)
Billed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Billed weight 319 lb (145 kg)
Billed from
Trained by
Debut 2001
Retired 2009

Jon Heidenreich (born June 28, 1972) is an American retired professional wrestler, better known simply as Heidenreich. He is best known for his tenure with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he was a one time WWE Tag Team Champion with Road Warrior Animal as a part of the new Legion of Doom.

American football career[edit]

Prior to professional wrestling, Heidenreich played American football and in 1992, he was a member of the Washington Redskins, winners of that year's Super Bowl.[4] He played as an offensive lineman for two seasons (1994 and 1995) in the Canadian Football League for the Shreveport Pirates before playing for the Texas Terror of the Arena Football League (AFL) in 1996 and the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europa in 1997.[1] Though he was signed by several National Football League (NFL) teams (New Orleans, Atlanta, and Washington), he never played an NFL league game due to getting cut in training camp.[1] As such, he does not appear on any NFL team's historical roster.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Heidenreich began training at California-based Ultimate Pro Wrestling before he was first signed to a World Wrestling Federation developmental contract in 2001 after he impressed Bruce Prichard.[4] After being released from the WWF, he wrestled in Japan's Pro Wrestling ZERO1-MAX promotion, where he won the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship with Nathan Jones and impressed WWE scouts, who re-signed him in 2003.[4]

World Wrestling Entertainment[edit]

Early years (2003–2004)[edit]

Heidenreich made his World Wrestling Entertainment debut on the September 29, 2003 episode of Raw with a gimmick that had him first trying to secure a tryout on the different WWE brands, then being "controlled" by an entity known as "Little Johnny".[5] Despite speculation as to Little Johnny's identity – Heidenreich's doll, a doll similar to George "The Animal" Steele's "Mine", a split personality – the angle was dropped before being resolved.

In an interview with ThePainClinic.net in 2007, Heidenreich revealed that "Little Johnny" was actually meant to be a small doll that represented his inner child who was still angry at being born in a charity hospital. He stated that he used the character in OVW and brought the doll out to the ring with him in the same vein as Al Snow used to bring out the styrofoam head. According to Heidenreich, the angle was supposedly inspired by his own childhood where he spoke to a doll himself at one point.[6]

In 2008, former WWE writer Dan Madigan revealed that in 2004 he had pitched directly to Vince McMahon an idea to have Heidenreich return as a Nazi stormtrooper named Baron Von Bava, who had been cryogenically frozen before being revived by Paul Heyman (A Jewish son of a Holocaust survivor), complete with Heidenreich wearing the red armband with the swastika and even goose-stepping to the ring. While WWE would eventually have Heyman manage Heidenreich, the pitch was considered so shocking that McMahon left the board room speechless and didn't return for the rest of the day. The pitch led to Madigan leaving WWE later that year.[7]

Feuding with The Undertaker (2004–2005)[edit]

Heidenreich and Undertaker competing at Tribute to the Troops in 2004

He returned on the August 26, 2004 episode of SmackDown! as a heel under the management of Paul Heyman.[8] His new gimmick was as a psychopath: running in during random matches, attacking fans, and reciting hateful poetry, which he referred to as "Disasterpieces."[4] On an episode of SmackDown!, he attacked commentator Michael Cole and dragged him to the arena restroom to sexually assault him. In a 2008 interview, Heidenreich explained that the Cole scare angle was McMahon's idea, and that Pulp Fiction came to mind when Stephanie McMahon approached him with the idea.[9]

His first feud came against The Undertaker, and began after Heidenreich ran in during Undertaker's WWE Championship match against John "Bradshaw" Layfield at No Mercy.[10] Undertaker beat Heidenreich at the next month's Survivor Series, but again Heidenreich cost him a WWE Championship match at December's Armageddon when he interfered in the main event fatal four way match not once, but twice.[11][12]

At Survivor Series and at the 2005 Royal Rumble, Heidenreich had encounters with like-minded psychopath from the Raw brand, Snitsky.[11][13] During their brief Survivor Series meeting they exchanged their views on each other – while breathing heavily, a mannerism they shared, Snitsky told Heidenreich "I like... your...poetry."; and Heidenreich replied "I...like what you do...to babies", referencing an earlier Raw angle that had Snitsky accidentally cause the miscarriage of Lita's baby.[11]

At the Royal Rumble, Heidenreich broke out on his own; he secretly partnered with Snitsky, who agreed to interfere in Heidenreich's casket match with The Undertaker. During the match it was revealed that Kane was hidden in the casket, who pounced on both Snitsky and Heidenreich; they continued their fight in the crowd, while Heidenreich lost the match.[13] This started a chain reaction of feuds, originally planned to lead to a match at WrestleMania 21 in which The Undertaker would partner with Kane to take on Snitsky and Heidenreich. This idea was later nixed by The Undertaker, who instead fought Randy Orton.

Legion of Doom (2005–2006)[edit]

After a short feud with Booker T, Heidenreich turned face, altering his psychotic gimmick to become a more sympathetic character.[4][14]

His "disasterpieces" became more light-hearted and began receiving cheers from the crowd.[15] Heidenreich was then given a segment on SmackDown! in which he "made friends" with audience members, read them a piece of his poetry, and had them stand in his corner during his match.[4] He also had a brief feud with Orlando Jordan, unsuccessfully challenging him for the United States Championship.[15][16]

Heidenreich went on to feud with MNM (Melina, Johnny Nitro, and Joey Mercury) after they attacked him while he was eating chocolate with the divas, during an event in Hershey, Pennsylvania.[17] After being attacked week in and week out on SmackDown!, he was finally helped out by Road Warrior Animal.[18][19] Animal and Heidenreich then challenged MNM to a match at the Great American Bash, where they defeated them to win the Tag Team Championship.[20][21]

On the July 28, 2005 episode of SmackDown!, Heidenreich reluctantly shaved his hair into a mohawk at Animal's request.[22] After Animal convinced him he wasn't looking for a "replacement" for Road Warrior Hawk to become Road Warrior Heidenreich, but simply a partner with talent, Animal talked him into wearing face paint and, on the August 18 SmackDown!, he was made an "official" member of the Legion of Doom and presented with a pair of Road Warrior spikes.[23] On the October 28 episode of SmackDown!, the Road Warriors lost the Tag Team Championship back to MNM in a match also involving The Mexicools and William Regal and Paul Burchill.[20]

After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005, Heidenreich took some time off to be with his family. On January 17, 2006, WWE announced that Heidenreich had been released from his contract.[4][5]

World Wrestling Council (2006–2007)[edit]

Heidenreich after defeating Brutus Beefcake during the Hulkmania Tour in 2009.

After his run in the WWE, Heidenreich moved on to World Wrestling Council, where he defeated Abbad on October 28, 2006 to win the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship, the top title in the Puerto Rico based promotion. Two months later he lost the title to Carlito at the Lockout event. However, he was given the title back when Carlito was stripped of the title due to Carlito's contractual compromises with World Wrestling Entertainment. He lost the title a second time to Eddie Colón, Carlito's brother, on January 6, 2007.

Return to the independent circuit (2007–2009)[edit]

After leaving the WWE, Heidenreich made his debut in All-American Wrestling, a Louisiana-based promotion on May 19, 2007, where he defeated J.T. Lamotta. On May 18, 2008, he teamed with Rodney Mack to defeat Latinos Locos for the promotion's Tag Team Championship.[2] However, the title was vacated soon afterwards due to interference in the original title match.[24] On December 14, Heidenreich won the promotion's Heavyweight Championship in a three way Loser Leaves AAW match involving then-champion The Angel of Sinn and Haniel, in which he pinned Angel to win the title.[25] He retired from professional wrestling soon after.

Heidenreich debuted at BOTB (Battle On The Border) in Ohio on February 24th, 2018. Heidenreich placed fourth in the "Golden Ticket Battle Royal."


Heidenreich participated in the wrestling film, Bloodstained Memoirs. He also appears as a playable character in WWE Day of Reckoning 2 and WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Heidenreich and his wife, Marissa, have one child: a son named Stetson Austin Heidenreich.[citation needed]

In July 2016, Heidenreich was named part of a class action lawsuit filed against WWE which alleged that wrestlers incurred traumatic brain injuries during their tenure and that the company concealed the risks of injury. In the complaint Heidenreich maintains he suffers from "severe depression" and has been "suicidal". The suit is litigated by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who has been involved in a number of other lawsuits against WWE.[26]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


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  19. ^ Plummer, Dale (2005-07-15). "Smackdown: A legend returns, Bash takes shape". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
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  23. ^ Tylwalk, Nick (2005-08-19). "Smackdown: Set for SummerSlam". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
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  25. ^ a b "All American Wrestling results from 12/14 in Breaux Bridge, LA featuring Heidenreich". Indywrestlingnews.com. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  26. ^ "WWE sued in wrestler class action lawsuit featuring Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka, Paul 'Mr Wonderful' Orndorff". FoxSports.com. Fox Entertainment Group (21st Century Fox). July 18, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
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External links[edit]