Mike Bucci

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Mike Bucci
Nova Mike Bucci.jpg
Bucci in 2015
Birth name Michael Bucci[1]
Born (1972-06-05) June 5, 1972 (age 46)[2]
Toms River, New Jersey, United States[1]
Residence Louisville, Kentucky, United States[3]
Alma mater Ocean County College
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Hollywood Nova[2]
Nova[2]
Super Nova[2]
Mike Moraldo[2]
Mike Bucci[1]
Simon Dean[2]
Billed height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)[2]
Billed weight 220 lb (100 kg)[2]
Billed from Clearwater, Florida (as Simon Dean)
Silicon Valley (as Nova)
Toms River, New Jersey
Trained by Mike Sharpe[2]
Debut 1992[2]

Michael Bucci (born June 5, 1972) is an American semi-retired professional wrestler. Bucci is probably best known for his appearances in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) as Nova, Super Nova, and "Hollywood" Nova and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as Simon Dean.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (1992–1995)[edit]

Bucci was trained in professional wrestling by Mike Sharpe, and debuted in 1992, wrestling on the independent circuit.[2] In late 1993, Bucci made several appearances in the World Wrestling Federation, wrestling in tag team matches against the Steiner Brothers and the Headshrinkers on Monday Night Raw.[2]

Extreme Championship Wrestling[edit]

Blue World Order (1996–1998)[edit]

In 1995, Bucci debuted in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) as Nova, utilizing a superhero character.[2] He was paired with Raven, Stevie Richards, and The Blue Meanie as part of the Raven's Nest faction.

Bucci as "Hollywood" Nova

Bucci, along with Richards, asked permission from both Raven and Paul Heyman to parody the New World Order (nWo); it was granted, and Bucci was given credit with the creation of The Blue World Order (bWo) logo. Bucci parodied Hollywood Hogan as Hollywood Nova, Richards became "Big Stevie Cool" (a takeoff on Kevin Nash's nickname of "Big Daddy Cool"), and Meanie was "Da Blue Guy", a takeoff on Scott Hall, "The Bad Guy".[2] Many other members were added and removed between 1996 and 1998 before the team split in the latter. Richards left the bWo to return to Raven's Nest, and Nova and Meanie continued to team together.[2] They started a feud with the much larger stable Full Blooded Italians.[2] They also briefly feuded with Danny Doring and Roadkill, defeating them in November to Remember 1998.

Teaming with Chris Chetti (1999–2001)[edit]

After Meanie left the company, Bucci changed his gimmick, becoming Super Nova,[2] and adopting a more serious personality. He would start wearing wrestling attires based in the suits of comic book characters like The Flash, Green Lantern and Venom. He formed a tag team with Chris Chetti, as well as a briefer one with Kid Kash. In late 2000 through early 2001, Nova and Chetti broke up as a team and started a heated rivalry, with Nova beating his former partner in a match where the loser was fired at November to Remember.[2]

Nova's last televised appearance in ECW was at their last pay-per view, Guilty as Charged.[3] At the second to last ECW event in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, he was named as Danny Doring's substitute tag team partner (filling in for Amish Roadkill) to help defend the World Tag Team Championship against Hot Commodity; Doring and Nova successfully defended the titles.

Independent circuit and overseas (2001–2002)[edit]

When ECW went out of business, Bucci, as Nova, became more active on the independent scene until 2003. Nova wrestled in various promotions such as California's Ultimate Pro Wrestling, and New Jersey's Phoenix Championship Wrestling, the latter of which was founded by his brother Don Bucci. During this time, he formed a successful tag team with Frankie Kazarian known as Evolution (not to be confused with the World Wrestling Entertainment stable of the same name).[3] In most of the promotions they competed for, they were successful in becoming tag team champions. He also briefly wrestled in the short-lived Australia-based World Wrestling All-Stars, where he feuded with A.J. Styles amongst other cruiserweights for the promotion's International Cruiserweight Championship, which he was unable to win before the company folded. In late 2001, he also worked a number of shows in England.

World Wrestling Entertainment (2002–2007)[edit]

In April 2002, Bucci signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and was assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). In his OVW debut, he defeated The Prototype for the OVW Heavyweight Championship. He held the title for several months, retaining it in matches against The Prototype, Christian, Lance Cade, and Chris Kanyon, before he lost it to The Damaja in October. The following year, he formed a tag team with Aaron Stevens, and the duo defeated Tank Toland and Chris Cage to win the OVW Tag Team Championship. In June 2004 Bucci was named the assistant booker of OVW.[2] It was around this time that he was called up to start competing in SmackDown! dark matches and on Velocity.[3]

Simon Dean in 2006

He then began to try out a fitness-expert gimmick using the ring name Simon Dean.[3] The name was inspired by Dean Malenko's real name, Dean Simon.[4] In August 2004, a series of introductory promos about the "Simon System" (a program of diet, exercise, and supplements) were aired on WWE television. The promos parodied fitness infomercials, with Dean routinely insulting his supposed customers.[2] During this gimmick, he acted as the sponsor of Raw,[2] occasionally wrestling after first insulting the fitness of the crowd and the area in which they were located. After making only a minor impact on the Raw brand, he formed a tag team with Maven who supposedly was a user of the "Simon System".[2] With still only a minor impact made, Bucci was traded to the SmackDown brand on June 30, 2005.[3]

During a WWE produced ECW pay-per-view, One Night Stand, Bucci returned as Hollywood Nova with Da Blue Guy and Big Stevie Cool as the bWo.[2] During the event, Joey Styles made a reference to his "Simon Dean" character. After Bucci was hit with two chairs, Styles said, "That's more painful than having to be Simon Dean on national TV".[3]

When Bucci moved to SmackDown as part of the draft lottery, he joined the other members of the bWo and appeared as "Hollywood" Nova for his first appearance on the show.[3] His next appearance for the brand was wrestling on its sister show, Velocity, as Simon Dean. The general belief was that the bWo appearance was going to be a one off, meaning Bucci would keep to his "health sponsor" gimmick. It was announced, however, that the bWo would participate in a 6-man tag match at The Great American Bash against The Mexicools (Juventud, Psicosis, and Super Crazy). The announcement of this match occurred on the same edition of SmackDown! that Bucci's Simon Dean character had a match with Booker T.[3] At the Great American Bash, the bWo lost to the Mexicools in the six-man tag team match.[3] The appearance of the bWo soon faded as The Blue Meanie wasn't staying with the company and Richards began returning to his previous heel gimmick while Bucci continued with the Simon Dean persona.

In late August, the Simon Dean character began coming to the ring on the Dean Machine (a Segway PT type machine). He would also force feed "Simon System" products to jobbers who wouldn't accept his offer to try them after defeating them in squash matches. The Simon Dean character had his first major WWE pay-per-view appearance at No Mercy, in a loss against Bobby Lashley.[3] After the match, Lashley forced Dean to eat 20 double cheeseburgers, causing him to vomit backstage.[3] Dean had been noted on his later appearances as the "Head of SmackDown!'s welcoming committee", a position in which he was used as a jobber to debuting wrestlers.

During the January 6, 2006 episode of SmackDown!, Dean came to the ring and challenged any tag team. Paul London and Brian Kendrick answered the challenge, only to be brutally attacked by Gymini (Jake and Jesse), two alleged users of The Simon System.[3] Dean was the third entrant in the 2006 Royal Rumble but was eliminated quickly by match-starters Triple H and Rey Mysterio. Dean began managing Gymini, but the team soon faded off television after Jesse suffered an injury in May 2006 and Dean went back to jobbing to other superstars.[3]

In August 2006, Bucci took over from Tommy Dreamer as a talent development manager in OVW.[5] On August 31, 2007 Bucci parted ways with WWE.[6]

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

On April 18, 2009, Bucci, as Hollywood Nova, along with many other ECW alumni appeared at One Pro Wrestling's "To The Extreme" weekend event, where he teamed with the Blue Meanie for his first in-ring performances in nearly 3 years. They unsuccessfully challenged Project Ego (Kris Travis and Martin Kirby) for the 1PW Tag Team Championship.[3][7][8] Bucci has since wrestled for both 1PW and International Wrestling Cartel.[9]

On June 27, 2009, Bucci, again as Hollywood Nova appeared with many other former ECW talent at the Francine Fournier-run benefit show entitled Legends of The Arena at the original ECW Arena in South Philadelphia. He accompanied the Blue Meanie to the ring where they as the Blue World Order defeated the team of Little Guido and Big Sal the Full Blooded Italians.[10][11] On August 8, 2010, Bucci took part in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's ECW reunion show, Hardcore Justice, where he, as Hollywood Nova, accompanied Stevie Richards to the ring and later attacked Tommy Dreamer during his match with Raven.[12]

Bucci appeared in the "On the Spot Title Shot" Battle Royal for Pro Wrestling Syndicate in March 2015 where he reunited with BWO stablemates Stevie Richards and the Blue Meanie. The three also appeared at Pro Wrestling Syndicate's Supercard show on June 6, 2015 as part of Mick Foley's 50th Birthday Celebration. On September 4, 2015, Hollywood Nova, Big Stevie Cool, and Da Blue Guy reunited as the Blue World Order for Chikara's 2015 King of Trios tournament. They were eliminated from the tournament in their first round match by the Devastation Corporation (Blaster McMassive, Flex Rumblecrunch and Max Smashmaster).[13] During the third night of the tournament, Bucci worked a tag team match under his Simon Dean gimmick.[14]

Personal life[edit]

He is the twin brother of Phoenix Championship Wrestling promoter and founder Don "Donnie B." Bucci.[3] After retiring in 2007, Bucci began working as a licensed mortgage broker throughout the United States.[3]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Cagematch profile". Cagematch. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Milner, John M.; Kamchen, Richard. "Simon Dean". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved May 21, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Online World of Wrestling profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  4. ^ "IMDB profile". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  5. ^ Milner, John; Kapur, Bob; Kamchen, Richard. "Tommy Dreamer". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved May 21, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 30, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Nova returns to wrestling at 1PW: page 1". 
  8. ^ "Nova returns to wrestling at 1PW: page 2". 
  9. ^ "IWC A Call To Arms 2009: Full Circle". Cagematch. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Legends of the Arena official page". 
  11. ^ "More information on the event from Pro Wrestling Insiders Mike Johnson". 
  12. ^ Caldwell, James (August 8, 2010). "Caldwell's TNA Hardcore Justice PPV results 8/8: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of ECW-themed PPV headlined by RVD vs. Sabu". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  13. ^ Namako, Jason (September 5, 2015). "9/4 Chikara Results: Easton, PA (King of Trios Night 1)". Wrestleview. Retrieved September 5, 2015. 
  14. ^ Meltzer, Dave (September 7, 2015). "Mon update: Raw bout announced, LA Park and CMLL split, King of Trios". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved September 7, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f "Bodyslamming profile". Bodyslamming. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "Cagematch title listing". Cagematch. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  18. ^ "Independent Wrestling Results - January 2002". onlineworldofwrestling.com. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  19. ^ "OVW Title Histories – OVW Heavyweight Championship". Ohio Valley Wrestling. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2009. 
  20. ^ "OVW Title Histories – OVW Southern Tag Team Championship". Ohio Valley Wrestling. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Independent Wrestling Results – August 2002". onlineworldofwrestling.com. Retrieved July 6, 2008. 
  22. ^ "PWI 500". Cagematch. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  23. ^ "UPW Tag Team Title Tournament". Cagematch. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 

External links[edit]