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Mike Rotunda

Rotunda as "I.R.S." at a WWF event in 1994
Ring name(s) Mike Rotunda
Captain Mike Rotunda
Irwin R. Schyster (I.R.S.)
Michael Wallstreet
Mike Drond
Mr. Wallstreet
V.K. Wallstreet
Billed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Billed weight 248 lb (112 kg; 17.7 st)
Born March 30, 1958 (1958-03-30) (age 51)
St. Petersburg, Florida[1]
Billed from Syracuse, New York[1]
Washington, D.C.
Sioux City, Iowa
Trained by Dick Beyer
Debut October 22, 1981
Retired 2004

Lawrence Michael 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. He is currently signed with World Wrestling Entertainment working as a road agent and making occasional appearances on WWE shows as Irwin R. Schyster.

Contents

Career

After graduating from Syracuse University, 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 (1984-1987)

Rotunda and Windham joined the World Wrestling Federation as the U.S. Express in 1984. They won the WWF World Tag Team Championships twice, first winning them from Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis in January 1985. The US Express' most notable feud was with The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff, who they lost the tag titles to 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, and Rotunda was teamed with "Golden Boy" Dan Spivey as "The American Express", who had limited success in 1986.

National Wrestling Alliance (1987-1991)

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".

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 went on to win the NWA World Television Championship from Nikita Koloff in January 1988 and subsequently gave the Florida title to Steiner. He then began a feud with Jimmy Garvin because Sullivan wanted Garvin's wife Precious. Steiner eventually left the group and began feuding with Rotunda, with the enemies trading the Television Championship before Rotunda lost the title 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 Championships from the Road Warriors. Referee Theodore Long turned heel during the match and administered a fast 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 their titles 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 would claim to have the ability to pick how to win the 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 on screen to further the duo's claim. The partnership was a brief one, as Rotunda left the NWA for a bigger role in the WWF in early 1991.

World Wrestling Federation (1991-1995)

In the WWF, Rotunda became Irwin R. Schyster (I.R.S.) and he is perhaps best known for this role. Irwin R Schyster was a heel "tax-man" gimmick (he was portrayed as a former IRS tax collector from Washington, D.C.) who harassed all of the faces and fans, urging them to pay their taxes. He was, however, a sound technician in the ring - this would later see him form the team of "Money Inc." with Ted DiBiase and together the two men won the WWF World Tag Team Championship a further three times. Money Inc.'s first title reign was at the expense of the Road Warriors (using the name "the Legion of Doom" in their WWF stint), making Rotunda the only tag team wrestler to defeat the Warriors twice for Tag Team titles.

After Money Inc. was disbanded due to Ted DiBiase retiring from wrestling on a performing basis, Rotunda went back to singles wrestling. Rotunda's biggest singles feud was with Razor Ramon. He also engaged in a feud with Tatanka, who he accused of failing to pay a gift tax on a sacred headdress. Rotunda would join Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation stable, going on to often team with fellow member Bam Bam Bigelow while trying to regain tag team gold. Rotunda later refocused again 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 Monday Night Raw, re-possessing graves, and also interfering in a Casket Match between The Undertaker and Yokozuna. When the two eventually squared off, the Undertaker was victorious following a chokeslam, but was thwarted when his urn was stolen after the match. Later in 1995, Rotunda suffered an injury at the hands of Lex Luger, which resulted in a shattered disc after being hit in the chin. During the healing process, Rotunda was given a role as an agent, but he again went to World Championship Wrestling to wrestle on a full time basis.

World Championship Wrestling (1995-2000)

When returning to WCW, he reprised his role of Michael Wallstreet, wearing similar attire to that of Ted DiBiase. His persona and wrestling ability were almost the same as his previous I.R.S. character, stating in a pre-recorded debut promo on the first ever WCW Monday Nitro: "I'm sure that the I.R.S. is gonna be watching me real close." Rotunda failed to recapture his earlier success, despite changing his name to both V.K. Wallstreet (a play on Vincent Kennedy McMahon) and Mister Wallstreet. He joined the New World Order (nWo) briefly at the request of DiBiase after defeating Mike Enos on the December 9, 1996 edition of Nitro, and wrestled in All Japan Pro Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling as a member of "nWo Japan". Despite his nWo involvement, he was kicked out of the group by J.J. Dillon on April 21, 1997 because his nWo contract was apparently invalid, but still declared himself to be "anti-WCW", participating as a jobber on WCW Saturday Night. In 1999 he reformed the Varsity Club with Kevin Sullivan, but it never reached the level of its prior success, partly due to nagging injuries on Rotunda's part, and was disbanded in early 2000.

Later career

Rotunda continued to wrestle primarily in Japan throughout the 1990s until he retired to run a security company with his wife in 2004.

Rotunda was rehired by WWE as a road agent in 2006, and has made face appearances (like some other retired wrestlers) 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 (The 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 off by his former tag team partner Ted DiBiase to eliminate himself and give DiBiase the win.

On the March 10, 2008 episode of Raw, U.S. Express made an appearance in a rematch from WrestleMania I against Volkoff and The Iron Sheik. They were interrupted by diva Jillian Hall, who offered to sing "Born in the USA" for them; however, 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 online storyline he is playing a heel character once again and his arch enemy is "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.

Rotunda appeared as I.R.S. 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, and bid on a "Best of Smackdown" DVD. Rotunda bid $50.00 (including tax), but overbid as 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). Rotunda was again one of the contestants during the second round of the pricing game as is the format of the "One Bid" segment. 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

Personal life

Mike is married to Blackjack Mulligan’s daughter Stephanie and the couple has two sons, Windham and Taylor. Both sons are under WWE developmental contract. They are currently wrestling in WWE's developmental league, Florida Championship Wrestling. They wrestle as Duke Rotunda and Bo Rotunda respectively.[2]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Mike Rotunda at OWW". http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/m/mike-rotunda.html.  
  2. ^ "Hernando high alumni ready to hit the ring". HERNANDOTODAY.com. 2009-06-12. http://www2.hernandotoday.com/content/2009/jun/12/ready-rumble/. Retrieved 2009-07-11.  
  3. ^ "Finishing Moves List". Other Arena. http://www.otherarena.com/nCo/finish/finish.html. Retrieved 2009-08-28.  
  4. ^ a b c "Bart Sawyer vs VK Wallstreet". World Championship Wrestling, TNT. WCW Saturday Night. 1995.
  5. ^ "Jimmy Hart profile". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/j/jimmy-hart.html. Retrieved 2009-09-04.  
  6. ^ Florida Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  7. ^ NWA Southern Heavyweight Title (Florida version) history At wrestling-titles.com
  8. ^ NWA United States Tag Team Title (Florida version) history At wrestling-titles.com
  9. ^ NWA World Tag Team Title (Mid-Atlantic/WCW) history At wrestling-titles.com
  10. ^ NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  11. ^ NWA/WCW World Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  12. ^ NWA Canadian Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  13. ^ WWWF/WWF/WWE World Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com

External links








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