February 28, 2007 by

Mike Awesome

19 comments

Categories: Sports

mawesome.jpgMichael Lee Alfonso, a wrestler who was twice named the Extreme Championship Wrestling World Champion, committed suicide on Feb. 17. He was 42.
Born and raised in Tampa, Fla., Alfonso married his high school sweetheart and fathered two children. He spent a year as an iron worker to save up for college, and helped build several high rises in his hometown.
Alfonso dropped out of Hillsborough Community College in his third year to become a professional wrestler. After training at Steve Keirn’s Pro Wrestling School of Hard Knocks, the 6-foot-6, 292-pound wrestler made his debut in 1989. His signature move, the Running Powerbomb, quickly became a fan favorite.
Alfonso wrestled for 17 years, mostly in Japan’s Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling promotion, where he was known as “G – The Gladiator.” He won the World Brass Knuckles Tag Team Championship twice as well as the World Street Fight Six-Man Tag Team Championship. In 1996, The Gladiator defeated Wing Kanemura for the FMW Independent World title. He held the title for nine months before losing it to his arch rival, Masato Tanaka.
Alfonso competed in China, South Korea, Guam, Australia, Germany, England, Puerto Rico and Canada; however, didn’t make his mark on the U.S. wrestling scene until 1999 when he captured the ECW Heavyweight title. While American audiences knew him by the name “Mike Awesome,” he also called himself “The Career Killer,” “That 70s Guy,” “That ’80s Guy,” “Fat Chick Thriller,” “The Mullet Guy” and “The Awesome One.”
In 2000, Awesome shocked the wrestling world, and angered his fellow ECW wrestlers, by making a surprise appearance on World Championship Wrestling “Monday Nitro” with his ECW belt. (He was not under contract to ECW at the time, and he could sign with any wrestling company he liked.) Although Awesome eventually closed the deal with WCW, a federal injunction prevented him from appearing on their TV shows with the ECW belt. Awesome’s final hurrah involved beating Masato Tanaka on ECW’s “One Night Stand” in 2005. He did an Awesome Bomb through a table and pinned Tanaka on the floor of the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The audience went wild.
Prior to his untimely death by hanging, Alfonso worked as a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker in Tampa. World Wrestling Entertainment recognized his death by displaying an “In Memory” graphic at the beginning of the Feb. 20th “ECW” on Sci Fi.
Watch a Tribute to Awesome Posted on YouTube

19 Responses to Mike Awesome

  1. nipun saini

    it was sad to here that mike is dead.i miss him from wcw days when wwe taken over that time in india the both shows were stopped.i really missed him and his move which was carrier killer.awesome rest in peace
    thanks,
    regards
    nipun

  2. david lopez

    he was truely a god amongst men. He help young boys like me to aspire , and try hard to be truly awesome. HOPfully the wwe keeps on track and mackes memorly dvds for all of our heros growing up. Ohh yea MIKE AWESOME was the man in ECW, as a matter of fact the day he died i watched him win the ecw tittle on

  3. scott simpson

    mike, you made a difference to alot of people, and were always my fav wrestler, it makes me sad to hear of your untimely death, may you be at peace buddy.
    you were always totally awesome

  4. stevpain2004

    i just want to say,i am sad for the loss of mike awsome to the wrestling world,to me he was my second fav wrestler next to the god of hardcore,bruiser brody,and what made me like mike awsome was the fact he reminded me of brody when he was in the ring,violent and brutal,awsome was refreshing to see in action cause he could do almost anything,at the time he was ecw champ he was the best champ in the world at that time and just like brody he found great sucess in japan.for anybody who knows wrestling prior to 2001,knows what i’m talking about,wrestling was a non-mcmachon controlled sport and not entertainment, and it was excellent,and right now with nwa-tna,wrestling is comming back and sports entertainment is dying and i love it.if you are a fan, go to http://www.you tube and watch bruiser brody matches and compare them to the state of wrestling right you will see what i’m talkin about.

  5. greg

    mike AWESOME was a true wrestler no gimics needed with that man in ECW he was like a god, in WCW he was made 2 look like clown shoes and didnt deserve that disrespect.
    R.I.P AWESOME.

  6. Life Goes on

    I understand the guy was a hero to most but why did he coward out and kill himself. Life is not that hard. You are given the most precious gift there is and you give it back? RIP Mike Awesome. But if you guys really look up to him, use his death as a lesson. Press on don’t give up!!!

  7. Marc from Buffalo

    Hey, life goes on:
    Mike Awesome was anything but a coward, you didnt know him, so shut up..Life is very hard for some people, OK? You have no idea what he was going though when he made the choice to end his own life. I wish he didnt do it, of course, but dont sit there and pass judgement on him. Its not your job to do. God bless Mike and those loved ones he left behind.

  8. ECW

    ok he was great he had an astounding match with new jack bakc in the ecw days but im gonna have to agree with the other dude, why kill your self and take the easy way out, thats not AWSOME at all thats pussy, i never like awsome before and now this really dont put him any higher in my book. him and chris benoit 2 fuc king idiots living the life of a king loaded off wrestling got enough cash to not worry about anything both have 2 beautiful families, and this is what they do. not realizing the pain it would put their loved ones in, thats just plain flippin disrespect and disregard for your loved ones, but i will say he was ahell of a wrestler and put on some good matches, rest in peace no, cowards dont deserve that kind of respect, some one who doesnt charge forward to get past what is bothering them is a coward, a big man, big muscles, big ego, strong personality, mr.tuff guy is nothing but a poser. a pussy.

  9. Ronald

    Thats so f*ck up. I just found out a second ago by looking up his matches on YouTube. Man, I hate that. He was honestly the best. He made ECW to me. Man, I hate that he’s gone. Rest In Peace Mike. You still the greatest. You were the best.

  10. john porter

    i grew up next door to mike in new port richey, hillsborough county fl., we used to play touch football on our street when we were kids. he will be missed

  11. wrestling God

    Woow, it saddens me that awesome has past away. In my opinion he was mistreated in the wrestling industry. He reminds me of the legendary don muraco, when he was in his wwf prime. Should of been a future wwf champion. Could of.. Should of.. Would of. RIP

  12. Akhil

    What do I say about Mike Awesome. I had never heard of a wrestler by this name until I saw BlooD Sport..Most Violent ECW matches. I saw Mike Vs Spike…Was ok. And then I witnessed a brutal match…Mike Vs Tanaka. What a match??? The crowd went berzerk. I love this guy and now I have come to know that he is no more. He must have been in a very sick situation to do something like this but at the end of the day You are one guy to be remembered and YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!
    BRING ON THE AWESOME BOMB!!!! whooooo you rock

  13. jd

    there is nothing cowardly about suicide it actually probably takes a lot of balls to go out like that. you who judge the guy for killing himself are being ignorant theres no saying what kind of mental state people are in when they do these things they could be totally out of their minds from psychosis and depression.

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