Movies, TV intrigue Kanyon
By BOB KAPUR
-- For SLAM! Wrestling
Kanyon shoots a scene for the Jesse Ventura movie in Toronto before Monday Night Nitro, April 5, 1999. -- Ken Kerr, Toronto Sun
While Chris Kanyon waits for the call he hopes will come soon, the call from
the WWF or new WCW offering him a job, he's keeping himself fairly busy.
When not updating his web site commentary at "chriskanyon.com", he's working
a variety of independent wrestling shows, which helps keep him familiar with
fans. "It's good to get out there, keep reminding the fans who you are. If
you're not on TV for a while, people forget."
It's a win-win scenario when a wrestler with his stature appears on an
indy's marquee. "It's my living, after all. And if it helps out the
promotion, then that's great too. If I can come in for one shot and put a
shine on their guys, put them over, then that's great, it's work. If I'm
going to be there more than once, then we can work an angle around it, and
that helps the draw the next time."
Still, he knows enough to realize that a successful independent promotion
can only go so far.
"You've got to have TV. You need money from a TV contract to compete. If
not, you can't go national. And if you don't do that, then you'll have no
chance of being first. And wherever I end up, I want them to be first."
Another hobby he may consider getting back into is movie-making. During his
time in WCW, Kanyon consulted on the sets of "The Jesse Ventura Story", a
made-for-TV movie shot mainly in Toronto, and in the Hollywood feature
"Ready to Rumble".
"Movies, if you can believe it, are more cut-throat than wrestling. It's
big pressure. Actors have to read for parts, and then after the movie's
done, they're unemployed again. There's only so many jobs out there, and
they're all after the same ones. It's a tough business."
Still, it's an experience he wouldn't mind taking on again.
"I would love to hook up with Vince McMahon and help him move towards that,
movies and TV. That was a fun time."
He's most proud of his work on "Rumble", for which he helped design the
triple-cage used in the movie's climactic main event scene. "I loved being
part of that, it was a lot of fun to put together the match for that movie.
And it was great to help construct that cage."
The construct, three cages one on top of each other, was even used at WCW's
Slamboree 2000 pay-per-view event, where in a frightening spot, Kanyon was
thrown off the top, landing hard on the entrance ramp below.
"It was actually pretty safe," the wrestler said, despite impressions at the
time that the resulting paralysis angle was not entirely untrue. "We
planned it and practised it over and over, and got it right pretty early."
Using Mick Foley's infamous Hell in a Cell dive as inspiration, Kanyon set
out to do something equally impressive looking, yet much safer. "I figured
the best way to do that was to land on a much bigger target and a much
softer target... I liked the rampway. On the Saturday, I practiced it with
empty cardboard boxes. By the third or fourth time, we got it right. For
the show (on Sunday), we put plywood down on the ramp and covered it with
carpet. It was more solid, and it looked better, too."
The only injury of note? "My lower back was sore, but that's about it.
Yeah, there's always a risk, and there's always fluke tragedies. But if you
do it responsibly, do it correctly, hopefully things will go well. As far
as that bump goes, I have no regrets. It made for a good show."
It's that mentality, that level of commitment to the audience, that Kanyon
hopes will take him back to the big leagues. "It's hard to come up with
interesting things to do on TV. That's what I want to bring to the WWF or
WCW. I'm innovative, I'm a hard worker, I love this industry. That's what
I want people to see... and soon."
-- with thanks to "Dynamite Kid" Dave Steele
Previous Kanyon interviews
June 20, 2001: Kanyon enjoying wrestling again
Apr. 6, 2000: Kanyon plays wait and see with WCW
March 17, 1999: Kanyon surprises Toronto fans