Mariners OF Jesse Winker exits game against Astros after first-base collision
In the bottom half of the second inning, Winker collided with Astros' infielder Jeremy Pena running through first base while attempting to run out a groundball. Jeremy Peña with a nifty defensive play on the ground ball by Jesse Winker. The two collided at the end of the play and Jesse got the worst of it. In a classy move by Jeremy he stopped by to check on the Mariners left fielder. pic.twitter.com/r8bKRMyBsY— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) July 24, 2022 Winker is considered day-to-day, and the Mariners will re-evaluate his status Monday.
The hardcore WWE fans who have been following the company's products for many years will never forget Heidenreich. He was one of the most bizarre superstars to ever step foot inside a WWE ring and had a pretty disturbing character during the early days of his WWE career. © Provided by TheSportster
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He was part of the company between 2001 and 2006 and made sure he left an everlasting mark that would always remain in the fans' memories. He didn't go on to win any major singles championships in WWE, but he did earn the reputation for being one of the most controversial stars in the company's history. With that said, let's take a look at ten things fans should know about Heidenreich's WWE career.
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Had A Brief Run In 2001
Before he signed a full-time contract with WWE in September 2003, Heidenreich had a brief run in the company back in 2001. He signed a developmental contract at the time and reported to the promotion's then developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling.
While still competing for OVW, Heidenreich competed in a dark match in an episode of Sunday Night Heat in December 2001 against Perry Saturn in a losing effort. However, his run didn't last long as he got released by the company by early 2002.
WWE Officials Asked Him To Lose Weight Before Signing Him
Despite getting released from WWE in 2002, Heidenreich received another opportunity after he impressed WWE scouts after winning the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship with Nathan Jones in October 2002.
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However, the door wasn't completely open for Heidenreich as the WWE officials wanted him to lose some weight before he signed the contract. While talking to Hannibal TV in 2017, Heidenreich revealed that WWE was interested in him because he was a big guy. He weighed 310 lbs at the time he received the offer and had to drop to 250 lbs before signing the contract.
His Developmental Deal Was Worth $500 Per Week
After he held up his side of the bargain by losing some weight, the WWE officials offered him a developmental contract as promised. He returned to OVW for a while and worked a few dark matches before making his official main roster debut.
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In the same interview with Hannibal TV in 2017, Heidenreich revealed the financial benefits that came along with the WWE developmental contract. He received a pay of $500 per week and got to work a limited schedule as the company did with a few wrestlers who they believed would make money for them on the main roster.
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His Time With Brock Lesnar In OVW
He got to work in WWE's developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling between 2001 and 2003 at the same time when the big four wrestlers in, John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, and Brock Lesnar, were also part of the roster.
Heidenreich revealed his interactions with Brock Lesnar during their time together in OVW while talking to Hannibal TV in 2017. He revealed that Lesnar was head of the ring crew at the time and how he was the alpha male at OVW. He also recalled about the time when Lesnar effortlessly picked him up to deliver a German Suplex and how flawlessly he made him land on his back. He praised Lesnar's incredible physique and also revealed that he was very supportive with him.
Was Supposed To Debut With A Character Similar To R-Truth's Little jimmy
When R-Truth debuted his Little Jimmy gimmick in 2011 and started talking to an imaginary person as if he was near him, the fans loved every single minute of the storyline.
However, Heidenreich almost made his debut with a very similar gimmick in 2003, which saw him being controlled by an entity called Little Johnny. He walked out with some signs of insanity and talked to someone that didn't exist. However, the creative team didn't like the gimmick and pulled Heidenreich off television to explore new directions to reintroduce him to the fans.
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Almost Debuted As A Nazi Stormtrooper
According to former WWE writer Dan Madigan, he directly pitched an idea to Vince McMahon to have Heidenreich return as a Nazi Stormtrooper named Baron Von Bava, who had been cryogenically frozen.
Paul Heyman was supposed to revive him as part of the storyline and had plans for Heidenreich to wear the red armband with the swastika and also have him goose-step to the ring. However, the gimmick didn't materialize as Vince McMahon was reportedly shocked by the pitch and left the boardroom speechless, and didn't return for the rest of the day.
Had The Most Success Teaming With Road Warrior Animal
All the character ideas WWE creative came up for Heidenreich turned out to be unsuccessful as he didn't achieve much success as a singles performer apart from a feud with The Undertaker. But he found his big break when he formed a team with Road Warrior Animal in 2005. Heidenreich had already turned face earlier the year and entered a feud with MNM, which saw the latter team attack Heidenreich every week, until Road Warrior Animal made the save.
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Teaming with Animal, Heidenreich went on to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship from MNM at the 2005 Great American Bash PPV, and held it for 93 days before losing it back to MNM.
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He Had A Real-Life Fear Of Caskets
Heidenreich entered into a feud with The Undertaker in October 2004 after he interrupted The Deadman's WWE Championship match against JBL at the No Mercy PPV.
The two superstars feuded over the next few months leading to a Casket Match between the two at the 2005 Royal Rumble PPV. Heidenreich revealed during an interview that he had a real-life fear of caskets when he walked into the match. Heidenreich had lost his brother to a homicide when he was in high school, which was the root cause of his fear of caskets. WWE chose to use his fear in the storyline and had a segment where The Undertaker scared him with a casket.
Was The Undertaker's Original Opponent For WrestleMania 21
The original plan for Heidenreich after his loss at the 2005 Royal Rumble PPV was for him to team up with Snitsky leading to a tag-team match between them and The Brothers of Destruction at WrestleMania 21.
However, the plan never materialized as WWE went on with Randy Orton taking on The Undertaker at WrestleMania 21 and placing Kane in the Money in the Bank Ladder match. Heidenreich and Snitsky didn't make the main card of the event and had to compete in a dark inter-promotional battle royal before the show began.
Vince McMahon Came Up With The Michael Cole Segment
One of Heidenreich's unforgettable moments in his entire WWE career was the segment on the September 16, 2004, episode of SmackDown, in which he attacked commentator Michael Cole and dragged him to the backstage area, and assaulted him.
The bizarre segment raised many eyebrows and made the fans question WWE's decision-making as to what they showed on live television. Heidenreich revealed in an interview in 2008 that the idea behind the entire segment came from Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon was the one who approached him with the idea.
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