Thursday, March 1, 2007

WCW: Stevie Richards

Ring name(s) Steve Richards,Stevie Richards,Big Stevie Cool,Steven Richards
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Billed weight 220 lb (100 kg)
Born October 9, 1971,Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Trained by Mike Sharpe
Pro Wrestling Debut: February 25, 1992

Michael Manna (born October 9th, 1971) is an American professional wrestler currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment wrestling on its ECW brand. Best known by his ring name, Steven "Stevie" Richards, Manna has previously worked for Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and, briefly, World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

Stevie Richards was trained at Iron Mike Sharps wrestling school in Brick, New Jersey after being discovered by Dan Haney of the World Wide Wrestling Alliance based out of Colmar/Hatfield PA.

On February 25, 1992, Steven Richards had the honor of being one of the participants in the first ever ECW match, in a 20-minute time limit draw with Jimmy Jannetty.

Before the arrival of Raven in ECW, "Dancin'" Stevie Richards had a 'meta-gimmick' of mockingly adopting the persona of other wrestlers.

ECW announcer/color commentator Joey Styles frequently described the Richards character as a "clueless putz".

When it was announced that Scott Levy, then known by relatively lightweight gimmicks (ie, Scotty 'the Body' Anthony, Scotty Flamingo, and Johnny Polo), was coming to ECW, Richards began adopting and mocking those gimmicks. One of the first things Levy did in ECW in his new gimmick as Raven was thrash "Stevie Flamingo" soundly.

From that point out, Steven Richards acted as a flunkie for Raven in ECW, calling him "Boss".

After a dog collar match against The Pitbulls, which Richards lost, Stevie was thought of as a major superstar. Raven was in the locker room for most of that match.

Richards was also part of the bWo, a parody of the nWo. At one point, he hinted that he was bringing the band KISS [1] to perform. It ended up being the bWo in KISS regalia, lip-synching. This was quickly 'cleaned up' by The Sandman.

The highlight of his ECW career was perhaps participating in the main event of the first ECW pay-per-view, Barely Legal. He wrestled Terry Funk and The Sandman in a Three Way Dance to determine the number one contender to the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

Richards would also do a telephone line for ECW under the name, Lloyd Van Buren. However, he would not wrestle under that name.

In May of 1997, Stevie suffered a neck injury so severe that he announced his retirement, before miraculously recovering and signing with WCW. Many people, especially Paul Heyman, debate the legitimacy of the injury to this day. Stevie wrestled briefly as a member of Raven's Flock but failed his physical exams and left WCW in October of the same year. Sevie commented on the Rise And Fall Of ECW DVD that Raven had told him that he was only there to be his "f*cking lackey", and that he would get him fired if he pushed for more of a larger role, knowing both would suffer for demanding more than what was above their current status.

WCW: Stevie Richards

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