Long time wrestling and I actually watched WrestleMania III in its entirety last night. I've seen the big moments before but never sat down and watched it straight through. Anyway, I couldn't get over how ahead of his time Adrian Adonis was. He struck me as this insane larger-than-life Lenny Bruce meets Divine. I fell down a rabbit hole of his stuff and was blown away. He just had this amazing chemistry. The 'Relax with Trudi” stuff was so cool. (I genuinely have no idea how people think of him, so not sure if this is a sentiment everyone shares or what.)
Anyway, can you share your thoughts on him as a character and a worker? Were there plans for him before he died? I feel like he would've been a perfect fit for the Attitude Era. Any great matches, angle, etc?
Adonis is such a strange case because he was essentially forced by Vince to overhaul his entire gimmick as a punishment for getting fat. But he could still very much perform at a high level up until the end of his WWF run, when he dropped off dramatically, and even at the time of his death there were talks about bringing him back to the WWF or WCW again. I don't think it would have worked, and I definitely don't think he would have lasted until the Attitude Era, because he was on the downside of his career as it is and the AWA run leading up to his death was pretty sad. He was only 34, so there's nothing saying he couldn't have dropped a bunch of a weight and gotten motivated again, though. But then you're trying to make a serious comeback at 40 through the slog of New Generation WWF with all the indies dead, and I dunno about that. Maybe Paul Heyman and ECW could have given 40-something Adonis another reinvention?
For the best of his work you really need to seek out the leather-and-chaps tough guy persona, specifically his run with Jesse Ventura in the AWA as the East-West Connection.