Fans attending last Sunday’s Apocalypse Wrestling Federation ScarWars card in downtown Toronto were treated to an unexpected guest. In town assisting with NBC’s Jesse “The Body” Ventura bio-pic, World Championship Wrestling superstar Kanyon (AKA: Chris Kluscaritis) stopped by to take notes and size-up the local talent. It may not compare to his career in the squared circle but acting as a technical consultant to a made-for-television production is a full-time job for the New York native.
“It’s a lot of work but it’s fun and very different than anything I am used to doing,” said Kanyon during a break in the rough and tumble AWF action. As main eventers Terry Funk and Abdullah The Butcher sold merchandise and signed autographs, Kanyon took the time to chat with fans and put his John Hancock to paper at ringside though he wasn’t officially committed to do so.
On loan to NBC from WCW, Kanyon is working closely with star Nils Allen Stewart – who plays Ventura in the film – teaching him the ropes and advising the producers on the wrestling content.
As reported in the press, Ventura himself is not too pleased with NBC’s decision to profile his life. Minnesota’s governor was approached about the film by the network following his stunning election win. The former wrestler and commentator wanted NBC to hold off until his biography hits stores this summer. NBC chose the “unauthorized” route planning to air the film in May.
Formerly the masked, grim reaper-ish wrestler Mortis, Kanyon is no stranger to lavish productions. A short time ago, he did film a series of spot segments requiring him to expand his acting abilities with real-life pal Raven for WCW’s Monday Night Nitro. Detailing the turmoil within Raven’s family, the segments were soon dropped from WCW’s storylines. Kanyon is still glad he had the opportunity to put his skills to the test.
“It was a different aspect of wrestling. Besides wrestling, I had never really acted in front of the camera like that. It makes the show more like a television drama or a sitcom rather than a wrestling program. It’s big, different and exciting to be involved with,” Kanyon told SLAM! Wrestling.
As much as some fans miss the Mortis gimmick, Kanyon isn’t looking to resurrect the character. He’s quite happy with the boost it gave him and it’ll be full steam ahead for the master of the Flatliner as production of the film winds down.
“Right now, my main priority is this movie. Once that’s done, I am sure that I’ll be involved in something interesting on Nitro, Thunder or Saturday Night,” he said.