Hello loyal EWN readers, today I’d like to introduce an idea I remember being pitched to me a few years ago but never got around to starting it. I would like to remember wrestlers from the past and explain why they left the wrestling business and what they’ve been up too since. You’d be surprised how many big names get forgotten about almost immediately after leaving a big promotion like the WWE.
History Of Perry Saturn.
At the age of 17, Perry Satullo joined the US army for four years. He also finished a bachelor’s degree before decided to become a wrestler. He began his wrestling career in the late 80’s as a student at Killer Kowalski’s (legendary wrestler who trained Triple H, Chyna, Eddie Edwards, Kofi Kingston, Damien Sandow, Fandango, John Kronus and many others) wrestling school. He made his wrestling debut in the USWA, and later in Kowalski’s IWF promotion with a cowboy gimmick. In 1992 he worked as a jobber in the WWF. In 1993, he joined NJPW for a tour of Japan. While working in a nightclub as a manager, a bouncer called George Calazzo expressed to Perry that he wanted to become a wrestler. Perry sent Calazzo to Kowalksi’s training school, and after completing his training .. chose the name Kronus (different spelling of Cronus) as it was an equivalent to the Greek god Saturn.
They formed a tag team, and wanting to play on the fact their ring names were those of Greek Gods .. wanted to be known as “The Harvesters of Sorrow”. Jerry Lawler told ’em he felt fans wouldn’t get the significance of the name, so instead they chose the name of “The Eliminators”. After a couple of years working together for little money in the independent scene and Japan, Paul Heyman took notice and signed them to Extreme Championship Wrestling. After noticing their chemistry in the ring, Heyman abandoned his plans to give them a sadomasochism gimmick and instead booked them as one of ECW’s most dominant tag teams. They won the ECW tag team titles a few times between 1996-1997 in feuds with The Gangstas and The Pitbulls. After Francine cut Perry’s hair during a show, he shaved his head bald to pay homage to a character in a movie; something said to cover the truth that he was going bald anyways.
Perry became a trainer in ECW’s House of Hardcore along with other originals Taz and Mikey Whipwreck, and was respected for knowing the fundamentals and focusing on technical wrestling. But soon enough, Perry found himself leaving ECW after recovering from an injury. He didn’t like Kronus’ lack of motivation and thus refused to reform The Eliminators. Heyman told him if he could find employment elsewhere he’d release him from contract, so a short time later he began negotiations with Terry Taylor in WCW.
World Championship Wrestling.
Upon joining WCW he joined Raven’s stable known as Raven’s Nest. His first big victory was winning the WCW Television Championship from Disco Inferno; which he held for a month before losing it back to Inferno. In 1998 Saturn had a feud with Glacier over who had the right to use the Super Kick as a finishing move, before tension became clear in Raven’s Nest. After leaving Raven’s stable he began feuding with him and The Flock (stable name change), which lead to Saturn losing a stipulation match against Lodi; per the stipulations, Saturn was forced to become Lodi’s slave for the foreseeable future. After months of Raven trying to break Saturn, Billy Kidman helped him defeat Raven in a match and The Flock disbanded.
He entered into feuds with Eddie Guerrero and Ernest Miller before starting up a program with Chris Jericho. They ended up having a match called “loser wears a dress for 90 days”, which Saturn lost in early 1999. He embraced it and dressed up like a Gothic transvestite while using a version of Marilyn Manson’s song The Beautiful People as his theme. He stopped wearing them after beating Jericho in a dog collar match in March. Forgetting their history, Saturn and Raven joined forces and entered WCW’s tag team division. They challenged Four Horsemen members Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit and won the WCW tag team championships in a match which included Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman.
Raven picked up an injury, so shortly afterwards Saturn lost the titles to Bam Bam Bigelow and DDP with no thanks to substitute Chris Kanyon as he betrayed the team. Saturn turned to Chris Benoit to be his tag team partner, and soon won the WCW tag team titles, but lost them a few days later to DDP and Kanyon. Despite the loss, they remained as a team and recruited Shane Douglas and Dean Malenko to form a stable known as The Revolution. In late ’99, WCW booker Kevin Sullivan told Saturn he was incapable of getting over with the fans, so along with Benoit, Guerrero, and Malenko, they left WCW and signed with WCW’s main rivals the WWF.
World Wrestling Federation – The Radicalz.
The stable of Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn made their WWF debuts in the crowd on an episode of Raw. They soon showed their allegiance as heels by siding with Triple H over Mick Foley. Benoit left the group to focus on his feud with Jericho, while Eddie worked as a singles wrestler, and Saturn/Malenko formed a tag team. After Eddie left the group to go with his “Mamacita” Chyna, Saturn and Malenko teamed for a while before going their separate ways.
Saturn joined the Hardcore division on his own. During this time he even had a triple-threat match at Judgment Day against former friends Malenko and Guerrero for the European title, but was unsuccessful. He was soon joined by Terri Runnels, who became his manager and on-screen girlfriend. Her motivation helped him defeat Eddie for the European title, but he lost it to Al Snow a couple of months later following a solid run as champion.
In late 2000, The Radicals reformed with Terri Runnels continuing to manage Saturn. At Survivor Series they defeated the newly reformed D-Generation X, and later in the same night attacked Stone Cold Steve Austin during his No DQ match with Triple H. As Saturn had Terri, Malenko felt he also needed a woman by his side, so he turned his attention to Lita. Team Xtreme did not like Malenko’s romantic advances toward her, so they fought in a match at Armageddon and lost to three members of The Radicalz.
Again .. it seemed Benoit and Guerrero were too popular to stay in The Radicalz so they left the group by 2001. Saturn and Malenko continued teaming together in the tag team division. Around this time, WWE officials noticed a change in Saturn as he brutally attacked jobber Mike Bell during a match; Saturn didn’t like it when Bell dropped him on his head so he lost his cool and assaulted Bell for real. Saturn explains his thoughts in an interview below.
As a result, WWE gave Saturn a gimmick where he turned insane after being dropped on his head a few times. As a result of a storyline concussion, Saturn lost the ability to speak properly and would simply utter “you’re welcome” randomly. He became madly in love with a mop .. which he named “Moppy”, and he believed it was a real person (similar to Wilson in Castaway).
For the first time in his career, Saturn got over with the mainstream audience and became a fan favourite in the process. Terri became jealous of Moppy and gave Saturn an ultimatum to pick her over the mop .. or she would leave him; he chose Moppy without hesitation. Terri turned to Raven to put an end to Moppy, so he stole her and put her through a woodchipper. The video below contains scenes of explicit violence and gore.
The Fall Of Perry Saturn.
And that was it for Saturn’s mainstream wrestling career. He worked in TNA Wrestling in 2003 along with other ECW originals, before leaving in the summer. He also worked briefly in NJPW in 2004 before retiring due to injuries. In April 2004, Perry came to the aid of a woman who was about to be raped by two men .. and during the scuffle ended up being shot by a handgun in the back of the neck and right shoulder. To ease the pain, he started taking methamphetamine and got so addicted he became homeless for over two years. He disappeared from public view and no one knew what happened to him. In 2010, Saturn reemerged and stated he’d recovered from his addiction.
In an interview in 2016, Saturn said he was dealing with a traumatic brain injury brought on by wrestling. In November, he joined many other former wrestlers in a class action lawsuit against WWE litigated by Konstantine Kyros as he was suffering and undergoing neurological care. A GoFundMe page started up around this time with the goal of raising $100,000 to pay for his medical expenses as he was incapable of working to make the money. He continues to be treated while living in Albert Lea, Minnesota.
Perry Saturn’s case follows a shocking trend in the wrestling world. Before WWE acknowledged the existence of CTE (the Benoit family tragedy and other sudden deaths to Andrew “Test” Martin and Umaga forced them to change), they irresponsibly allowed wrestlers to work injured. They even made his change in behaviour into a gimmick which mocked people suffering from mental conditions. Instead of helping him, they found entertainment in it before pulling the plug on his career. It’s a tough one, and you can’t place the blame entirely on WWE as Saturn had taken serious headshots in ECW and WCW before joining the company. With WCW and ECW bought out by WWE, I can see why Saturn decided to join other wrestlers in the class action lawsuit against WWE as you can’t sue dead promotions.
One of the reasons why I thought about Perry Saturn and made an article about him was because I noticed WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville using the Rings Of Saturn submission hold; commentators even call it the Rings Of Saturn. It took me back to a time when I loved watching Saturn perform, he was as good technically as Malenko, Benoit or Eddie. I always thought Saturn could achieve more than he did, so I was disappointed when I found out he was no longer with WWE. It felt like wasted talent, and while some hated the Moppy gimmick .. I enjoyed it and thought Saturn pulled it off really well. What I didn’t know .. was that the man behind the gimmick was suffering mentally and was being made to look like a fool for doing so.
All these years later, it irks me how close to reality the Moppy gimmick was. I don’t want to start pointing fingers or siding with one over the other, but I do feel uneasy about the way he was treated. I feel sad WWE didn’t try to reach out to him during the dark times when he disappeared off the face of the earth. It shows WWE was very quick to let him go so they could forget.
When you look at a picture of The Radicalz a lot of mixed feelings spring to mind. You think about Dean Malenko .. the consummate professional who to this day works hard for WWE. You think about Chris Benoit .. who many will label a murderer despite evidence of CTE effecting his brain (not making excuses, or defending him .. and I won’t go further on the subject here). You think about Eddie Guerrero and how his heart failure robbed us of one the most likeable human beings to ever step foot in the ring. And then .. well, we don’t think about Perry Saturn. He is the guy who everyone forgets.
His only claims to fame includes being one-half of The Eliminators, and lover of Moppy. He will forever be known as the expendable man who gave his life to wrestling only to be chewed up and spat down a murky drain. All these years later, Perry admitted to any wrongdoings and said he will never make excuses for what he did. I think it’s unfair his wrestling career will be remembered negatively as he contributed a lot .. and should have contributed a lot more.
At the end of the day, we have to decide whether he brought it on himself and should take the blame .. or if he was a victim of circumstance. Could WWE have done more? Could his friends have helped more? Is he deserving of help? Do we want him to recover and mend broken bridges with his former employer? I have a feeling that many would rather forget .. but I won’t.
I will always remember how he made me feel when I saw him wrestle. I will always be a fan of Perry Saturn, and I hope he gets all the help he deserves so he can live the rest of his life without physical or mental pain. I thank him for all the sacrifices, and am proud that he didn’t let his addiction lead him in to doing something unforgivable. A heavy topic .. but regardless, I hope you enjoyed the read. See you next time for another informative article .. and as always, thanks for reading!