The Spirit Squad are an interesting footnote in WWE history. While they seem like a complete joke, they did have a lengthy rivalry with D-Generation X. They even managed to defeat Kane and Big Show to win the World Tag Team Championships, being the first team to “Freebird” the belts with five men.
However, 17 years after they broke up, we look at what happened to the Spirit Squad and what happened to each member after leaving the WWE (except for one man who never did).
What Happened To The Spirit Squad?
On the November 27 2006 episode of Raw, The Spirit Squad wrestled in a match against Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair. Despite it being a 5 on 3 handicap match, the trio got the win and pinned the Spirit Squad in their last match in the WWE.
In a backstage segment later that night, DX beat up the group and placed all members into a crate stamped “OVW, Louisville, Kentucky”. This was the name and location of the WWE developmental promotion named Ohio Valley Wrestling. This was an in-joke, implying the group would be sent back down to the company for more training.
The five members of the Spirit Squad had varying levels of success in the WWE. While they became tag team champions in the company, they were soon shipped off (literally) back to developmental and either repackaged or fired from the company.
The five wrestlers who were a part of The Spirit Squad were;
The Spirit Squad’s WWE Debut Was In 2006
The Spirit Squad debuted in WWE in January 2006. They appeared during a match between Jonathan Coachman and Jerry Lawler for the chance to appear in the 2006 Royal Rumble match.
The five men appeared on stage and put on the first of what would become their signature cheer. This distracted Lawler, as did when they cartwheeled down the ramp and ran around the ring performing cheers. The Spirit Squad helped Coachman win the match and he entered the Royal Rumble match.
The Spirit Squad’s first match in was a four-on-one handicap match against WWE legend Shawn Michaels, on the 20th February, 2006 episode of Raw. Mitch was injured during this time and could not compete, so the four men in the match were Nicky, Mikey, Kenny and Johnny.
Shawn Michaels won the match by disqualification and it kicked off the legendary feud between The Spirit Squad and De-Generation X.
The Spirit Squad: Where Are They Now?
Here are the five members of the Spirit Squad and what happened to them after the group disbanded.
After the break-up of the Spirit Squad, Kenny was repackaged and brought back to the main roster almost immediately. The young star was one of the youngest wrestlers on the roster when he came back as Kenny Dykstra, being in his early 20s.
While he showed early promise, it soon became clear Kenny Dykstra had little future in the WWE. He had a feud with Ric Flair that saw him pick up multiple victories against the man 30 years his elder, but didn’t manage any other big wins at all during that period.
He jumped between Raw and Smackdown until 2008, when he was released by the WWE on November 10th when his contract expired and the company had no more use for him.
Kenny wrestled sporadically on the indie scene after his release, but did not find much success. He reformed the Spirit Squad for the Chikara King of Trios 2014 tournament, which piqued the WWE’s interest for a return.
He returned to the WWE for a brief run alongside Mikey as The Spirit Squad. They returned as part of Dolph Ziggler’s feud with the Miz, as a reminder of the Show-Off’s past in the company. They wrestled a handful of matches before being released by the company some weeks later.
Kenny Dykstra rejoined the WWE in 2021, working as a backstage producer. He has appeared on TV as a WWE official, recently appearing in 2023 during a segment with The Bloodline.
After being sent back to developmental, The Spirit Squad’s Nicky was repackaged as Dolph Ziggler. The name Dolph came from his grandfather, whilst the last name was given to him by the WWE.
He re-debuted back on the main roster in 2008 as Dolph Ziggler, with little reference to his past as a former WWE Tag Team Champion. He quickly became a fan favourite, putting on fantastic matches with particular focus on his brilliant selling ability.
He developed the character of “The Show Off”, who arrogantly wanted to put on the best matches each night, to show he was the best wrestler in the company. In the modern day that is now half the rosters gimmick, but in 2008 it was something new for the fans to sink their teeth into.
He rose to the top of the card over the next few years. He is a two-time World Heavyweight Champion, winning the title from Edge in 2010 and again from Alberto Del Rio in 2013, cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on the Raw after Wrestlemania 29.
A concussion put an end to his main event run, but he has remained a solid upper mid-card wrestler since then. He has wrestled consistently in the WWE for 15 years and counting, carving out a main event career that started with an embarrassing part in the Spirit Squad
Mikey, also known as Mike Mondo, stayed in the wrestling business long after his days as part of the Spirit Squad. The former World Tag Team Champion was sent back down to developmental and found great success in his second go around in OVW.
In two seperate runs in the company, he won both the tag team titles and the Heayyweight Championship in OVW. However, this was not enough to get him a run back on the main roster as he was released by the company once again in 2012.
He signed for Ring of Honor in 2010 and wrestled against some of the top stars of today, like Jay Lethal and The Young Bucks. He wrestled there as recently as 2017, where he teamed with Kenny Dykstra as The Spirit Squad to challenge The Young Bucks for the ROH Tag Team Championships.
He returned with Kenny Dykstra to WWE in 2016, although is now signed to MLW.
Johnny Jeter struggled with his career after his WWE release. He spent two years in developmental before being released by the WWE, although he claims it was his decision. Johnny struggled with a painkiller addiction and needed to get out of the company to help manage it.
He retired from wrestling afterwards, but returned for the King of Trios tournament in 2014. He came out of retirement once again in 2019, but only on a part time basis.
Mitch was a contestant on the 2004 edition of the WWE Tough Enough reality show. He was first eliminated, but still signed to a WWE deal and brought up as part of the Spirit Squad a year later. He was let go by the WWE once the group disbanded.
After his release from the WWE following the end of the Spirit Squad in 2006, Mitch (real name Nick Mitchell) left the wrestling business altogether. He instead moved in to the fighting game, trying his hand at mixed-martial arts.
He trained under Rocky Long, a former mixed martial artist. He made his MMA debut on April 9, 2010, losing to future UFC star Derrick Lewis via second round technical knockout.Mitchell was set to fight again on December 11, 2010, but pulled out at the last minute due to an injury.
Mitch has not returned to wrestling since, but did date former WWE Diva Torrie Wilson. The pair dated from 2007 to 2011, when they separated. Very little is known about what Mitch is doing today.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.