Mr Kennedy was the man most touted as being a “future World Champion” by various fans and WWE polls. But what happened to Mr Kennedy?
Find out what happened to the former Mr Money in the Bank, the injury that cost him his main event spot and the WWE legend who got him fired from his job over a simple mistake.
What Happened To Mr Kennedy?
Mr. Kennedy was fired by WWE in 2009 after injuring Randy Orton during a match on Monday Night Raw on May 25th, 2009. While accidents happen inside the ring, Randy Orton felt that the injury suffered was at best reckless and at worst on purpose.
The released occurred just four days after Mr Kennedy returned to WWE after an extended period outside the ring due to injury.
He was on the shelf for 3 months after dislocating his shoulder against Shelton Benjamin on a house show. He would not wrestle again until a ten-man tag team match in May 2009.
In that match he dropped Randy Orton on his head during a botched Belly-to-Back Suplex. However Mr Kennedy dispute that Orton’s head ever touched the mat. Unfortunately, Orton did not like the way Kennedy acted inside the ring, deeming him “reckless” and unsafe to work with.
Kennedy also received a lecture from Orton who later complained to management and convinced them to sack the star from Green Bay, Wisconsin over a clearly personal matter.
“To be honest with you, I kind of had a weird vibe all day. Randy Orton and I had become very good friends. We rode together; we were tight. We were buds.” the wrestler said about Randy Orton getting him fired from WWE
“When I got to the building, I ran up behind him and gave him a big bear hug from behind, and he treated me like I was just an acquaintance of his.
And then he made such a big stink about me supposedly dropping him on his head. He literally blew up in front of all the talent, including Vince and Stephanie, and began to lecture me about how I had to be careful, and his health was very important. It just didn’t make sense to me.”
An Injury Stopped Him Becoming The World Champion
Mr Kennedy became only the third man to win the Money in the Bank Ladder Match when he ascended to victory at Wrestlemania 23 to grab the briefcase and secure the contract.
He joined Rob Van Dam and Edge as an early winner of the briefcase. Both other men cashed in their contracts to become world champions in WWE and the stage seemed set for the loud-mouthed supersrar to defeat The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship. However, this did not take place.
The champion would lose his prize in a match to Edge. The Rated-R Superstar would go on to win the title off The Undertaker whilst Kennedy would never become a world champion in WWE.
Mr Kennedy revealed in an interview with Chris Van Vilet that the was meant to cash in his contract on Batista and become the new World Heavyweight Champion. He had never been a world champion in WWE before and this win would have risen him to superstardom, almost overnight.
“He laid out the scenario basically and he’s like, ‘You’re going to cash in your briefcase. We’re going to have a new champion.’ And I remember him telling me that they were high on Batista at the time. That was their guy,”
“They felt like Batista needed to chase for a while, and they said, ‘When we feel the time is right, we’re going to put it on Batista, but we don’t know how long that could be. I could be like a month, or five months, or six months, or whatever.’ I remember I just said, ‘Look, I appreciate you guys saying that, but this is business and I’ll do what’s necessary.'”
However, he revealed that later on he suffered an injury that would take him out of the World Championship picture for good. He suffered a tricep injury at a house show after Wrestlemania, which doctors originally diagnosed as putting him out of action for up to 6 months.
This put a stop to plans of him cashing in and WWE decided he would lose his briefcase to Edge on the next show. He put over the Rated-R Superstar, before some happy, yet devastating news came out – his injury was not that bad and he could have kept the Money in the Bank briefcase.
“We’re going to take you to Penn State. Edge is going to challenge you for the briefcase, and then he’s going to go on and do what you’re supposed to do tomorrow night.’ ‘Okay.’ And I remember thinking at the time, ‘I’ve got a year to cash this thing in. Isn’t there some other way you can get it off him?’ But I didn’t say it. I sort of regret not saying it now,”
“I gave up the briefcase. The next day, I flew to Dr. Andrews’ table, and he’s feeling my triceps, and he’s like, ‘That’s not a tear.'”
Mr Kennedy missed out on a career-defining run at the top. His WWE run would end soon after, when he left the company less than two years later after reportedly injuring Randy Orton during a match, although Kennedy disputes that he injured anyone.
He was meant to be Vince McMahon’s son in WWE
Another failed storyline that was meant to happen to Mr Kennedy was the “Vince McMahon’s Death” storyline in 2007. In it, Vince McMahon died in a limo explosion, causing shockwaves throughout the wrestling business.
This opened up a whole host of storyline potential in WWE. While the idea was nixed a week later, with a planned Vince McMahon funeral live on Raw was cancelled, due to the death of Chris Benoit, the plans were in motion for his run as the newest McMahon in town.
What happened to Mr Kennedy next was much less impressive than it was meant to. Hornswoggle was revealed as McMahon’s son in a much-shuffled around angle, with the former Mr Money in the Bank dropped from the role completely. He did win the Money in the Bank briefcase prior to the angle splintering out, but as previously mentioned he did nothing with the accolade.
While many wrestlers would be jealous of losing the role of a lifetime to Hornswoggle, he was nothing but complimentary to his former colleague.
In an interview with UnSKRIPTED, the now-named Ken Anderson claimed that Hornswoggle “killed the role” and they got a lot more out of the storyline that they would have had they stuck with Kennedy, as was the original plan.
“Being honest, he killed that role. He really did. And they ran with it for a long time. I don’t know that we could’ve gotten as much mileage out of me being the son than as they did out of Hornswoggle being the son,”
What happened to Mr Kennedy was a series of errors, both on his, WWE’s and Chris Benoit’s behalf, that killed his push and pushed him out of WWE. He later became a world champion in TNA but never reached the heights that he could in WWE.
Mr Kennedy Now
14 years after last appearing in the WWE, Mr Kennedy is now running his own wrestling school, after being blacklisted from multiple mainstream companies.
Mr Kennedy’s wrestling school (although he is now known as his real name, Ken Anderson) opened in 2016, and is called “The Academy: School of Wrestling”.
It has claimed to have trained a number of wrestlers. Darius and Dante Martin, and Julia Hart of AEW have all been trained my Mr Anderson, and have gone from strength to strength in their short careers due to his training.
However, it suffered some controversy in 2022, when some dark secrets about the school were revealed, which did not put Mr Kennedy in a good light.
Mr Kennedy wrestled a handful of times for the National Wrestling Alliance, but now focuses mainly on his wrestling school.
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.