The following is an excerpt from our long-form feature on Kevin Fertig, also known as Kevin Thorn and Mordecai. Check out the full story at this link, and our interview above.
In the years that preceded Mordecai's 2004 debut, The Undertaker wasn't the "Dead Man" character so many identify him with. Instead, he was the "American Badass" and "Big Evil." After four years, the undead wizard version of Undertaker had returned ahead of arguably what would be one of his most important runs of his career.
Things were ready to go. The Undertaker against his polar opposite. Well, almost. Things were going smooth, especially with Taker.
"It was awesome. I got the opportunity to ride with him for a while, everything else. It was starting to talk towards that. It was going to be built towards that. I’m a dumbass that got in a fight in a bar and basically ruined it. ‘Cause of situations that precursed that"
A bar fight ended it all.
Mordecai was 20-0 as a character, with two pay-per-view wins, and a lot of live event reps. He wasn't wrestling on television outside of PPV, so it came as a shock to many that just two days after beating Hardcore Holly at Great American Bash he lost in four minutes to Rey Mysterio and was never seen again.
Mordecai was done, and Fertig was banished to OVW and Memphis Wrestling
The fight itself took place when Fertig, Maven and Sylvain Grenier were all out at a bar in Louisville, Kentucky in March of that year, well before Mordecai's debut. Fertig alleges that a man tried to hit them with a bottle, only to be intercepted by Fertig's first, breaking his nose. After months of settlement attempts on Fertig's behalf, the other guy ended up suing both Fertig and WWE. When is became too much of a headache Vince McMahon said that he had to go.
"Pretty much just like that," Fertig recalled. "It’s like “You’re getting sued, we’re getting sued. This is stupid. We know—” and the very next day I went to Vince, I basically walked in the office and said “I’m an f’ing moron, man.” told him what had happened. He said, “Well, it sounds like situations would have just been that way anyway.” The unfortunate part is, we’re giants among men and it always looks bad for us because we’re supposedly trained killers in that situation. So it was automatically against us no matter what. It is what it is. Learning experience."