Tekno Team 2000: A Cult Tribute
As I was reading columns yesterday on the old LOP stomping grounds, I came across a mention of yours truly. It’s not too surprising; I am a big deal and all (just kidding. Or am I?). But what made this mention interesting was two things; one, it was Mazza being Mazza, and two, it also contained a challenge. What sort of challenge you may ask? Well, a challenge to dig up dirt on a picture of two wrestlers who looked like they got lost on the way to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers set. Thus, that’s why I am here today with the first of hopefully three columns. So what are we waiting for? Sit back, crack a cold Pepsi and turn off the never ending coverage of the Patriots and Roger Goodell being morons; this is a Cult Tribute to a tag team that was ahead of absolutely nothing. This is…Tekno Team 2000.
What You Already Know
Tekno Team 2000 was a tag team that wrestled in the WWE. They also spelt techno wrong. There you have it. Section over. Fire Wenger. Drive home safe. Good night, good luck and go Cubs. That a sufficient enough section for you?
What You Didn’t Know
After a brief run in Minnesota, Tekno Team 2000 debuted for WWE in 1995, billed as a babyface team that was, and I quote, “ahead of its time.” Clearly you can see where this is going. The team was made up of two men, collectively known as Travis and Troy. Travis was played by Chad Fortune, a former tight end who briefly bounced around numerous practices squad’s in the NFL. And Troy was portrayed by the one and only Erik Watts. You may be thinking to yourself now that you know that name, and it’s because you do. Not to be confused the former Tough Enough contestant of the same name, Erik Watts is the son of “Cowboy” Bill Watts, famously known as one of the best bookers of the 1980s for Mid South Wrestling and the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) and for nuking his reputation following a disastrous stint running WCW in the early 90s. A big reason his resume went up in Backdraft style flames; his insistence on pushing his son, who was so green, David Flair couldn’t believe how untrained he was. Predictably, poor Erik’s WCW run failed miserably (Arn Anderson is still having nightmares about having to carry him), and he was gone from WCW as soon as they kicked his father out the door. And with that, Tekno Team 2000 was born.
The reality of the situation is that, in theory, putting Fortune and Watts together made sense. The two were close friends who had known each other for years, dating back to their college days in Louisville where both played football (Fortune as the tight end, Watts as the quarterback. There’s a porno joke to be made here, isn’t there?). With that sort of chemistry, it was only logical that the two be paired together once they both found their way to the wrestling business. The only problem was that neither knew what they were doing. Fortune had at best a few months experience in wrestling before being teamed up with Watts, making good old Erik the experienced leader of the duo. You know, the same guy whose prior run was the equivalent to atrocities like The Spirit, Sega Saturn, the 2014-15 Arsenal F.C. campaign, Roger Goodell’s leadership skills and the time Dee Dee Ramone said, “I should make a rap album. Yeah, that’s the way to go.”. All the chemistry in the world couldn’t make up for the fact that these two needed a few years before they could actually be a tag team fit for the main roster. Add to how terrible the gimmick was (remember, they were supposed to be “ahead of their time”. Red alert, red alert!) and the only thing that’s surprising is that this ship didn’t go down sooner.
But go down it did. Tekno Team 2000’s run in WWE was very uneventful, mostly consisting of wrestling against tag teams involving Tom Pritchard. They were successful at first, defeating Pritchard and Jimmy “Graffiti” Del Ray (The Heavenly Bodies as it were), Barry Horrowitz and Mantaur and were even scouted by the Million Dollar Corporation stable Ted Dibiase ran at the time. Why Ted needed two dudes from the future is a mystery to me, but then again I’m not an eccentric billionaire in real life or on a wrestling show. What do I know right? Eventually, someone finally noticed them Tekno boys weren’t really catching on (despite Watts’ claim that they were supposed to win the tag titles two months in. Right) and WWE sent them to the USWA in Tennessee (Jerry Jarrett and Jerry Lawler’s promotion) in order for some seasoning. They would eventually return to the WWE in 1996, but despite WWE’s best efforts (including instructing the Bodydonnas to make the Tekno Team look really, REALLY, strong), the duo just never got over and soon disappeared from TV. WWE would release them later that summer, and aside from a few one off reunions over the years, the team largely stayed disbanded. Watts would bounce around in the years following (including stops in WCW, ECW and TNA), eventually improving enough to make himself a forgettable second generation star as opposed to the worst second generation star in wrestling history. His partner, however, would find himself to be more fortunate (pun FULLY intended). Despite never getting above lower card status in WCW following his WWE release, Chad Fortune has the distinction of being the first man to ever defeat Bill Goldberg. Yes, you read correctly, Travis from Tekno Team 2000, defeated Bill Goldberg, albeit at a house show in 1997 prior to Bill’s debut on Nitro and the start of the streak. That’s a pretty big highlight, especially since Fortune joins Kevin Nash, Bret Hart, Booker T Scott Steiner, Lex Luger, Buff Bagwell and Triple H as the only men to defeat Goldberg. Good stuff. It doesn’t stop there either; since the end of his wrestling career, Fortune has successfully transitioned into a premier monster truck driver, generally driving in the well known Monster Jam series. All in all, not to bad.
For the first time in the history of the ‘Best Moment’ category, I have nothing to put here. Yup, that is how unmemorable Tekno Team 2000 was. This should tell you something, as I managed to find a great moment for Sick Boy of all people. Thus, I’m just going to show you a match (evidently the Tekno Team’s debut in WWE) against two dudes named John Crystal and Mike Khoury. It’s not much, but it’s at least a chance to get a decent look at the team. Also, who doesn’t want to watch something with a dude named John Crystal? That’s either the best worst wrestling name ever, the worst porn name ever, or the worst stage name ever. Either way, I’m greatly entertained by it.
There’s a great many terrible tag teams that we’ve gotten to know over the years. Duos like the Ding Dongs, The Godwinns and that one where Shane Douglas and Johnny Ace dressed up as surfer/skater dudes have all left their mark of suck on the wrestling world. Tekno Team 2000 is another added to the long list. I can’t see how any of this actually worked. The name was awful. The gimmick is one of the lamest things I’ve ever heard, which is saying something considering the era it came in. And most importantly, the talent wasn’t there. That’s no disrespect to Chad “Travis” Fortune or Erik “Troy” Watts; I’m sure both men were trying the best they could, and let’s be real, CM Punk in his peak couldn’t have pulled off this gimmick. No one could. But even taking that away, the level of experience these two guys had at the time would’ve led them to failure anyway, whether they were Tekno Team, Tekno Bowl or two generic wrestlers. Really, this team is proof of several things; 1995 in wrestling was an awful time in a whole lot of ways and you need a whole lot more than a great look (which both guys had) to be a star. Good riddance to Tekno Team 2000 I say.
That’ll do it. Hope you enjoyed Erik Watts being burnt to a crisp here. I’ll be back later with some Mr. Robot talk! Till next time, keep calm and #FreeTheAscension!
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