What If is a look at wrestlers from the past and imagining their careers if they were in their prime during the current era of wrestling. The series begins with a look at the always exciting 2 Cold Scorpio.
Throughout his career, 2 Cold Scorpio has worked for famous promotions New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), Pro Wrestling NOAH (NOAH), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion (AAA), and All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW). His most memorable championship success came in ECW where he was a four-time ECW World Television Champion and NOAH where he was a 2x GHC Tag Team Champion. Wrestling database site Cagematch has tracked well over 1,500 matches over his 30+ year career.
According to available reports, Scorpio was invited to the NJPW Dojo in 1991, after a recommendation by Big Van Vader, after being active on the United States independent scene for several years prior. Much like hundreds of other talents, his time at the New Japan Dojo springboarded his career, which saw him capture the attention of fans due to his athleticism, natural charisma, and innovative wrestling style. Scorpio was able to pull off moves during a time period when very few (if any other) men of his size were able to execute in a fluid fashion.
Scorpio was chosen to debut the What If series due to how his in-ring style and charisma relates to the modern landscape of professional wrestling. Today, individuals like Willie Mack, Brian Cage, and multiple others blend in moves which require athleticism and flexibility while being far heavier than those who commonly use such maneuvers. Yet, there remains something special about how well Scorpio was able to display a complete wrestling package while connecting with fans.
Imagine Scorpio duplicating training at the New Japan Dojo, but first appearing on a NJPW card in 2012 instead of 1991 — there is little doubting that he would currently be seen as one of the most dynamic wrestlers in the world if he developed at the same pace. During his prime Scorpio was heavier than individuals like Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, and Fenix who are around his height.
In fact, when you consider the total package of 2 Cold Scorpio, it’s difficult to argue that he would not have been a headliner in the modern NJPW. The company would have found it easy to promote him against Tetsuya Naito, Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Sanada, and Minoru Suzuki. Even some kind of program with current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, Kushida could end with an extremely well done professional wrestling match.
With NJPW’s partnership with Ring of Honor (ROH), that would open up a slew of interesting feuds and matches for Scorpio. Possible contests between he and current ROH World Champion, Jay Lethal would also been able to draw a significant amount of attention. “Hangman” Adam Page, Kenny King, and Dalton Castle are also ROH names which immediately stand out as being good matches for a 2 Cold Scorpio in his prime.
Another possible match which jumps out to me would be against current IWGP United States Champion Cody Rhodes. Since leaving the WWE, Cody has shown that he can help craft incredible storylines when he’s allowed more freedom to do so. A plot with he and Scorpio would definitely be eye-catching and would result in matches that would have fans invested and starving to see the end result.
It’s unfortunate that Scorpio isn’t in his prime right now, the modern day wrestling landscape would have provided him with opportunities to thrive and display his excellence. With that said, 2 Cold Scorpio was still able to make a name for himself and helped lay the foundation for bigger wrestlers to integrate more athletic offense into their arsenal. For that, wrestling fans should be quite fortunate he’s been around to entertain us for over three decades.