mid-1990s WWE was a historical turn of events regarding the characters that made their debut. Years before WWE hit gold with their newly launched Attitude Era in 1997, WWE presented many gimmicks that debuted on their programming. However, these gimmicks received negative feedback as such people didn’t last long and were forgotten. There were many examples of over-the-top ridiculous personas that fans were surprised to see featured on WWE TV. WWE’s tag team division was no different, as one can look at Tekno Team 2000 as a prime example of embarrassing gimmicks.
WWE Has A History Of Embarrassing Gimmicks
Gimmicks have always played an integral part of WWE for many years. There have been gimmicks that succeeded and became legendary in the business, despite coming off as over-the-top to some fans. For instance, one can look at the Goldust gimmick that made its debut in 1995 and the over-the-top antics that Dustin Rhodes portrayed. Goldust became a memorable character in a positive light in the wrestling world, and much of that has to do with how wacky Goldust was in his prime.
Goofy characters can be beneficial to one’s career. However, Tekno Team 2000 was just an over-the-top goofy gimmick with little to no entertainment value, all while achieving no success. Once a wrestler gets stuck with a horrible persona like Tekno Team 2000, some fans will never see them in a different light, especially a unit like Tekno Team 2000, as the gimmick was a monumental failure.
Tekno Team 2000’s Forgotten Short WWE Run
The concept of Tekno Team 2000 was that they were a tag team that represented the future. Considering the cartoonish nature of this gimmick, it’s not surprising Tekno Team 2000 didn’t last long. Members of Tekno Team 2000, Chad Fortune portraying Travis, and Erik Watts portraying Troy, were already a tag team not too long before making their debut in WWE.
In March 1995, Tekno Team 2000 debuted at a house show in Madison Square Garden, picking up a win over The Heavily Bodies. With silver and maroon attires, Tekno Team 2000 debuted on WWE TV, defeating Barry Horowitz and the Brooklyn Brawler on the May 27, 1995, episode of WWE Superstars.
Surprisingly enough, despite how goofy Tekno Team 2000 came off on TV, they didn’t get booked as losers from the start. They did win several matches and even were in a storyline teasing an association with the Million Dollar Corporation. Arguably, their best accomplishment is getting listed among Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s top ten tag teams in 1995.
Other than that, Tekno Team 2000 didn’t accomplish anything of importance, although Erik Watts claimed that the team was supposed to win the WWE Tag Team Championship only two months after making their debut.
As Tekno Team 2000 was later taken off TV and joined USWA, WWE’s development at the time, it could’ve been an opportunity for both members to develop their skills and get repackaged into something else that had the chance to launch them into success. However, still using the same gimmick, they returned to the main roster in 1996 and amounted to nothing upon their return. Tekno Team 2000 didn’t win any televised matches in 1996 and were released in mid-1996. The fact that Chad Fortune and Erik Watts continued to settle with a ridiculous gimmick like Tekno Team 2000 was the nail in the coffin for their WWE careers.
Chad Fortune And Erik Watts Had Successful Lives Outside WWE
Although Tekno Team 2000 is a ridiculous gimmick that went nowhere, Chad Fortune and Erik Watts should be remembered more positively than for the gimmick they portrayed in WWE. It’s worth noting that both Chad Fortune and Erik Watts had a colorful background in their own right.
For instance, Chad Fortune may not be well known for his wrestling, as his professional career only lasted a few years, but it’s worth mentioning his exciting career in monster truck driving that stemmed from his run in WCW. Chad Fortune was involved in monster truck driving until he retired from it in 2019.
On top of that, before he even got into wrestling, Chad Fortune was a former NFL tight end who played for several NFL teams before retiring in the early 1990s. Chad Fortune may not have the most successful wrestling career, but he’s had a life that many would admire.
Erik Watts, who’s the son of former WWE writer Bill Watts, has been involved with the wrestling industry since 1992. While his career in WWE didn’t go well, he’s wrestled for many promotions. From WCW and ECW in the 1990s, to TNA and All-Japan Pro Wrestling in the 2000s, Erik Watts had a lot of experience in the wrestling industry.
Where The Wrestling Industry Goes From Bad Gimmicks
If there’s anything positive from Tekno Team 2000 and other ridiculous gimmicks, the wrestling industry can learn to avoid potential people that ruin a wrestler’s career. Horrible people will continue to be featured on TV, whether it’s WWE or any other promotion, but at least learning how bad some of these gimmicks can be could lead to better creativity.