John Thomas Greene, who wrestled for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) under the name Johnny Attitude and later founded Micro Championship Wrestling (MCW), has passed away.
Greene’s family announced his death in a post on his Facebook page on Friday night, saying he unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday, June 12. He turned 53 years old just three days before his death and had been living in Port Richey, Florida.
In the mid-1990s, Greene transitioned from the competitive bodybuilding circuit to the WCW Power Plant, a former professional wrestling school and training facility located in Atlanta, Georgia. As Johnny Attitude, he made his wrestling debut on July 30, 1996, in a dark match loss to The Booty Man (aka Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake). He would not resurface until June 24, 1997, losing to Hugh Morrus in another dark match.
Attitude apparently made his TV wrestling debut on WCW Saturday Night on December 20, 1997, where he unsuccessfully challenged Disco Inferno for the WCW World Television Championship. He scored his first win on January 6, 1998, beating Lenny Lane in a match taped for WCW Saturday Night. From this point forward, he was solely used as a glorified jobber. In the ensuing months, he lost to the likes of Disco Inferno, Booker T, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Konnan, Brad Armstrong, John Nord, and even to a 41-year-old Rick Martel in one of the wrestling legend’s last matches.
During this time period, Goldberg was en route to earning an unprecedented undefeated record of 173-0 and Attitude was among his many victims. In his lone appearance on WCW Monday Nitro, Attitude unsuccessfully challenged Goldberg for the WCW United States Championship on May 25, 1998.
There was an angle to the match as Attitude, who had a mullet, shaved his head bald to look like Goldberg. He also copied Goldberg’s ring attire and mimicked his over-the-top mannerisms as he made his way down to the ring. Before the bell rang, Attitude attempted to spear Goldberg but failed to knock him off his feet. Goldberg quickly gave Attitude a Gorilla press powerslam and proceeded to beat his opponent in just over a minute with his two signature maneuvers — the Spear and the Jackhammer.
Following the one-sided loss, Attitude disappeared from WCW for over a year. He returned on July 20, 1999, picking up a win over perennial jobber Barry Horowitz at a TV taping in Madison, Wisconsin. He then beat The Gambler in a match that aired on WCW Saturday Night on August 21, 1999.
Attitude came back with a different look, sporting a beard and mohawk.
From this point forward, Attitude was solely used as a “jobber to the stars,” with losses to the likes of Konnan, Van Hammer, Berlyn, Meng, Norman Smiley and Scotty Riggs in matches taped for WCW Saturday Night and WCW Worldwide. His second stint ended in December 1999, with his final loss coming at the hands of Jeff Jarrett on an episode of WCW Saturday Night.
Following his departure from WCW, Attitude continued wrestling on the independent circuit, albeit on occasion. In 2009, he founded Micro Championship Wrestling, a professional wrestling promotion primarily showcasing midget wrestling. Hulk Hogan initially worked with MCW as a promoter/consultant, and a reality television-style show titled Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling debuted on truTV on September 14, 2011 (with Eric Bischoff and Jason Hervey serving as producers). Only five episodes aired before the show was quietly canceled.
Up until his death, Attitude continued to promote MCW shows. The promotion now functions as a touring group, with shows across the United States and Canada. MCW held a show on Friday night in Pasadena, California and has two more events scheduled this weekend in Los Angeles County.
Attitude is the second WCW alumnus to pass away this month. On Monday, three-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion Vader passed away following a hard-fought battle with pneumonia.