Billed as half man and half beast, Rhyno entered WWE in 2001 with the distinction of being the original ECW’s final champion. His reputation preceding him, fans demanded he live up to his lofty hardcore reputation. Refusing to disappoint WWE’s rabid fans, Rhyno immediately proved he was extreme when he defeated the mighty Kane for the Hardcore Championship on SmackDown. He went on to win the title two more times during his WWE tenure, once from Chris Jericho and once from Test.
In July 2001, Rhyno reverted back to his ECW roots when he joined forces with Stephanie and Shane McMahon’s Alliance of ECW and WCW Superstars. As a member of The Alliance, Rhyno became Stephanie’s pet, largely because he refused to allow Jericho to verbally berate her. The rivalry led to to a SummerSlam showdown between the two WWE Superstars. Despite coming out on the losing end, the match is widely regarded as the highlight of Rhyno’s career in WWE. Undeterred by the loss, the “Man-Beast” defeated Tajiri the following month for the United States Championship.
Proving he will always be tied to the original ECW, Rhyno’s final WWE appearance took place at One Night Stand in 2005. He battled Sabu in a thrilling throwback to his hardcore days.
After a near ten-year absence, Rhyno made a surprise return to WWE on February 12, 2015 during a WWE NXT taping in Orlando, Florida. He beat Elias Samson.