Welcome To The Serengeti
Through the years, Impact Wrestling has had several opportunities to develop their own stars and not be dependent on former WWE stars. After a failed run in the early years of TNA, Monty Brown, a former accomplished football player, returned to the company in March 2004. Brown showcased his charisma and was able to connect with fans.
Brown’s character was a man who acted with African predatory animal mannerisms. He had a catchphrase, “Feel the POUNCEEEEE! Period…”, and wasn’t entirely awful in the ring. Monty had a good physique and at one point was the top face in the company as he ran over competition upon his return.
His path of destruction included victories over BG James, Sabu, Sonny Siaki and D’Lo Brown. He was well on his way to a NWA World Championship match, but was unable to defeat Jeff Hardy in a number one contenders match. By the end of 2004, Brown won a feud involving Abyss and Raven, which led to the first Monsters Ball match at Victory Road in November 2004. The following month at Turning Point, Brown finished his feud with Abyss with a victory in a Serengeti Survival match.
At the start of 2005, TNA appeared to be behind Monty as they inserted him into the main event picture. At Final Resolution in January 2005, Brown picked up the biggest win of his career defeating Diamond Dallas Page and Kevin Nash in a number one contenders match. As a result, Monty got a championship match against Jeff Jarrett in the main event. Personally, I was totally behind Brown at this point to end the Jarrett reign of terror that TNA had been on since late 2002.
However, Jarrett would retain the NWA World Championship after hitting The Stroke three times. Soon after, Monty would find himself involved in one of the worst feuds and subsequent matches in wrestling history when he fought Trytan at Destination X in March 2005. The match ended in a no contest after just five dreadful minutes. It wouldn’t be the only thing Monty did on the show.
Later on in the show, Monty turned heel when he cost Diamond Dallas Page a chance to win the NWA World Championship from Jeff Jarrett. Brown associated himself with Jarrett under the agreement that Jarrett would grant him a championship match at a later date. Brown teamed with Jarrett and the Outlaw (Billy Gunn), in a losing effort at Lockdown in a Lethal Lockdown match.
Monty would get another shot at the NWA World Championship when he participated in the King of the Mountain match at TNA Slammiversary in June 2005. The match was ultimately won by Raven, who replaced Jeff Jarrett in the match. Following the event, Brown would team with the Outlaw in a feud with 3 Live Kru, and won a street fight at No Surrender. Brown and Outlaw would lose a rematch at Sacrifice in August when BG James was a special referee for the contest.
Brown didn’t seem satisfied with being lost in the tag team scene. Thus, at Unbreakable, Brown issued a challenge for the NWA World Champion to a match at Bound For Glory in October. The event is the WrestleMania for TNA. Monty won a singles match against Lance Hoyt at the event, but failed to win a gauntlet match, which would have inserted him into the main event. Instead, Rhino won the NWA World Championship defeating Jeff Jarrett. By this point, the partnership between Brown and Jarrett had dissolved.
Despite his inability to win the championship, Brown continued to be viable challenger. Brown won a number one contenders match against Jeff Hardy at Genesis in November 2005. Monty wouldn’t get a title shot. Because, the following month he lost his shot to Christian Cage, who had just made his debut in TNA.
At the start of 2006, Monty Brown would team with his former partner Jeff Jarrett in a match against Sting and Christian Cage at Final Resolution. Sting and Cage prevailed after fifteen minutes of action and Sting’s first match since late 2003. Brown would finally get his rightful shot at the NWA World Championship at TNA Destination X in March 2006. Brown came out on the short end losing to NWA World Champion Christian Cage in seventeen minutes.
Brown would be regulated to mid card feuds with Samoa Joe and Rhino, losing a triple threat match at Hard Justice. That would be his final pay per view appearance for the company. However, by the end of the year, Brown would sign a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment.
Monty made his debut on the ECW brand on January 18th, 2007 when he won a match against Cassidy Riley, another former TNA wrestler. He would quickly align himself with the New Breed stable looking to get rid of the ECW originals in the company. Cor Von was one of the strongest members of the team managing to get wins over Balls Mahoney, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Rob Van Dam and Sabu in singles and tag team matches. Eventually, the New Breed would have issues in their feud with ECW Originals losing extreme rules matches and tables matches later in 2007.
On June 19th, Cor Von wrestled what would turn out to be his final match ever where he lost to CM Punk in a number one contenders match for the ECW Heavyweight Championship. Monty would take time off to handle a family issue, which was not publicly revealed. He was released by the WWE on September 18th, 2007 and retired from the business.
Monty Brown has to go down as one of the most wasted talents TNA had ever produced. At the time, TNA relied so heavily on WWE castoffs that they didn’t realize that had their own star in Monty Brown right under their nose. Throughout his career, Monty was a consistent title contender and often times was screwed out of getting championship matches. Over time, Monty drastically improved in the ring.
Personally, I was a Monty Brown fan dating back to 2004-2005. I was excited for his debut in WWE hoping that he’d accomplish more than he ever did in TNA. Had he not have to take care of his family, which is the right thing to do, I wonder where his character would have gone after the ECW brand run. I think his personality would have gotten over with the WWE crowd, just as he had in TNA.
What are your memories of Monty Brown? Where you a fan of his work, or were you unimpressed by the former football player?
Leave your thoughts below.
Thanks for reading.