Sean Haire, known as Sean O'Haire in WCW and WWE, reportedly died Monday at age 43.
Haire debuted in WCW in 2000, and he was immediately pushed as a future star. He was paired with the Natural Born Thrillers, a group of young, physically gifted wrestlers, and in the year before WCW folded, he won the tag team titles three times.
Haire quickly gained attention from fans for both his strength and athleticism. For a wrestler who was billed at 6 feet 6 and 270 pounds, he could move like a cruiserweight, and hit what might be the best-looking Swanton Bomb in the history of the business.
He participated in some great tag team matches in WCW, especially with Mark Jindrak, one of his partners in the Natural Born Thrillers. Their match with the Filthy Animals (Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman) and the Boogie Knights (Disco Inferno and Alex Wright) at Halloween Havoc 2000 might be the best example of the matches they could put on as a team.
Haire, with his partner Chuck Palumbo, were the final WCW tag team champions when the organization folded, and they moved over to WWE with the titles.
They lost the belts early in their run to The Undertaker and Kane, and after a few months, the team broke up, and Haire was sent to OVW to learn the "WWE style."
He eventually re-emerged with a gimmick that is still talked about today, giving “devil's advocate” advice to people, and then finishing all his speeches with the line, “But I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.”
Soon into this gimmick, he was partnered with Roddy Piper as Piper's protege. However, when Piper was released in 2003, Haire floundered, and never really recovered. He eventually was released in 2004.
Haire is always talked about as one of the most talented wrestlers who never got over as much as he should have. When he debuted, many thought he could be a future world champion.
With his size and athleticism, Haire seemed to be exactly what people were looking for in a wrestler. He even had charisma, as shown in his promos in 2003. We'll never know exactly why he didn't live up to his potential, whether it was backstage politics, or just bad-timing.
As another wrestler dies young, as Billy Kidman said on Twitter on Tuesday night: “Doesn't matter how many times it happens, it never gets easier.”
Condolences go out to Haire's friends and family.
Do you have any Sean Haire thoughts or memories? Leave them below or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster