Phillip Theis[1] (born June 25, 1958) is an American semi-retired professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) between 1992 and 1993 under the ring name Damien Demento. As Damien Demento, Theis wrestled in the main event of the first episode of WWF Monday Night Raw on January 11, 1993, losing to The Undertaker.

Damien Demento
Birth namePhillip Theis
Born (1958-06-25) June 25, 1958 (age 61)[1]
Long Island, New York[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Jonn Reinhart[1]
Mando Phil[1]
Mondo Kleen[1][2]
Damien Demento[1][2]
Billed height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)[1]
Billed weight271 lb (123 kg)[1]
Billed from"Man's Deepest Fear"[3]
(as Mondo Kleen)
"The Outer Reaches of Your Mind"[2]
(as Damien Demento)
Trained byJohnny Rodz[1][2][3]
Debut1987[1]

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Early career (1987–1992)Edit

After training under Johnny Rodz, Theis made his debut on the independent circuit in 1987 under the ring name "Jonn Reinhart".[1] He later renamed himself "Mondo Kleen". In September 1992, he wrestled a tryout match with World Championship Wrestling as "Mando Phil".[4]

World Wrestling Federation (1992–1993)Edit

After The Bushwhackers helped forward a tape of Theis performing an interview, the World Wrestling Federation signed him to a contract.[3] Theis, under his Mondo Kleen ring name, debuted in WWF at a live event on October 2, 1992 in a losing effort to Jeff Jarrett.[5] On the October 12 episode of Superstars of Wrestling, Theis made his televised debut under the repackaged ring name and gimmick of "Damien Demento", a villainous character who hailed from "The Outer Reaches of Your Mind" and showed mentally disturbed behavior. He then proceeded to defeat Steve May in his televised debut match.[5] On the October 28 episode of Wrestling Challenge, he defeated Jim Brunzell.[5]

Demento was in the main event of the debut episode of Monday Night Raw on January 11, 1993, losing to The Undertaker.[6] Demento made his only pay-per-view appearance at Royal Rumble as a participant in the 1993 Royal Rumble match and lasted over twelve minutes before being eliminated by Carlos Colón.[7] He also appeared at UK Rampage '93, where he lost to Bob Backlund.[8] After this, Demento competed almost solely on house shows before leaving the WWF in October 1993.

Independent circuit (1993–1994; 2008, 2011, 2014)Edit

After a stint on the East Coast independent circuit, Theis retired from wrestling in 1994.[3] Under his Damien Demento ring name, he made a short return to wrestling on November 8, 2008, where he defeated The Musketeer in a match for the New York-based World of Unpredictable Wrestling. A month later they had a rematch in which Demento was on the losing end.[9][10]

He made another return to the squared circle in September 24, 2011. This time wrestling as "Mondo Kleen", he defeated Steven Person in a steel cage match at a show that WUW promoted for the Dumbo Arts Festival.[11]

On October 29, 2011, Damien Demento defeated long time WUW Trophy Champion "Izzy" Israel Joffe at the WUW October show at Gleason's gym to win the WUW Trophy Championship.[12] On December 10, 2011, Israel Joffe defeated Damien Demento at the WUW December show at Gleason's gym.[13]

In 2014, Demento made a few appearances for World Wrestling Organization.[14]

Partial filmographyEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Theis originally wanted to become a football player, he majored in art at Wagner College while on a football scholarship and later on had a tryout with the Jets but did not make the team. Theis instead began training for a career in professional wrestling.[15][3] He cites King Curtis Iaukea as his inspiration for becoming a wrestler.[3]

After retiring from professional wrestling, he began working as an artist and a sculptor.[3]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Cagematch profile".
  2. ^ a b c d "Damien Demento's OWOW profile".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Damien Demento Interview". Icons of the Ring. Archived from the original on December 25, 2007. Retrieved December 22, 2007.
  4. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "WCW Worldwide « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". cagematch.de.
  5. ^ a b c "Cagematch match listings, page 3".
  6. ^ "WWE Raw Results – 1993". Online World of Wrestling. Archived from the original on June 7, 2008. Retrieved December 22, 2007. January 11, 1993[...]The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer b Damien Demento
  7. ^ "Royal Rumble Entrance and Elimination Information: 1993". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved April 9, 2008.
  8. ^ "UK Rampage 1993 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  9. ^ "Damien Demento returns to pro wrestling!". Archived from the original on July 11, 2011.
  10. ^ "NYProWrestling.com: Results: 2008". NYProWrestling.com.
  11. ^ Video on YouTube
  12. ^ "World of Unpredictable Wrestling". World of Unpredictable Wrestling.
  13. ^ Video on YouTube
  14. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Results « World Wrestling Organization (WWO) « Promotions Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  15. ^ Kilgannon, Corey (March 15, 2012). "From Inside a Bad-Guy Wrestler, a Brutal Artist Screamed for Release".
  16. ^ "BIO/Profil Damian DeMento". ecwfrenchtribute.free.fr.
  17. ^ "Awards".

Further readingEdit

  • Mazer, Sharon. Professional Wrestling: Sport and Spectacle. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998. ISBN 1-57806-020-6

External linksEdit