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A new breed of superstar

A man of few words, Sean O'Haire lets his actions do the talking, and they are speaking volumes in World Championship Wrestling.

O'Haire combines the power and demeanor of Goldberg with the aerial tactics of Rey Misterio Jr. to create a young new breed of superstar.

"There is no one as big and as fast as I am," O'Haire said, "and I try to adapt my style to whoever I'm wrestling against."

O'Haire began studying martial arts when he was 10, in Hilton Head, S.C. He progressed into boxing, kick boxing and shoot fighting. After graduating from high school, O'Haire competed nationally in underground Ultimate Fighting tournaments and sanctioned kick boxing matches.

"It was tough," he said, "but it went well. I was undefeated."

After saving enough money, O'Haire opened a health club in Hilton Head and taught martial arts. "I decided I didn't like working that much, with all the hours," he said.

O'Haire decided to become a pro wrestler. He contacted the Power Plant in December 1999. "I found out where the Power Plant was and met with Paul Orndorf."

A quick learner, O'Haire set a record for landing a spot on WCW TV from the Power Plant, just six months after he started.

"I was used to really, really hard-core kung fu, boxing and stuff," he said."The Power Plant was hard, but it was easy for me because of my background."

O'Haire has started to make his mark in WCW as one of the young guns in the Natural Born Thrillers. "The Natural Born Thrillers are great," he said. "They are like my brothers."

Brothers quarrel at times.

"When the Thrillers go against each other, it's non-stop action and emotion. There's real heat between us. You will see some real live, ticked-off big freaks in the ring."

O'Haire is interested in doing his job, no matter who is running the show. "I really don't care much about all that," he said. "I just like having a place to work. I know I'm going to shine wherever I'm at. . . .

"I was raised a martial artist. Therefore, I just love to fight naturally. Whoever you put in front of me, I want to knock him down. That's the mentality I have. That's why it doesn't matter if I'm the champ or what the company is doing. I'm here to have fun, and fighting is fun to me. I'm glad I get paid for it. The more people I knock out, the more I get paid. That's what I'm looking for."

O'Haire is becoming a star in pro wrestling, which means more to deal with: interviews, autographs, photos, meeting fans. "It's cool," he said. "It comes along with the job, and I like to do it."

The hardest thing, O'Haire said, is being on the road. "I was just sick a few weeks ago. You have to keep your vitamins in you. I like to go out and drink and beat up people in bars, and I'm not allowed to do that anymore. I don't make a plane, and I get fined. So, the travel is the roughest thing."

Pro wrestling columnist Jim Varsallone can be reached at wrestlingtampabay.com.

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