Kenny Dykstra....remember him? He was the youngest member of the Spirit Squad and seemingly had the most potential until Dolph Ziggler became one of the best in-ring performers of his era. Dykstra, real name Ken Doane, is just 31 years old and is still chasing his wrestling dream, but he had a recent interview with ESPN where he reflected on his WWE beginnings as a member of the Spirit Squad.
The idea of five male cheerleaders was, unsurprisingly, Vince McMahon's idea. While Doane was training at Ohio Valley Wrestling, McMahon invited he and four other OVW wrestlers to a meeting where he told them about his great idea.
"[McMahon] turned and said, 'Guys, this is my idea. It's gonna work because I'm telling you it will work,'" said Doane in his best McMahon impersonation. "He said, 'I want cheerleaders. Male cheerleaders. There's nothing that gets more heat than male cheerleaders.' I kinda looked at the other guys out of the corner of my eye like, 'Is this a joke? This is a good joke. You guys went all the way out to get Vince in on this?'"
McMahon had the idea for the Spirit Squad, but initially it seemed that it would only be an idea. The five members that would make up the Spirit Squad continued to languish in OVW with no immediate plans to be called up to WWE. That's when they came up with the idea to burst into McMahon's office and break into their Spirit Squad act with a cheer to convince the Chairman to promote them to the main roster.
Doane says that when the five of them changed into their gear and got into character, John Laurinaitis spotted them before they went into McMahon's office.
"I remember [Laurinaitis] kind of chuckled and was like, 'Are you serious?'" Doane said. "And we're like, 'Yeah.' And I think he said something like, 'Well, either it will work or you'll be fired.'"
Big Johnny then led the group into McMahon's office where they barged in and performed their routine. After it was over, there was a few seconds of harrowing silence before they heard the good news.
"Vince just looked up, smiled and said, 'You're gonna be on Raw next week.'"
The five man squad of Kenny, Mikey, Johnny, Mitch and Nicky (Ziggler) made their Raw debut in early 2006 and were immediately thrust into a program involving McMahon, Shawn Michaels and Triple H. That would be the highpoint of their existence and only Doane and Ziggler would have any type of singles career with WWE.
Doane would be released in 2008 and went back to school to earn his degree before returning to the squared circle. He now competes with a couple of northeast promotions and often teams with former Spirit Squad member, Mikey.