You’d think with two professional wrestlers for parents, you’d grow up to be a wrestler, but it almost wasn't so. Maybe it shouldn't have been.
Born in 1970, Mike grew up watching the greats of the ring from behind the curtain or at ringside. At home, he was taught the fundamentals by his parents, the famous Steven “Grizzly” Bear and one of the great women wrestlers of all time, Elisabeth Bear. However, as Mike grew up, he became less interested in wrestling as rebellious children often do. Instead he became fixated with computers. His parents bought him some of the earliest home computers in an effort to play to his strengths. It worked, as Mike graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1992 with a degree in Computer Science and promptly got a job working for AT&T. Months passed, and Mike began to question his path in life. He was good at his job, but at the same time, felt a deep unhappiness. Later that same year, after hearing numerous things about the local wrestling scene back home from his parents, Mike thought back to memories of his childhood and long forgotten dreams of following in his parents' footsteps. After some deep soul-searching, Mike quit his job 5 months later in February of ‘93 and came back home. Technically, you could say he was living with his parents, but that wasn’t exactly “living.” For four months Steven and Elisabeth trained Mike all over again, until he started to remember the lessons he was taught as a young boy.
For about a year, Mike toured the local wrestling as Mike “Grizzly” Bear, hoping to get some recognition from his father’s name, but he found he was better off trying to forge his own identity. He also found in enjoyed taking a beating as much as he enjoyed dishing them out.
And then came August, 1994. An infamous date in wrestling history. An event involving a man named Shane Douglas and the birth of an organization that changed wrestling forever, ECW. Mike did everything he could to appear on any card ECW held that would have him, no matter what. He soon made a name for himself by competing in some of the more brutal matches in ECW history, earning many scars and a lot of experience.
Meanwhile, in November of ‘95, another wrestler on the indy scene named John Reese decided to ditch the tights and start his own wrestling company. A few months later, John met a female wrestler named Brittany Chambers after she started dating a friend of his.
Then, in July of ’96, Mike and John met in a gym. John, being a big fan of Mike’s work, wanted to sign Mike as the big star of his promotion he was just about to start up, and Mike had developed a reputation in the Philadelphia scene. The deal was sealed that day with a handshake in the locker room. Finally achieving a full roster, the first card of EICW is held on October 29, 1996. Mike wins the World Title in a Battle Royal on the card. Though he lost the World title in a stunning upset, a couple months later he won the TV Title and proceeded down the path that would define the rest of his life.
Around April of ’97, Brittany finished a few scheduled dates in the Midwest and joined up with EICW as a favor to John. John introduced Mike and Brittany. They hit it off immediately, which was a good thing, since John had been unable to acquire other female wrestlers, so Brittany could be used as a valet for Mike.
And then it all started going downhill. Mike's ego was beginning to inflate having been champion for around half a year. Mike started to make demands, but since the promotion was making money, John decided it wasn't worth haggling over and gave Mike whatever he wanted. He was a top draw, after all. His merchandise accounted for half the revenue at the tables.
Of course, this only fed into Mike's already huge ego. That, and the fact that he had Brittany. The two were beginning to fall in love.
By the beginning of 1998, EICW had begun to experience a dip in revenue. Expenses had to be cut back, and Mike’s demands were part of that. Acting like a true prima donna, Mike decided to hold out and not show up to numerous cards. Brittany tried her best to get Mike to change his mind about it, but he wouldn’t budge. John tried his best to bring his star back to the ring, but after two months, he had grown tired of Mike's shtick. He was going to fire him.
And then in typical Mike Bear fashion, Mike started showing up for shows again for no apparent reason. He just up and decided to grace the EICW with his presence.
It was too late. By April of 1998, the EICW was bankrupt. They had been continuously losing money for several months; it was only a matter of time. John stayed mad at Mike for a long time, but more recently, he has accepted that Mike's presence on the shows wouldn't have helped.
Brittany watched as all this went on. She watched as Mike's ego grew too big to be housed in the buildings EICW wrestled in. She watched when Mike tried to find work in other local indies, only to find him impossible to deal with. She watched as he shrugged it off like it was nothing. She watched, since she couldn't convince Mike he's doing anything wrong. She watched the man she had grown to love seemingly throw his life away, simply because he didn't have a little humility.
She cried herself to sleep a little too often. She considered leaving him. She came oh so close after 5 months of putting up with the same thing. She had her bags packed, the note written, a place to stay, all that was left was to leave. She was about to walk out the door, she had her hand on the knob in fact, and she broke down crying because she knew she couldn't live without Mike. He meant too much to her.
And at that moment she decided it would never happen again. She was not about to give up so easily.
Brittany threw down her bags and walked into the TV area of their apartment where Mike was watching cartoons as he usually did. She proceeded to kick his ass all over the apartment. Mike repeatedly asked what was going on, but all Brittany would do was to punch him again. Finally she threw him in the shower and turned on the cold water. Mike yelled, but he was too tired to move, and it was then that Brittany laid it all out. She told Mike that right then he was going to learn some humility. He was going to learn that he was not as big as he thought he was. He was going to lose that big ego of his. Otherwise, she would continue with the only thing Mike would understand: pain. For two months she worked as hard as she could to pull Mike out of the rut he had been in for so long. She dragged Mike, kicking and screaming, back into the limelight, and finally, right before the New Year, she had rebuilt Mike into a stronger, better wrestler, and their relationship was as strong as ever.
Just in time too, since Brittany had seen an ad for a new wrestling organization starting up in Canada. The first farm organization of the biggest new thing in wrestling, the fWo. Toronto Championship Wrestling. The couple sold their apartment, gathered up what little money they had, and headed north, confident in the fact this was Mike's big shot. Luckily, they were right. Mike tried out for TCW and was quickly scooped up by management. They teamed Mike with another up-and-comer, The Foreign Phantom, and sent them after the tag titles, but in their first effort, they came up short.
That's when things started to go bad. Again.
Brittany's conditioning started to unravel. Mike started to lose it once again. This time, he claimed he was being kept down. He wasn't being given his fair shot. He went on tirades and yelled at anyone who would listen. Eventually, he ran out of people to yell at, and the only one left was TCW head Jon Spratt. Mike stormed into his office and spewed pure venom at the man. Jon had enough after that. He had put up with the complaints about Mike for far too long. He handed Mike his walking papers.
Of course, Brittany was not about to let that happen. She contacted Jon and arranged a personal meeting. In the meeting, she said that this had happened before, but that she could take care of it. She could make sure this wouldn't continue, and that Jon wouldn't be sorry. Jon finally agreed and granted Mike a little leniency. A few weeks later, he and The Foreign Phantom eventually ended up winning the Tag Titles, unfortunately, Mike had grown passed merely having an ego into a full-fledged mania. Brittany reassured Jon that she could take care of it, and with some borrowed money and a favor from Jon, Mike was escorted out of TCW in the most appropriate manner: heavily drugged and in a straitjacket. After some intense therapy from renowned therapist Dr. Jacob Talbert, Mike reemerged in the TCW better than ever. He quickly obtained the TCW Ontario Championship and impressed TCW management so much with his turnaround they almost immediately sent him up to the fWo.
Once in the fWo, Mike quickly made a name for himself, winning the Hardcore Title within the first few weeks, joining up with The Underground and assuming a leadership role, and forming a tag team with his stablemate Wretch that would go on to become 1 of only 3 tag teams to capture the fWo Tag Titles four times. The Underground also prospered. Though losing a top talent in Wretch when he turned on Mike, launching a long running feud between the two, they also acquired talent such as Hellrazor, his manager, Lamont the Hardcore Feline, and Fear who would go on to become the tag team of Damnation, one of the other two teams to be 4 time Tag Team Champions. Other wrestlers to pass through the ranks of The Underground included Ruben Ross, The Black Panther, and strangely enough, The Flying Frenchie, who had feuded bitterly with Mike only months earlier, yet became close friends as teammates. Mike eventually went on to become a two time fWo World Champion and is still the only man to main event Countdown 1 and CyberSlam and win both. And after years of dating, Mike proposed to Brittany in the ring after winning the World Title at CyberSlam IV, and she said yes.
And yet, to only tell of his successes in the fWo would only tell half the story. Mike's time in the fWo was different from his stints in other federations in that his mind didn't betray him and cause him to stray from the path to success.
But he wasn't getting any better. He only had a better support structure around him. The violent, hair trigger temper that had emerged in TCW became only more pronounced. He suffered from blackouts due to head trauma where he would simply lose all control of his actions. He would routinely attack people with a cordless drill, not the least of which was his former best friend, Wretch. And after years of abuse, his mind seemed to begin disintegrating after his World Title victory at Cyberslam. He appeared less and less on TV and spoke very rarely, eventually being released outright, as Mike was deemed to be a danger to himself, his coworkers, and anyone he may come into contact with at fWo functions.
Brittany and Mike were married in a quiet ceremony following the departure from the fWo, all the while even more intense therapy was going on to prevent Mike from a life in an asylum. An appropriate choice of words, it turns out. A few months later, Mike got himself a contract with The Asylum, and they were only too happy to try to cash in on Mike's unstable nature. Brittany and Mike's former fWo teammate Fear came along to help keep Mike from falling apart, and for a brief time it seemed Mike may be on the road to recovery, even winning the Asylum Team Titles with Fear, but this too was short lived and Mike disappeared from the public eye altogether. That was almost 7 years ago.
Now after a long time away from the ring, Mike returns to the FWO, apparently in his right mind. To what extent Mike is "better" and what happened to him in the meantime is still a mystery. His days as a raving lunatic appear to be behind him, but his days as a massive pain-in-the-ass for people who take themselves way too seriously are still here, and here to stay.