They came from the audience: Superstars who debuted from the WWE Universe

Zach Gowen

To continue competing in WWE despite Mr. McMahon’s attempts to end Hulkamania forever, “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan adopted the personality of the patriotic Mr. America. The continuation of Hogan’s career drew the ire of longtime rival “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and his protégé, Sean O’Haire, who set out to prove Hogan and Mr. America were one and the same.

While trying to ascertain Mr. America’s true identity during an interview in “Piper’s Pit,” “Hot Rod” and O’Haire seized the opportunity to attack the red, white and blue–clad Superstar. The brutal beating left Mr. America helpless against the relentless steel chair attacks and raw power of O’Haire. Just as Piper prepared to unmask the patriotic competitor, a young fan named Zach Gowen bolted into the ring and attacked “Hot Rod” with an American flag.

The brave stand was short-lived as O’Haire quickly tackled Gowen and security tried to pull him from the ring. As Piper also joined the attack on the fan, he accidentally pulled off Gowen’s prosthetic leg. The bizarre confrontation led Piper and O’Haire away from the ring, but gave birth to a new ally for Mr. America as Gowen went on to compete throughout 2003, even battling Mr. McMahon.