Where Are They Now? Shawn Stasiak

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June 19, 2013

Shawn Stasiak is ready for his comeback.

It has been more than a decade since the son of former WWE Champion Stan “The Man” Stasiak was an active competitor. Back then, when sports-entertainment was as hot as it had ever been, the second-generation Superstar wrestled in WWE and WCW as a dimwitted hunk known as Meat, a Mr. Perfect knockoff named “PerfectShawn” and a loony goofball who claimed to hail from Planet Stasiak.

Check out photos from Shawn Stasiak's career

He’s 42 now, a Dallas-based chiropractor with a burgeoning career as a motivational speaker. Yet, he can’t help but wonder how his ring career could have turned out differently had he only been a little more self-assured. Stasiak lacked confidence back then. He crippled under the pressure to live up to his father’s considerable legacy. And there was an incident with a tape recorder he’d like to forget — if only the world would let him.

“He put way more pressure on himself to carry on the family tradition than he needed to,” WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross told WWEClassics.com. “I think that was one of the things that eroded his progression.”

All of this stood in the way of Stasiak’s goal to win the WWE Title and make history alongside his old man as the first father-son duo to hold the granddaddy of all championships. Did Stasiak have what it takes to become a WWE Champion? In many respects, he did. When he was signed by WWE in 1998, Stasiak was a 6-foot-4, 240-pound genetic anomaly with legit amateur wrestling credentials from Boise State. However, while his dad was a rugged, punishing bruiser with a debilitating Heart Punch, Shawn found his spot as a smug pretty boy — looking like an NFL quarterback will do that to a wrestler.

Stasiak was always uncomfortable in this position. He didn’t really embrace his role as Meat — the boy toy of a trio of vixens known as Pretty Mean Sisters — and dispatching Curt Hennig in WCW while nicking his Mr. Perfect persona made Stasiak uneasy.

Watch Stasiak defeat Curt Hennig with his own maneuver

His inability to find his place in sports-entertainment was surprising considering he grew up around the business. Born in July 1970, Stasiak was three years old when his father beat Pedro Morales to win the WWE Championship in Philadelphia. His pop’s reign was brief — only nine days — but Stasiak still has grainy home video of himself as a kid, clutching the title by the family Christmas tree.

Stasiak’s early years were spent on the road, traveling from territory to territory with his dad. He grew up in locker rooms around guys like Andre the Giant and Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and roughhoused with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson when the two were just third graders. The family lived in Portland for a time — a city where his dad was a local hero and his classmates worshipped him. Then it was over to Dallas, where his father was so hated that the kids wanted to string Shawn up by his toes.

See Stan "The Man" Stasiak in action

“I’d get chased after school, because my dad was the guy that feuded with The Von Erichs,” Stasiak remembered.

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