Pro Wrestling
Pro Wrestling

Lawrence Michael Rotunda (March 30, 1958) is an American retired professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in the 1980s and 1990s under the ring names Mike Rotunda, Mike Rotundo, Michael Wallstreet, Irwin R. Schyster and V.K. Wallstreet. Over the course of his career, Rotunda held many championships including the NWA World Tag Team Championship, NWA World Television Championship and WWF Tag Team Championship.


After graduating from Syracuse University, Rotunda began wrestling in 1981 as a face in Championship Wrestling from Florida. He often teamed with his real life brother-in-law, Barry Windham.

World Wrestling Federation (1984–1986)

Rotunda and Windham joined the World Wrestling Federation as the U.S. Express in 1984. They won the WWF Tag Team Championships twice, first winning them from Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis in January 1985. The US Express' most notable feud was with The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff, to whom they lost the tag titles the first WrestleMania. The US Express regained the belts in June 1985, but lost them two months later to Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine. Windham left the WWF soon after. Rotundo continued to wrestle in singles matches until he eventually left the WWF himself in early 1986.

American Wrestling Association (1986)

The U.S. Express reunited in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) to wrestle at WrestleRock 86 on April 20, 1986, where they won against the Fabulous Ones. The team did not stay long as Windham left the AWA almost as soon as he came in. Rotundo stayed around for a few more months with minimal success.

World Wrestling Federation (1986–1987)

He briefly returned to the WWF in the fall of 1986 to team with "Golden Boy" Dan Spivey as a new version of "The U.S. Express", but they were more or less used as a jobber team against up and coming teams such as Demolition in house shows. They were not considered top contenders.

National Wrestling Alliance (1987–1991)

Rotunda left the WWF in early 1987 and returned to Florida, where he won the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship in March. There, he feuded with Sir Oliver Humperdink's "Shock Troops".

Later in the year, Rotunda joined the National Wrestling Alliance affiliate Jim Crockett Promotions, where he lingered at mid-card level as a face before turning heel and joining Kevin Sullivan's Varsity Club, a group of wrestlers with amateur wrestling credentials. Rotunda began bickering with fellow Varsity Club member Rick Steiner, a graduate of the University of Michigan, over which of the two had a superior alma mater. This in turn led to the two arguing over which of them was the superior wrestler.

Rotunda went on to win the NWA World Television Championship from Nikita Koloff in January 1988 and subsequently gave the Florida title to Steiner. He then began a feud with Jimmy Garvin because Sullivan wanted Garvin's wife Precious. Steiner eventually left the group and began feuding with Rotunda, with the enemies trading the Television Championship before Rotunda lost the title to Sting.

"Dr. Death" Steve Williams and Dan Spivey joined the Varsity Club in late 1988, and Rotunda teamed with Williams to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship from the Road Warriors. Referee Theodore Long turned heel during the match and administered a fast count, enabling Rotunda and Williams to overcome the champions. Long went on to become a manager following the controversial officiating.

In May 1989, Williams and Rotunda were stripped of their titles and shortly after Sullivan and Rotunda concluded a feud with the Steiner Brothers Rotunda briefly left the NWA. He returned in 1990 as a face, using the maritime gimmick Captain Mike Rotunda. He formed a "crew" consisting of Abdullah the Butcher and Norman the Lunatic and feuded with Kevin Sullivan's new stable, "Sullivan's Slaughterhouse" (Cactus Jack, Buzz Sawyer, and Bam Bam Bigelow).

In mid-1990, Rotunda turned heel again and became Michael Wallstreet with Alexandra York and her computer as his manager. They founded the York Foundation. The two would claim to have the ability to pick how to win the match and how long it would take for Wallstreet to become victorious. In this brief run he was undefeated and often a timer was present on screen to further the duo's claim. The partnership was a brief one, as Rotunda left the NWA for a bigger role in the WWF in early 1991.

World Wrestling Federation (1991–1995)

In 1991, Rotunda became Irwin R. Schyster (I.R.S.). Irwin R Schyster was a heel "tax-man" gimmick (he was portrayed as a former IRS tax collector from Washington, D.C.) who harassed all of the faces and fans, urging them to pay their taxes. He was, however, a sound technician in the ring, and was a serious challenger to Bret Hart for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. He would later form the team of "Money Inc." with Ted DiBiase and together the two men won the WWF World Tag Team Championship a further three times. Money Inc.'s first title reign was at the expense of the Road Warriors (using the name "the Legion of Doom" in their WWF stint), making Rotunda the only tag team wrestler to defeat the Warriors twice for Tag Team titles.

After Money Inc. was disbanded due to Ted DiBiase retiring from wrestling on a performing basis, Rotunda went back to singles wrestling. Rotunda's biggest singles feud was with Razor Ramon. He also engaged in a feud with Tatanka, who he accused of failing to pay a gift tax on a sacred headdress. Rotunda would join Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation stable, going on to often team with fellow member Bam Bam Bigelow while trying to regain tag team gold. Rotunda later refocused again on singles wrestling, feuding with The Undertaker in a long rivalry, with both gaining momentum leading up to their clash at the 1995 Royal Rumble. This included I.R.S. defeating many jobbers on Monday Night Raw, re-possessing the headstone of a child, and also interfering in a Casket Match between The Undertaker and Yokozuna. When the two eventually squared off, the Undertaker was victorious following a chokeslam, but was thwarted when his urn was stolen after the match. Later in 1995, Rotunda suffered an injury at the hands of Lex Luger, which resulted in a shattered disc after being hit in the chin. During the healing process, Rotunda was given a role as an agent, but he again went to World Championship Wrestling to wrestle on a full-time basis.

World Championship Wrestling (1995–2000)

When returning to WCW, he reprised his role of Michael Wallstreet, wearing similar attire to that of Ted DiBiase. His persona and wrestling ability were almost the same as his previous the I.R.S. character, stating in a pre-recorded debut promo on the first ever WCW Monday Nitro: "I'm sure that the I.R.S. is gonna be watching me real close." Rotunda failed to recapture his earlier success, despite changing his name to both V.K. Wallstreet (a play on Vincent Kennedy McMahon) and Mister Wallstreet. He joined the New World Order (nWo) briefly at the request of DiBiase after defeating Mike Enos on the December 9, 1996 edition of Nitro, and wrestled in All Japan Pro Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling as a member of "nWo Japan". Despite his nWo involvement, he was kicked out of the group by J.J. Dillon on April 21, 1997 because his nWo contract was apparently invalid, but still declared himself to be "anti-WCW", participating as a jobber on WCW Saturday Night. In 1999 he reformed the Varsity Club with Kevin Sullivan, but it never reached the level of its prior success, partly due to nagging injuries on Rotunda's part, and was disbanded in early 2000.

Later career

Rotunda continued to wrestle primarily in Japan throughout the 1990s until he retired to run a security company with his wife in 2004.

Rotunda was rehired by WWE as a road agent in 2006, and has made face appearances (like some other retired wrestlers) as Irwin R. Schyster. One such appearance was on the August 6, 2007 edition of WWE Raw; Mr. McMahon was discussing his IRS troubles with Jonathan Coachman, and when the conversation ended, Rotunda lowered the paper covering his face (The Financial Times) and revealed himself.

Rotunda appeared as I.R.S. on the December 10, 2007 15th Anniversary edition of Raw, winning a 15-man Battle Royal, only to be paid off by his former tag team partner Ted DiBiase to eliminate himself and give DiBiase the win.

On the March 10, 2008 episode of Raw, U.S. Express made an appearance in a rematch from WrestleMania I against Volkoff and The Iron Sheik. They were interrupted by diva Jillian Hall, who offered to sing "Born in the USA" for them; however, she was given an airplane spin by Rotunda.

Rotunda appeared in the segment, "Top Rope Theatre" on on February 19, 2009 talking to Kelly Kelly. In this online storyline he played a heel character once again and his arch enemy was "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.

Rotunda appeared as I.R.S. on the September 7, 2009 edition of "Raw," of which Bob Barker was the guest host. Rotunda was a contestant in a "pricing game" similar to the "One Bid" qualifying segment of The Price Is Right along with Santino Marella, Jillian Hall, and Chris Jericho, and bid on a "Best of SmackDown" DVD. Rotunda bid $50.00 (including tax), but overbid as the DVD's actual retail price was $18.99. Chris Jericho won the pricing game with a bid of $1.00 (as erroneously proclaimed by Bob Barker). Rotunda was again one of the contestants during the second round of the pricing game as is the format of the "One Bid" segment. A.J. Pierzynski of the Chicago White Sox filled in the vacated spot Chris Jericho held. This time the bid was for a travel package to WrestleMania XXVI in Glendale, Arizona. Rotunda bid $2,000.00 for the package. The actual retail price was $1,247.00, making Santino the winner after a bid of $1,200.00

Mike later appeared on an episode of Monday Night Raw as part of the 80's Legend Lumberjack match in which Christian defeated Ted DiBiase Jr.

Mike was on the May 5, 2010 Smackdown when he helped throw Drew McIntyre out of the arena.

On June 7, 2010 he appeared on Raw as I.R.S. for a comedy segment in which he announced he had taken Jerry Lawler's Crown because he had not paid his taxes. On June 28, Rotunda who became a face again was one of the four people that came out to congratulate Ricky Steamboat's career, but were attacked by the Nexus.

Rotunda appeared on the April 9, 2012 edition of Raw. He, along with numerous other WWE officials and superstars, attempted to break up a brawl between Brock Lesnar and John Cena.

On the January 6, 2014 "Old School" episode of Raw, Irwin R. Schyster encountered Big E Langston on his way to a match and told him to pay his taxes, to which Langston smiled. Immediately prior, Langston walked past fellow Million Dollar Corporation members, Nikolai Volkoff and Ted DiBiase.

He continued work as a WWE road agent and was occasionally seen on TV in 2008.

He was released, along with many other WWE employees, on April 15, 2020.

Personal life

Rotunda is married to Stephanie Windham, the daughter of wrestler Blackjack Mulligan, and the sister of wrestlers Barry and Kendall Windham. They have two sons, Windham and Taylor, who are both professional wrestlers, currently working for WWE.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him # 164 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003.
    • PWI ranked him # 48 of the 100 best tag teams during the PWI Years with Barry Windham in 2003.
    • PWI ranked him # 61 of the 100 best tag teams during the PWI Years with Ted DiBiase in 2003.

External links

1991 PWI Top 500 Wrestlers
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