Marc Copani, Muhammad Hassan In WWE, Details Childhood Favorite Wrestlers

Marc Copani, known to WWE fans as the uber-villainous Muhammad Hassan in the mid-2000s, was just like many other kids from that era, inspired by familiar names and acting out his wrestling dreams with friends and family in the basement of his home.

Appearing on "The False Finish" with Conrad Thompson, Copani detailed his childhood heroes and how he first got into wrestling, which probably drew tight comparisons for anyone born in the late seventies or early eighties with similar interests.

"When I was a kid-kid, obviously Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, Ricky Steamboat, Ric Flair," he namedropped as favorites. "We used to have wrestling shows [on] Friday nights. We would put on these wrestling shows in the basement, jumping off the couches onto the floor, I'm sure like everybody did, through the golden age."

Like many fans of that era, however, Copani would drift away from pro wrestling until he rediscovered the fever early on in college in the dawn of The Attitude Era. As WCW and WWE went at it in the Monday Night Wars, Copani was drawn back in by another slew of household names, which really took his fandom and appreciation for wrestling to the next level.

"We're talking The Rock and Steve Austin, Triple H, Undertaker," Copani remembered. "I think the storyline was The Rock and Steve Austin that had me hooked and I started watching every week and it just kind of built from there.

From Fan to Superstar

Ultimately, Copani would go from being a fan to being drawn to pursue wrestling as a career, following an introduction to Ohio Valley Wrestling and its budding superstars, thanks to dirtsheets and the rise of the internet. He'd deepen his wrestling knowledge thanks to a college roommate who had a library of old tapes as far back as the 1970s, taking him from appreciative fan to a student of the craft with a desire to seek out the next level.

"I truly fell in love with the art form of wrestling and so it went from 'I kind of want to do this,' to 'I love this, maybe I'll do it,' to 'I'm gonna do this,'" he explained. "And facing another year in college, or at least another year, or taking a chance and packing up all my things and moving to Louisville, I chose to take a chance on myself and that's how I ended up in Louisville."

Copani would enjoy a run as OVW Heavyweight Champion before WWE came calling in 2004 looking for someone to portray the Hassan character and the rest is history. While his time as Hassan in WWE only lasted a short while, released from his contract a little less than a year after his debut, his run was a memorable one and the character is remembered as one of the most hated in recent history.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The False Finish with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.