A WWE star from 15 years ago was recently hired as a Junior High Principal in New York state.
Marc Copani, better known to wrestling fans as Muhammad Hassan, was hired as the new Principal of Fulton Junior High School. He has been with the school district since 2015.
Speaking in an interview with Oswego County Today, Copani spoke about his motivations for excelling in his new role.
“From my vantage point, I’ve been able to see what many of our young men and women are lacking as they enter ninth grade,” Copani said. “I’m eager to get started with my faculty and staff so we can work together to prepare junior high students for the transition to the high school, which ultimately will help prepare students for life after school.”
Copani's character of Muhammad Hassan was one of the more controversial storylines that WWE has put together. He wrestled for the promotion in 2004 and 2005. In fact, the character became so controversial that UPN (which broadcast SmackDown at the time) essentially forced WWE to pull the plug on the character and he was later released.
The Hassan character portrayed an Arab-American that preyed upon the fears and racism present in the United States following the 9/11 attacks just a couple of years earlier, as well as during the early days of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Hassan feuded with several top stars, but it was his final feud with The Undertaker which caused the commotion. The two were scheduled to face each other at the Great American Bash in July 2005. During the July 4th SmackDown tapings, Hassan's assistant Daivari wrestled The Undertaker. Daivari was defeated, but Hassan began to pray on the entrance ramp following the match. He summoned five masked men (wearing camo pants, black shirts, and black ski masks) who ran out with clubs and piano wire.
The men beat down The Undertaker and Hassan put him in the Camel Clutch. The masked men then carried Hassan off on their shoulders.
What made this angle so controversial was that three days later, terrorists attacked the London subway. The WWE angle was already taped and set to air, which it did in the United States and Canada (with text warnings on screen throughout the broadcast). The segment never aired in the U.K., Europe, or Australia.
Hassan was then pulled from television by UPN. He did wrestle The Undertaker at the Bash, where he lost and was powebombed through the stage and onto concrete. WWE used the move to write him off television, scripting that he had suffered severe injuries from the move.
It was later revealed that before the UPN controversy, Hassan had been booked to defeat The Undertaker at the Bash and go on to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Batista at SummerSlam 2005. This would have made him the youngest WWE world champion in history.