After training under Boris Malenko, Joe Malenko, Masami Soronaka and Karl Gotch, Waltman began his career as The Lightning Kid. He worked his way through various independent promotions, including Pro Wrestling America (PWA) and the Global Wrestling Federation (GWF), winning the PWA Light Heavyweight title, the PWA Iron Horse TV Title and the GWF Light Heavyweight Championship. During this time, Waltman worked extensively with Jerry Lynn in North America and Japan. They often wrestled each other, but also teamed up to win the PWA Tag Team titles twice in 1993. While working for Larry Sharpe in New Jersey, an opponent overshot a suicide dive and landed on Waltman's head, driving it to the concrete and causing a blood clot near his brain. He was hospitalized for three days, could not work for four months, and was advised to give up wrestling completely.
As The Lightning Kid, Waltman had his WWF tryout match in Phoenix, Arizona, the day after WrestleMania IX, against fellow hopeful Louie Spicolli (soon known as Rad Radford in the WWF).
He reminisced at his good luck to have an opponent with a vested
interest in an impressive match, rather than (as was then typical)
a disinterested WWF veteran jobber like Virgil or Jim Powers.
After earning a contract, he made his TV debut as The Kamikaze
Kid on Monday Night Raw on May 3, losing to Doink the Clown.
He quickly became The Cannonball Kid, then simply The Kid.
After several weeks as a jobber, he scored an upset pinfall on
Razor Ramon on the May 17 episode Monday Night Raw, thus
becoming The 1-2-3 Kid. Razor challenged him to a rematch,
wagering $10,000 of his own money. Kid accepted the challenge,
but grabbed the money and ran from the arena during the match.
Ted DiBiase, who was feuding with Razor, taunted him over
losing to a nobody. This angered Kid, and led to a match in which
he upset DiBiase as well. Razor turned face shortly after and took
Kid under his wing. The 1-2-3 Kid made his pay-per-view debut at
SummerSlam, losing to DiBiase's tag partner Irwin R. Schyster
after Razor had defeated DiBiase. At the 1993 Survivor Series, Kid
was on Razor's team in a four-on-four elimination match.
He and Marty Jannetty were the sole survivors, which led to them
forming a tag team and holding the WWF Tag Team Championship for a week in January 1994 after beating The Quebecers. For the next two years, The 1-2-3 Kid was a natural underdog and fan favorite. He wrestled Bret Hart in an unusually long (for the time) and highly acclaimed match for the WWF Championship in July 1994 on Raw and had another brief (one-day) tag title reign in January 1995, with Bob Holly. On the Raw before the 1995 Survivor Series in November, he was the guest referee in a match between Razor Ramon and Sycho Sid. As Razor attempted his finisher, The Razor's Edge, Kid pulled Sid down on top of Razor and fast-counted the pinfall, thus turning heel. After Survivor Series, Kid joined Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation faction. He remained with the group until May 1996 when Waltman left the WWF. The 1-2-3 Kid's final WWF match aired on the May 20 episode of Monday Night Raw, he lost to Savio Vega.
World Championship Wrestling (1996–1998)
On September 16, 1996, Waltman was shown sitting in the front row for a live episode of WCW Monday Nitro. Later that night, he stood and used a remote control to release New World Order (nWo) propaganda from the ceiling, revealing himself as the newest member of the recently formed faction. He was called Syxx, because he was the sixth member of the nWo, and six is the sum of numbers in "1–2–3 Kid".
In his first major angle, Syxx stole Eddy Guerrero's WCW
United States Heavyweight Championship belt,leading to a
ladder match for the title at Souled Out in January 1997.
The next month, at SuperBrawl VII, Syxx pinned Dean
Malenko for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
In June 1997, he lost the championship to Chris Jericho
at a webcast house show in Los Angeles, California,
minutes after successfully defending against Rey Mysterio.
During a feud with Ric Flair, Syxx disparagingly portrayed
Flair as part of an nWo segment parodying his Four
Horsemen group. This segment led to a WarGames match
at Fall Brawl, where Syxx, Kevin Nash, Buff Bagwell and
Konnan defeated The Four Horsemen (Flair, Steve
McMichael, Chris Benoit and Curt Hennig) after Hennig
betrayed the Horsemen and joined the nWo. In mid-1997, the nWo invoked "Wolfpac Rules", allowing Syxx to replace the injured Kevin Nash in defending the WCW World Tag Team Championship on October 13, 1997, Hall and Syxx lost the title to The Steiner Brothers. In October, a neck injury sidelined Waltman from wrestling, but he continued to appear on TV for several weeks after until leaving the company.
Return to WWF/WWE :D-Generation X (1998–2000)
Waltman returned to WWF TV on the March 30, 1998 episode of Monday Night Raw, the night after WrestleMania XIV and days after WCW. With Shawn Michaels retirement, Triple H was now the leader of D-Generation X.
He said he was forming a DX army and "when you start an army, you look to your blood... you look to your buddies... you look to your friends... you look to The Kliq." Waltman appeared on the stage, commented on Bischoff and Hogan, and said if they weren't contracted to WCW, Hall and Nash would have also returned to the WWF. X-Pac feuded with Jeff Jarrett, ultimately defeating him in a hair-vs-hair match at SummerSlam, then with WWF EuropeanChampion D'Lo Brown, whom he dethroned on September 21, 1998. Two weeks later, he lost the title back to Brown, then won it again at Judgment Day: In Your House in October. Waltman lost the title to Shane McMahon on February 15, 1999.
At WrestleMania XV, he lost a championship rematch when Triple H betrayed him, and hit
him with the Pedigree. X-Pac then sided with Road Dogg against Triple H, Chyna and
Billy Gunn, after the temporary demise of DX. X-Pac and Road Dogg wanted a reformed
DX to be about rebellion, while the others wanted it to be about making money. X-Pac
became a face and befriended Kane, they won the WWF Tag Team Championship
twice together. After DX reunited in late 1999 as a heel group, X-Pac led Kane to
believe he would be inducted into DX, but instead betrayed him. In 2000, X-Pac
feuded with fellow DX member Road Dogg, and Chris Jericho, whose botched
powerbomb sidelined Waltman for three months with another neck injury.
X-Factor, nWo and departure (2001–2002)
After returning from his neck injury in early 2001, X-Pac briefly feuded with Chris
Jericho over the WWF Intercontinental Championship, culminating in a fatal
four-way match with Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero at No Way Out in February.
In February, X-Pac formed a new stable called X-Factor with Justin Credible and Albert.
During this time, he usually teamed with Credible, but also appeared in singles matches.
He won the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship from Jeff Hardy on June 25,
then won the WCW Cruiserweight Championship for the second time in his career
when he defeated Billy Kidman on July 30. Despite this occurring during the
WCW Invasion, where the WWF side was portrayed as the good guys,
the fans were vocal in their disapproval of Waltman during his reign. This dated back to
shortly after X-Pac turned on Kane in 1999; X-Pac went from one of the most popular
wrestlers in the company to one of its most hated almost overnight and the fans
punctuated this by initiating loud "X-Pac sucks" chants almost every time he wrestled
after that. This led to what has since been termed "X-Pac heat" by some. When Credible
joined the ECW/WCW Alliance X-Factor broke up. At Summerslam 2001 X-Pac defeated
Tajiri to win the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship for the second time and was
WCW Cruiserweight Champion at the same time. X-Pac then feuded with Kidman & Tajiri.
After losing the WCW Cruiserweight title to Kidman, he took time off for another injury.
The WWF Light Heavyweight Championship was abandoned upon his return to TV,
though he defended it at several house shows shortly prior. X-Pac, returned on the March
21 episode of SmackDown, rejoined the nWo and attacked Hogan. He said he had been
waiting four years to do so, because Hogan shot on WCW Thunder after Waltman's firing,
saying he could not "cut the mustard". The storyline was dropped after the first WWE
Draft, when the nWo went to RAW and Hogan to SmackDown. During the nWo's feud with
Booker T and Goldust, a botched spinebuster injured Waltman and kept him from participating in the feud. On August 25, 2002, Raw commentator Jim Ross announced WWE and Waltman had parted ways
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling & Xtreme Pro Wrestling (2002–2006)
Waltman, as Syxx-Pac, debuted for TNA Wrestling on September 18, 2002, losing a gauntlet match. Rejoining his WWF tag partners Scott Hall & B.G. James, he feuded with Jeff Jarrett and Brian Lawler.
On October 9, 2002, Syxx-Pac made his X Division debut, defeating eight other
wrestlers in a ladder match to win the vacant TNA X Division Championship.
He held the title for two weeks before losing to A.J. Styles in a No Disqualification
match. He left TNA after defeating Lawler in the first round of an NWA World
Heavyweight Championship number one contender tournament November 6.
Waltman, as X, debuted in Xtreme Pro Wrestling on February 28, 2003, winning
the XPW Television Championship from Kaos. He retained the title in a bout with
Juventud Guerrera on March 1, & held it until the promotion closed in April.
Waltman, as Syxx-Pac, returned to TNA for a single night on June 18, 2003, at
their first anniversary pay-per-view, as A.J. Styles's mystery partner in a loss to
Jeff Jarrett and Sting. Under his real name, Waltman returned on February 13,
2005 at Against All Odds, attacking Jarrett during his NWA World Heavyweight
Championship match with Kevin Nash. Nash, Waltman & Diamond Dallas Page
formed an alliance & feuded with Planet Jarrett (Jarrett, Outlaw & Monty Brown),
until Nash & Page left TNA to focus on acting. At Hard Justice in 2005, Waltman
replaced Jeff Hardy & lost to Raven in a Clockwork Orange House of Fun match
after being back body dropped through the steel cage, at Slammiversary,
Waltman wrestled a five-man King of the Mountain match for the NWA World
Heavyweight Championship. He lost, but cost defending champion A.J. Styles the
title by delivering an X-Factor off a ladder. This turned him heel and led to a
grudge match at No Surrender, which Styles won after guest referee Jerry Lynn
prevented Waltman from cheating. Waltman challenged Lynn to a match at Sacrifice. After losing by victory roll, Waltman attacked Lynn & tried to reinjure his shoulder. Waltman then partnered with Alex Shelley to win the Chris Candido Cup. This earned them a shot at the NWA World Tag Team Championship at Unbreakable. He wasn't seen again until a one-night return at Final Resolution on January 15, 2006, brought in by Larry Zbyszko to defeat his rival, Raven.
Wrestling Society X and National Wrestling Alliance (2006–2008
In February 2006, Waltman joined MTV's newly formed Wrestling Society X (WSX) promotion, as 6-Pac. At their inaugural tapings on February 9, 6-Pac had a ten-man hardcore battle royal ladder match, which both he and Vampiro won by climbing the ladder to retrieve WSX contracts. 6-Pac lost a WSX Championship title match to Vampiro the following week. He challenged Vampiro in episode four, as a ruse to introduce Ricky Banderas, who attacked Vampiro from behind. He later defeated Human
Tornado and Scorpio Sky in singles matches, and teased an affair
with Lizzy Valentine (the valet and girlfriend of Matt Sydal),
though WSX folded before the angle could go on any further.
Waltman, under his real name, defeated Adam Pearce
for the NWA Heritage Championship in El Paso, Texas on April 21, 2007.
He defended it against El Sicodelico, Jr. on April 27, and lost it back to
Pearce two days later. On July 8, 2007, Waltman teamed with Billy Kidman
in a three-way tag match in McAllen, Texas for the NWA World Tag Team
Championship, which had been vacated by Team 3D after the NWA
stopped working with TNA. They lost the match to Karl Anderson and Joey Ryan.
On the May 14, 2008, episode of NWA Wrestling Showcase, Waltman
challenged Pearce for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
The match ended prematurely after Waltman legitimately injured his
knee five minutes in. He was attacked by The Real American Heroes
and Pearce, so won by disqualification. As wrestling titles can generally
only change hands by pinfall or submission, Pearce retained the belt.
Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion (AAA) (2007–2008)
In June 2007, Waltman, as X-Pac, began working regularly for Asistencia
Asesoría y Administración (AAA), initially a member of Konnan's La
Legión Extranjera (Foreign Legion)and managed by girlfriend Alicia Webb
(Ryan Shamrock WWF). He usually used the D-Generation X entrance music.
After leaving for rehab in mid-2008, he returned at Verano de Escándalo
(Summer of Scandal) that September, turning on the Foreign Legion and
forming D-Generation Mex, a parody of D-Generation X, with Rocky Romero
and Alex Koslov.
Second return to WWE (2011–present)
On April 2, 2011, Waltman returned to WWE television to celebrate, with Kevin Nash and Triple H, their longtime friend Shawn Michaels' induction into the 2011 WWE Hall of Fame. He later worked backstage, as a Scout and Evaluator in Florida Championship Wrestling, the WWE developmental territory. In 2012, Waltman attended the Hall of Fame again, with The Kliq.
On July 23, he, Billy Gunn and Road Dogg returned to join Shawn Michaels and Triple H for a D-Generation X reunion on the 1000th episode of Raw. In early 2013, The Kliq/DX reunited for an episode of WWE NXT.
In early March 2013, Waltman signed a WWE
Legends contract (a long-term contract which
gives WWE merchandising rights to a
wrestler's name and likeness, requires
occasional appearances and prevents them
from working for competing major promotions,
but allows for independent appearances.
On April 5, 2014 the night before WrestleMania XXX,
Waltman joined Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and
Kevin Nash at Scott Hall's WWE Hall of Fame induction,
reuniting The Kliq. On the January 19, 2015 episode of
Raw, labelled Raw Reunion, Damien Mizdow appeared
with Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall and Triple H dressed as X-Pac, only for X-Pac to confront him (finding the impersonation funny), until The Miz interrupted them to tell them that Mizdow was only his stunt double, and that the party was over. Waltman appeared again with Hall and Nash, being interrupted by The Ascension, who were attempting to attack them, only to be joined by The APA and The New Age Outlaws in fending off The Ascension.
At Wrestlemania X-Pac along with The New Age Outlaws and Shawn Michaels helped Triple H win his match against Sting.