Sesugh Uhaa (August 22, 1987) is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Apollo Crews. He is currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) where he performs on its SmackDown brand.
He started his career in 2009, originally working under the ring name Uhaa Nation, and made his breakthrough in 2011, when he was signed by the Dragon Gate USA promotion, which also led to him making his first trip to Japan to work for Dragon Gate. In 2015, Uhaa signed with WWE and was assigned to its developmental brand NXT, where he was given the ring name Apollo Crews. He was promoted to WWE's main roster on April 4, 2016. Standing at 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) and weighing 260 lbs (118 kg), Uhaa is known both as a high-flyer and a power wrestler.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 3 In wrestling
- 4 Championships and accomplishments
- 5 External links
Born in Sacramento, California, Uhaa was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and early on fell in love with professional wrestling, becoming a fan of performers such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and especially Kurt Angle. He went to a military high school and began practicing various sports, including amateur wrestling, soccer, football and track and field, as both an outlet and a way to "get away from the military life". While weight training in high school, he was given the nickname "Uhaa Nation", when his coach noted that he was "as strong as a single nation".
Professional wrestling career
In 2009, Uhaa began training professional wrestling under Curtis "Mr." Hughes at his World Wrestling Alliance 4 (WWA4) promotion's training school in Atlanta. After making his wrestling debut under the ring name Uhaa Nation on August 17, 2009, he spent over a year working mainly for small promotions on the Georgian independent circuit, but also made trips to Houston, Texas-based Pro Wrestling Alliance (PWA) and Phenix City, Alabama-based Great Championship Wrestling (GCW), often working with fellow WWA4 trainee AR Fox.
Dragon Gate and affiliates (2011–2012)
On September 9, 2011, Uhaa took part in a tryout seminar held by the Dragon Gate USA promotion. He was immediately signed for appearances for not only Dragon Gate USA, but also its parent promotion, Dragon Gate, and close affiliates Evolve and Full Impact Pro (FIP). He made his wrestling debut for Dragon Gate USA later that same day, defeating Aaron Draven in a squash match. Uhaa made his pay-per-view debut the following day at Untouchable 2011, where he answered Brodie Lee's open challenge and dominated him, before Lee left the ringside area. The following day at the Way of the Ronin 2011 pay-per-view, Uhaa defeated Facade, Flip Kendrick and Sugar Dunkerton in a four-way match. On October 29, Uhaa made his first appearance for Full Impact Pro, when he defeated Jake Manning for FIP Florida Heritage Championship. Uhaa then entered a storyline, where different Dragon Gate USA stables tried to recruit him to join them. On November 30, Uhaa made his Japanese debut for Dragon Gate, during an event produced by the villainous Blood Warriors stable. Uhaa defeated Kotoka in a match that lasted 99 seconds, establishing himself as the newest member of Blood Warriors in the process. For the rest of the tour, which lasted until December 25, Uhaa worked alongside the Blood Warriors stable, winning every one of his matches. At the end of 2011, Dragon Gate USA named Uhaa the Best Newcomer of the year. He also finished second behind Daichi Hashimoto in Wrestling Observer Newsletter's award category for Rookie of the Year.
Upon his return to the United States, Uhaa made his debut for Evolve on January 14, 2012, with a win over Pinkie Sanchez. When the following March, Akira Tozawa took over the leadership of Blood Warriors from Cima and renamed the group Mad Blankey, Uhaa Nation followed along to the renamed stable. On March 29, Uhaa made his first appearance representing Mad Blankey, when he and stablemates Akira Tozawa and BxB Hulk defeated Ronin (Chuck Taylor, Johnny Gargano and Rich Swann) and D.U.F. (Arik Cannon, Pinkie Sanchez and Sami Callihan) in a three-way trios match. However, during the match Uhaa suffered a knee injury, which, according to his physician, could sideline him for up to a year. Uhaa returned to the ring on February 1, 2013, at Full Impact Pro's Everything Burns iPPV, where he successfully defended the FIP Florida Heritage Championship against Chasyn Rance. On March 2, Uhaa returned to Japan and Dragon Gate, when he and BxB Hulk defeated Don Fujii and Masaaki Mochizuki for the Open the Twin Gate Championship. They lost the title to Shingo Takagi and Yamato on May 5. On May 11, Uhaa was pinned for the first time in a Dragon Gate ring, when he was eliminated by Jimmy Susumu in the first round of the 2013 King of Gate tournament. On July 28 at Enter the Dragon 2013, Dragon Gate USA's fourth anniversary event, Uhaa suffered his first pinfall loss in the promotion, when he was defeated by Anthony Nese. On August 9, Uhaa lost the FIP Florida Heritage Championship to Gran Akuma. Back in Dragon Gate, Mad Blankey turned on Uhaa Nation on August 30, after he refused to wrestle Akira Tozawa, who had recently been kicked out of the group. Uhaa then formed a new partnership with Tozawa and Shingo Takagi. On September 12, the three were joined by Masato Yoshino, Ricochet and Shachihoko Boy to form a new stable, which was on October 6 named Monster Express.
World Wrestling Entertainment
In October 2014, Uhaa took part in a WWE tryout camp, resulting in him being offered a developmental contract. Starting on December 31, 2014, multiple sources reported that Uhaa had come to terms on a contract with WWE. Uhaa reported to the WWE Performance Center, the home of their NXT developmental brand, on April 6, 2015. WWE officially announced Uhaa as part of a new class of NXT recruits in a press release on April 13. Uhaa made his first televised appearance on the May 6 episode of NXT, signing an NXT contract in a segment with William Regal. Uhaa started working NXT house shows the following month, retaining the Uhaa Nation ring name.
On August 5, it was announced that Uhaa, now working under the new ring name "Apollo Crews", would be making his televised NXT debut on August 22 at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn. Crews made his debut at the August 13 tapings, which would air after NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, defeating Martin Stone. At NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, Crews defeated Tye Dillinger in his official debut match. At the October 8 tapings of NXT, Crews won a battle royal to become the #1 contender to the NXT Championship. Crews received his title shot against Finn Bálor on October 22, winning the match, but not the title, by disqualification, when he was attacked by Baron Corbin, who held a grudge against Crews for eliminating him from the #1 contender's battle royal. The rivalry between Crews and Corbin led to a match at NXT TakeOver: London, which Corbin won. Crews had a small feud with Elias Samson after he saved Johnny Gargano from Elias' assault on the March 23, 2016, NXT. The two would subsequently have a match on the April 6 NXT, which was won by Crews.
Main roster (2016–present)
On April 4, 2016, Crews made his main roster debut on Raw, defeating Tyler Breeze. Crews then entered a feud with the Social Outcasts, defeating each member of the stable, culminating in a match on the April 18 Raw. Prior to the match, Crews agreed to join the Social Outcasts if any member of the stable could defeat him. As part of the agreement, the Social Outcasts also agreed to leave Crews alone if he won the match. Crews defeated Heath Slater to end the feud. Crews suffered his first loss on the main roster on the May 23 Raw, losing to Chris Jericho in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. The loss was blamed on Sheamus' pre-match attack on Crews, starting a feud between the two. Crews and Sheamus faced off at Money in the Bank, where Crews was victorious.
On July 19, Crews was drafted to the SmackDown brand in the 2016 WWE draft. On the July 26 SmackDown, Crews won a battle royal to earn a spot in a six-pack challenge to determine the #1 contender to Dean Ambrose's WWE World Championship at SummerSlam. Later that same episode, Crews was defeated by Dolph Ziggler in the six-pack challenge, which also included AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt and John Cena. The following week, Crews defeated Corbin and Kalisto to become the #1 contender to the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Crews received his title shot on August 21 at SummerSlam, but was defeated by The Miz. Crews defeated The Miz in a non-title match at the 2016 Tribute to the Troops, which led to a title match on the December 20 SmackDown, where The Miz retained his title. On January 29, 2017, at Royal Rumble, Crews took part in his first Royal Rumble match, entering as number 22 and being eliminated by Luke Harper. In early 2017, Crews teamed up with Kalisto for a feud against Dolph Ziggler, after Ziggler had turned on Kalisto. At Elimination Chamber, Crews and Kalisto defeated Ziggler in a two-on-one handicap match with Crews scoring the pinfall. Following the match, Ziggler attacked the victors, stomping on Crews' ankle after placing it in a chair. This led to a chairs match on the February 28 SmackDown, where Ziggler was victorious.
On April 10, Crews was moved to the Raw brand as part of the Superstar Shake-Up.
Titus Worldwide (2017-2019)
While on Raw, Crews soon formed with a tag team with Titus O'Neil, a former tag team wrestler. They soon joined with Dana Brooke and introduced their tag team brand as Titus Worldwide. They debuted as early as August 11, 2017 in a house show held during the SummerSlam Heatwave tour. During the tour, Titus Worldwide pursued the Raw Tag Team Championship held by The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus). During the course of tour, Titus Worldwide was unsuccessful in three consecutive title matches in defeating the reigning champions. On the August 25 WWE Live house show, Titus Worldwide teamed with Heath Slater, Kalisto, R-Truth, Rhyno in a ten-man tag match, defeating Curt Hawkins, Goldust, The Club (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) & The Miztourage (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel). Titus Worldwide and their allies Slater, Kalisto, R-Truth and Rhyno repeatedly defeated Hawkins, Goldust, The Club & The Miztourage and the following two house shows on August 26 and August 27. During the September 29 and September 30 house shows, Titus Worldwide defeated Dash Wilder & Elias. They team had their first televised match during the October 16 episode of Monday Night RAW, teaming with Jason Jordan and Elias & The Club (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows).
Titus Worldwide returned on the January 8, 2018 episode of Monday Night RAW, where they picked up a significant victory over the vaunted Raw Tag Team Champions The Bar in a non-title tag team match. Titus Worldwide repeated this success in a rematch held on the following week's episode of RAW. Seven days later on the January 22 episode of RAW, Titus Worldwide wrestled a tag match against their previous allies Heath Slater & Rhyno ending in no-contest. On the January 29 episode of RAW, Titus Worldwide met The Bar in a title match for the RAW Tag Team Championship but did not succeed in winning the titles. Titus Worldwide would continue their title hunt feud against The Bar with a non-title match on the February 19 episode of RAW, defeating the Tag Team Champions. This led to a title match held on February 25 at Elimination Chamber, losing to the reigning champions. During the February 26 episode of RAW, Titus Worldwide received a title rematch structured with Best Two Out Of Three Falls rules, ending with The Bar successfully securing two victories against their challengers. On the March 12 episode of RAW, Titus Worldwide competed in a #1 Contendership Battle Royal for the RAW Tag Team Championship, resulting in Braun Strowman single-handedly defeating all competing teams. Returning for the March 19 episode of RAW, Titus Worldwide lost to The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson). During the month of March, Titus Worldwide met The Bar in a series of house shows during the Road To WrestleMania tour, resulting in a succession of failed attempts to win the Tag Team titles.
During an April house show, Titus Worldwide in a triple threat tag team match against The Club (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) and the reigning RAW Tag Team Champions The Bar. Neither Titus Worldwide nor The Club succeeded in winning the titles. In an attempt to re-enter the tag title picture, Titus Worldwide returned during the April 9 episode of RAW to enter a #1 contendership qualifying match against the team of The Deleters Of Worlds (Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy). After time spent appearing on the house shows, Titus Worldwide returned on the April 23 episode of RAW, losing to Dolph Ziggler and the returning Drew McIntyre. They made their only RAW appearance of the following month on May 7, teaming with No Way Jose in a tag match lost to Baron Corbin & The Revival. Returning the following month for the June 4 episode of RAW Titus Worldwide entered another #1 Contendership Battle Royal for the Tag Team titles. The match was eventually won by The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel). On the July 16 episode of RAW, Titus Worldwide lost to the former NXT tag team The Authors Of Pain (Akam & Rezar). On August 13, Titus Worldwide teamed with fellow RAW draftee Bobby Roode in a successful tag match, defeating Mojo Rawley & The Authors Of Pain. During the August 20 episode of RAW, Titus Worldwide lost to The Authors of Pain in a rematch.
- Finishing moves
- As Apollo Crews
- Gorilla press drop followed by a standing Moonsault and or standing Shooting Star Press
- Frog Splash
- The Chariot (Spin-out powerbomb)
- As Uhaa Nation
- Standing shooting star press
- Uhaa Combination (Gorilla press drop followed by a standing moonsault followed by a standing shooting star press)
- As Apollo Crews
- Signature moves
- All Out Assault (Triple powerbomb)
- Delayed vertical suplex
- Rolling German Suplexes
- Fallaway Samoan Drop
- Jumping Lariat
- Pop Up Neckbreaker
- Pop Up Powerslam
- Suicide dive
- "One Man Nation"
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Dragon Gate USA
- Best Newcomer (2011)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #155 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2012
- World Wrestling Entertainment