Joshua Harter (February 4, 1982) is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Chris Sabin. He is best known for his time with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), as one half of the former TNA World Tag Team Champions with partner Alex Shelley as The Motor City Machine Guns.
Harter began training as a wrestler in Michigan at the NWA Great Lakes Pro Wrestling School. After the school began experiencing difficulties, he travelled to Windsor, Ontario and completed his training under Scott D'Amore and "Amazing" N8 Mattson at the Can-Am Wrestling School. He debuted in 2000 after four months training as "Chris Sabin", and began working for D'Amore's Border City Wrestling promotion and for independent promotions in Michigan.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2002–2015)
Singles Run (2003–2007)
Sabin joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2003 as a heel and won the TNA X Division Championship. His reign ended after three months when he lost to Michael Shane in the first ever Ultimate X match on August 20. On September 3 of that year, Sabin, now a face, won the 2003 Super X Cup, thus becoming the number one contender to the X Division Championship. He regained the X Division Championship on January 7, 2004, defeating Shane, Christopher Daniels and Low Ki in the second Ultimate X match.After returning from injury, Sabin took part in the World X Cup in May 2004, forming Team TNA with Jerry Lynn, Christopher Daniels and Elix Skipper. On May 26, Team USA defeated Team Mexico, Team Canada and Team Japan in a two-hour pay-per-view event which saw the teams fight one another in a variety of matches. The finals saw Sabin wrestle the Canadian Petey Williams and the Mexican Héctor Garza in an Ultimate X match, which Sabin won when he retrieved a large red "X" which had been suspended above the ring on steel cables. For the remainder of 2004, Sabin contended for the X Division Championship. He won another Ultimate X match on November 9 to win a title shot at Petey Williams. At Turning Point 2004 on December 5, however, Williams was able to secure a victory with the help of a pair of brass knuckles. Sabin got another shot at the title at Final Resolution on January 16, 2005, in an Ultimate X match with Williams and A.J. Styles, but the match and title were won by Styles.Throughout 2005, Sabin feuded with Michael Shane, by now wrestling as Matt Bentley. In September 2005 he began a feud with Shocker that was killed when Shocker was unable to return from Mexico for their scheduled match at Unbreakable on September 11, instead Sabin faced Petey Williams and won after hitting the Cradleshock.
In 2006, Sabin mostly teamed up with Sonjay Dutt, to great effect, beating Team Canada in a number one contenders tag team tournament on TNA Impact!. At the Against All Odds pay-per-view event Sabin and Dutt were beaten by Chris Harris and James Storm (America's Most Wanted) in a bout for the NWA World Tag Team Championships. On March 11, Chris Sabin defeated Alex Shelley and Sonjay Dutt in a 3-way match to represent both the US in the "International X Division Showcase" at Destination X 2006 as well as joining Jay Lethal on Team TNA in the upcoming World X Cup Tournament. Later that month, Sabin was hospitalized with a severe concussion after taking four blows to the head during a show for the Northeast Wrestling (NEW) promotion on March 25 in Bristol, Connecticut. He was released after undergoing a CAT scan. Sabin acted as the captain of Team USA at World X Cup 2006, defeating Puma of Team Mexico, earning 3 points, and on May 18, defeating Petey Williams in a sudden death tiebreaker singles match, winning the World X Cup for Team USA. On the June 1, 2006 edition of TNA Impact!, Sabin rushed to the ring to clear out Alex Shelley and Kevin Nash, who were attacking Jay Lethal in another of Nash's X Division beatdowns. Nash would avoid a physical confrontation with Sabin, only to be challenged to a match by Sabin at Slammiversary 2006 which Nash was able to win. Sabin later became the number one contender for the TNA X Division Championship by defeating Alex Shelley at TNA Hard Justice 2006. Sabin would enter into an angle with fellow X-Division wrestlers to promote the Jackass: Number Two movie by imitating stunts performed on the film to display the lighter side of the X-Division, something then champion Senshi disapproved of. Since then, Sabin would attempt to take Senshi's title on several occasions. On October 22, 2006, Sabin defeated Senshi after using an inside cradle to become a 3 time X-Division Champion at Bound for Glory 2006. On the November 2, 2006 edition of TNA Impact!, he lost the title to A.J. Styles in the Fight for the Right tournament. Prior to the match, Sabin showed signs of turning heel when he expressed his disdain for X-Division pioneer, and face, Jerry Lynn for doubting his focus in an interview with Christy Hemme. Sabin completed his heel turn two weeks later when he refused to help fellow X-Division star Sonjay Dutt from an assault from Samoa Joe. Sabin went on to challenge Christopher Daniels at Genesis for the X-division championship but failed. After winning a triple-threat match against former allies Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal for a number one contender's match, he once again challenged Daniels at Turning Point but lost. At Final Resolution 2007, Sabin won the X Division Championship from then champion Christopher Daniels in a triple threat match which also involved Jerry Lynn. Sabin went on to feud with Lynn over the title; defeating him at Against All Odds 2007 by using the ring ropes for leverage. At Destination X, Sabin defeated Lynn in a two out of three falls match to retain the X Division Championship. After the match, however, a masked man, who was later revealed to be Christopher Daniels, attacked both Sabin and Lynn. At Lockdown Sabin retained his title against Alex Shelley, Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, and Shark Boy in a Six Sides of Steel Xscape match. At Sacrifice he retained his title against Sonjay Dutt, and Jay Lethal, by pinning Dutt. Sabin lost his title at Slammiversary, however, to Lethal. Sabin received a rematch on Impact! against Lethal and Samoa Joe, but Sabin was pinned after Joe hit a Muscle Buster.
Motor City Machine Guns (2007–2012)
In the summer of 2007 Sabin formed a tag team with Alex Shelley, known as the Motor City Machine Guns. The two had been teaming in several independent promotions prior to their formation as a team in TNA. Sabin and Shelley started a feud with Team 3D, turning face, which stemmed from Team 3D constantly attacking the X division every week. He competed in TNA's World X Cup as a part of Team USA/TNA along with Alex Shelley and went undefeated as a tag team throughout winning two tag team matches and the 12 man elimination tag team match.
Sabin and Shelley turned heel, when, after a match with B.G. James and Eric Young, Sabin slapped James in the face. Sabin and Shelley lost a TNA World Tag Team Championship match at Turning Point to Beer Money, Inc. Sabin and Shelley turned face then joined The Frontline. During December 2008 Sabin qualified for the finals in the X Division title tournament after defeating Sonjay Dutt and Kiyoshi. On January 11, 2009, at the Genesis pay-per-view, Sabin was defeated by his tag team partner Alex Shelley for the X Division title. Sabin and Shelley floated through various storylines, not seen or heard for a while. Sabin and Shelley eventually began popping up in the crowd with various signs, such as "Yes, we still work here". Sabin and Shelley would then be given their own broadcast table and would occasionally do commentary for various matches. On the October 22 edition of Impact!, Sabin and Shelley would win an Ultimate X match against Lethal Consequences to become the number one contenders for the TNA World Tag Team Championship. On the October 29 edition of Impact!, Sabin suffered a concussion during a match with Team 3D after landing on his head, but it was announced he was not injured. At Turning Point The British Invasion (Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus) defeated Sabin and Shelley and Beer Money, Inc. in a three-way match to retain the TNA Tag Team Titles. The following month at Final Resolution the British Invasion defeated Sabin and Shelley to once again retain their titles. At Destination X Sabin and Shelley defeated Generation Me (Jeremy Buck and Max Buck) in an Ultimate X match to earn another shot at the TNA World Tag Team Championship. Sabin and Shelley received their title shot on the April 12 edition of Impact!, but were defeated by World Tag Team Champion Matt Morgan and Amazing Red, who replaced the injured Hernandez in the match. The following month at Sacrifice the Motor City Machine Guns defeated Beer Money, Inc. and Team 3D in a three-way match to earn another shot at the Tag Team Championship. On July 11 at Victory Road the Motor City Machine Guns defeated Beer Money, Inc. to win the vacant TNA World Tag Team Championship for the first time. After Victory Road the Motor City Machine Guns entered a Best of Five Series with Beer Money, Inc., contested for the TNA World Tag Team Championship. Beer Money won the first two matches, a ladder match and a Street Fight, after knocking their opponents out with beer bottles. However, Sabin and Shelley came back to win the two following matches, a steel cage match and an Ultimate X match, to even the score to 2–2 and set up a deciding match for the August 12 edition of Impact!. On the August 12 edition of Impact! the Motor City Machine Guns defeated Beer Money, Inc. in a Two Out of Three Falls match to win the Best of Five Series and retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship. The following month at No Surrender, the Motor City Machine Guns retained their titles in a match against Generation Me. After the match Generation Me turned heel by attacking the Machine Guns and injuring Shelley.
Injuries and Championship reigns (2012–2013)
Sabin made his first appearance since Shelley's departure from TNA on the live May 31 episode of Impact Wrestling, unsuccessfully challenging Austin Aries for the X Division Championship. On the June 14 episode of Impact Wrestling, Sabin unsuccessfully challenged Aries for the X Division Championship in an Ultimate X match, which also included Zema Ion, during which Sabin appeared to injure his left knee. The following day, it was announced that Sabin had torn his left ACL during the match. On the July 5 episode of Impact Wrestling, Sabin returned to talk about his injury, but was interrupted and eventually attacked by TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode. Sabin underwent surgery on his ACL the following day.
Sabin returned to Impact Wrestling on May 2, 2013, defeating Sonjay Dutt and Zema Ion in a number one contender's match for the X Division Championship. Sabin received his title shot on the May 16 episode of Impact Wrestling, but was defeated by defending champion Kenny King in a three-way match, also involving Petey Williams. On June 2 at Slammiversary XI, Sabin defeated King and Suicide in an Ultimate X match to win his fifth X Division Championship. Afterwards, Hulk Hogan came out and announced to Sabin that sometime during the summer he may trade in the X Division title for a World Heavyweight Championship match. On the June 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, he lost the X Division title to an impostor Suicide (who was later revealed to be Austin Aries) in a three-way match, which also included Kenny King, but defeated Aries and the newly christened Manik the following week, to regain the title for a record-tying sixth time. On the July 11 episode of Impact Wrestling, Sabin vacated the title in exchange for a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The following week, Sabin defeated Bully Ray on the Destination X episode of Impact Wrestling, to win the World Heavyweight Championship, making him TNA's sixth Triple Crown Champion in the process. However, Sabin though it was too soon to give him the title. On August 15 at Impact Wrestling: Hardcore Justice, Sabin lost the World Heavyweight Championship back to Ray in his first title defense, contested inside a steel cage, following interference from Mr. Anderson and Tito Ortiz.
Storyline with Velvet Sky (2013–2014)
On the September 19 episode of Impact Wrestling, Sabin turned heel after he attacked X Division Champion Manik after a match before being chased off by Jeff Hardy. The following week, Sabin unsuccessfully challenged Manik for his title. On October 20 at Bound for Glory, Sabin defeated Austin Aries, Jeff Hardy, Manik, and Samoa Joe in an Ultimate X Match to win the X Division Championship for a record-breaking seventh time.
Sabin lost the X Division title to Austin Aries at the November 23, 2013 Impact Wrestling tapings (airing December 12), but then won it back in a rematch at the December 5, 2013 tapings (airing January 2, 2014) for his record breaking eighth reign. However, he lost the title against Aries on TNA Impact Wrestling:Genesis, on January 16, 2014, after Velvet Sky turned on him. During the TNA Maximum Impact tour, Sabin attacked Sky, aligned himself with Alpha Female. Then, he disappeared from TV until May 9, 2014, when his departure from the promotion was confirmed.
Ring of Honor (2003–2010)
Sabin made his debut for Ring of Honor on June 14, 2003, in a four-way match, won by Homicide. He would wrestle for the company sporadically before leaving in February 2004]]. He would return on November 4, 2005, to unsuccessfully challenge Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Championship. He returned to ROH along with tag team partner Alex Shelley on March 30, 2007, following the Briscoe Brothers winning the ROH World Tag Team Championship. The two challenged Jay Briscoe for a shot at the title on April 28 in Chicago, then attacked him after he accepted. The two would ultimately lose the match and leave the company. They also worked for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and challenged for the PWG World Tag Team Championship, although they never won. In April 2008 Sabin and Shelley returned to ROH, losing to The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black) and defeating the Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark) on the 18 and 19 respectively. In August 2008 Sabin and Shelley once again returned to ROH, wrestling Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson to a 25-minute time limit draw and losing to Kevin Steen and El Generico on the 1st and 2nd respectively. They were scheduled to return to ROH on October 24 and 25, but were pulled from the events by TNA and replaced by The Latin American Xchange. On February 13, 2010, Ring of Honor announced at their 8th Anniversary Show that the Motor City Machine Guns would return to the company on May 8 in New York City. On May 8 the Motor City Machine Guns were defeated by the ROH World Tag Team Champions Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli) via disqualification, when the Briscoe Brothers interfered in the match.
Pro Wrestling Zero and New Japan (2006–2010)
On August 25, 2006 at Korauken Hall's ZERO-1 MAX show, Sabin and Alex Shelley became ZERO-1 MAX International Lightweight Tag Team Champions, when they defeated former champions, Ikuto Hidaka and Minoru Fujita. They held the titles for nearly two years, before dropping them to Minoru Fujita, and his new tag team partner, Takuya Sugawara, on April 6, 2008.
On January 4, 2009, Sabin and Shelley defeated No Limit (Tetsuya Naito and Yujiro) at New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom III to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. After three successful title defenses, two of which took place in TNA, Sabin and Shelley lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles to Apollo 55 (Prince Devitt and Ryusuke Taguchi) on July 5, 2009, at New Japan Pro Wrestling's Circuit 2009 New Japan Soul. On November 8, 2010, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that the Motor City Machine Guns would be returning to the promotion the following month, competing at events on December 11 and 12. On December 11 the Motor City Machine Guns were defeated by No Limit in their New Japan return match.The following day they defeated Apollo 55 in the fourth match between the two teams.
International Wrestling Cartel (2003-2014)
Sabin had his debut match in IWC on November 1, 2003, at IWC November Pain defeating Fabulous in a singles match. On May 8, 2004, Sabin participated in the third IWC Super Indy Tournament defeating Glenn Spectre in the first round, CM Punk in the semi-finals and Alex Shelley in the finals to win the tournament and become IWC Super Indy Champion as a reward. He successfully defended the championships against several opponents (2 times against CM Punk and 1 time against Sterling James Keenan, Carlton Kaz, Jimmy Jacobs, Alex Shelley and John McChesney) and held it for a total of 211 days before having to vacate it due to an injury suffered at a TNA event. Sabin continued to make appearances at IWC in the following years; as of today, his last one was in a semi-final match of the IWC Super Indy XIII Tournament, where he lost to Facade.
Return to Ring of Honor (2015–2019)
Sabin would return to Ring of Honor in early 2015 during some of their TV tapings. On the April 25 episode of Ring of Honor television, Sabin was revealed to be a member of the Knights of the Rising Dawn (KRD) a group that have been interfering in championship matches in Ring of Honor in early 2015. He helped The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) defeat reDRagon to become the new ROH World Tag Team Champions. On the May 9 episode of Ring of Honor, Sabin made his in-ring return to ROH in a match against Kyle O'Reilly. Sabin would win the match with help from both Daniels and Kazarian. On February 26, 2016, at the ROH 14th Anniversary Show Sabin turned face betraying The Addiction when he helped Alex Shelley defeat Christopher Daniels, reuniting the Motor City Machine Guns in the process; the following day Shelley and Sabin defeated the Addiction in a tag team match. After becoming the number one contenders for the ROH World Tag Team Championships in May, Sabin and Shelley unsuccessfully challenged The Addiction for the titles atBest In The World 2016 on June 24. On September 30 at ROH All Star Extravaganza VIII they were once again unsuccessful in trying to capture the ROH World Tag Team Championships, this time in a three-way ladder match against the Addiction and The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson), whit the latter team being the winner. On November 19 in England at the second night of the Reach For The Sky 2016 tour, Sabin was defeated by Adam Cole in a match where Cole's ROH World Championship was on the line. On December, Sabin participated in theDecade of Excellence Tournament, thanks to him having his debut in ROH more than ten years since 2016, and the reward for winning the tournament was a future shot at the ROH World Championship; in the first round, he defeated Colt Cabana, but he was then defeated in the semi-finals by Christopher Daniels. Since 2017, Sabin and Alex Shelley created a faction in Ring of Honor called Search And Destroy, composed of themselves and several young talents like Jay White and Jonathan Gresham, facing against other factions in the company like Bullet Club and The Rebellion.
Harter was inspired by Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart and Rob Van Dam calling himself Josh Van Dam as a child. Harter used the money he earned from working at Subway to pay to attend a wrestling school, but also took classes at a community college. Harter and tag team partner Patrick Martin (Alex Shelley) are best friends in real-life, with Harter once joking that Martin was his "heterosexual life mate". Harter plays bass in a band called The High Crusade, which also includes Martin, former TNA wrestler Petey Williams and their friends Adam Tatro and Chris Plumb. The band released their debut album, It’s Not What You Think, on September 7, 2010. His ring name is derived from the character Sabin Rene Figaro from the video game Final Fantasy VI (originally released in America as Final Fantasy III). In 2008, Sabin, along with Alex Shelley, appeared in an episode of MTV MADE, teaching a school boy the basics of professional wrestling. Harter is a big fan of the band 311 and has used songs by the band as his entrance themes on numerous occasions. At Destination X 2007, held on March 11, a day known to the fans of the band as "311 Day", Harter referenced the occasion on his wrist band. He has also mentioned the band on TNA's web program TNA Today.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Bum Rush (Swinging side slam backbreaker)
- Diving leg drop
- Hesitation Dropkick (Running delayed low–angle dropkick to an opponent held in the tree of woe position)
- Leap of Faith (No–handed springboard suicide dive)
- Multiple suplex variations
- Sabin Edge (Iconoclasm)
- Sabalizer (Side slam backbreaker)
- Running arched big boot to a cornered opponent
- Running crucifix powerbomb, usually into the middle turnbuckle
- Suicide dive
- Tilt–a–whirl headscissors takedown
- Spinning sole kick
- Slingshot somersault senton
- Springboard into either a clothesline, a dropkick or a Tornado DDT
- With Alex Shelley
- Finishing moves
- ASCS Rush (Spinning sole kick by Sabin followed by a superkick from Shelley and then finished with a simultaneous jumping enzuigiri by Sabin / Superkick by Shelley combination)
- Made in Detroit (Sitout powerbomb (Sabin) / Sliced Bread #2 (Shelley) combination)
- Powerbomb (Sabin) / Double knee backbreaker (Shelley) combination – 2006–2007
- Skull and Bones (Falling neckbreaker (Sabin) / Crossbody (Shelley) combination)
- Signature moves
- Aided dropkick
- Aided snap swinging neckbreaker
- Aided standing Sliced Bread #2
- Air Raid (Sabin holds an opponent in a fireman's carry while Shelley hits a diving double foot stomp onto the prone opponent followed by Sabin hitting a fireman's carry takeover onto Shelley's knees or the Cradle Shock)
- Backbreaker hold (Sabin) / Diving knee drop (Shelley) combination
- Bullet Point (Baseball slide (Shelley) followed by a Hesitation Dropkick (Sabin) to on an opponent held in the tree of woe position)
- Doomsday dropkick
- Double and stereo enzuigiris to one or two opponents respectively
- Double superkick to a seated or a kneeling opponent
- Inverted STF by Shelley followed by a running dropkick to the face of the opponent by Sabin
- Irish whip by Sabin into a belly to belly suplex by Shelley, suplexing the opponent into his partner held in a tree of woe position
- Kneeling side slam by Sabin followed by a frog splash by Shelley
- Motor City Machine Guns Sandwich (Running arched big boot (Sabin) / Enzuigiri (Shelley) combination to a cornered opponent)
- Reverse STO (Shelley) / Jumping enzuigiri (Sabin) combination
- Spinning leg sweep (Sabin) / Spinning wheel kick (Shelley) combination
- Springboard dropkick by Sabin into a reverse STO by Shelley
- Standing inverted Indian deathlock surfboard by Shelley followed into a springboard diving leg drop to the back of an opponent's head by Sabin
- Thunder Express (Inverted sitout side powerslam (Shelley) / Running cutter (Sabin) combination)
- Finishing moves
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Blue Water Championship Wrestling
- BWCW Cruiserweight Championship (1 time)
- Border City Wrestling
- BCW Can-Am Television Championship (2 times)
- Pro Wrestler of the Year (2007)
- Full Impact Wrestling
- FIW American Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Great Lakes All-Pro Wrestling
- GLAPW Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- International Wrestling Cartel
- IWC Super Indy Championship (1 time)
- IWC Super Indy Tournament (2004)
- Maximum Pro Wrestling
- MXPW Cruiserweight Championship (2 times)
- MXPW Television Championship (1 time)
- Michigan Wrestling League
- MWL Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Florida
- Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup (2005)
- NWA Great Lakes
- NWA Great Lakes Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Great Lakes Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Ontario Championship Wrestling
- Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #28 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2007
- Pro Wrestling Zero1
- NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Alex Shelley
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling / Impact Wrestling
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- TNA X Division Championship (8 times)
- Impact World Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Alex Shelley
- Super X Cup (2003)
- World X Cup (2004) – with Jerry Lynn, Elix Skipper, and Christopher Daniels
- World X Cup (2006) – with Jay Lethal, Alex Shelley, and Sonjay Dutt
- World Wrestling All-Stars
- WWA International Cruiserweight Championship (1 time)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Xtreme Intense Championship Wrestling
- XICW Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- XICW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Truth Martini
- Other titles
- MMWA Marquee Heavyweight Championship
- Chris Sabin at the Internet Movie Database