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Daniel "Dan" Louis Matha (June 8, 1988) is an American professional wrestler currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment where he appears on NXT.

Early life

Matha was born in Erie, Pennsylvania to Dale Matha and Julianna Ward. His father later remarried and Matha became a stepson to his father's wife Melissa, and stepbrother to her son. Matha graduated from Erie McDowell High School where he played football as an offensive tackle. Matha was named first team Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAAA All-State each of his final two seasons. Matha lettered in wrestling, yet continued to play football as an offensive lineman while studying at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, majoring in administration of justice. Matha later found worked as a sales consultant at Dave Hallman Chevrolet.

Standing 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) and weighing 315 lbs (143 kg), Matha earned a tryout with the Cincinnati Bengals in May 2013. After not making it onto the team, Matha signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in January 2014. After not finishing the end of the season, the Alouettes cut Matha the following May.

Quoted as saying "It was like...this chapter of your life is done.", Matha turned his attention elsewhere, devising a new plan for his life and career. His next move was to plan how to begin a career in professional wrestling.

Professional wrestling career

Matha first trained at Ohio Valley Wrestling.

World Wrestling Entertainment (2015–present)

Sometime in September 2015, Matha signed a contract with WWE and reported to its training program NXT.

NXT (2016–present)

Matha's first match was on March 5, during Day 1 of NXT Live! at the Arnold Classic tour. He was defeated by Kishan Raftar. On March 6, Day 2 of the NXT Live! at the Arnold Classic tour, Matha wrestled two matches, including a losing singles match against Aiden English; before he teamed with Dylan Miley in a winning tag team match against Aiden English & Simon Gotch. On March 16 at NXT, Matha won his first singles match, defeating Alexander Wolfe. The following month on April 8, Matha won his second NXT singles match, defeating Christopher Girard. From April 30 until May 12, Matha suffered a string of defeats against competitors including Patrick Clark, Josh Woods and Angelo Dawkins. Matha continued through the months of April, May, June and July 2016 in singles matches, facing other NXT rookies including Steve Cutler, Oney Lorcan, and Bronson Mathews. He wrestled twice in single matches during September and October against Angelo Dawkins and Oney Lorcan. On September 30, Matha won a 15-Man Battle Royal. Matha returned on October 21 in his only match of the month against Lince Dorado. On November 11 during the WrestleMania 33 On-Sale Party event, Matha wrestled against Patrick Clark. During the month of December, Matha finished his rookie year in three house show matches, against Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander and Roderick Strong. He returned on January 14, 2017 in a match against Wesley Blake. On February 11, Matha wrestled against Blake's tag team partner Buddy Murphy in a singles match. Six days later on February 17, Matha entered a Battle Royal won by Patrick Clark. He finished out February with singles matches against Oney Lorcan and Buddy Murphy. During the following month, Matha continued wrestling in singles matches against Buddy Murphy, Kassius Ohno, Montez Ford and Patrick Clark. He won his first singles match on March 11, defeating Cezar Bononi. During mid-April, Matha wrestled in matches against Kassius Ohno, Andrade Almas and Kona Reeves. Returning on July 6, Matha teamed with The Velveteen Dream in a tag match against Drew McIntyre & No Way Jose. Two days later on July 8, Matha wrestled against the returning Drew McIntyre. Three months later, Matha returned to NXT on October 19 in a match against Johnny Gargano. He went on to wrestle in singles matches against Gargano and No Way Jose. He finished the month with a victory on October 27, defeating fellow NXT rookie Tian Bing. During the first week of November, Matha scored victories in singles competition over Nick Miller and Raul Mendoza. His last match of the month was against Kassius Ohno. On December 7, Matha won a victory over Lio Rush. He later defeated Cezar Bononi on December 9 and newcomer Chad Lail (formerly known as Gunner in other promotions) on December 14. Matha also wrestled against Danny Burch and Kassius Ohno during the final month of 2017.

Returning in January 2018, Matha scored victories over Cheng Yuxiang and Raul Mendoza. He also wrestled members of the tag team Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight) in individual matches. He wrestled twice more against Heavy Machinery in matches during the February 3 edition of NXT. Matha also wrestled in singles matches against Montez Ford, Angelo Dawkins and Adam Cole. During early March, Matha wrestled against Amanpreet Singh, No Way Jose and Raul Mendoza in singles matches. By March 16, Matha was involved in tag team matches, first teaming with Kona Reeves against Heavy Machinery. On St. Patrick's Day, Matha teamed with Wolfgang against members of team SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain). Seven days later on March 24, Matha reunited with Kona Reeves in a tag match against The Undisputed ERA (Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly). With Kona Reeves, Matha wrestled against Christopher Dijak & Mark Andrews on March 29 and ended the month with a match on March 31 against Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford). During the 2018 WrestleMania Axxess weekend beginning on April 5, Matha entered the WWE United Kingdom Championship Invitational where he was eliminated in the first round by Drew Gulak. He later entered the 50-man battle royal on April 27 known as the WWE Greatest Royal Rumble, eventually won by Braun Strowman.

EVOLVE Wrestling (2018)

Due to WWE's business relationship with EVOLVE Wrestling, several NXT wrestlers including Matha, were allowed to participate in an independent show produced by Evolve. On October 28 at EVOLVE 114, Matha debuted in a four-way match against independent wrestlers Adrian Alanis, Liam Gray and Shawn Dean.

Personal life

In addition to his collegiate background and football tenure, Matha also competed in physique contests.

In wrestling

  • Finishers and Signature Moves
  • Chokeslam into Backbreaker
  • Torture Rack
  • Nicknames
  • Tag Teams and Stables
  • Entrance themes

Championships and accomplishments

External links

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Unassigned personnel

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Commentators & Interviewers

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Ring announcers

Dasha FuentesJoJoGreg HamiltonMike RomeTony Chimel

Referees

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NXT Trainers

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General Managers

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Performance Center Recruits (October 2018)

Chelsea GreenDaniel VidotHumberto CarrilloJordan OmogbehinLuis MartinezMatt RiddleMia Yim

Tryout winners in Saudi Arabia (April 2018)

Hussain AldagalMansoor Al-ShehailFaisal KurdiNasser BawazirKhalid AlhothaliAbdullah AlmagrabiFaisal AllabboudyAsaad Alshareef

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