Chad Lail (June 6, 1982) is an American professional wrestler, bodybuilder and actor previously signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on the Raw brand under the name Jaxson Ryker. Lail is also known for his five-year tenure in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) under the ring name Gunner.
Professional wrestling career
After serving in the Iraq War, Phill Shatter signed with NWA Anarchy along with fellow Iraq War veteran Truitt Fields. Although they began competing as a tag team, Shatter eventually turned on Fields and joined manager Jeff G. Bailey's NWA Elite table.
Shatter feuded with Iceberg before receiving a championship match against NWA Anarchy Heavyweight Champion Ace Rockwell. Shatter won the match and the title.
Shatter later won the NWA National Heavyweight Championship from Crusher Hansen on January 17, 2009, and is currently the longest reigning champion in the title's history.
Ring of Honor (2010)
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2009–2015)
At the June 23, 2009, tapings of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's Impact! television show, Shatter made his TNA debut, along with Mikael Judas, as TNA's on-air security. On the July 29, 2010 edition of TNA Impact! taping, Shatter, now using the name Gunner and Mikael Judas, using the name Murphy, came out after an altercation involving Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson with Matt Morgan, and attacked Hardy and Anderson, thus turning heel. They then teamed with Morgan in a handicap match, where they were defeated by Hardy and Anderson. After appearing with Morgan the following week, Gunner and Murphy's angle with him was discontinued and they went back to being regular security guards. On the October 21 edition of Impact! Gunner and Murphy aligned themselves with Jeff Jarrett and helped him beat down Samoa Joe. At Turning Point Gunner and Murphy interfered in a match between Jarrett and Joe, helping Jarrett pick up the win. On the following edition of Impact! Gunner and Murphy made their in–ring return, losing to Samoa Joe in a handicap match. At the December 9 tapings of Xplosion Gunner and Murphy picked up their first win in TNA, defeating Ink Inc. (Jesse Neal and Shannon Moore) in a tag team match. On February 13, 2011, at Against All Odds, Gunner and Murphy wrestled their first TNA PPV match, a six-man tag team match, where they teamed with their Immortal stablemate Rob Terry in a losing effort against James Storm, Robert Roode and Scott Steiner.
In February both Gunner and Murphy signed two–year contracts with TNA, which saw them moved from their roles as just security guards into the active roster. On the February 24 edition of Impact!, Gunner and Murphy defeated Eric Young and Orlando Jordan to earn their first shot at the TNA World Tag Team Championship, held by Beer Money, Inc. (James Storm and Robert Roode). They would receive their shot at the title on the following edition of Impact!, but were defeated by Beer Money, Inc. On March 14 at the tapings of the March 17 edition of Impact!, Gunner defeated Murphy and Rob Terry in a three-way match to win the vacant TNA Television Championship. He would lose the title to Eric Young on May 17, at the tapings of the May 26 edition of Impact Wrestling. On the June 9 edition of Impact Wrestling, Gunner pinned World Heavyweight Champion Sting in a tag team main event, in which he teamed with Mr. Anderson against Sting with Eric Young. The following week, Gunner asked new TNA World Heavyweight Champion Mr. Anderson for a shot at his title and eventually put him through a table, when he declined. In the main event of the show, Gunner defeated Anderson in a non-title match. From June to September, Gunner was one of the twelve participants in the Bound for Glory Series to determine the number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. When the group stage of the tournament concluded, Gunner finished in the top four and thus advanced to the finals at No Surrender along with James Storm, Robert Roode and his Immortal stablemate, Bully Ray. On September 11 at No Surrender, Gunner was eliminated from the tournament, when he was defeated by Bobby Roode via submission. Gunner then began feuding with Immortal's former referee, Garett Bischoff, losing to him via disqualification, following interference from Ric Flair, on the November 10 edition of Impact Wrestling. This was followed by Bischoff picking up two pinfall victories over Gunner on the November 17 and December 8 editions of Impact Wrestling where he would injure Garett by piledriving him into the concrete floor. He would do the same to Jesse Neal and Douglas Williams on the December 15 and 29 editions of Impact Wrestling. On the January 5, 2012, edition of Impact Wrestling, Gunner fought Rob Van Dam to a double count out but failed to injure him after Van Dam retaliated and back body dropped him onto the concrete. Three days later at Genesis, Gunner defeated Van Dam after dropping him onto the concrete floor with a DDT. On February 12 at Against All Odds, Gunner, with Eric Bischoff in his corner, defeated Garett Bischoff, who had Hulk Hogan in his corner, in a singles match. On April 15 at Lockdown, Gunner represented Team Eric Bischoff in the annual Lethal Lockdown match, where the opposing team was led by Garett Bischoff, who ended up winning the match for his team. On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Gunner unsuccessfully challenged Devon for the TNA Television Championship. After Impact Wrestling, Gunner took hiatus from television. On May 17, Lail announced that he had signed a new three-year contract with TNA.
Singles competition (2012–2013)
After a three-month hiatus, Gunner returned to Impact Wrestling on July 26, 2012 when he, along with Kid Kash, confronted and eventually attacked the debuting Chavo Guerrero, Jr., before he was saved by Hernandez. On August 12 at Hardcore Justice, Gunner and Kash were defeated in a tag team match by Guerrero and Hernandez. Gunner and Kash faced Guerrero and Hernandez, now the TNA World Tag Team Champions, in a rematch on the October 18 episode of Impact Wrestling, but were again defeated. After another hiatus, Gunner returned on January 12, 2013, at TNA One Night Only's Joker's Wild event, teaming with Crimson in a losing effort against Christian York and James Storm after Storm hit the Last Call on Gunner. The pay-per-view was aired on May 3.
Teaming and feuding with James Storm (2013–2014)
Gunner returned to Impact Wrestling on May 23 attacking Robbie E and Shark Boy and being chosen as James Storm's partner in his four-way elimination match for the TNA World Tag Team Championship at Slammiversary XI, thus turning face. On June 2 at the pay-per-view, Gunner and Storm won the match over Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian), Bobby Roode and Austin Aries, and defending champions Chavo Guerrero, Jr. and Hernandez to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship. Gunner and Storm returned on the August 8 episode of Impact Wrestling, teaming up with ODB to defeat The BroMans (Jessie Godderz and Robbie E) and Mickie James in a six-person mixed tag team match. On October 20 at Bound for Glory, Gunner and Storm lost the World Tag Team Championship to The BroMans in their first title defense, ending their reign at 140 days. Gunner and Storm received their rematch on the October 31 episode of Impact Wrestling, but were again defeated by the BroMans.
On the December 12 episode of Impact Wrestling, Gunner competed in the Feast or Fired match where he was one of the four participants to retrieve a briefcase, which was revealed to contain a match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship the following week. Gunner put the briefcase on the line against Storm on the December 26 episode of Impact Wrestling, but the match ended in a double count out, with Gunner retaining the case. Gunner then retained the case again against Storm at Genesis, where the case was suspended from a pole. Gunner and Storm finally reunited at the January 30, 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling, when they were challenged by Bad Influence for Gunner's case, which he would retain. On the February 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, Gunner cashed in his Feast or Fired briefcase for a TNA World Heavyweight Championship match but lost to Magnus, after Storm turned on Gunner and hit him with a Last Call superkick as Gunner went for a diving headbutt. On March 9 at Lockdown, Gunner defeated Storm in a Steel Cage Last Man Standing match. On the March 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, after Storm berated Gunner's father, Gunner attacked Storm, but Storm managed to turn it around, handcuffing him to the middle rope and threatening Gunner's father at ringside. Storm walked away, but returned to smash a beer bottle over his father's head. On April 27, 2014, Gunner defeated James Storm at Sacrifice in an "I Quit Match". On the May 1, 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling, Gunner took part in a one night tournament to challenge Eric Young for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. He defeated Mr. Anderson in the first match after an interference by James Storm and in the finals of the tournament he was defeated by Bobby Roode and failed to win a chance for the title. On May 10 at Victory Road 2014, Gunner won a 12-man Gauntlet battle royal match for a future TNA World Heavyweight Championship match.
Storyline with Samuel Shaw and departure (2014-2015)
On the May 22, 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling, Gunner appeared in the hospital where he was with Samuel Shaw. Short steel links displayed video footage where Gunner talked to Shaw about his illness. On July 3 the Impact Wrestling Gunner and Samuel Shaw came back and talked with Mr. Anderson's and Christy Hemme, during which Shaw acted like a face. However, on the October 22 edition of Impact Wrestling, Gunner and Shaw teamed together in a losing match against Low Ki and Samoa Joe during the second round of the Tag Team Tournament. During that match, Brittany distracted Gunner, causing the eventual defeat of their team. Afterwards, Shaw turned heel by attacking Gunner. Two weeks later, on Impact Wrestling Gunner defeated Shaw in a no-disqualification match. on the January 23, 2015 episode on Impact Wrestling, Gunner competed in the Feast or Fired match but failed to retrieve a case in the match. on the February 20 episode on Impact Wrestling, Gunner competed in a 20-man #1 contender's gauntlet match but failed to win the match. on April 3, 2015, Gunner defeated Jessie Godderz for a match on TNA Xplosion this turned out to be Gunner's last TNA match.
On June 19, 2015 Gunner thanked TNA on his Twitter and announced he was taking bookings signaling that his time with TNA had ended.
Return to Independent circuit (2015-2017)
On 19 April 2015 at an AML wrestling event, Gunner faced Luke Hawx where the match ended in a double disqualification. on June 6, 2015 Gunner teamed with AJ Steele, Drew Adler and Logan Creed to defeated Francisco Ciatso, Jacob Ashworth, Jagged Edge and Simon Sez at a SFCW event.
On November 28, 2015, at WrestleCade IV in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Gunner defeated Luke Hawx in a steel cage match. On October 29, 2016 at an Live Pro Wrestling event at a RHEA Middle School in Evensville, Tennessee, Gunner faced Animal.
World Wrestling Entertainment
On May 17, 2017, Gunner teases a potential signing with WWE developmental brand NXT. On May 28, 2017, after speculation by various websites it was confirmed by independent promotion Big Time Wrestling Carolina's.
On May 29, 2017, it was reported that Lail had signed with WWE and was headed to WWE NXT.
Wrestling under his real name, Lail made his NXT debut on June 29, where he was defeated by No Way Jose. During the course of 2017, Lail mostly competed in singles matches with only a few tag matches in between, mostly against Heavy Machinery, while involved with various tag team partners during those occasions.
Lail began 2018 on the January 5 edition of NXT with a victory, defeating Cheng Yuxiang. On January 6, Lail teamed with Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake in a match won by SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe, Eric Young & Killian Dain). Six days later, he met No Way Jose in a singles match, losing to Jose. During the January 13th edition of NXT, Lail defeated NXT rookie Tian Bing. He defeated Bing in a rematch during the February 3rd edition of NXT.
The Forgotten Sons (2018-2020)
During January and February, Lail teamed with The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake) against members of teams SAnitY and The Undisputed ERA. During the February 17th edition of NXT, Lail and The Forgotten Sons along with Lacey Evans all attacked team SAnitY in the ring. Later during the show, The Forgotten Sons and Lacey Evans joined Lail's corner in his match where he was defeated by Sanity member Killian Dain. Afterwards, along with singles matches throughout the course of February and March, Lail joined forces with The Forgotten Sons in later tag matches against teams including SAnitY and The Street Profits as well as numerous different tag team combinations during the course of March and April. On May 12 Lail teamed with Forgotten Sons member Wesley Blake in a tag match won by the newest NXT team War Raiders (Hanson & Rowe). Eight days later on May 20, Lail teamed with The Forgotten Sons to wrestle The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) and Kassius Ohno. On May 26, Lail and The Forgotten sons defeated Mars Wang & The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) in a six-man tag match. On May 31, Lail wrestled and lost to EC3 (known in Gunner's Impact Wrestling days as Ethan Carter III).
On June 1, Lail began the month with a victory over Jeet Rama. The next day during the June 2 house show, Lail and The Forgotten Sons entered a Battle Royal to determine the new Number One Contender for the NXT North American Championship. Neither Lail nor his Forgotten Sons allies succeeded in winning the match as Tucker Knight emerged the victor. On July 19, Lail adopted a new ring name, debuting as Jaxson Ryker in a match lost to EC3
Lail made his film debut during 2015 with a role in Navy Seals vs. Zombies as a Seal team member. He also appeared in a 2015 episode of the television mini-series The Parallax Theory, as a mob leader. Lail appeared in the 2016 action comedy Carter & June.
Lail was married to Jayme Jameson who is also a professional wrestler. During 2016, Lail decreased his in-ring appearances, to become a part-time wrestler while also entering professional bodybuilding and film acting.
- Finishing moves
- With James Storm
- Double team finishing moves
- Front powerslam (Gunner) / Running neckbreaker slam (Storm) combination
- Double team finishing moves
- With Murphy
- Double team finishing moves
- Sidewalk slam (Murphy) / Diving elbow drop (Gunner) combination
- Double team finishing moves
- "The Universal Soldier"
- "Modern Day Viking" (MDV)
- Entrance Themes
- "Inflikted" by Cavalera Conspiracy
- "Sacrifice" by Dale Oliver (TNA)
- "Immortals" by Dale Oliver (TNA; used while part of Immortal)
- "Day of Rage" by Dale Oliver (TNA)
- "Longnecks and Rednecks" by Montgomery Gentry (TNA; used while teaming with James Storm)
- "Do Unto Others" by CFO$ (WWE; used while teaming with Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake)
Championships and accomplishments
- American Pro Wrestling
- APW Chester Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- East Coast Championship Wrestling
- East Coast Championship Wrestling Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- Future Legends Cup (2010)
- NWA Charlotte
- NWA Mid-Atlantic Heritage Championship (1 time)
- NWA East
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #97 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2010
- Showtime All-Star Wrestling
- SAW International Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
- TNA Television Championship (1 time)
- TNA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with James Storm
- Feast or Fired (2013 - World Heavyweight Championship contract)
- Feast or Fired (2013 - World Tag Team Championship contract)
- TNA World Cup of Wrestling (2014) - with Bully Ray, Eric Young, Eddie Edwards & ODB
- TNA Classic (2015)