Sam Gradwell (1 June 1991) is a British professional wrestler better known by his ring name Ricky J. McKenzie. He is currently signed with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) under his real name. He has wrestled solely on the English independent circuit, building work experience through his appearances for Grand Pro Wrestling. Gradwell made his WWE debut during the 2017 WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament.
Professional wrestling career
Grand Pro Wrestling (2009-present)
Gradwell made his professional debut in 2009 for Grand Pro Wrestling as Ricky J. McKenzie (also referred by initials RJM). He wrestled his first match at GPW Carpe Diem, losing to William Gaylord. The following year, McKenzie wrestled for the GPW Heavyweight Championship, losing to title holder The Juggernaut on March 19 at GPW Out For Justice. McKenzie captured his first title when he and tag partner Chris Echo won the GPW Tag Team Championships at GPW Battlefield on 6 May 2011.
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
United Kingdom Championship Tournament (2016–2017)
On 15 December 2016, it was revealed that Gradwell would be one of 16 men competing in a two night tournament to crown the first ever WWE United Kingdom Champion on 14 January and 15 January 2017. Gradwell defeated Saxon Huxley in the first round to advance to the quarter finals, where he was defeated by Pete Dunne.
Gradwell returned four months later during the 6 May WWE Live United Kingdom Championship event, in a match lost against Pete Dunne. The following night on 7 May Gradwell returned during the WWE United Kingdom Championship Special, where he defeated James Drake in a dark match. Four days later, Gradwell returned on 11 May during the Sheffield house show, where he teamed with Trent Seven & Tyler Bate in defeating James Drake, Joseph Conners & Pete Dunne. Six months later, during the 8 November taping of WWE Main Event, Gradwell teamed with Joseph Conners & Tyson T-Bone in a dark tag match lost against Mark Andrews, Trent Seven & Tyler Bate. He finished the year with a match during the Leeds House show on 8 November teaming with Saxon Huxley in a defeated effort against Trent Seven & Tyler Bate.
Returning on 11 May 2018, Gradwell's first match of his second year was during the Dublin house show, losing to Jordan Devlin in a rematch since their first WWE encounter during the United Kingdom Title Tournament. A week later, on 16 May Gradwell appeared at the Liverpool house show, where he teamed with Dan Moloney & James Drake in a tag match lost against Mark Andrews, Tyler Bate & Wolfgang.
NXT UK (2018)
Gradwell made his debut during the 28 July NXT UK Tapings, losing against Danny Burch. He returned for the following night's NXT UK Tapings on 29 July, once more teaming with Saxon Huxley in a tag match lost against team Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate).
- Finishing and signature moves
- Fly n Die
- Gangsta Trippin'
- 1000 Hand Slap
- Stunt 101
- Tiger M. Takedown
Championships and accomplishments
- Grand Pro Wrestling
|2017 WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament participants|
Dan Moloney • Danny Burch • HC Dyer • James Drake • Jordan Devlin • Joseph Conners • Mark Andrews • Pete Dunne • Roy Johnson • Sam Gradwell • Saxon Huxley • Trent Seven • Tucker • Tyler Bate • Tyson T-Bone • Wolfgang