Patrick Clark, Jr. (August 19, 1995) is an American professional wrestler currently working for WWE, where he performs on their development territory NXT under the ring name The Velveteen Dream. He is a former contestant on WWE Tough Enough VI, where he was eliminated fifth. On October 18, 2015, it was reported that Clark signed with the WWE and began training in WWE NXT. While in NXT, Dream is a former NXT North American Champion.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (2014-2015)
Clark attended the beginner's course Maryland Championship Wrestling's Training Center starting his training during June 2014. Recognized as a gifted athlete by the trainers at the Center, Clark graduated after 4 months of training. He wrestled his first match on October 3, 2014 in Waldorf, Maryland, at the MCW Waldorf Warfare event. Wrestling under the name of Rick Powers, he lost to Kai Katana.
Clark went on to perform on the independent circuit in promotions including World Xtreme Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling, Primal Conflict Wrestling, Marvelous Puroresu USA, National Wrestling League, House Of Pain Federation, Throwback Championship Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Magic. While on the independent circuit, Clark won Maryland Championship Wrestling's Tag Team Championship one time with fellow future WWE superstar Lio Rush.
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
WWE Tough Enough Season VI (2015)
Clark participated in Season 6 of the WWE Tough Enough contest. Following the previous contests, the winner would be offered an official WWE contract. Clark was the fifth elimination during the contest however, he was offered a contract for his impressive effort. During the early part of October 2015, Clark signed a developmental contract with the WWE and reported to its Performance Center on October 19.
On October 17, 2015, it was reported that Clark had signed a developmental contract with WWE. He made his in-ring debut for the company at a NXT live event in Lakeland, Florida on February 5, 2016, losing to Riddick Moss. He made his television debut on the July 20, 2016 episode of NXT, losing to Austin Aries. On the October 19 episode of NXT, Clark confronted and challenged NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura but was attacked and beaten down by Nakamura. Clark returned and had his first televised victory on the March 1, 2017 episode of NXT, defeating Sean Maluta.
On the May 24 episode of NXT, Clark debuted a new Prince-inspired character called "Velveteen Dream" with no mention being made about his past accomplishments under his real name. In September, Dream then began a feud with Aleister Black, where he constantly stalked and harassed Black in order for him to say his name. This led to a match at NXT TakeOver: WarGames, where Dream lost. After the match, Black sat next to a dazed Velveteen Dream, before ultimately saying his name. Whilst Velveteen Dream went on to lose the match, many sports media outlets said that Dream's performance was the "best of his professional wrestling career", with Nigel McGuinness and Mauro Ranallo's match commentary as well as the crowd's reaction towards him during and after the match affirming this. The rivalry between Dream and Black was subsequently named as NXT's rivalry of the year for 2017 at the NXT Year-End Awards. On the December 6 episode of NXT, Dream was supposed to face Kassius Ohno in a qualifying match for a number one contender's fatal-four-way match for the NXT Championship; however, an injury suffered at NXT TakeOver: WarGames kept Dream out of competition, and he was replaced by Johnny Gargano, who defeated Ohno and later won the fatal-four way to become the number one contender.
On the January 10, 2018 episode of NXT, Dream would interrupt Gargano's interview to mock him for taking 20 minutes to defeat Ohno, claiming that he could have beaten him in "30 seconds tops." On the January 24 episode of NXT, Dream challenged Gargano for his title opportunity, but lost the match. Following the match, Dream was confronted backstage by Ohno, who pushed him into a wall. Triple H confirmed that a match between Ohno and Dream would be signed for NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia. At NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, Dream defeated Ohno via pinfall. Dream wore boxing trunks to the ring for this match and momentarily started shadowboxing as the match started; a mockery of Ohno's one-punch knockout in-ring style.
During the early months of 2018, Dream was involved in several title opportunities including a March 22 house show. There, he challenged reigning champion Pete Dunne for the United Kingdom Championship but did not succeed in winning the title. At NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, Dream competed in a six-way ladder match to crown the first-ever NXT North American Champion but lost to Adam Cole. His next title match was during the May 4 house show, during he which he lost to the reigning NXT Champion Aleister Black. By July, a new NXT Champion was crowned and Dream would challenge Tommaso Ciampa during a July 29 house show. He did not succeed in defeating Ciampa for the title. During an August 16 house show, Dream challenged Pete Dunne once more for the UK title. He lost a title rematch during the August 17 house show. During the August 31 NXT house show and September 13 house shows Dream challenged for the NXT Championship but did not succeed in defeating the reigning champion Ciampa. Between late September and mid-October Dream was involved in title matches during house shows against the reigning champion NXT North American Champion Ricochet. At NXT TakeOver: WarGames II, Dream lost a title match against the NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa.
The following year during the 2019 Royal Rumble Axxess weekend on January 27, Dream won the Worlds Collide Tournament after defeating Tyler Bate in the final. Dream returned to television during the February 20 episode of NXT. There, he defeated Johnny Gargano to win the NXT North American Championship for the first time. This victory also marked Dream's first title reign in WWE.
EVOLVE Wrestling (2018)
Due to WWE's business relationship with Evolve, Dream was allowed to appear in another promotion outside of the company. As several other members of the WWE NXT roster, Dream made an inter-promotional debut in Evolve. His first match was on September 7 during EVOLVE 112. There, he won a dark match defeating Austin Theory. The following night at EVOLVE 113, Dream returned for a second dark match in which he defeated Darby Allin. He most recently wrestled at EVOLVE 123 against Orange Cassidy.
Clark is the cousin of wrestler Amber Rodriguez.
- Finishing moves
- As The Velveteen Dream
- The Purple RainMaker (Diving elbow drop, with theatrics)
- As Patrick Clark
- Famouser (Leg drop bulldog)
- As The Velveteen Dream
- Signature moves
- Ankle lock
- Diving double axe handle
- Dream Valley Driver (Death Valley driver, while also performing a cartwheel)
- Hangman's neckbreaker
- Powerline (Running clothesline)
- Reverse STO twisted into DDT
- Running leg drop
- "The Patrick Clark Experience"
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- WWE NXT
- Twitter (1)
- Twitter (2)
- MCW Article About Patrick Clark, Jr. in WWE Tough Enough VI