Michael Paris (October 5, 1986) is an American professional wrestler currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on the NXT brand under the ring name Joaquin Wilde. He has wrestled for Impact Wrestling, International Wrestling Cartel, Velocity Pro Wrestling, IWA East Coast, Pro Wrestling Ohio and Absolute Intense Wrestling. During his tenure in Impact Wrestling from 2011 to 2018, as Zema Ion and later DJ Z, he became a two-time Impact X Division Champion and a one-time Impact World Tag Team Champion. While working for the International Wrestling Cartel, he was two-time IWC Super Indy Champion, two-time IWC Tag Team Champion and a three-time IWC World Heavyweight Champion.
- 1 Professional wrestling career
- 1.1 International Wrestling Cartel
- 1.2 Dramatic Dream Team
- 1.3 Far North Wrestling
- 1.4 International Pro Wrestling
- 1.5 Desastre Total Ultraviolento
- 1.6 IWA East Coast
- 1.7 Combat Zone Wrestling
- 1.8 Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
- 1.9 World Wrestling Entertainment (2019-present)
- 2 Personal life
- 3 In wrestling
- 4 Championships and accomplishments
- 5 External links
Professional wrestling career
Michael Paris claims that his dream to become a professional wrestler began when he first saw mini Luchador Chucky on an Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA) television broadcast in 2002. However, Paris has also stated in interviews that he credits watching a match with Yoshihiro Tajiri and Fantastik as his initial inspiration to become a pro wrestler.
In 2003, Paris began training to become a professional wrestler at the Coalition of Competition in Pittsburgh, PA under trainers Super Hentai, Shirley Doe, and Glenn Spectre. He trained there for 14 months before debuting as Shiima Xion, the "first Filipino male supermodel of professional wrestling" on August 21, 2004 against Jason Gory in Wheeling, West Virginia. Shiima Xion competed throughout West Virginia and Ohio in the fall of 2004, since he was not old enough to compete in the state of Pennsylvania. Shortly after turning 18, however, Xion began competing regularly for the International Wrestling Cartel, as well as making appearances in Chikara, Far North Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling Unplugged.
By early 2006, the Shiima Xion character had become more of a glam rock star than a male model, as Xion began wearing make-up to the ring, and had also changed his hair color from black to red and blonde. His bizarre hair style soon became his trademark, with Shiima becoming best known for hairspraying his hair during matches
The androgynous character eventually caught the attention of Japanese wrestling promoter Sanshiro Takagi, who invited 19-year old Shiima to tour Japan with his company, Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) in the summer of 2006. Shiima was well received during his first tour of Japan and was invited to return for a 3-month tour in the summer of 2007. Shiima had to decline the offer, however, as he was attending college at West Virginia University.
Shiima Xion was featured in the Introducing... article in Pro Wrestling Illustrated's The Wrestler, volume 19, 2008. The magazine was released on newsstands nationwide on December 4, 2007, with a two-page article spread on Shiima.
International Wrestling Cartel
Shiima Xion made his IWC debut on November 6, 2004 in Munhall, PA. Shiima lost to Jason Gory, who was also making his IWC debut that night. The two feuded for the remainder of 2004, and into 2005, culminating at IWC No Excuses on July 29, 2005. Gory won the feud, and the two would not wrestle again until IWC Super Indy V on April 15, 2006, in which Shiima defeated Gory with the Filipino Destroyer. Post-match saw the two shake hands for the first time in their near two-year long rivalry and eventually led to them forming a tag team known as BabyFace Fire(BFF).
BFF teamed for the first time on July 7, 2006, and were defeated by Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli. The team is best known for their scramble matches with the Gambino Brothers, Sexual Harassment, and the Cleveland Mafia. The second of these scrambles, which took place on December 9, 2006, saw BFF capture their first IWC Tag Team Championship. Xion & Gory held onto the belts until March 2007, in which The Gambino Brothers challenged the champions, despite both BFF members already competing in singles action earlier in the night. The challenge was accepted, and Xion was pinned by Marshall Gambino after interference from Jimmy Demarco. Later that year, after a violent feud with the Gambinos, BFF won their second IWC Tag Team Championship on December 8, 2007. They would hold onto the tag titles twice as long as their first reign, until Sexual Harassment defeated BFF for the belts in June 2008. They also lost their rematch in a huge TLC match in August 2008.
Shiima Xion has also had many notable singles matches in IWC, including battles against Homicide, A.J. Styles, Chris Sabin, Jimmy Jacobs, and Nigel McGuinness. On May 11, 2007 Xion competed in the IWC Super Indy VI tournament. He defeated Ruckus in the first round and Super Hentai in the semifinals before losing to Larry Sweeney in the finals. The next year, Xion competed in the IWC Super Indy VII tournament. In the first round, he defeated "Altar Boy" Luke Hawx. He then lost in the semifinals to the eventual winner of the tournament, Jerry Lynn. In September 2008, Xion defeated Marshall Gambino to qualify for another tournament, for the vacant IWC World Heavyweight Championship. Xion defeated Justin Idol, John McChesney, and Raymond Rowe to advance to the finals, where he defeated Jimmy DeMarco with a 630 splash to win the tournament on October 25 and 26.
At Accept No Limitations, Jimmy DeMarco declared himself promotor because Norm Connors wasn't there. He made a No-DQ match between Shiima and Ray Rowe, with Shiima winning and becoming IWC Champion for a second time.
Dramatic Dream Team
Shiima Xion made his Japanese debut in a losing effort, as Shiima and the MAC were defeated by CMLL/KO-D Tag Team Champions, Dick Togo and Nobutaka Moribe, on June 22, 2006 in Shinjuku, Japan. Shiima also appeared in the Takayuki Mikami-produced Cruiser's Game 4th Special, teaming with Kudo and Susumu against Kagetora, Yuko Miyamoto, and Mannjimaru. Shiima's only win on the tour was on July 2, 2006, in which Shiima, Kudo, and Mikami defeated Harashima, Toru Owashi, and Yusuke Inokuma in Shimane, Japan. Shiima Xion returned to Japan on August 9, 2009, competing in a 6-man tag on a joint show with Macky Puroresu Shop and Big Japan Wrestling. Shiima won the match for his team.
Far North Wrestling
Shiima Xion defeated Jason Gory, CJ Sensation, Jason Cage, Xander Graves, and Michael Blade in a six-way Cruiserweight scramble to win the vacant FNW Cruiserweight Championship on September 22, 2006 in Butler, Pennsylvania. Xion held the title for nearly two years before losing it to Jimi the High-Flying Hippie in two straight falls of a best-of-three falls match on July 19, 2008 in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Xion regained the title from Jimi on November 8 in Butler, Pennsylvania. Shiima then went on to lose the title to "M-Dogg 20" Matt Cross, and won a fatal four-way match in Irwin, Pennsylvania to complete his stay in FNW.
International Pro Wrestling
Shiima Xion defeated Rory Fox at October Onslaught on October 19, 2007 in Eagle Pass, Texas to become the third IPW Texas Heavyweight Champion.
Desastre Total Ultraviolento
Shiima Xion made his DTU debut on May 3, 2008 in Mexico City, Mexico in a tag match with Joe Lider against El Generico and Crazy Boy. Xion lost the match after a top rope brainbuster from El Generico. Xion returned to DTU on July 11, 2009 in Tulancingo, Mexico in a 3-way light tube deathmatch with Crazy Boy and Extreme Tiger. Xion lost after a Swanton Bomb from Extreme Tiger. Xion also competed in DTU's "Fashion" event on on July 26, 2009 in Mexico City, Mexico, where Xion challenged for the DTU championship in a 3-way match with Aero Boy and Ragde. Aero Boy became the new DTU champion after pinning Xion.
IWA East Coast
Xion debuted in Mad Man Pondo's IWA East Coast in the fall of 2007, losing to Sabian and Zac Vincent in his first two matches in the promotion, before appearing nearly regularly in 2008. Since those first two losses, he has defeated Aaron Draven, Joey Mercury and Michael Facade. Shiima has only lost one other match in IWA East Coast, to Chris Hero on August 6.
On November 29, 2008, Xion won the third-annual eight-man Zero G Crown Tournament by defeating Shawn Day, Zac Vincent and Carter Gray in succession. Others in the tournament were David Day, Aaron Draven, Michael Facade and Egotistico Fantastico. Shiima joins Aaron Draven (2007) and Sonjay Dutt (2006) as winners of the annual tournament.
Xion fell to Zac Vincent in a three-way match on February 4, 2009, which also involved Michael Facade. Xion was victorious over Egotistico Fantastico on March 22, 2009 at IWA East Coast's "Scarcade". Xion then beat Jersey All Pro Light Heavyweight Champion Flip Kendrick, two weeks later on April 1, 2009, at the IWA East Coast "Gypsy Joe" Tribute Show.
Combat Zone Wrestling
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Various feuds (2011–2012)
On June 23, 2011, Paris made an appearance on Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's Impact Wrestling television show, working under the ring name Zema Ion, defeating Dakota Darsow and Federico Palacios in a three–way X Division match to advance to the tournament finals at Destination X, where a contract with the promotion would be at stake. At the pay-per-view, Ion competed in a four-way match against Jack Evans, Low Ki and the eventual winner of the match, Austin Aries. On July 24 it was reported that Paris had signed a contract with TNA. Zema Ion made his return to TNA on the August 11 edition of Impact Wrestling, appearing in a backstage segment, where Eric Bischoff introduced new rules to the X Division. The following week, Ion took part in a gauntlet match to determine the X Division rankings. After eliminating Mark Haskins from the match, Ion was himself eliminated by Jesse Sorensen, placing him fifth in the rankings. Ion returned on the September 28 episode of Impact Wrestling, working in a five-man ladder match, which was won by Brian Kendrick. On the December 15 edition of Impact Wrestling, Ion started Best of Three Series with Anthony Nese to determine the third and final challenger for the X Division Championship at Genesis. Ion, now wrestling as a heel, won the first match of the series. Two weeks later, Ion defeated Nese in a Contract on a Pole match to win the series 2-1 and advance to the pay-per-view. On January 8, 2012, at Genesis, Ion was the second man eliminated from the X Division Championship match, which also included Austin Aries, Jesse Sorensen and Kid Kash. Ion then helped Aries defeat Sorensen and retain his title. On February 12 at Against All Odds, Ion defeated Sorensen in an X Division number one contender's match, after Sorensen was unable to continue after suffering a legitimate injury and was counted out. Ion received his shot at the X Division Championship on the March 8 edition of Impact Wrestling, winning the match via disqualification, after champion Austin Aries was caught using Ion's hair spray on him; as a result, Aries retained his title. Ion received another title shot on March 18 at Victory Road, but was defeated by Aries via submission. On the following edition of Impact Wrestling, Ion failed again to capture the X Division Championship after he fought Aries, Kid Kash and Anthony Neese to a no contest, following interference from Bully Ray. Ion received another shot at the X Division Championship on the May 10 episode of Impact Wrestling, but was again defeated by Aries. On the June 14 episode of Impact Wrestling, Ion competed in his first Ultimate X match, where he and Chris Sabin unsuccessfully challenged Aries for the X Division Championship.
X Division Champion (2012–2013)
On July 8 at Destination X, Ion entered a tournament to determine the new X Division Champion, defeating Flip Cassanova in his first round match. Later that same event, Ion defeated Kenny King, Mason Andrews and Sonjay Dutt in an Ultimate X match to become the new X Division Champion and the first Filipino to win a championship in TNA. Ion made his first successful title defense on the July 26 episode of Impact Wrestling, defeating Kenny King after an interference from Bobby Roode. The following week, Ion and Roode were defeated in a tag team match by King and Aries, with King pinning Ion for the win. On August 12 at Hardcore Justice, Ion defeated King to retain the X Division Championship. On September 9 at No Surrender, Ion made another successful title defense, this time against Sonjay Dutt. Four days later on Impact Wrestling, Ion defeated Dutt in a rematch to once again retain the X Division Championship. On the October 4 episode of Impact Wrestling, Ion defended the X Division Championship against Douglas Williams, making him submit with a modified armbar (now known as Submission Impossible), however, after refusing to release the hold, the referee reversed the decision and disqualified Ion, but as the title cannot change hands on a disqualification, Ion retained the title. On October 14 at Bound for Glory, Ion lost the X Division Championship to Rob Van Dam, ending his reign at 98 days. Ion received his rematch for the title on the October 25 episode of Impact Wrestling, but was again defeated by Van Dam. On the February 7, 2013, episode of Impact Wrestling, Ion unsuccessfully challenged Van Dam for the X Division Championship in a three-way match, also involving Kenny King. Ion received another shot at the X Division Championship on March 10 at Lockdown, but was defeated by defending champion Kenny King in a three-way match, which also included Christian York. On the March 21 episode of Impact Wrestling, Ion failed again to capture the X Division Championship from King in a three-way match, also involving Sonjay Dutt. Ion received one more shot at the X Division Championship on the April 18 episode of Impact Wrestling, but was pinned by Kenny King in a three-way match, which also included Petey Williams and removed Ion from the title contention.
The BroMans & Face Turn (2013–2015)
After several months out injured, he returned to Impact on a regular basis and on the November 28 edition of Impact, Zema joined The BroMans as their personal DJ. Ion won the Feast or Fired TNA X Division Championship briefcase. On January 30, 2014 (Airing in February 6, 2014), unsuccessfully cashed in his briefcase against TNA X Division Champion, Austin Aries. This made him the first person to unsuccessfully cash in the X Division Feast or Fired briefcase. As of February 2014, his ring name changed to DJ Z. On February 23, 2014 The Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards) defeated The BroMans (Jessie Godderz and Robbie E) for the TNA World Tag Team Championship only to lose them the following week to The Bromans during the TNA/Wrestle-1 Kaisen: Outbreak supershow event on March 2. Since then, the Wolves have had numerous rematches for the titles on Impact Wrestling, with the BroMans either using excuses to avoid defending the belts, having the third member of the team DJ Z fill in for defenses, or by getting blatantly disqualified. At the PPV, all three BroMans will defend the championships against the Wolves in a three-on-two handicap match. On May 29, 2014, TNA announced on their website that Texas wrestling legend Kevin Von Erich would accompany his two sons Marshall and Ross for their first ever nationally televised match at the pay-per-view. At the Slammiversary XII The BroMans fought the Von Erichs and lost via disqualification when Jessie Godderz attacked Ross and Marshal with a steel chair however Kevin ran into the ring and made the save.
X Division Championship reigns and pursuits (2015–2018)
On the April 17, 2015 episode of Impact Wrestling, after losing a tag team match to Dirty Heels, The BroMans ended when Godderz attacked Robbie E. On the May 29 episode of Impact Wrestling, DJ Z officially started his singles run as a face, challenging for the X Division Championship in a losing effort. On June 10 episode of Impact Wrestling, DJ Z competed in a X Division Championship tournament along with Tigre Uno and Mandrews which the match was won by Tigre Uno. After the match, DJ Z was viciously attacked by Jessie Godderz with that setting up a match the next week which DJ Z failed to win. At Slammiversary, he competed in a three-way match for the X Division Championship but lost the match. At Bound for Glory, he competed in a Ultimate X match for the X Division Championship in a losing effort. During October and November, he competed in the TNA World Title Series he ended of his first block by defeating Mandrews and Tigre Uno (with the only exception of Manik), however he finally gained 6 points in pinning Manik in the following weeks, which also involved Uno, to advance in the round of 16, where he was defeated by Ethan Carter III in the first round, failing to advance to the quarterfinals and being eliminated from the tournament. On the April 12, 2016 episode of Impact Wrestling, DJZ defeated X Division Champion Trevor Lee in a non-title match. After the match, He was attacked by Gregory Shane Helms but was saved by Eddie Edwards. At Slammiversary, he participated in a four-way match for the X Division Championship, but lost the match. At Destination X, he won a ladder match to earn a title shot for the X Division Championship. Later, he defeated Mike Bennett with the help of the X Division wrestlers.
On the September 1 episode of Impact Wrestling, DJZ defeated Rockstar Spud, Mandrews, Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett and Braxton Sutter in an Ultimate X gauntlet match to win the TNA X Division Championship. On the 22 September episode of Impact Wrestling, he successfully defended his title against Trevor Lee and against Eddie Edwards on the October 29 episode of Impact Wrestling. He successfully defended his title against Trevor Lee at Bound for Glory. On the October 6 episode of Impact Wrestling, DJZ took part in Team X Gold, teaming with Braxton Sutter and Mandrews, to defeat The Helms Dynasty and Marshe Rockett. On the October 13 episode of Impact Wrestling, he successfully defended his title against Marshe Rockett. On the October 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, the team defeated Decay and Rockstar Spud. On the November 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, the team defeated The Helms Dynasty and Marshe Rockett and Rockstar Spud and Decay in a three-way tag team match. They defeated once again the two teams, this time in an Elimination match on the October 24 episode of Impact Wrestling. On the 1st December episode of Impact Wrestling, DJZ successfully defended his title against Braxton Sutter and Mandrews. After the match, he was attacked by Mandrews.
DJ Z's contract with Impact Wrestling expired on December 31, 2018.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2019-present)
It was reported during March 2019, DJ Z signed with WWE. Under the ring name Joaquin Wilde. He made his televised debut on June 26 episode of NXT losing to Angel Garza in the first round of the 2019 NXT Breakout Tournament.
Paris went to high school at Oak Glen High School in New Cumberland, West Virginia. Paris is a journalism major at West Virginia University. Paris was featured in the documentary Slammed: Inside Indie Wrestling. In May 2013, he started a GiveForward campaign to raise money to help pay to remove a growth in his bladder.
- Finishing Moves
- 630° senton
- Bible Black (Running double knee strike to a seated opponent transitioned into a rana pin)
- Gory bomb – TNA
- Filipino Destroyer (Inverted snapmare driver)
- From Lust to Dust (Snapmare driver)
- Submission Impossible (Wrist-clutch reverse crucifix armbar) – TNA
- ZDT (Rolling Thunder into a jumping DDT)
- Signature moves
- "The Filipino Flex Factory"
- "The Filipino Playboy" (Ring Ka King)
- "The Future of Fashion"
- "The Virgin Slayer"
- "That Yung Go-Hard"
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Absolute Intense Wrestling
- Championship Wrestling Experience
- CWE Undisputed Championship (1 time)
- Far North Wrestling
- FNW Cruiserweight Championship (2 times)
- Independent Wrestling Association East Coast
- IWA East Coast Zero-G Crown (2008)
- International Wrestling Cartel
- International Pro Wrestling
- IPW Texas Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
- New Era Pro Wrestling
- NEPW United States Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Jason Gory
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #71 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2013
- Real Championship Wrestling
- RCW Cruiserweight Championship (1 time)
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling