Roman Reigns has once again imposed his will on Smackdown and the Head of the Table has chosen his challenger for the Royal Rumble...
After a fantastic gauntlet match on Smackdown last week it seemed as if Shinsuke Nakamura would be the one going after the Universal Championship, only for Reigns and his entourage to come out and throw a wrench into the match.
Reigns and Jey Uso came out with Adam Pearce in tow and stepped into the ring to give Nakamura a beating at the end of the contest. Reigns then demanded Pearce pin Nakamura and after a Uso superkick Pearce was draped over the strong style competitor for the 1-2-3.
So at this point, Adam Pearce was challenging for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble and many casual fans would’ve been wondering “Who is this man and why’s he so handsome?” Other than being an on-screen personality for close to a year now the WWE Universe does not know much about the man known in the indies as Scrap Iron. Below we will take a look at the 5 things you never knew you wanted to know about… ADAM PEARCE.
5: He was a 5 Time NWA Heavyweight Champion
For those who haven’t followed his career closely, and this writer is one of them, they may be surprised to hear that Adam Pearce has won the NWA title on five different occasions.
The National Wrestling Alliance is one of, if not the, most storied organizations in the history of professional wrestling. It started in 1948 and acted as a governing body over all of the independent wrestling organizations in the United States. Of course, we all know that once the WWF stormed onto the scene most of the other organizations in the country went out of business, but the NWA has managed to stay alive in one form or another.
Now Pearce’s reigns with the oldest wrestling championship in the country may have come long after the NWA lost prominence it is still an important highlight in the man’s career. It is also important to note that the only men in history who have held the NWA championship more than Pearce are Jeff Jarrett, Ric Flair, and Harley Race. That is some darn fine company to keep.
4: His Wrestling Career Almost Never Happened
Early in his high school tenure Pearce had lettered in both football and baseball and could have potentially pursued that as a career had he decided to. Sadly, between his junior and senior year of high school, Pearce suffered from Acute Muscular Compartment Syndrome affecting both of his legs. As a result, he had to undergo surgery and had to learn how to walk all over again. This ended his sporting career and cast doubt on what his future would be.
While recuperating Pearce met professional wrestling trainers Sonny Rogers and Randy Ricci. They took him under their wing and Pearce began his training in 1995, making his debut on the independent circuit in May of 1996.
For someone who has had such longevity in his career, it is astounding to think that because of a medical condition he might not have broken onto the wrestling scene.
3: His Longevity in the Wrestling World
While many fans of the WWE may only recognize Adam Pearce from his recent television appearances, they may be shocked to hear that he has had a career that has spanned nearly 25 years.
Pearce first broke onto the independent scene in 1996 wrestling for various organizations over 4 years. Over those 4 years, Pearce would hone his wrestling skills and have multiple fantastic matches with the likes of Dino Bambino, Reckless Youth, and Danny Dominion.
After taking some time off from wrestling, more on that later, Pearce returned to the independents where he bounced around through organizations in California, Mexico, and Japan.
In 2005 Pearce broke into Ring of Honour and this is where most may recognize his name from. He spent the better part of his formative years wrestling with Ring of Honor wrestling with/ or against many notable names such as CM Punk, Samoa Joe, and Daniel Bryan.
Once he finished wrestling in ROH he became the head booker of the territory. This stint did not last particularly long and in 2010 Pearce and ROH parted ways.
After heading back to the independents for a few years Pearce would break into WWE in 2013 as a trainer/producer. There he would help the future generations of wrestlers to come and this would continue until earlier this year where he became an on-air personality.
2: His WWE/WCW Enhancement Talent Years
While he may now be employed by WWE as a producer, helping to shape matches and assist the wrestlers, this is not the first time that he had been working with the company up north.
From 1997 to 1999 Adam Pearce worked as an enhancement talent for WWE. He had gained enough notoriety working in the independents that the big show decided to give him a shot. Pearce knew at the time that it was not going to lead to a big push or anything for him but working for a big company had to be an ego boost for the man.
While working for the WWE Pearce caught the eye of producer Terry Taylor. When Taylor moved to WCW he contacted Pearce about an opportunity down south. After a couple of tryouts with the company, Pearce described the atmosphere as “ disorganized and chaotic”. Naturally, Pearce decided against working for WCW.
After having brief stints with both companies Pearce felt burnt out and decided to take some time off from wrestling. Luckily, he did not stick with this time off for long and he soon made his return to the wrestling world.
1: The Guy Can Work
When Roman decided to interject Adam Pearce into the Universal title match at the Royal Rumble many rolled their eyes at the squash match that we all assumed would happen. However, this may not be the case if you look at Pearce’s overall body of work.
As mentioned earlier Pearce has had a long career inside the ring, wrestling on the independent circuit and as an enhancement talent with the WWE. So we know the may have the background to at least be competent in the ring.
If we go back through his Ring of Honor days at look at some of his highlights it becomes clear that the man can go in the ring. His matches at ROH Respect is Earned 2 and ROH Rising Above earned him a coveted 3-star plus rating from Dave Meltzer and when you give them a watch you can see why.
You can also look at the NWA title defence Pearce had against Colt Cabana in 2011 as a great example of the work he can do inside the ring. Both men put on a clinic over a 30-minute match where Pearce played the heel champion to perfection. It was an eye-opener for this writer because of my limited knowledge of Adam Pearce’s career. The man helped to elevate Cabana and by the end of the man Colt was a made man and this was due to the fantastic work of Pearce.
Fans may have been nervous when Reigns was going up against Pearce at the Royal Rumble but if they do allow the two men to work an actual match down the line we could be surprised at what story can be told. Only time will tell if this is the direction WWE goes in...
Despite the fact that Kevin Owens is now facing Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble and this article was written before Smackdown. Thanks, WWE.