Hughes grew up in Churchill, Pennsylvania where he attended the Saint Maurice Catholic School. According to Hughes himself, he was taught values such as "honesty, virtue, and perserverance" during his time in religious school. At a young age, Hughes' family moved to a house in Level Green, Pennsylvania that was almost directly next to where the IPH Arena would eventually be constructed. After years of backyard and trampoline wrestling, Hughes and his close friend Rick Tanner formally enrolled in Steve Blackman's Head Cheese Wrestling Academy in Annville, Pennsylvania. Hughes and Tanner became the only notable graduates of the school, which shut down shortly after, leaving Blackman unemployed.
Hughes and Tanner eventually earned a try-out with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, then known as NWA: Total Nonstop Action. Former TNA president Jeff Jarrett told sources that their debut was "very impressive. They are much more talented than superstars like Shark Boy and Eric Young." Ultimately, Hughes and Tanner declined NWA: TNA contracts.
Hughes and Tanner eventually accepted contracts with New Japan Pro Wrestling, where they would go on to win the IWGP Tag Team Championships and hold them for a record 592 days. Towards the end of their New Japan career, Hughes and Tanner would form an alliance with debuting Billy Gunn to create the group known as Hardcore. Unfortunately, Hughes and Tanner's expiring contracts, as well as New Japan's decision to hire Matt Hardy led to Hughes and Tanner returning to the United States.
Early IPH CareerEdit
Hughes was the first superstar signed by IPH Wrestling in December of 2010. On August 22, 2011, Hughes participated in the first ever IPH match at the first ever IPH event, Inagural Brawl, against Tanner for the vacant IPH Championship. Hughes would win the match, becoming the first ever IPH Champion. During his reign, Hughes and Tanner were involved in a wrestling sequence on a treadmill that received universal praise. Bret Hart gave the exchange a "10/10" and hardcore legend Mick Foley stated that "it was the most hardcore thing [he had] ever seen." Hughes would hold the title for a record 274 days until he lost the title to Tanner in a thirty minute Iron Man match in May of 2012. Hughes' streak of competing at every IPH event ended at Birthday Brawl on August 19, 2012 when he was not medically cleared to compete. Instead, Hughes served as special guest referee for an IPH Championship match against champion Rick Tanner, El Vietre, and Latimer Lozanski.
Hughes won the Money in the Bank briefcase in a match against Tanner at Christmas Chaos, which he would cash in against new champion Lozanski later that month at Snowdown. Hughes was unsuccessful in defeating Lozanski, as the match ended in a draw. As a result, IPH Management announced that Hughes and Lozanski would become co-IPH Champions.
Co-Champion and Feud with Latimer LozanskiEdit
After becoming co-champion, Hughes frequently attempted to cheat Lozanski out of the title, hoping that if Lozanski lost a match, Hughes could then defeat the individual who defeated Lozanski, thus making Hughes the sole IPH Champion. While Hughes' plan did not come to fruition, he eventually become sole champion by winning a tournament on the May 13th edition of Adrenaline. Only two weeks later, Lozanski would defeat Hughes to reclaim the championship, setting the stage for a long, personal feud between the two individuals. After successful victories at IPH X, Gold Rush, and Fool's Gold, Hughes entered into a feud with Lozanski that would later be named Feud of the Year at the 2013 IPH-y Awards. After losing the IPH Championship to Tanner at Gold Rush, Lozanski began carrying with him to the ring a replica of the title, claiming that he had never lost the championship in the first place and that he was still the rightful champion. Hughes took exception to Lozanski's claims, citing his own respect for the prestigious IPH Championship as the reason for his displeasure. In order to settle their differences, Hughes and Lozanski agreed to a best-of-five series of matches. If Lozanski were to win, Hughes must be his servant, and if Hughes won, Lozanski would be forced to admit that Hughes was the better man.
Hughes lost the first two matches of the series - a singles match at A Challenger Approaches and a Strap match at Challenge Accepted that would win Match of the Year honors at the 2013 IPH-y Awards. However, Hughes would force match five by winning a Submission match at Tapout and a thirty minute Iron Man match at Evening the Score. In the fifth and final match, an I Quit match, Hughes forced Lozanski to say "I Quit" when he handcuffed Lozanski to a treadmill and began smashing the replica championship with a sledgehammer. Lozanski would ultimately admit Hughes was the better man as Hughes continued to smash the fake title. At Super IPH, Hughes would regain the IPH Championship for a record third time, capping off a successful year that won him Superstar of the Year at the IPH-y Awards. Hughes would lose the title to "Skinny" Vinny Vicious at the 2013 IPH-y Awards just one week later.
At the IPH-y Awards show, Hughes shocked the IPH Universe when he joined forces with Rick Tanner and Latimer Lozanski to form a group called The Foundation. During this time, the group would frequently attempt to filibuster IPH broadcasts by performing long speeches, often directed spitefully towards El Hombre, Vinny Vicious, and newly appointed IPH General Manager Jeff Bridges. Hughes often began the filibusters with long, impassioned appeals to IPH Management to restore the IPH Championship to the rightful hands of a Foundation member.
Hughes currently lives in Level Green, Pennsylvania, minutes away from the IPH Arena and the IPH Performance Center, where he serves as a head trainer for IPH's developmental system. Hughes also is a strong supporter of IPH Charities. Before wrestling, Hughes had aspirations to attend law school. However, he cites "lackluster" LSAT performance for his decision to pursue professional wrestling.
Championships and AwardsEdit
- IPH Wrestling
- IPH Champion (3 Times)
- IPH-y Awards
- Best In-Ring Performer (2013)
- Talker of the Year (2013)
- Feud of the Year (With Latimer Lozanski) (2013)
- Match of the Year (Strap Match - Challenge Accepted) (2013)
- Superstar of the Year (2013)
- Finishing Moves
- Special Wrestling Hold (Fisherman Spike DDT)
- Spinebuster (In New Japan Professional Wrestling)
- Signature Moves
- Fisherman Suplex
- Boston Crab
- Triple Elbow Drop