|Ring name(s)||Billy Kidman
|Billed height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Billed weight||195 lb (88 kg)|
May 11, 1974 |
|Billed from||Allentown, Pennsylvania|
|Trained by||Afa Anoa'i|
|Debut||September 11, 1994|
Peter Alan Gruner, Jr. (born May 11, 1974) is an American professional wrestler, trainer, and wrestling producer, better known by his ring name Billy Kidman. Kidman is best known for his work with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and WWE throughout the late 1990s, early to late 2000s, and the early 2010s. He trained the likes of Wade Barrett in Florida Championship Wrestling.
He joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and ultimately gained fame as a key member of several strong wrestling factions. In addition to being a member of Raven's Flock, he also was a member of the Filthy Animals and later The New Blood. As a member of these factions, Gruner participated in memorable rivalries with top WCW names, including Hulk Hogan, Jeff Jarrett, and Rey Mysterio. Kidman wrestled for WCW for many years and won tag team gold with partner and real life friend Mysterio. After leaving the group, he won the WCW Cruiserweight Championship three times. Gruner also met Torrie Wilson, whom he later married, while the two were working in WCW.
Professional wrestling career 
Early career 
Gruner was trained by Afa Anoaʻi, one half of the Wild Samoans, and wrestled his first match on September 11, 1994 in Hellertown, Pennsylvania against "Wild Thing" Dan Kallis independent circuit as "Kid Flash". He formed a tag team with Ace Darling known as "Shooting Stars" and they would win the ECWA Tag Team Championship and USWA World Tag Team Championship.
World Championship Wrestling (1996–2001) 
Gruner first started wrestling as Billy Kidman for WCW in mid 1996, spending over a year as a cruiserweight jobber with no gimmick. Finally, he was added to Raven's Flock in 1997 as a disheveled street junkie with a gimmick of a heroin addict, constantly scratching his arms, and named his shooting star press maneuver the "Seven Year Itch" to further tie in with the gimmick. Kidman found little personal success with the group and aided Perry Saturn in defeating Raven in a match, thus disbanding the group.
Kidman shed his grungy attire and began performing as a babyface, eventually pinning Juventud Guerrera to win his first Cruiserweight Championship. Guerrera won the belt back a few weeks later, but Kidman regained it at World War 3. Kidman eventually lost the title on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro to Rey Mysterio, Jr. They had a rematch at Spring Stampede, where Mysterio was victorious.
Following this, Mysterio asked Kidman to be his tag team partner in a match for the World Tag Team Championship. Kidman at first declined, as a previous attempt at a tag team between the two did not reach any level of success. The two, however, faced Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko for the titles and succeeded with unwanted aid from Raven and Saturn. The three teams feuded for several weeks, which ended in a three way tag team match for the titles. Chris Kanyon's interference led to the victory for Raven and Saturn. Kidman spent the next several months in assorted feuds. He won the Cruiserweight Championship one more time from Prince Iaukea at a house show, but lost it back to Iaukea 24 hours later. Kidman also defeated Psicosis in a hair vs. mask match, and came close to defeating Jeff Jarrett for the United States Heavyweight Championship. He then entered a short feud with Vampiro.
During this time, Kidman was a part of the WCW face faction, the Filthy Animals, with Mysterio, Konnan, and Eddie Guerrero. Guerrero left the group when he left WCW, and Kidman left the group when they became a heel faction. He later rejoined them when they were faces once more in the last few months of WCW.
Following his first departure from the Filthy Animals, Kidman joined Vince Russo's New Blood faction, taking another heel turn. His gimmick was a young hotshot not wanting to be held back by wrestlers beyond their prime. This led to his biggest feud to date with Hulk Hogan, defeating him in three matches in a row. After the New Blood split up, Kidman became a face once more by entering a feud with Shane Douglas for the affection of his on-screen girlfriend, Torrie Wilson. During the feud, Wilson turned on Kidman. Kidman was legitimately injured in a match at New Blood Rising in August 2000, when in a strap match, Douglas hung Kidman from the neck using the strap, and was forced to take several weeks for to recover.
Following the Douglas feud, Kidman began teaming with Mysterio again. They entered the Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship tournament, but lost in the finals to Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo. On the final episode of Nitro, Kidman and Mysterio won the titles from Skipper and Romeo. That night, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) purchased WCW and Kidman's contract was picked up by the WWF.
World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (2001–2005) 
When the WWF purchased WCW, the contract of Gruner (who was still wrestling as Billy Kidman) was one of twenty-five involved in the purchase. When The Invasion storyline commenced, Gruner appeared on WWF television as a tweener for the WCW Alliance faction. In July 2001, he won the Cruiserweight Championship from Gregory Helms in the first televised WCW match on SmackDown!. Kidman then defeated the WWF's Light Heavyweight champion at the time, X-Pac, after a Shooting Star Press at InVasion 2001. Kidman was later sidelined with an injury during the Invasion angle and thus did not have as big of an impact as other WCW superstars. On the October 11 edition of SmackDown, Kidman won the Cruiserweight title back after losing it to X-Pac on an episode of Raw is War in late July.
Kidman turned face after the WCW/ECW Alliance broke up. He was drafted to SmackDown! as part of the brand extension, and in his return match defeated Tajiri to win his first Cruiserweight Championship under the WWE brand. Tajiri reclaimed the title at Backlash. At Rebellion 2002, Kidman and his real life girlfriend at the time, Torrie Wilson defeated John Cena and Dawn Marie in an intergender tag team match. He later went on to capture the Cruiserweight Championship for the seventh time (making him the record holder for most Cruiserweight Titles at the time), by defeating Jamie Noble at Survivor Series. Kidman lost the title three months later to Matt Hardy at No Way Out. He spent the next few years as a star attraction in the cruiserweight division, relying solely on his in-ring work and no real gimmick. In early 2004, Kidman began teaming with Paul London, slowly working their way up the tag team ranks. They went on to win the WWE Tag Team Championship from The Dudley Boyz on July 8, 2004. Proving the win was not an upset, they went on to win a rematch for the titles.
Their championship run came to an abrupt end after Kidman turned his back on London. The heel turn played off of a legitimate injury which occurred on an August 24, 2004 taping of SmackDown!, when Gruner's Shooting Star Press unintentionally caused Chavo Guerrero to suffer a concussion. The next week, Kidman was on the top rope ready to hit the Shooting Star Press, but hesitated, climbed down the turnbuckles, and slowly walked backstage overwhelmed with guilt after injuring Guerrero. London was left alone to defend the titles against Kenzo Suzuki and Rene Dupree, and was brutally defeated. London and Kidman fought at No Mercy 2004, where Kidman injured London with a shooting star press while London was strapped to a stretcher. This completed Kidman's heel turn, blaming the fans for wanting him to be more brutal with his in-ring style. Kidman and Guerrero ended their feud upon Chavo's return, the latter being victorious in the final match. Kidman then competed against London over the Cruiserweight title in the coming months. At the start of 2005, Kidman suffered a broken orbital bone, which sidelined him for three months.
Gruner was released from his WWE contract on July 6, 2005. It was rumored that the reason behind his release was the lack of crowd reaction and unintentional injuries he caused, but Gruner later stated in an interview with the UK newspaper The Sun that it was because he argued with management over their decision to stop booking wrestlers on first class flights overseas. Recently, he has become a trainer for developmental talent in World Wrestling Entertainment's official territory Florida Championship Wrestling, making appearances as a wrestler but has not yet rejoined WWE in an official wrestling role.
Independent circuit (2005–2010) 
During his first tour of the UK since leaving WWE, Kidman would make a few appearances in independent British promotions. Other than his notable Frontier Wrestling Alliance 3-way match with Jody Fleisch and Jonny Storm, Kidman would also wrestle British wrestling legend Robbie Brookside in a losing effort during a British rules match to determine the first Real Quality Wrestling Heavyweight Champion. He also competed in Wales for Alan Ravenhill's Welsh Wrestling at Maesteg Town Hall.
In 2007, Gruner made his International Wrestling Association debut in a match for the IWA World Heavyweight Championship against Ray González, which he lost. Gruner also took part in the East Coast Australian "International Assault II" Tour from June 1–3, 2007 wrestling Australian superstars TNT and Mark Hilton, and pinned Bryan Danielson to win the WSW World Heavyweight Championship on the 3rd night in Newcastle.
On July 8, 2007, Kidman teamed up with Sean "X-Pac" Waltman as part of a triple threat match in McAllen, Texas to crown the new NWA World Tag Team Champions. The title was previously vacated by Team 3D after TNA Wrestling officially pulled out of the National Wrestling Alliance. They would lose the match to Karl Anderson and Joey Ryan.
Return to World Wrestling Entertainment (2010–present) 
As of 2010, Kidman is a producer on WWE Raw. He was mentioned by John Cena in the November 22, 2010 episode of the show. On September 21, 2011, WWE ran a story on their website about Kidman and where he is now.
Personal life 
Gruner grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania in the Lehigh Valley region, where he graduated from Parkland High School. Gruner was a banker before he started training to be a professional wrestler, and was good friends with Chris Kanyon, whom he met at the Wild Samoan training center in Pennsylvania. Gruner is the cousin of fellow professional wrestler, Mikey Batts.
After being together for four years, Gruner married former WWE Diva, Torrie Wilson on July 11, 2003. They lived together in Tampa, Florida when not traveling. The couple separated in mid-2006, with their divorce finalised in 2008.
In wrestling 
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Diving bulldog while running up the ring ropes
- Dropkick, sometimes from the top rope
- Fireman's carry neckbreaker
- Flying cross body block
- Frankensteiner, sometimes from the top rope
- Kid Factor (Sitout facebuster, often used as a powerbomb counter)
- Leg drop bulldog reversal
- Sidewalk slam
- Slingshot leg drop
- Spin-out powerbomb
- Wheelbarrow suplex
- Inverted swinging facebuster
- With Rey Mysterio, Jr.
- "The Master of the Shooting Star Press" (WCW / WWF/E)
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments 
- East Coast Wrestling Association
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Revolution Xtreme Wrestling
- RXW World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Trans–World Wrestling Federation
- TWWF Cruiserweight Championship (1 time)
- United States Wrestling Association
- World Championship Wrestling
- World Series Wrestling
- WSW World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- "Billy Kidman Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- "Billy Kidman Profile". Bodyslamming.com. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- "Kidman's WWE Alumni Profile". WWE. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- Powell, John (1998-09-14). "Fall Brawl tanks hard". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Powell, John (1998-11-23). "Nash dominates WW3". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Powell, John (1999-04-12). "DDP new champ at Stampede". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Powell, John (1999-05-10). "Nash champ again at Slamboree". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- "The Filthy Animals profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- "New Blood profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Oliver, Greg (2000-04-19). "Kidman: Pinning Hogan a career highlight". Slam! Sports. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Powell, John (2000-08-14). "Canada rules at New Blood Rising". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Powell, John (2000-10-30). "Halloween Havoc a howling bad PPV". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Powell, John (2001-03-19). "WCW downplays demise at Greed". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Callis, Don (2001-03-25). "Deal leaves wrestlers out in cold". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- "History Of The Cruiserweight Championship: Bill Kidman(4)". WWE. 2001-07-05. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- "History of the Cruiserweight Championship - Bill Kidman (6)". WWE. 2002-04-04. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- Powell, John (2002-04-22). "Hogan champ again at BackLash". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- "History of the Cruiserweight Championship: Billy Kidman(7)". WWE. 2002-11-17. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- "History of the WWE Tag Team Championship: Billy Kidman & Paul London". WWE. 2004-07-08. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- Sokol, Chris (2004-09-03). "Smackdown: Guerrero feels the Reigns". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- "History of the WWE Tag Team Championship: Kenzo Suzuki & Rene Dupree". WWE. 2004-09-09. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Clevett, Jason (2004-10-04). "Fans won't remember No Mercy". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- Sokol, Chris (2004-10-14). "Smackdown: Jolly good show in Manchester". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-20. "A heel Billy Kidman is gold!"
- Plummer, Dale (2004-09-23). "Smackdown: An anniversary and a haircuit". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Clevett, Jason (2005-07-06). "WWE cuts eight". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Rothstein, Simon (2007-05-17). "The Sun Online - Wrestling: Kidman: Why I Was Fired". The Sun (London). Retrieved 2007-05-19.
- "IWA: Kidman vs Ray Gonzalez en Bayamón" (in Spanish). PRWrestling.com. 2007-03-29. Archived from the original on 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
- "Mikey Batts profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-03-27.
- Schultz, Gary (2004-05-14). "Miss Torrie Wilson". Film Monthly. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- Milner, John M. "Torrie Wilson". Slam! Sports. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- Berkowitz, Matt (2003-06). "The wiles of Wilson: WWE Diva Torrie Wilson reveals all—her secrets to success, that is". Wrestling Digest. Archived from the original on 2008-04-27. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- Farrell, Errol Leigh (2007-02-26). "Billy Kidman Talks About Divorcing From Torrie Wilson, Working Against Hogan, His New Gimmick, Sleeping With Married Women And More". Warned.net. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
- World Championship Wrestling (2000-04-16). "Vampiro Vs. Billy Kidman /w Torrie Wilson". WCW Spring Stampede.
- "ECWA Hall Of Fame Inductees - Wrestlers". ECWAProWrestling. Archived from the original on 2002-08-02. Retrieved 2008-03-01. "2004 Billy Kidman"
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 - 2004". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- "Billy Kidman's Title History". WWE. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- Pulsone, Mario. "WSW - World Series Wrestling WSW Heavyweight Title History". Solie. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
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