Daniel Puder

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Daniel Puder
Daniel Puder.jpg
Born (1981-10-09) October 9, 1981 (age 33)
Cupertino, California
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Daniel Puder
Billed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Billed weight 235 lb (107 kg; 16.8 st)
Trained by Frank Shamrock
Javier Mendez
Bob Cook
Al Snow
Bill DeMott
Nightmare Danny Davis
Lance Storm
Paul Heyman
Tommy Dreamer
Ohio Valley Wrestling
Debut 2004

Daniel Puder (born October 9, 1981) is an American professional wrestler and retired professional mixed martial artist. In 2012 he founded My Life My Power World, an anti-bullying and youth development program.

As a mixed martial artist, Puder trained at the American Kickboxing Academy, in San Jose, California.[1] Puder is undefeated in MMA competition, holding a record of eight wins and zero losses.[2]

As a professional wrestler, Puder trained at Ohio Valley Wrestling.[3] Puder is, best known for having won the $1,000,000 Tough Enough challenge during his time in World Wrestling Entertainment and Ohio Valley Wrestling.[3] Puder has also worked for Ring of Honor[3] and New Japan Pro Wrestling. He is a born-again Christian, and a Shriner.

Early life[edit]

Puder was involved in amateur wrestling during high school. In high school at Monta Vista High School, in Cupertino, California, Puder finished first place in his weight division in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Coast Section, in amateur wrestling,[4] while wrestling with a broken hand.[5][6]

Puder was also involved in entrepreneurship during high school, starting several businesses.[6]

At the age of 16, Puder began training in mixed-martial arts and professional wrestling.[6][7]


Professional wrestling[edit]

World Wrestling Entertainment and Ohio Valley Wrestling (2004–2005)[edit]

Puder entered the fourth Tough Enough competition that was conducted as part of WWE SmackDown between October and December 2004.[8] The prize was announced as a $1,000,000 professional wrestling contract, however, it was in reality a four-year contract at $250,000 a year, with the option to terminate the contract after the first year.[9] On October 28, 2004, episode of SmackDown!, during Tough Enough, Puder was legitimately shoved spine-first into a locker by The Big Show.[10]

On November 4, 2004, episode of SmackDown!, taped in St. Louis, Missouri, during an unscripted segment of Tough Enough, Kurt Angle, a former American amateur wrestler and 1996 Olympic gold medalist, challenged the finalists through a squat thrust competition.[11][12] Chris Nawrocki won the competition, and the prize Nawrocki won was a shoot match against Angle.[13] Angle quickly took Nawrocki down, breaking his ribs, then made him tap out with a neck crank.[13] After Angle defeated Nawrocki, Angle challenged the other finalists.[13] Puder accepted Angle's challenge.[13] Angle and Puder wrestled for position, with Angle taking Puder down, however, in the process, Puder locked Angle in a kimura lock.[12][13][14] With Puder on his back and Angle's arm locked in the kimura, Angle attempted a pin, one of two referees in the ring, Jim Korderas, quickly counted three to end the bout, despite the fact that Puder's shoulders were not fully down on the mat, bridging up at two.[12][13][14] Puder later claimed he would have snapped Angle's arm, thus making Angle tap out on national television, if Korderas had not ended the match.[13] Dave Meltzer and Dave Scherer gave these following comments:

"It was real. If you don't follow fighting, Puder had Angle locked in the Kimura, or keylock as Tazz called it, although Tazz didn't let on the move was fully executed. Not only was Angle not getting out of the move, but most MMA fighters would have tapped already. Angle couldn't tap for obvious reasons. The ref counted a three even though Puder's shoulders weren't fully down, trying to end the thing, because the reality was Angle would have been in surgery had it gone a few seconds longer or had Puder not given up the hold." ― Dave Meltzer[12][14]

"As you would expect, Kurt Angle was less than happy backstage at Smackdown after almost being forced to tap out to Tough Enough contestant Daniel Puder. Downright ticked off would probably be the best way to describe his mood. The unscripted nature of the contest was the main reason that Angle was made to look so bad since Puder just reacted to the situation and could have forced Angle to submit had the referees not thought quickly and counted a pin that wasn’t there on Puder." ― Dave Scherer[12]

On December 12, 2004, Puder competed in his first WWE pay-per-view event, Armageddon, defeating Mike Mizanin in a Dixie Dog Fight.[15] Puder was announced as the winner on December 14, 2004 (televised on December 16, 2004).[16]

On January 30, 2005, Puder competed in his second WWE pay-per-view event, being entered in the Royal Rumble match. Puder, however, was shortly eliminated after being chopped by Chris Benoit, Hardcore Holly, and Eddie Guerrero. Puder was eliminated by Holly.[17]

In January 2005, Puder participated in the WWE's developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). In September 2005, Puder was released by WWE as a cost-cutting move. Puder was given the option of signing a development contract with WWE and transferring to its Deep South Wrestling development camp with less pay, but Puder declined the offer.[18] Puder gave this comment;

I'm proud of winning the very first ever Million Dollar Tough Enough. I'm proud that I adapted from MMA to WWE. I'm proud of my work in the ring with my pro wrestling trainers Lance Storm and more recently Al Snow, who was my Tough Enough trainer too. I am proud of my association with a man like Danny Davis. I am proud to have worked with Tommy Dreamer. I am proud and have enjoyed working with and learning from Paul Heyman, and all the opportunities this experience has presented. And I know I will use this experience to my advantage when I make my next long term career move.

For the time being, I am headed back to Louisville, because Paul scheduled me in an OVW Title match against Johnny Jeter tomorrow night at the Davis Arena, 4400 Sheperdsville Road in Louisville. I hope it's my best pro wrestling match to date. I live up to my obligations and commitments (sic). That's the kind of man I am. And I'm going to show the world that at 23 years old, WWE thought short term and not long term with me. But I won't brag about it in advance. I'll prove it to everyone!!!!!!!! Thanks for all of your support.[19]

Ring of Honor (2007–2008)[edit]

In December 2007, Puder signed with Ring of Honor (ROH).[20] On December 29, 2007, at the Manhattan Center, in New York City, Puder made his debut in ROH, at Rising Above, attacking Claudio Castagnoli and aligning himself with Sweet and Sour Inc., led by Larry Sweeney. On December 30, 2007, at Final Battle 2007, Puder helped Sweeney defeat Castagnoli. In January 2008, Puder would appear on two more shows; however, due to budget cuts, Puder was released.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2010-2011)[edit]

On June 19, 2010, Puder made his debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling at Dominion 6.19, losing to former three–time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinsuke Nakamura.[21] On October 11, 2010, it was announced that Puder would team with Nakamura in the 2010 G1 Tag League, which would take place over eleven shows in October and November.[22] In their first match in the tournament on October 22, Puder and Nakamura were defeated by Hiroshi Tanahashi and TAJIRI.[23] On October 25 Puder picked up his first victory in New Japan, defeating Tomoaki Honma via submission in a singles match.[24] After two wins and three losses in the group stage of the G1 Tag League, Puder and Nakamura finished fourth in their block and didn't advance to the semifinals.[25]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

While training at the American Kickboxing Academy, in San Jose, California, Puder sought the tutelage of Javier Mendez, Bob Cook, Frank Shamrock, Brian Johnston and Danny Chaid.[6][7]

On September 6, 2003, at the X-1 promotion, Puder defeated Jay McCown by unanimous decision. On March 10, 2006, at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Gracie, at the HP Pavilion at San Jose, in San Jose, California, Puder made his return to MMA, defeating Jesse Fujarczyk by submission due to a rear naked choke. Three months later on June 9, 2006, at Strikeforce: Revenge, at the HP Pavilion at San Jose, in San Jose, California, Puder defeated Tom Tuggle by submission due to an armbar in only twenty-eight seconds. To end the year, on December 8 at Strikeforce: Triple Threat, at the HP Pavilion at San Jose, in San Jose, California, Puder defeated Mike Cook by submission due to a rear naked choke.

On February 18, 2007, at BodogFight Series III in Costa Rica, Puder defeated Michael Alden by knockout in forty-five seconds. Several months later on September 29, 2007, at Strikeforce: Playboy Mansion, at The Playboy Mansion, in Los Angeles, California, Puder defeated Richard Dalton by unanimous decision.

On May 16, 2009, at Call to Arms I, at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, in Ontario, California, Puder defeated Jeff Ford by knockout.

On August 15, 2009, at Call to Arms: Called Out Fights, at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, in Ontario, California, Puder defeated Mychal Clark by unanimous decision.

In 2011, Puder retired from MMA competition, holding a record of eight wins and zero losses.[2]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 8-0 Mychal Clark Decision (unanimous) Call to Arms: Called Out Fights August 15, 2009 3 5:00
Win 7-0 Jeff Ford TKO (shoulder injury) Call to Arms I May 16, 2009 1 1:23
Win 6-0 Richard Dalton Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Playboy Mansion September 29, 2007 3 5:00
Win 5-0 Michael Alden TKO (head kick & punches) BodogFight Series III: Costa Rica Combat February 18, 2007 1 0:45
Win 4-0 Mike Cook Submission (rear naked choke) Strikeforce: Triple Threat December 8, 2006 2 2:31
Win 3-0 Tom Tuggle Submission (armbar) Strikeforce: Revenge June 9, 2006 1 0:28
Win 2-0 Jesse Fujarczyk Submission (rear naked choke) Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Gracie March 10, 2006 1 1:54
Win 1-0 Jay McCown Decision (unanimous) X-1 September 6, 2003 3 3:00

In wrestling[edit]

Championships, Awards, and Accomplishments[edit]

World Wrestling Entertainment


  1. ^ "American Kickboxing Academy - Dan Puder". American Kickboxing Academy. 
  2. ^ a b "Fight Finder - Daniel Puder's Mixed Martial Arts Statistics". 
  3. ^ a b c "WRESTLER PROFILES - Daniel Puder". Online World of Wrestling. 
  4. ^ "High School Wrestling". The Sun, Sunnyvale's Newspaper. 
  5. ^ "Daniel Puder - mixed martial arts fighter - Biography". Daniel Puder - mixed martial arts fighter. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Daniel Puder - Biography". The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). 
  7. ^ a b "A "Call to Arms" with Daniel Puder!". American Martial Arts Movements (A.M.A.M.). 
  8. ^ ""$1,000,000 Tough Enough" Begins Tonight! New Reality Contest Starts Tonight on UPN’s WWE SmackDown!". WWE.com. 
  9. ^ "Daniel Puder Interview - Talks about incident with Kurt Angle, and OVW". http://www.wrestleview.com/. 
  10. ^ "SmackDown - October 28, 2004 Results". Online World of Wrestling. 
  11. ^ "SmackDown - November 4, 2004 Results". Online World of Wrestling. 
  12. ^ a b c d e The PWInsider.com Staff (January 3, 2005). "2004: The Year in Review". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g "Reality show contestant schools Angle". 
  14. ^ a b c "Online World of Wrestling - Wrestling Columns - Online World of Wrestling Fan Jam 11/2004 - Short Columns by Obsessed Fans". 
  15. ^ "Armageddon 2004 Results". WWE.com. 
  16. ^ "WWE SmackDown! Crowns "$1,000,000 Tough Enough" Champion". WWE.com. 
  17. ^ "2005 Royal Rumble Match Results". WWE.com. 
  18. ^ "Daniel Puder Comments On His WWE Release". 
  19. ^ "FIGHTSPORT 24-7". 
  20. ^ "ROH Signs Daniel Puder". 
  21. ^ "(Results) New Japan "DOMINION 6.19″, 6/19". Strong Style Spirit. June 19, 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  22. ^ "(Results) New Japan, 10/11/10". Strong Style Spirit. October 11, 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  23. ^ "(Results) New Japan, 10/22/10". Strong Style Spirit. October 22, 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  24. ^ "(Results) New Japan, 10/25/10". Strong Style Spirit. October 25, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  25. ^ "(Results) New Japan, 11/6/10". Strong Style Spirit. November 6, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 

External links[edit]