Erick Rowan

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Erick Rowan
Erick Rowan WWE Axxess 2014.jpg
Rowan in April 2014.
Birth name Joseph Ruud
Born (1981-11-28) November 28, 1981 (age 33)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Resides Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Erick Rowan[2][3]
Thoruf Marius[4]
Billed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)[5]
Billed weight 315 lb (143 kg)[5]
Billed from Minneapolis, Minnesota[2][3]
Trained by Frankie Renna[4]
Debut September 3, 2003[4]

Joseph Ruud (born November 28, 1981)[4] is an American professional wrestler. He is signed to WWE, where he performs under the ring name Erick Rowan. He is a former member of The Wyatt Family and is a one time NXT Tag Team Champion with his former tag team partner and Wyatt Family member Luke Harper.

Early life[edit]

Ruud was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota[4] and is of Norwegian origin; his family emigrated from Nannestad, Norway. He attended the University of Minnesota Morris, where he played football.[6]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (2003–2011)[edit]

Prior to being signed by WWE, Ruud competed in Japan, where he competed in both tag team and singles matches, albeit without much success.[7] Following his tour in Japan, Ruud returned to the United States in 2008 and began competing under the ring name Thoruf Marius for the Minnesota-based F1rst Wrestling promotion. Upon joining the promotion, he began feuding with Brody Hoofer, with the pair exchanging wins across several events.[8]


Florida Championship Wrestling (2011–2012)[edit]

In February 2011, Ruud signed a developmental contract with WWE and was assigned to their developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling under the ring name Erick Rowan.[9] He made his FCW TV debut in August 2011 with a win over Kenneth Cameron, while being accompanied by Byron Saxton and James Bronson.[10] To tie in with Saxton's feud with Titus O'Neil, Rowan and Bronson lost to O'Neil and Leakee in a tag match.[11] Although Rowan continued to compete in both singles matches and tag matches with Bronson, he was not involved in any further feuds and did not challenge for any titles on FCW TV.[12]

The Wyatt Family (2012–2014)[edit]

Main article: The Wyatt Family
The Wyatt Family - Erick Rowan (left), Bray Wyatt (center) and Luke Harper (right)

After FCW was rebranded to NXT Wrestling,[13] Rowan made his debut on the December 12, 2012 episode of NXT as a follower of Bray Wyatt, who introduced Rowan as his "second son".[14] As a member of the Wyatt Family, Rowan formed a team with Wyatt's "first son" Luke Harper,[15] and they defeated Percy Watson and Yoshi Tatsu on the January 9, 2013 episode of NXT.[16] On the January 23 episode of NXT, Harper and Rowan again defeated Watson and Tatsu in the opening round of the NXT Tag Team Championship tournament.[17] Following a win over Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty in the semi-finals with Wyatt's interference,[18] Harper and Rowan were defeated in the finals by Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey.[19] On the May 2 episode of NXT, Harper and Rowan won a triple threat elimination tag match by last pinning tag champion Neville.[20] On the May 8 NXT (taped on May 2), Harper and Rowan defeated Neville and Bo Dallas (who was filling in for the injured Grey) to win the NXT tag titles, Rowan's first professional wrestling championship.[21][22] On the June 5 NXT, Harper and Rowan successfully retained their titles against Corey Graves and Kassius Ohno,[23] and on the June 19 NXT the Wyatt Family defeated the team of Graves, Neville and Ohno.[24] On the July 17 NXT (taped on June 20), Rowan and Harper lost the NXT Tag Team Championships to Adrian Neville and Corey Graves.[25]

From the May 27 episode of Raw, WWE aired vignettes promoting the upcoming main roster debut of the Wyatt Family.[26] The vignettes showed the Wyatt Family's backwoods origins and Rowan wearing a sheep mask.[27][28] On the July 8 episode of Raw, the Wyatt Family made their debut by assaulting Kane.[29] Rowan made his WWE in-ring debut on the July 26 episode of SmackDown, where he and Harper defeated Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay and Tensai) in a tag team match.[30] Over the next few months, Rowan and Harper competed as a tag-team and went on a winning streak over many teams,[31][32][33] until Cody Rhodes and Goldust handed them their first loss on the October 11 episode of SmackDown.[34] In early 2014, Rowan took part in the Wyatt Family's feud with The Shield,[35] while also supporting Bray Wyatt in his feud with John Cena.[36] While Wyatt and Cena's feud continued, Harper and Rowan also started a feud with The Usos, unsuccessfully challenging for the WWE Tag Team Championships at Money in the Bank and Battleground.[37]

Singles competition and Face Turn (2014–present)[edit]

Beginning on September 29, vignettes were shown of Harper and Rowan being "set free" by Wyatt, marking the dissolution of the Wyatt Family and the transition of its members into singles competition. On the November 17 episode of Raw, Rowan turned face for the first time in his WWE career when he joined Team Cena for Survivor Series, going after his former Wyatt Family member and Intercontinental Champion Luke Harper, who had joined Team Authority.[38] At Survivor Series, Rowan scored no eliminations and was himself eliminated by Harper, with the assistance of Seth Rollins. However, Team Cena later won the match.[39] After Survivor Series, Rowan started a feud with Big Show, the team member who had betrayed the rest of Team Cena at the event.[40] At TLC in December, Rowan faced Big Show in a stairs match in a losing effort.[41]

On the January 5, 2015 episode of Raw, Rowan along with former Team Cena teammates Ryback and Dolph Ziggler were (storyline) fired by The Authority for being a part of Team Cena.[42] On the January 19 episode of Raw, Rowan, Ryback and Ziggler were rehired after Cena won a 3-on-1 handicap match against Seth Rollins, Big Show and Kane following assistance from Sting. On the January 22 episode of SmackDown, Rowan lost to Luke Harper in a qualifying match for the 2015 Royal Rumble. Despite this, Rowan appeared during the Rumble match and attacked #6 entrant Curtis Axel before Axel could make his entrance to the ring, sparking a brief Wyatt Family reunion with Harper and Bray Wyatt before all three men brawled. Later that week, Rowan defeated Axel in a match on the January 31st episode of Main Event. At Fastlane Rowan competed together with Ziggler and Ryback in a six man tag team match against Rollins, Big Show and Kane, which they lost.[43] Rowan participated in the 2nd Annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31 which was won by Big Show.

In other media[edit]

In 2010, Ruud participated in Norwegian reality series Alt for Norge and finished in third place.

In 2014, he made his video game debut in WWE 2K15 where he is featured as a playable character.[44]

In wrestling[edit]

Rowan wearing his sheep mask as part of The Wyatt Family.
  • Entrance themes
    • "Live In Fear" by Mark Crozer[59] (2012–2014; used while a part of The Wyatt Family)
    • "Swamp Gas" by Jim Johnston[60] (June 29, 2014 – November 21, 2014; used while teaming with Luke Harper)
    • "Sheepherder" by Jim Johnston[61] (November 23, 2014–present)

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


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External links[edit]