Karl Anderson

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For other people named Karl Anderson, see Karl Anderson (disambiguation).
Karl Anderson
Karl Anderson at BCW East meets West.jpg
Anderson in May 2014 with the IWGP Tag Team Championship belt around his waist.
Birth name Chad Allegra[1][2]
Born (1980-01-20) January 20, 1980 (age 34)[3]
Asheville, North Carolina[1][3]
Resides Cincinnati, Ohio[2]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Chad 2 Badd[4]
Chad Allegra[4]
Karl Anderson[1][2]
Killshot[2][5]
Billed height 6 ft 0 in (1.84 m)[3]
Billed weight 241 lb (109 kg)[3]
Billed from Pipestone, Minnesota[1]
Trained by Les Thatcher[2]
Roger Ruffen[1][2]
Debut May 10, 2002[1]

Chad Allegra[1][2] (born January 20, 1980)[3] is an American professional wrestler better known by his stage name "The Machine Gun" Karl Anderson currently working for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he is in his second reign as one half of the IWGP Tag Team Champions. He holds the record for the longest reign and the most defenses with the title, achieved on his first reign with former partner Giant Bernard. Anderson and Bernard are also former Pro Wrestling Noah's GHC Tag Team Champions. Anderson is also a three-time winner of NJPW's top tag team tournament, the G1/World Tag League, having won it in 2009 with Bernard, in 2012 with Hirooki Goto and in 2013 with Doc Gallows. He also wrestled for Southern California-based independent promotion Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) between 2007 and 2009.

Early life[edit]

Allegra grew up in Asheville, North Carolina with his younger brother and mother. He received a baseball scholarship to study at Mars Hill College in his home state before dropping out to pursue a wrestling career. Upon moving to Cincinnati, Ohio he began training at Les Thatcher's Main Event Pro Wrestling Camp, the school associated with the Heartland Wrestling Association.[6]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Shortly after beginning his training under Les Thatcher in 2000, he received a concussion at the hands of fellow trainee Derek Neikirk, which put Allegra on the shelf for over a year. When he finally felt that he was able to return, he contacted Kirk Sheppard who worked for the Northern Wrestling Federation in Cincinnati, who introduced him to Roger Ruffen, the head trainer at BoneKrushers (the NWF's wrestling school).[1] Allegra trained for several months before debuting under his real name in his first professional match on May 10, 2002 in a losing encounter with The Zodiac.[1] His second match was against Prince Justice, who is now better known as TNA's Abyss. He also had matches with The Boogie Woogie Man Jimmy Valiant, Chris Harris, Shark Boy, and Jerry Lawler in the early stages of his career.[1] In the NWF, Allegra started as part of the Young Lions, a four-man group of popular rookies who entered the promotion at about the same time. First to leave the group was Matt Parks. Allegra eventually joined Parks as a heel and began a memorable feud with Ryan Stone and Jay Donaldson.[1] In the summer of 2005, the NWF and the HWA began an interpromotional feud. It culminated in a one on one, title vs. title match between Allegra, the NWF Champion, and Cody Hawk, the HWA champion.[1]

National Wrestling Alliance (2005–2008)[edit]

In October 2005, Allegra had the opportunity to wrestle at the National Wrestling Alliance's Annual Convention where he was noticed by Dave Marquez of the New Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo.[2] Allegra was invited to train at the dojo in Los Angeles and so after losing the NWF title to Ryan Stone on January 1, 2006, Allegra began living and wrestling on the West Coast.[2] On the West Coast, Allegra was repackaged as "Machine Gun" Karl Anderson, becoming a storyline member of the Anderson wrestling family and adopting the family's trademark spinebuster as his new finishing maneuver.[1] Over the years, the association with the Anderson family has quietly been dropped.[7] Before long, he won the NWA British Commonwealth Championship before losing it to Alex Koslov. Anderson makes occasional visits in the Midwest, making cameos for Ruffen's NWF when he is able and is the current NWA Heartland States Champion for Ed Chuman's NWA Midwest promotion.[1]

In 2007, he began teaming with Joey Ryan, on NWA cards promoted by David Marquez. He appeared weekly on MavTV, a small broadcast network, carried on limited stations. The team's first title match came against The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) in a losing attempt for the AWS Tag Team Championship.[8] In April, Anderson won the EWF American Championship from Human Tornado.[9] On July 8, 2007, he and Ryan won a 3-way tag match to claim the vacant NWA World Tag Team Championship.[1] Anderson lost his EWF American Championship to Mikey Nicholls on September 7, 2007, in a 30 minute Iron Man match, which also included Ryan Taylor.[10] Anderson and Ryan, now going as the Real American Heroes, successfully defend their championship on multiple occasions, but would eventually lose it to Los Luchas (Phoenix Star and Zokre) on February 10, 2008.[11]

Pro Wrestling Guerilla (2007–2009)[edit]

In early 2007, Anderson debuted for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), picking up big wins over established wrestlers such as Frankie Kazarian and Colt Cabana.[1] He would continue to appear for PWG over the year, occasionally teaming with Joey Ryan's Dynasty faction.[12][13][14] On February 24, 2008, he would participate in a tournament for the PWG World Championship, defeating Kazarian in his first round match.[15] Later that same day, he was defeated by Human Tornado in the finals of the tournament, which also included Roderick Strong.[15] After an eleven month break from PWG, Anderson returned on February 21, 2009, once again teaming with The Dynasty.[16] On August 28, he and Joey Ryan unsuccessfully challenged The Young Bucks for the PWG World Tag Team Championship.[17] Anderson made his to date final appearance for PWG on September 4, 2009, when he was defeated by Roderick Strong.[18] In 2013, looking back at his time on the Californian independent circuit, Allegra stated "I actually hated my whole time in L.A. There were always great times, but I look back on it now, and I wasn't happy there at all. I just didn't enjoy myself".[2] He has though noted that he did not hate PWG, saying that they treated him well and gave him an opportunity when no one else would.[7]

Ring of Honor (2007, 2013)[edit]

On October 19, 2007, Anderson made his debut for Ring of Honor (ROH), losing to Chris Hero in a Survival of the Fittest qualifying match.[19] Two days later, Anderson was defeated by Adam Pearce in a singles match.[20] After not appearing for ROH in over five years, Anderson returned to the promotion on April 5, 2013, at Supercard of Honor VII, defeating Roderick Strong.[21] At the following day's tapings of Ring of Honor Wrestling, Anderson picked up another win over Michael Elgin.[22] Anderson returned to the promotion on July 27 to take part in the ROH World Championship tournament, defeating ACH in his first round match.[23] On August 17, Anderson was eliminated from the tournament in the quarterfinals by Michael Elgin.[24]

New Japan Pro Wrestling[edit]

Bad Intentions (2008–2012)[edit]

As part of the new talent exchange agreement between the NWA and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Anderson replaced Yuji Nagata on March 23, 2008 in the annual New Japan Cup tournament. His opponent in the first round was New Japan's junior heavyweight division ace, Koji Kanemoto. Anderson lost that match due to submission.[25] Based on his performance, Anderson was instantly signed to a one-year contract by New Japan.[2] Anderson then joined New Japan's top heel stable Great Bash Heel (GBH) and spent the rest of the year wrestling in midcards of NJPW events.[26] After a jump from GBH to CHAOS, Anderson formed the tag team Bad Intentions with Giant Bernard and on June 20 the two of them received a shot at the IWGP Tag Team Championship, but were unable to defeat the defending champions Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon).[26] Anderson and Bernard entered the 2009 G1 Tag League and were able to defeat Apollo 55 (Prince Devitt and Ryusuke Taguchi) in the finals to win the tournament and earn another shot at Team 3D.[26][27] On November 8 at Destruction '09, the second match between Bad Intentions and Team 3D ended in a double count out.[28] On April 4, 2010, CHAOS members Toru Yano and Takashi Iizuka turned on Anderson and kicked him out of the stable with help from Tetsuya Naito and Yujiro Takahashi, who joined the stable in the process.[29] Giant Bernard, who wasn't present at the show, ended up leaving CHAOS alongside his tag team partner.[30] On June 19, 2010, at Dominion 6.19, Anderson and Bernard defeated the teams of Seigigun (Yuji Nagata and Wataru Inoue) and No Limit (Tetsuya Naito and Yujiro Takahashi) in a three-way elimination match to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.[31] Bad Intentions made their first successful defense of the IWGP Tag Team Championship on July 19, defeating Seigigun and No Limit in a three-way "Dogfight".[32] In late October Bad Intentions entered the 2010 G1 Tag League, where, after three wins and two losses, they finished second in their block and advanced to the semifinals, where, on November 7, they were defeated by the eventual winners of the whole tournament, Yuji Nagata and Wataru Inoue.[33][34] On January 4, 2011, at Wrestle Kingdom V in Tokyo Dome, Bad Intentions successfully defended the IWGP Tag Team Championship in a three–way match against Beer Money, Inc. (James Storm and Robert Roode) and Muscle Orchestra (Manabu Nakanishi and Strong Man).[35][36] On May 3, Bad Intentions defeated No Limit to make their seventh successful IWGP Tag Team Championship defense, tying the all–time record for most defenses, set by Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono.[37] Bad Intentions made their record breaking eight successful IWGP Tag Team Championship defense on June 18 at Dominion 6.18 against Pro Wrestling Noah's Takuma Sano and Yoshihiro Takayama, and in the process also became the new GHC Tag Team Champions.[38][39] Bad Intentions' ninth successful IWGP Tag Team Championship defense took place on July 3, when they defeated Hirooki Goto and IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi.[40] On July 23, Bad Intentions made an appearance for Pro Wrestling Noah, making their first successful defense of the GHC Tag Team Championship against the team of Takeshi Morishima and Yutaka Yoshie.[41] On September 9, Bad Intentions became the longest reigning IWGP Tag Team Champions in history by breaking the previous record of 446 days, set by Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono in 2003. Bad Intentions made their second GHC Tag Team Championship defense on October 31, defeating Go Shiozaki and Shuhei Taniguchi at a Pro Wrestling Noah event.[42] During New Japan's 2011 G1 Tag League, Bad Intentions suffered their first tag team loss in a year, when they were defeated by the Complete Players (Masato Tanaka and Yujiro Takahashi),[43] but still managed to win their four other matches and advance to the semifinals of the tournament.[44] On November 6, after defeating the Billion Powers (Hirooki Goto and Hiroshi Tanahashi) in the semifinals, Bad Intentions was defeated in the finals of the 2011 G1 Climax by the Suzukigun (Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer).[45] On November 12 at Power Struggle, Bad Intentions made their tenth successful IWGP Tag Team Championship defense against Archer and Suzuki.[46] On January 4, 2012, at Wrestle Kingdom VI in Tokyo Dome, Bad Intentions lost the IWGP Tag Team Championship to Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima), ending their record-setting reign at 564 days.[47] On January 22, Bad Intentions lost the GHC Tag Team Championship to Akitoshi Saito and Jun Akiyama.[48] In March, Bad Intentions was disbanded, after Bernard left New Japan to return to the WWE.[49]

Bullet Club (2012–present)[edit]

Main article: Bullet Club

Launching his New Japan singles career, Anderson entered the 2012 New Japan Cup on April 1. After victories over Hiroyoshi Tenzan and multi-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, arguably the biggest win of his career, he was eliminated from the tournament in the semifinals by Hiroshi Tanahashi.[50][51][52] On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2012, Nakamura defeated Anderson in a rematch.[53] In August, Anderson took part in the 2012 G1 Climax tournament, where he won four out of his first seven matches, before scoring an upset win over IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi on August 12, the final day of the tournament, to win his block and advance to the finals.[54] In the finals, which was held immediately after Anderson's win over Tanahashi, Anderson was defeated by Kazuchika Okada.[54] During the following months, Anderson continued his feud with Okada, leading to him unsuccessfully challenging for Okada's Wrestle Kingdom 7 in Tokyo Dome title shot contract on October 8 at King of Pro-Wrestling.[55][56] On November 11 at Power Struggle, Anderson unsuccessfully challenged Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.[57][58] On November 15, Anderson entered a tournament to determine the inaugural NEVER Openweight Champion. After wins over Yujiro Takahashi,[59] Shiori Asahi and Kengo Mashimo, Anderson was defeated in the finals of the tournament on November 19 by Masato Tanaka.[60] From November 20 to December 1, Anderson took part in the round-robin portion of the 2012 World Tag League, alongside Hirooki Goto under the team name "Sword & Guns".[61] The team finished with a record of four wins and two losses, finishing second in their block and advancing to the semifinals of the tournament.[62][63] On December 2, Sword & Guns defeated Tencozy to advance to the finals of the tournament, where, later that same day, the defeated the reigning IWGP Tag Team Champions, K.E.S. (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. and Lance Archer), to win the tournament.[64] Sword & Guns received their shot at the IWGP Tag Team Championship on January 4, 2013, at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in Tokyo Dome, but were defeated in a rematch by K.E.S.[65][66] Following his August 2012 win over Hiroshi Tanahashi, Anderson received his first shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship on February 10, 2013, at The New Beginning, but was defeated by Tanahashi in a rematch.[67] In an attempt to earn another shot at Tanahashi, Anderson entered the 2013 New Japan Cup on March 11, defeating Hiroyoshi Tenzan in his first round match.[68][69] Six days later, Anderson was eliminated from the tournament in the second round by Kazuchika Okada.[70]

Anderson with Bullet Club in September 2013.

On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2013, Anderson faced Hiroshi Tanahashi in another high-profile match, but was again defeated. After the match, Anderson turned heel by joining Prince Devitt, Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga in attacking Tanahashi.[71] The new group was subsequently named "Bullet Club".[72][73] From August 1 to 11, Anderson took part in the 2013 G1 Climax,[74] where he finished with a record of five wins and four losses, with a loss against Tetsuya Naito on the final day costing him a spot in the finals of the tournament.[75][76] In October, Anderson set his sights on the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, held by Kazuchika Okada, looking to avenge his loss from the finals of the 2012 G1 Climax.[77] The title match between the two took place on November 9 at Power Struggle and saw Okada retain his title.[78] From November 24 to December 8, Anderson and Bullet Club's newest member, Doc Gallows, took part in the 2013 World Tag League.[79] After winning their block with a record of four wins and two losses,[80] Anderson and Gallows first defeated GBH (Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma) in the semifinals and then Tencozy in the finals to win the tournament, giving Anderson his overall third G1/World Tag League win and the second in a row.[81][82] Anderson and Gallows received their title shot on January 4, 2014, at Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome, where they defeated K.E.S. to become the new IWGP Tag Team Champions.[83][84] Anderson and Gallows made their first successful title defense on February 9 at The New Beginning in Hiroshima, defeating K.E.S. in a rematch.[85][86] Their second defense took place on April 6 at Invasion Attack 2014, where they defeated Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata.[87][88] Following the event, Devitt left New Japan, leading to Anderson taking over as the new leader of Bullet Club.[89] Anderson and Gallows' third successful defense took place just seven days later, during New Japan's trip to Taiwan, when they defeated Hirooki Goto and Captain Taiwan.[90] On May 17, Anderson and Gallows made their fourth successful title defense against The Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark) at a NJPW and ROH co-produced event, War of the Worlds, in New York City.[91] On June 21 at Dominion 6.21, Anderson and Gallows made their fifth successful defense against Ace to King (Hiroshi Tanahashi and Togi Makabe).[92][93] From July 21 to August 8, Anderson took part in the 2014 G1 Climax, where he finished third in his block with a record of five wins and five losses.[94][95] On September 21 at Destruction in Kobe, Anderson and Gallows made their sixth successful title defense against Chaos' Kazuchika Okada and Yoshi-Hashi.[96][97] Two days later at Destruction in Okayama, Anderson unsuccessfully challenged Okada for his IWGP Heavyweight Championship number one contender's contract.[98] In December, Anderson and Gallows made it to the finals of the 2014 World Tag League, after winning their block with a record of five wins and two losses.[99] On December 7, Anderson and Gallows were defeated in the finals of the tournament by Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata.[100]

Personal life[edit]

Allegra is married and has two sons, named Caedon and Cylus. The family lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.[2] Allegra is close friends with Fergal Devitt and Shinsuke Nakamura, both of whom he first met at the New Japan Pro Wrestling dojo in Los Angeles.[2]

In wrestling[edit]

Anderson applying a Boston crab on Frankie Kazarian.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Northern Wrestling Federation
    • NWF Heavyweight Championship (2 times)[1]

References[edit]

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