Rose as Leo Kruger at FCW in 2011
|Birth name||Ray Leppan|
20 July 1979 |
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Adam Rose
|Billed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Billed weight||221 lb (100 kg)|
|Billed from||Musha Cay, Bahamas
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Trained by||Florida Championship Wrestling
Paul Lloyd Sr.
Ray Leppan (born 20 July 1979) is a South African professional wrestler. He is signed to WWE where he performs as Adam Rose. He is a former two-time FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion under the name of Leo Kruger.
Professional wrestling career
South African (1995–2010)
Leppan debuted as a professional wrestler at the age of 16. He worked in South Africa with Paul Lloyd Jr., known as the tag team Pure Juice. He also wrestled as "Dameon Duke" in World Wrestling Professionals. While there, Duke won the WWP World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Tornado in 2007 and lost it to Fury the following year.
World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE
Developmental territories (2010–2014)
After Leppan's United States work visa cleared, he was able to debut in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) under his real name on 25 February 2010, in a losing effort against Curt Hawkins. Two weeks later, Leppan was defeated by Eli Cottonwood. The following week, Leppan changed his ring name to "Leo Kruger", chosen as a tribute to his relative and former President of South Africa Paul Kruger, before losing to Johnny Curtis. On 18 March, Kruger picked up his first win since joining FCW by defeating Jacob Novak. At the television tapings on 20 May, Kruger challenged the former Paul Lloyd, Jr. and fellow South African wrestler, Justin Gabriel to a match. At the television tapings on 10 June, Kruger lost to Gabriel, but in a rematch on 1 July, Kruger reversed the result. In mid-2010, Kruger formed a team with Derrick Bateman, known as The Handsome Man Express. The duo challenged Los Aviadores (Hunico and Epico) for the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship on 2 July, but were unsuccessful. On 8 July, Kruger teamed with Tyler Reks to challenge Los Aviadores again for the championship, but was unsuccessful. Kruger then went on a winning streak, defeating Big E. Langston, Bateman, Austin Watson, Husky Harris, and Wes Brisco, before finally losing in a mixed tag team match, when he and Kaitlyn lost to Brad Maddox and Jamie Keyes on 9 September. Kruger's final match in 2010 was at the television tapings on 23 September, when he lost to Bo Rotundo. Following the match, Kruger lost feeling in his arm, and it was discovered that he had broken his neck. While recuperating, Kruger became a commentator for the FCW television program.
After Bo Rotundo was injured in September 2011, his FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship was vacated and a tournament set up to determine the new champion. Kruger defeated Percy Watson to make it to the final, a fatal four-way match against Husky Harris, Damien Sandow, and Dean Ambrose. Kruger won the match and the championship, his first in FCW. Kruger then appeared in dark matches prior to the SmackDown television tapings on 20 and 27 September, losing to Trent Barreta and defeating Johnny Curtis respectively. Kruger successfully defended the championship against Harris on the 24 October episode of FCW television and on the 14 November episode of FCW television, Kruger defeated Harris and Richie Steamboat in a triple threat match to retain the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship. On the 18 December episode of FCW television, Kruger successfully defended the championship against Seth Rollins, after interference from Antonio Cesaro.
In late December 2011, Kruger appeared at several WWE house shows, losing to Alex Riley on 27 and 28 December. On 30 December, he teamed with Riley and Mason Ryan to defeat Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins, and JTG in a six-man tag team match at a Raw brand house show. On 2 February 2012, Kruger lost the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship to Mike Dalton. He regained the championship from Dalton three weeks later on 23 February, but lost it that same night to Seth Rollins.
When WWE rebranded its developmental territory, FCW, into NXT Wrestling, Kruger's NXT television debut took place on the second episode of the rebooted WWE NXT taped at Full Sail University, where he defeated Aiden English. On the 1 August episode of NXT, Kruger was inserted into the Gold Rush Tournament to crown the first NXT Champion, where he was defeated by Richie Steamboat in the quarter-finals. In September, Kruger's character was tweaked into that of a deranged hunter and mercenary. In December, Kruger formed an alliance with Kassius Ohno; Kruger and Ohno defeated Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel on the 2 January 2013 episode of NXT. On the 16 January episode of NXT, Kruger defeated Trent Baretta. On the 30 January episode of NXT, Ohno and Kruger entered the NXT Tag Team Championship Tournament to crown the inaugural champions and defeated Alex Riley and Derrick Bateman in the first round. On the 6 February episode of NXT, Kruger and Ohno were defeated by Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey in the semi-finals. Kruger then moved on to feud with Justin Gabriel when he attempted to attack Gabriel's injured partner, Tyson Kidd; Kruger won the series of matches 2–1. Kruger next set his sights on Bo Dallas's NXT Championship. On the 18 July NXT, Kruger won a triple threat match against Sami Zayn and Antonio Cesaro to become number one contender. On 7 August, Kruger fought Dallas for NXT Championship, but lost. Kruger eventually feuded with Zayn with the feud culminated in Zayn winning a two-out-of-three falls match on the 1 January 2014 NXT.
Adam Rose (2014–present)
Leppan was then removed from television and he began wrestling under a new character of "Adam Rose" at house shows. As Rose, he returned to television on the March 6, 2014 episode of NXT, with his new character being an organizer of parties with various colorful costumed party-goers, who accompany him during his ring entrance.
From the post-WrestleMania Raw on April 7, WWE aired introductory vignettes for Rose. Rose made his main roster debut on the May 5 episode of Raw, interrupting Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. Rose continued to distract Swagger during his matches, leading to Swagger losing. Rose wrestled his first Raw match on the May 26 episode of Raw in a winning effort against Damien Sandow. During the match Swagger and Colter interfered, holding one of Rose's party members hostage. Rose saved his friend after winning the match despite the distraction. Rose defeated Swagger on the May 30 episode of SmackDown and the June 2 episode of Raw. Rose has gone unbeaten since his first appearance on the main roster. Rose made his first pay-per-view appearance at Money in the Bank where he defeated Damien Sandow. On the Battleground pre-show, Rose defeated Fandango. After over a month of inactivity, Rose returned on the September 1 episode of Raw, where he defeated Titus O'Neil. On the September 4 episode of NXT, Rose's undefeated streak was ended as he was defeated by Tyson Kidd via submission.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- As Adam Rose
- As Leo Kruger
- As Dameon Duke
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- "Leo Kruger". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
- Fishman, Scott (29 April 2012). "South African friends looking to reunite in WWE". The Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 30 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- "Leo Kruger". NXT Wrestling. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "WWE bio".
- Johnson, Mike. "New FCW talents, where are they now, chat with the Bellas and more". PWInsider. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
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- Meltzer, Dave (2 February 2012). "Two title changes at tonight's FCW tapings". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- "WWE News: FCW name being phased out". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S NXT REPORT 6/27: Week 2 of New NXT season – Bateman vs. Curtis main event, Cesaro, Seth Rollins, Steamboat". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
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- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT RESULTS 1/30: Tournament continues, Bo Dallas in main event, returns of Bateman, A-Ry & Mason Ryan". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 2/6 – Week 32: Tag Tournament continues, Bo Dallas's main-roster debut carries over, Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Chiverton, George. "CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: Latest Rankings & Evaluation of WWE Developmental roster". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
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- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE NXT REPORT: UNITED STATES TITLE ON THE LINE; NXT TITLE ON THE LINE; DANCE SUPREMACY IN NXT ON THE LINE; TYLER BREEZE IS TYLER BREEZE; AND MORE". PWInsider. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
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- "James's WWE NXT report 3/6: Post-Arrival "reset" includes Neville's first night as NXT champ, Zayn vs. Graves, re-packaged Rose, Flair, Cena, Yoshi, more; Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
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- Namako, Jason. "WWE NXT results – 5/1/14 (Adrian Neville vs. Brodus Clay)". Wrestleview. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
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- "WWE NXT TV Report: Sami Zayn vs. Leo Kruger 2/3 Falls, Kofi vs. Rusev (video)".
- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE NXT report: number one contender match; six divas in action; the Shield send a message; the Wyatt Family makes their presence known". PWInsider. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- Martin, Adam. "FCW Results- 5/27/12". Wrestleview. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE NXT report: current and former NXT champions in action; women's title tournament finishes the first round; number one contenders for the tag titles determined; and more". PWInsider. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- "WWE NXT TV report – Top contenders for tag title match". Wrestling Observer. Retrieved 12 August 2013. "Leo won the match with a high stepping Lariat called The Slice and submitting Dante"
- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE NXT REPORT: NEVILLE VERSUS CLAY IN A NO DQ MATCH; THE EXOTIC EXPRESS STOPS AT FULL SAIL; WOMEN'S TITLE TOURNAMENT STARTS; AND MORE". PWInsider. Retrieved May 4.
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- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE NXT report: if you like the Shield, this is the show for you to watch; big title match announced for next week; Kidd and Gabriel versus Ohno and Kruger; and more". PWInsider. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- Namako, Jason. "WWE NXT Results – 12/11/13 (Kruger vs. Zayn)". WrestleView. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
- "Leo Kruger – FCW profile". Florida Championship Wrestling. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2012". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
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